Spaghetti on a whim


It’s that time of the week again… just over halfway through the week and the fridge is starting to look a bit bare from a week’s worth of cooking for two.

I scan the shelves: a couple of mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Sardinian goat’s cheese (my mouth waters a bit), smoked cheese…

I know what you are thinking… and no we don’t just eat cheese!

Digging a bit further (to prove a point): tomatoes, couple of forgotten about carrots, a few sad bits of celery, butter, Sardinian salsiccia stagionata (seasoned sausage, thank you holiday in Italy), barely a cup of leftover chicken stock.

Few ingredients… two hungry mouths to feed for lunch… 30 minutes to whip up something worthy of my husband’s taste buds and filling enough to keep us both mentally functional until dinner…

Challenge accepted…

Spaghetti with Tomato and Salsiccia Secca


  • 200g spaghetti (as I am cooking for two)
  • ½ a small red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 60g salsiccia stagionata (Sardinian is preferred, but ones of various origins will suffice)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano (to taste)
  • salt

Serves 2


30 minutes

  1. Start boiling a decent sized pot of water for your pasta. Remember to put the lid on to preserve the heat and thereby speeding up the boiling process. (We are on a schedule people! Lunch is to be served in 30 minutes.)
  2. Cut the garlic lengthwise and remove the centre. Heat up oil in a pan and throw the garlic in. Slice the onion as thin as possible (again to speed up the cooking process) and throw them in, too.
  3. Coarsely chop a tomato. Once the onions are translucent, throw them in as well. (Obviously the need for speed requires you to throw as many ingredients as possible.)
  4. Remove the outer skin of the salsiccia secca and chop coarsely into cubes. When the tomatoes are slightly mushy and remotely resembles a tomato sauce throw the salami in the pan. Add a small pinch of salt; you don’t need much because the salt from the salami will season the rest for you. Give it a quick stir and let it simmer until tomatoes are fully cooked and soft.
  5. When the water is boiling, add a small fistful of coarse salt. Throw in the spaghetti and give the water a swirl so that all the pasta is covered generously with boiling water. Cook the pasta until it is no longer opaque in the centre (keep tasting to check).
  6. Drain the pasta and give it a quick toss in the sauce. Plate and serve with grated cheese.
  7. Check the time, wipe sweat from forehead and smile with satisfaction. Finally, dig in!

Buon appetito!


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