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Tomato and Garlic Pasta

Last week I posted an interview with Vanessa Kimbell and hosted a competition to win a copy of her new book, Prepped!

As mentioned in the post, Vanessa gave up her job in order to pursue her dream of writing a cookery book, documenting the process through her blog Writing a Cookery Book giving us all a fascinating glimpse into the world of food writing and publishing. Her book offers time-saving recipes and introduces a concept called ‘linked cooking’ as well as double-cooking, incorporating flavoured sugars and syrups that can be made-ahead and ‘mixed and matched’ according to what you have to hand.

Thank you to everyone for entering and telling me which one of the chapters in Vanessa’s book would be your favourite from the inspiring selection on offer including Elderflower, Rhubarb, Lavender, Lemon, Vanilla, Tomato, Plum, Caraway, Chocolate, Cardamom or Orange & Clove.  

I’m very pleased to announce that the winner, chosen by a randomiser, is Sally from My Custard Pie who I am sure will love Vanessa’s book and make excellent use of it!

I have to say I am truly torn. Having tested recipes for the book from both the Chocolate and Vanilla chapters I am certainly won over by the ease of Vanessa’s recipes.

I’m also both intrigued and inspired  by some of the more unusual flavour combinations in Prepped! – the Victoria Sponge with Cardamom Rose Cream and Rhubarb along with the Chocolate Beef are next on my hit list. However, my favourite recipe so far (and one that, I confess, I am slightly addicted too at the moment) can actually be found in the Tomato chapter, so I’m probably with Sally on her winning choice.

Vanessa’s Tomato & Garlic Pasta, also known as “Garlic Yum Yum” pasta is possibly one the the quickest and simplest recipes in the book. It also happens to be a ‘linked’ recipe, meaning that you can make double the quantity and use it as the base for the Tomato Pizza. 

Vanessa has kindly given me permission to share the recipe with you below – I urge you to try it – it is so simple but really delicious and my kids love it too.  

Last week also marked the official launch Prepped!   It was lovely to be able able to chat and mingle in a very leisurely fashion at Rococo Chocolates with Vanessa, other food writers, bloggers and members of the ‘Prepparati’ including Helen from Fuss Free FlavoursKatie from Feeding Boys and a FirefighterJayne from Jaynerly and Becky from Rebecca Bakes Cakes. We also sampled some of our favourite treats and recipes from the book, including Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes, Pink Meringues with Elderflower Cream, Victoria Sponge with Cardamom Rose Cream & Rhubarb, Chocolate Cookies, a Chocolate & Raspberry Cake, the Chocolate, Vanilla & Black Pepper Cupcakes as well as the obligatory taste of some Rococo Chocolates too.

What a clever idea to host a party in a chocolate shop and not just any chocolate shop, Rococo’s was a truly luxurious experience and we all left hideously high on chocolate!

Thank you so much to Vanessa’s good friend Chantal Cody and to all her lovely staff who looked after us so well and of course, to the bright and bubbly Vanessa Kimbell for the kind invitation for us to take part as recipe testers for Prepped! and to the launch. 

Prepped! is available on Amazon, currently at £10.48 or at many branches of Waterstones (RRP £20.00) and is published by Spring Hill 

Tomato & Garlic Pasta
Posted with the kind permission of Vanessa Kimbell


(Serves 4)



1 whole medium garlic bulb
500g spaghetti
1 x 200g tube tomato purée (I used a can)
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
120g fresh Parmesan, grated, for serving


1. Peel and finely chop all the garlic cloves (I put them in a mini blender but you can just finely chop). Put a pan of boiling water on for the pasta and add a teaspoon of salt to the water before cooking. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan for 1-2 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes (do not burn!) You are not looking to brown the garlic at all, so you must keep the heat at a medium temperature.
3. Stir in the tomato purée and turn the heat down to a slightly lower temperature. Keep stirring. As the tomato cooks it incorporates most of the oil and turns from a fresh red into a deeper, darker red. After 5-7 minutes the sauce is cooked. The pasta will be ready too.
4. Drain your pasta and add it to the tomato sauce, stirring well. Serve immediately with fresh parmesan.
There won’t be any left as it is so delicious but you could make double the quantity of sauce, as Vanessa suggests, and use it as a base for Vanessa’s Tomato Pizza and Oregano Bread

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  1. lorna vanderhaeghe products says:

    >Pasta tastes good with either tomato or garlic.

  2. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Zita, I have to get a new post up very soon as everytime I look at this I just want to eat it!! Though so many great entries too on the Monthly Mongle this month…!

  3. >I love tomato + garlic on pasta, it's one of my favourite dishes. I always keep canned tomatoes in my cupboard just in case I run out of everything. I always have pasta, canned tomatoes and garlic at home to make this dish.

    The photo is great, I'm hungry now!

  4. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks for the comments! This is a gorgeous book with so many interesting recipes to try – you'll love it. There are lots of lovely recipes throughout Vanessa's blog too if you can't wait!

  5. mycustardpie.com says:

    >I am absolutely delighted. Have a slight cook book addiction and this one was high up on my wish list especially after reading about it here Ren.

  6. James Brewer - Back to the Chopping Board says:

    >Congratulations to Sally, I'm sure you will have much fun. The Chocolate Beef sounds interesting, in fact the whole concept of the book sounds brilliant! I have just put this book on my 'must-buy' list.

  7. A Trifle Rushed says:

    >Rococo! What a wonderful venue, how exciting and I agree, I pre-ordered the book and am really enjoying it. I love the ideas, and it seems workable, how many times do you buy a beautiful book with nothing you can cook? It happens to me all the time.

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