Sautéed Garlic: The Cure for Homesickness?

garlictomatoAfter five days, I think I’ve shaken off the jetlag (I’ve been unlucky with my flights — delays and missed connections made for a tiring 28 hour trip from Ottawa to Huelva), and am getting back in to the swing of things in Spain (ie. getting back to my salsa classes!).

I’m not going to lie: after such a nice holiday at home I was having a hard time getting excited about coming back to Huelva. I kept a positive attitude on my way back, but upon arriving at my empty apartment on Saturday night I immediately felt incredibly homesick. (This may or may not have included a call home and a good cry…)

Sunny winter day in Christopher Columbus' Huelva.
Sunny winter day in Christopher Columbus’ Huelva.

I know I’m a homebody (and have probably written it too many times now, on this blog — you will all think that I am faking my love of travel! Damnit.), but I was surprised and kind of embarrassed by how homesick I felt the first few days I was here. I figured coming back would be way easier than when I first arrived in September, but I guess I still needed a few days to adjust after enjoying the cozy familiarity of being at home.

Industrial Huelva.
Industrial Huelva.

All the shops were closed when I arrived in Huelva on a holiday weekend but I had pasta, canned tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil on hand. I didn’t much feel like cooking (a sure sign that I am down in the dumps) — but the smell of sautéed garlic? Probably one of the best in the world. It’s a smell that carries the promise of something tasty and comforting on the way. Food has that magical way of evoking memories of times, places, and people. This tomato and garlic sauce is a way simplified version of the pasta sauce my parents always make at home. The smell of garlic on the stove with tomatoes will forever make me think of my Dad; this is the pasta he’d whip up for us when we would get back from a long day of sightseeing during our family travels. All you need is a can of tomatoes, a tablespoon of olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, and some pasta (I’d recommend some kind of cheese as well, herbs, olives, and any other veggies you like to throw in your sauce, but the results will be delicious even if your fridge is empty!).

Despite feeling a little rocky at the start, I know I have a lot to look forward to here and am looking forward to sticking with my resolution for 2013! I hope the year has gotten off to a great start for all of you! xo

Following my Dad's advice for a little bout of homesickness: cook and read a book.
Following my Dad’s advice for a little bout of homesickness: cook and read a book.

Super Basic Pasta with Garlic Tomatoes…
This is kind of a “non-recipe” — as in, you don’t need to follow a recipe to make a tasty tomato sauce! But here is my bare-pantry, “I just got back after two weeks and have no food” version:

You’ll need:
-one can of tomatoes (peeled and diced, in their juices, or something similar)
-one tablespoon of olive oil
– as many garlic cloves as you like; I used four
-enough pasta to satisfy your hunger

My favourite add-ins include…
-almost any vegetable: chopped red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini…
-kalamata olives
-feta cheese

Make your pasta. Meanwhile, finely chop your garlic. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sauté until just barely blonde. Add your canned tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally. Take deep breaths, and know that wherever you are in the world, garlic tomatoes will probably always taste delicious. Pour your sauce over your pasta, enjoy!


Leave a Reply to For Dad [Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies] | Kate's Plate Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s