If there are any recipes that I will forever love, it is my recipes for Palm oil jollof and Jollof spaghetti. I have one recipe here for Jollof spaghetti, but I want to share a very easy recipe without the coconut milk. There are some recipes that I can tweak as much as I want, but this pasta recipe remains the same with improvements.
Growing up, Jollof spaghetti was one of the first dishes I cooked. I used to cook it with all kinds of protein; from dry fish to liver to shaki. Yes Shaki 🙂 And for this recipe, I kind of recreated my recipe with a little improvement on the sauce and technique. I used to make my Jollof pasta differently. I fried my sauce with little or no seasoning and I literally cooked it like Jollof rice. As I got older, I realized I was doing the whole recipe wrong. while keeping my originality intact, I began to experiment with spices and seasonings and I’m glad to say, this recipe is my baby.
The dry fish added to this recipe is totally optional, but to get the smoky pasta taste, you have got to roast your tomato mix. Hay god! The smokiness of the roasted veggies and the hint of basil. Fada! I cannot explain it. Then if you want to be like me with the dry fish, Eureka!
With the roasting of my tomato, peppers, garlic and onions, it was a delicious mistake that happened. I was making some stew and I wanted to roast my peppers and tomatoes. I have a smoky Jollof rice recipe where I roasted my ingredients and it was fabulous! Anyway, I washed and cut my tomatoes and peppers and onions, I crushed my garlic and tossed in the habanero. I seasoned them with a little oil and salt; then I roasted them in a pan in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. I blended everything and just cooked the blend in some oil and made some stew. I had some of the blended ingredients left over, so I made some pasta and viola!
One thing that makes me happy about this recipe is the fact that it is an original that was just improved on. It’s something from my childhood that just excites me to share. I can still remember how I over cooked the pasta growing up. I didn’t know I had to cook it in salted, boiling water and run cold water through it to keep starch from building in the pasta. The pasta always ended up annoyingly sticky, but delicious; even with the lack of thyme and the rest of it’s siblings. I still remember once I had a crush on a boy, he came around to say hi to my family and I had my famous “supergetti Jollof” simmering away in the kitchen. He stood outside with me and we spoke for a little while. While I was being swooned, my pasta almost burnt. I asked him to stay for dinner and he obliged me. I went into the kitchen, added the dry fish cooked the thing quickly and we all ate. He was happy to eat the sticky pasta with dry fish and he even commended my cooking. Thinking back, I’m like “did he really mean me well?” LOL
No sticky pasta here and I promise you will lick your pot after you make this. It’s simple, it’s easy and I promise it’s eureka delicious!
- 1pack pasta(spaghetti)
- 3tbsps tomato paste
- three plum tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small onion(divided)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 habanero
- 3 small bay leaves
- 1tsp thyme
- 1tsp black pepper
- 1tsp white pepper
- 1tspsmoked paprika(optional)
- 1 large carrot. peeled and cut into little chunks(optional)
- 1 small dry fish(wash and debone)
- 1 handful shrimp(peel and devein)
- oil(eye ball)
- 1 cup pasta water
- salt to taste
- In a large pot, boil some water. Once the water bubbles, add a tsp of salt and a tsp oil
- Add the pasta and cook for about 8 minutes. Before draining, save1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta into a sieve and run some cold water through the pasta.
- Roast the peppers, garlic, tomatoes and half of the onion in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. This step is optional.
- heat some oil. add the remaining onion and sauté until translucent. add the thyme, black pepper, white pepper and smoked paprika. sauté for about a minute; then add the tomato paste, the bell pepper, garlic and tomato blend. Fry for a few minutes; then add the bay leaves, dry fish(if using) and carrots. Fry(stir occasionally) until the oil has risen.to the top; drain the excess oil and toss with the pasta, shrimp and pasta water. Cover on low for 3 minutes. Enjoy