Ottolenghi's fettuccine with spiced cherry tomato sauce


I honestly can not believe it has been since February that I was last in this space. To be honest it makes me quite sad that life seemingly took over and in turn this was the space that I had to give up for a wee little while. It was not my intention and was something that picked at my heart daily.

I want to say that I have a real true excuse as to the absence. I suppose I could blame it on our house reno, school + working part time, and all the other bits and bobs life throws at you. Which are valid “busy” excuses but at the same time I have been able to watch a few seasons here are there of those ever addicting Netflix shows so there is that. The real truth, my creative juices took a pretty big beating in the last two years. Doing a house reno is a lot of concentration, is a shit ton of work, it takes a lot of your time and then when you do have some down time the last thing you want to do is create more for your to-do list. School was heavy and hard in more ways than one. It sort of sucked the soul out of me and again when I wasn’t doing school work all I wanted, all my mind wanted, was to be occupied with mindless nonsense aka Netflix.

Finally, although slightly slowly, over this summer my creative juices started to flow again. My desire to get back behind the camera for my own personal shoots has, little by little, been awakened and I finally feel like I am in a place where I have can have it as more of a constant in life again. I suppose that was another thing holding me back, yes, maybe I could get a post out here and there but no one loves anything inconsistent, least of all me. I knew it would come back, my desire to get back to this space, I knew if I gave it enough time the sparks would fly, I knew I would be back.


My goal this winter/early next year is to actually get this site designed properly. I have some big ideas I want to bring to this space and a few changes I will be making, all for the good. All for the future. Until then expect me to be here a lot more often, with simpler recipes, the kind that you almost don’t even need a recipe for. Also soon I will be sharing all the details of my summer and my decision not go to back to school {it is for the better, trust in that}, but all in good time…until then let’s talk this recipe!

At least once a week Paul and I have a date night, its pretty romantic, phones are put away, candles are lit, jazz music is played, wine is drunk and sometimes, yes sometimes, books are even read to each other . This isn’t anything new for us, we have been doing this for almost 12 years and truthfully I think it has played a huge part in keeping us connected. We spend the night eating and drinking and talking for hours and hours. It is the night I look most forward to in the week, it is a true gift when it even ends up twice in a week! Paul works evenings so when I say its a gift, its a gift!


Lately on these evenings we have been taking a cookbook off our gorgeous, newly built shelving unit (photos to come) and randomly selecting a recipe to make. Most of the things we cook at home are things we come up with so it has been kinda nice to take the pressure off of thinking of something and letting someone else guide the way to a delicious meal. No word of a lie I have made the following recipe about 5 times in the last month, it is that good. Simple, yes, I mean it is from Ottolenghi’s newest book titled “Ottolenghi Simple” so yes it is simple. Delicious, outstandingly so, definitely one of the best tomato sauces Paul and I have ever had. Satisfying, beyond belief.

My favourite thing about this recipe is that it feels like so much more than just a tomato sauce. You know how some tomato sauces can be runny or watery, good, yes, but they don’t exactly stick to the pasta noodles (also if that is happening to your sauces most of the time they just need to be simmered down a whole lot more, a truly good pasta sauce takes time my friends, it just takes time), well this one sticks and in the most luscious, creamy, get all over my face kind of way!

So maybe my first post back is a bit of a cheat, not my recipe but it is way to good not to share with you all and if I am going to make a comeback well then it might as well be with one of the best and Ottolenghi is just that…Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to double the batch you won’t be disappointed.


Fettuccine with Spiced Cherry Tomato Sauce

5 tbsp of olive oil

5 cloves of garlic (Ottolenghi says two I say 5-6 but I’m a garlic lover so you decide)

2 lb 2 oz of cherry tomatoes halved (I used a variety of red and yellow, make sure they are the best you can find)

1/2 tsp sugar

1 dried ancho Chile, torn apart (your neighbourhood Mexican store should stock these)

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water

1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped

14 oz fettuccine (or spaghetti)

1 1/4 oz parmesan, finely grated


This isn’t your quick, ready in 10 minutes kind of sauce. It takes time, a little over an hour, but the prep is minimal and there is just a bit of stirring involved so all in all its worth the wait. If you don’t have an ancho chili or couldn’t find one Ottolenghi says 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika will do, or both can be left out all together, although the ancho is not very hot and just gives the sauce the perfect spicy undertone.

Pour the oil into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and fry for about a minute or so, stirring a few times until it starts to lightly brown. Next add in the halved tomatoes, slowly so the oil does not splatter - along wit the sugar, ancho chile, and 1/2 tsp salt. Pour in the water and stir for a few minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down and the liquid is bubbling.

Decrease the heat to a medium-low and let this cook for a little over an hour, stirring every once a while until the tomatoes are completely broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the chopped basil once the sauce has thickened, right before adding in the pasta.

I had to add a little bit more water through the process, just a few tbsp here and there so watch for that.

Cook the fettuccine or spaghetti according to the package or until al dente, making sure to add at least 1 tbsp of salt to the water, trust me pasta need that salt! You can transfer the pasta directly to the tomato sauce, giving it all a good stir.

Serve immediately with some fresh grated parmesan on top. Thank you Ottolenghi!