Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar was a historic centre for Singapore's Chinese community. It is now a cosmopolitan area within walking distance of the CDB with a wide range of old and new shops. It is a good place for a lunch time meal with office workers, a post work hangout area for pubs and fine dining and a pleasant place to explore cafes and eclectic shops on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick tomato pasta (15 mins)

I had to whip up a quick meal tonight with what I had in the fridge and had no time to defrost anything. I was also too lazy to go to the supermarket.

Fortunately I had the following ingredients: (portions I used)
- Baby Tomatoes (1 packet about 200g??)
- Lemons (1)
- Smoked Salmon (150g)
- Spring onions (1 bunch, this all depends on what you like, other herbs like dill, parsley or basil will do well)
- Thyme

I also usually have these staples
- Shallots (one small so that taste is not too strong)
- Garlic (one large or 2 small cloves)
- Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
- Pasta

Some extras:
- Anchovies ( just to add an extra dimension, it may not be necessary. Other things that may taste good with this dish are capers or olives)
- Parmesan ( I personally prefer parmigiano reggiano shaved fresh but I didn't have any in my fridge…, I wonder if pecorino will taste good with this.)

This gave me enough to do a quick tasty pasta. What I love about this dish is that the only thing that needs cooking is the pasta. I have seen many variations of pasta of this sort before, so this recipe has been adapted from what I have seen…

1) Chop up shallots and garlic finely.
2) Put a bit of salt in the garlic and mash it into a paste. I find that this reduces the strong taste of raw garlic slightly
3) Half all the baby tomatoes. Good tomatoes for this dish is essential. I get mine from Tiong Bahru market. Most tomatoes in Singapore are crap.
4) Zest one lemon. Cut a quarter of lemon
5) Chop herbs. Thyme does not need to be chopped, just pick it.
6) Cook Pasta to Al Dente.
7) Mix the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, anchovies in a bowl.
8) Add olive oil generously.
9) Add Salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, lemon to taste. Mash all the items in the bowl. The lovely juices of the tomato will mix with the other ingredients.
10) Add herbs in. We add herbs in after mashing so not to crush the herbs.
11) Add the still warm drained pasta to the bowl of ingredients.
12) Add the Parmesan in.
13) EAT!

This healthy dish can be done in 15 mins, trust me! Best of all not much washing up.
Sorry I have no pictures. I was starving and ate it all before thinking of the blog. I'll try to add the pictures next time.

Can someone take the pictures of my cooking for me as I always forget.
Any suggestions on what you would make with what I had?


  1. Erm.. I can only think of one candidate to take photos of your cooking at the moment and in a few years' time perhaps another. So you can get good tomatoes in Tiong Bahru market? I agree that most tomatoes I get here have no tomato taste but my problem is I also don't know how to pick ones that do, so its pretty much luck of the draw for me. Any tips?

    1. Ripe tomatoes have a wonderful flavour. The only way to know is from the red vibrancy if they are meant to be red tomatoes… otherwise I don't know as well other than tasting them. Different stores in Tiong Bahru are good for different things. One particular stall has beautiful baby tomatoes. Maybe I have to take a picture to show you the next time.