Almost-instant, three-ingredient pasta

¨I love it when a plan comes together!¨

Truer words were never spoken. I think that one came from Hannibal Smith of the A-Team (yes, I was a child of the 80s). Here was the situation on Friday night that prompted said plan:

Drop-dead tired after an exhausting week at work, I could not bring myself to cook anything. But I was determined not to cop out and get take-away. Therefore, I set out to make the quickest and most filling meal I could muster from whatever bits I had in the fridge and pantry.

The result?

A creamy yet very filling sauce which hugged the pasta in all the right places. It also took about twelve minutes from pan to plate. Yup, it was a winner.

Almost-instant, three ingredient pasta

by: Monique Surette

Feeds about 2-3 people

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 tin black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bottle passata (about 700 ml, I used one that already had seasoning)
Pasta, about 250 grams (more or less, depending how hungry you are!)
Basil to garnish
Options: Throw in whatever veg you have on hand. I had about 1/2 cup green peppers, some olives and about 12-15 veggie balls (homemade or store-bought) that I tossed in.

Put your pasta to boil. In the meantime, gently fry the onion on medium to low heat on a non-stick pan (or use a bit of oil spray). Toss in the veggie balls (if using) and fry until the onions are soft and a bit carmelised. In the meantime, tip in the passata (use a bit of water to swish out the rest from the bottle), black beans and red pepper in a blender. Puree until very smooth, which should not take very long. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of water.  Toss in the bean and passata mixture with the onions. Add your veg (if using), cover and let the sauce heat through. Season to taste. By the time your pasta is ready, the sauce should be nice and hot. This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce. However, since we like our pasta nice and saucy, we hoovered the whole lot in one sitting.

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