with aromatic clove & coriander seed ( not hot spicy at all !)
This journey started with a sore gum, and ended with a most delicious mushroom & pasta discovery.
This is how the story ended, with this scrumptuous earthy ‘dry sauce’ pasta with just a little hint of spice.
What’s a dry pasta sauce ?
It’s the first time I cam across this term and having tasted it, I now I understand. The sauce is full, thick & sticky rather than plentiful & runny.
When cooking you have to stir constantly, and you’re tempted to thin it down ( and sometimes you have to add a few drops of water to the pan), but the result is rich and unctious.
Also, it’s one of those pastas you don’t need to add parmesan to – it would just make it dryer and be so wrong !
First… the short, to the point, recipe.
No scrolling for miles… with adverts popping up everywhere !
Personally I hate to have to scroll so much dodging my way through ads popping up all over the place. You won’t find that here. I like to have an overall idea of the scope of the recipe first. Then a little further down you can see the method with my pictures, step by step.
I wouldn’t have found this recipe if I didn’t have some cloves to use up. I looked up recipes using cloves online and found this obscure recipe on justapinch.com ( great name ! ) by Lee Thayer.
Here’s what the recipe looked like… if you want the original.
Thanks so much ! What an inspiration, I never thought to use cloves in a simple recipe like this. I would only think of it in spice mixes or for pickling. To be fair, there’s actually a lot more ground coriander than clove in it but the mix is incredible.
Here’s my prep.
If you don’t have the full list of ingredients… carry on !
I didn’t have tomato purée so I made it in 10mins from 1/2 tin of tomatoes. Just blend, then pop in a small non stick pan and stir constantly till you get the sweet thick concentrate version – the purée ! Half a tin made a good heaped tablespoon – pretty much the 1.5tablespoons I needed for the recipe.
I didn’t have ground spices either so I ground my own in a matter of seconds. I just use my Bamix hand blender and the processor attachment with pulverizing disk.
Made the cloves first for my sore gum. Popped some on the gum for about 30mins then rinsed it out – job done ! Now back to the cooking.
I didn’t have spaghetti in the house but don’t ever let that stop you. Just substitute !
I had a new pasta shape that worked ( even better in my opinion !)
I didn’t have the spring onions – well I didn’t miss them at all but will try it again one day with them to see the difference.
Next… I like to scroll through the method, to get the overall picture.
I’m not a great one for writing the quantities because it depends on your portion size – if it’s a full meal or a side dish etc.
I like to look at the ingredients and decided how much of that I’d want to eat, or serve , per person – to be as healthy and filling as needed.
Method / Instructions
In 9 simple steps
Step 1. Cook your pasta on the stove or microwave… and while it’s cooking.
Wish I had this fasta pasta tub ! Because… I like to cook my pasta early, let it cool, maybe leave it in the fridge, then reheat with a splash of boiling water before adding to the sauce. That way it has less carbs as it becomes a resistant starch, and so it’s healthier. I’ll put it on my foodie wishlist ! I could cook it fast, drain, and store it in the same tub till cool ! So easy.
Step 2. In a large frying pan or heavy based pan… melt the butter.
Step 3. Add in the flour to the butter and mix / whisk so there aren’t lumps.
Remember to use a plastic / non stick whisk if you’re using a non stick pan.
Step 4. Add the diced onions, the ground cloves & coriander, black pepper, minced garlic.
Step 5. Stir stir stir… to mix it all up and keep stirring till the onion is soft and you’re smelling the lovely mixed fragrance of soft spice and onion.
Step 6. Keep cooking it while you add the sliced mushrooms, & tomato paste / purée.
Step 7. Stir, stir, stir while it sautées on a medium heat for 4-5 mins. It will be ready when the mushrooms are soft and the sauce thick and sticking nicely to them – not much liquid is fine.
Step 8. Add the pasta and soy sauce and mix / heat / sautée for another 1-2mins.
Step 9. Serve with the spring onions on top (optional)
That’s the overall picture. I didn’t have spring onions so missed that, but I didn’t feel the dish needed it. I didn’t have spaghetti either and used the pasta I had in, I think it worked even better than spaghetti so if you feel you have pasta that the sauce can stick to nicely, go for it. I’ll do some variations as I cook this more and will list them below, as part of the journey here. Then you can see any variations and how they work. This is so simple, delicious, and was a very different new style of pasta for us. We’ll be doing it again.
large chopping board, large, sharp chef knife, large frying pan for the sauce, saucepan or microwave pasta maker for the pasta, hand blender processor for grinding the spices, microplane for mincing garlic.
You could of course still cook this with a garlic press and pre ground spices, but I love using these 3 tools to cook better and healthier versions.
Click the pictures to find out more about each product.
You don’t need a special pasta maker but it’s such a bargain and hey it’s a storage box too ! If I had one I’d be able to have my pasta stored in the fridge ready to reheat . So yes, I want one of these too.
The microplane allows me to get more of the garlic than a press. There’s virtually nothing left when I use the microplane, so I’m getting more for my money, and not wasting any goodness. It’s also soooo easy to just clean the microplane under the running tap straight away.
Same with the hand blender – just blend/ grind / mix and clean under the tap. By grinding my own spices I get a healthier, fresher product each time. I don’t have to keep a cupboard full of whole and ground spices, and the smell when you grind fresh is just amazing !
The powder disk is magical ! It only works with the little Bamix processor, so you have to have one to use the other.
Prep everything before you start:
You can’t leave this cooking on it’s own. Because it’s quite dry, with the flour in it, you need to keep stirring. If it starts to stick, add a few drops of water here and there. So be prepared. Have everything ready to add, as it all cooks quickly.
For the best spices:
You could use 3 whole cloves for flavour and then remove them (if you can find them) before serving. I prefer to get all the benefits from the spice and eat the whole thing – so I prefer to use ground cloves. However to get the freshest, most flavoursome, healthiest version, it’s always best to grind your own from whole spice to powder. I use my Bamix hand blender to pulverize them.
Enjoy your new mushroom discovery – however you have it.
I’d love to hear, in the comments below.
Next I think I’ll try it with some arborio rice, or use some steam fried white cabbage strips and sit it on that like a bed of pasta. For meat eaters think it would go well with a stronger braised meat like venison.