Eddie's Pasta

Food has a way of connecting to so much more than just a simple meal, certain tastes and smells can evoke memories and emotions, a bite of something delicious can whisk you back to long passed moments, old fashioned vanilla icecream and summer days as a small child waiting patiently as arm after arm were exhausted churning a few ingredients into something magical.  

Sometimes these connections can also be difficult, for a long time this pasta dish fell in the latter, it reminded me of tough times as a kid it reminded me of hardship.  Then during Covid a strange thing happened, I found myself trying to recreate the dish, 32 years after the last time I had eaten it, my dad the maker of the dish has long been gone, but I remember it being simple with only a few ingredients so it didn’t take much to get it right.

No longer was it something I remembered sadly, in a time when everything seemed so madly upside down, I was reminded of how this simple pasta dish had been central to so many good memories, it reminded me of home, of being safe when things didn’t make sense, of family, of always making it through even when you thought you never would.  I was reminded that life didn’t have to be perfect to be good.  

Story aside, this pasta dish is wonderful for so many reasons, its quick, delicious, simple, infinitely adaptable and a tasty inexpensive way to feed a family.  It is a heady blend of garlic, olive oil and loads of tomato paste, it’s a punchy sunny pesto and whilst this recipe uses parmesan I recall as a kid whatever was on hand was a good cheese to use.

Thank you dad..

Eddie's Pasta

Recipe by TSJC
Prep timeminutes
Cooking timeminutes


  • 60ml olive oil

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced not chopped

  • 200gms tomato paste

  • Pinch of dried chilli (optional)

  • 500gms spaghetti


  • As this ‘sauce’ is so quick start by getting your pasta water on to boil, for 500gms of dried pasta you will need a pot large enough to add 5l of water and 3 tbsp of salt.    Once your water is boiling add your pasta and cook to pack instructions until al dente.
  • While your pasta is cooking prepare your garlic, you want to slice it into very thin slices.
  • Now add your olive oil and garlic (if you are adding the chili you can add it now) to a pan or pot large enough to fit the cooked pasta. Over a medium heat begin to cook the garlic, stir frequently and don’t allow the garlic to brown.
  •  In a small bowl add your tomato paste and a few tablespoons of water (or wine) to loosen it up.
  • Once the garlic just begins to tinge brown add the the tomato paste slurry to the pan, be careful it will sputter, if necessary add a few tablespoons more of the pasta water to loosen the mixture up.  Add a crack of salt and black pepper.
  • Now over a medium heat, you want to cook the tomato paste stirring frequently until the oil begins to split from the mixture, it should no longer have a raw tomato smell, it will be a warm spicey rich tomato flavour.  The sauce will be thick and clumpy but don’t loosen it up, just keep stirring.
  • As soon as your pasta is cooked, transfer it to the sauce, straight from the pasta water to the sauce is good as it will transfer some needed pasta water, stir well to coat every strand of spaghetti.  Now add about half a cup of pasta water to the mixture and cook, stirring continuously over low heat, until the pasta has absorbed all the delicious tomatoey flavours and the sauce clings like a pesto.
  • To serve top with a drizzle of good olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan.