How This Pasta Sauce Will Become Your Genie-in-a-Bottle?


Have you ever seen the spaghetti scene in Eat Pray Love? A woman, jilted in love gives up her job and goes to Italy to simply eat! In a way, I can completely understand the simple classic love affair. In the scene, when she dips her fork into the mountain of spaghetti coated in a rich flavorful sauce that clings on to the strands and paints them into their lovely red, it makes you fall in love, a little bit at a time. I can still picture every bite of spaghetti as Julia Roberts eats it and I can almost taste the spaghetti myself. When you watch that scene, what you need is a genie in a bottle to make tomato-coated spaghetti appear in front of you that very second.


A tomato sauce in Italy is slow cooked for 4 to 6 hours, traditionally over fire, to get the correct consistency and flavor. Although we love food nearly the same, none of us have the time, patience or inclination to stand in front of a pot, stirring it and watching it for hours. We believe in instant satisfaction for such cravings, we are used to being provided for and having things done. So it isn’t a surprise that we like our tomato sauce in a bottle too.


Here’s the problem, most of the tomato sauces that are on shelves in the Indian market, aren’t really up to the mark. Oftentimes they taste bad, too acidic, too spicy, and too oily, at times it just tastes like off-season bad tasting tomatoes have been masked in excess dried herbs. They are not all bad, you might say. There are some good “imported” tomato sauces for pastas available. Of course, there but I could only afford them if I had diamond shoes and a gold collar for my pony! Pardon my exaggeration but some of these sauces are painfully expensive.

I don’t mind investing in authentic Parmesan cheese, but we get good enough tomatoes in India, why should a burn a hole in my pocket for tomato sauce?


Luckily, I did find a Pasta Sauce that succeeded in coming somewhat close to my genie-in-a-bottle tomato sauce expectation. Soul Food ( OR ) , yes that same Olive Oil pickle brand, they have also recently introduced a range of other products including a tomato based Pasta sauce. I have enjoyed the flavor of their pickles before, and to be honest they sell a product that preserves Indian flavours and adds the health benefits of Olive Oil to it, something about that thought resonates with my theory of cooking. Aside from the theory, that is, we need to keep things quick and simple in the kitchen. Hoping for a better result, and noticing that my experiment wasn’t going to cost me a bomb, I picked up a bottle of Soul Food Pasta Sauce one day.


I tried it out on the same day; at first I only boiled 10 or 12 strands of spaghetti and heated it up the sauce, mixed it up and tried a bite. You see I didn’t want to risk too much spaghetti over it, if this was going to be another disaster [and believe me, I have seen a lot of disastrous spaghettis]. There was no oil floating on top of the bottle, the sauce was not bright red, it looked naturally red. As I nervously took a bite, I was pleasantly surprised with the flavours. Pulpy pieces of cooked tomatoes, some down to mush and some added a fresh texture of slow cooked sauce, there was a mild flavor of dried herbs and seasoning in the sauce. There was no red chilly powder and not too much garlic that would mask the taste of the tomatoes. It was just a rich, thick and well-cooked tomato sauce, very easy to enjoy with some more spaghetti. And this time I emptied the whole packet into the salted boiling water, just one bite of that spaghetti wasn’t going to be enough.


When you really love a dish, like I love spaghetti, you tend to try new things and experiment with it. While Spaghetti in tomato sauce with some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese is a classic that no one can beat. I decided this time to give it a break and try something new with simple spaghetti in tomato sauce.


I had recently found out that Broccoli makes you beautiful! It is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. Tomatoes too are packed with ant-oxidants too. So I decided to make a dish that is as soulful as its ingredients are. Roasted Broccoli and toasted almonds go wonderfully well with tomato sauce, what’s more, they add a deeper flavor and crunch to the dish. Almonds are good for you eyes and rich in essential oils, so all in all you are literally becoming more youthful and beautiful as you eat this dish.


Roasted Broccoli & Toasted Almond Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce


Serves 2


You Will Need


Broccoli, florets; 1 cup

Broccoli stems; ¼ cup

Almonds; 5 to 6

Olive Oil; ½ cup

Salt; to taste

Pepper; a pinch

Spaghetti; 100g

Soul Food Pasta Sauce; 1, 400g bottle

( OR )

Garlic, peeled; 4 to 6 cloves

Sweet Basil; 10 leaves

Parmesan Cheese; ¼ cup

Chilled Butter; 1 cube (optional)





  • In a bowl, toss the broccoli pieces and almonds with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degree Celsius. Place the Broccoli and almonds over aluminum foil on an oven tray. Allow them to roasted for 15 minutes.


  • Meanwhile, heat up salted water in a stockpot or pan. Add the spaghetti to boiling water and allow it to cook for 7 to 10 minutes until it is firm to bite. Drain the spaghetti but save the water.


  • Take the broccoli and almonds out of the oven and allow them to cool on the side.


  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, crush and roasted and piece of garlic in it, till you get the smoky flavor. Add in half a bottle of Soul Food Pasta sauce ( OR ) to the pan, add 2 spoonful of salted pasta water and allow the sauce to cook for a minute.


  • Add in the cooked spaghetti, broccoli florets and one sliced almond to the spaghetti. Keep it aside.
  • For the Broccoli & Almond Pesto, add broccoli stems, almonds, garlic, basil, parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil to a grinder. Blitz it till the paste is smooth but thick.


  • Blitz some chilled butter with the remaining tomato sauce and keep it aside.
  • To plate, make a thick disc with the broccoli almond pesto on the plate, twirl the spaghetti in tomato sauce over it. Pour the remaining chilled butter with tomato sauce mixture around the spaghetti in an outer red ring. Place a few broccoli florets and sliced almond on top as garnish. Serve!


Honestly speaking, I have always read so many articles about the health benefits of Broccoli and heard my nutritionist ask me to add it in my diet over and over again, yet I always found it hard to pair. I usually ended up pairing it with oodles of cheese, which not only masked its crunch and flavor but also compromised the health quotient of the recipe. I’m so glad that I finally cracked the perfect recipe with this ADF Soul Foods Pasta Sauce ( OR )

This pasta sauce is low sodium and filled with freshness and goodness of tomatoes, and its herb flavor goes perfectly well with roasted Broccoli. The best part is that the recipe with all the antioxidants and essential oils will give you a glowing skin, a healthy body and keep you young! I hope that you enjoy cooking this recipe as much as I enjoyed eating it. Do try it out and let me know what you thought of this recipe.


Buy ADF Soul Products here and here.


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