The season for comfort food is upon us. You can tell it’s here when you leave the house in shorts under the brilliant sunshine and come home drenched and freezing cold. On days like these, turn to this wonderfully comforting pasta recipe, a family Friday night favourite: along with a steaming cup of tea, the indulgent mix of carby pasta and cheesy sauce will cheer you up in no time.
The marmite may seem like an odd addition, but you can’t really taste it in the sauce, and it gives a nice depth of flavour.
My Mother’s Rigatone in Orange Sauce (Cheesy Tomato Pasta)
You will need:
- 75-100g rigatone, penne or other pasta shape
- 4 tsp oil (vegetable or olive)
- 2 tsp flour
- Half tsp marmite
- Half a tin of tomatoes, blended, or 200 ml passata
- 1-2 tsp tomato puree
- Sprinkling dried herbs (basil or oregano) (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 65g cheddar cheese, grated
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Whilst the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese.
- When the pasta has been cooking for around 5 minutes, heat the oil in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the flour, and stir in. You want a white, liquidy paste: add more flour if needed. Cook, constantly stirring, for a minute. Stir in the marmite.
- Add the tomatoes gradually, stirring after each addition so that they are combined properly with the flour mixture. Stir in the tomato puree and dried herbs.
- If you have a thick sauce, add a few tablespoons of water and stir in. Simmer over a very low heat. You want a relatively thick consistency for when the pasta has finished cooking: it should be thick enough that when you stir the sauce, it takes a second or so to fill the space left by the spoon.
- Drain the pasta in the colander. Return to the saucepan, add the hot tomato sauce and the grated cheddar cheese, and stir until it has melted in. If you have chunks of unmelted cheese, add a little more water and cook over a very low heat.
- Salad, a cup of tea and terrible television make the ideal accompaniment to this dish.