Some people have asked me for my jollof rice recipe; to those I say, “hold please”. I, just like most other west Africans love jollof rice, but sometimes, I want a quick and easy jollof flavor that does not require me making jollof rice. In came my jollof couscous that takes only 20 minutes to prepare. I then became low-key addicted to quick and easy jollof recipes. I have also always loved pasta, so the no-brainer next step was to make a jollof spaghetti. My goal in making this recipe was to make sure it tasted like jollof, not spaghetti and sauce, and if I have to say so myself: I nailed it.
I had tried to make jollof spaghetti in the past, and it was not a success! It tasted okay, but it was missing that special “jollof-ness” for some reason. We Nigerians LOVE to ram it down the throats of the world that we remain the purveyors of jollof perfection: that right balance between tomato and spice, that slight burnt taste that can only be achieved with years of diligent practice, using only the finest of local coal-pots tested and adequately burned over time, and yes all importantly: the validation of a least one true-born Nigerian who will remain the ultimate judge of pure jollofness, bollocks to what anyone else may say! It goes without saying that my jollof spaghetti had to pass the same test.
Well thankfully, I did not give up, so I kept trying until I came up with this recipe. It was one of those dishes that I barely had enough to take pictures of, because everyone started to “taste” before I was done taking pictures. In my home, the rule is that when I am taking pictures of food, you may taste, but you can only have the full meal after the pictures have been taken. My sisters and husband in the house totally abused their tasting privileges. So to anyone in my home on picture day, I am officially revoking your tasting privileges! Unless I invite you to taste ( I will also control the taste serving), you can no longer taste at will. I most likely will invite you to taste, but you may not taste on your own. Thank you! Lol!
Sorry if this reads like a low-key family meeting, I just have a very interesting family. In any case, this is a really delicious dish, and I am sure no one will be able to resist when you cook it as well.
- 1 lb (usually 1 box) thin spaghetti
- 2¾ cups chicken stock (I used a home made stock)
- 5 large (about 2 lbs) plum/ roma tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp bouillon powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp curry powder
- A small handful of basil (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Blend the tomatoes, onions, and peppers until smooth.
- Boil down the tomato sauce on in a pot on medium- high heat until the sauce is about half the amount, and has thickened significantly to look like a paste. This takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how high the heat is.
- Be sure to stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from burning.
- Once the sauce is reduced, pour in the stock, oil, thyme, curry powder and bouillon. At this stage, taste the sauce and adjust for salt.
- Add in the spaghetti, pushing it down or breaking it to fit into the pot.
- Cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes on low-medium heat.
- After 5 minutes, the pasta should be soft enough to stir. Stir, turn down the heat to low, and allow to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, stir, and the pasta should be cooked. If it is not, add in a splash (about ¼ cup) of water and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- If you choose to add basil, add it in at this stage, and then serve.
Note from husband about the revoked privilege rule above: IN YOUR DREAMS! Love Ya!