Pasta à la Nadia Santini

Yohann and I went through a phase where we would watch small documentaries about chefs (mostly three starred chefs). One documentary was about Nadia Santini, a three-starred Italian chef. In each mini documentary the chefs made something simple that everyone could make at home. Nadia Santini shared an amazing recipe that is so easy, but will change the way you cook pasta forever! We tried her recipe at once and it was a revelation. This is no ordinary pasta recipe. It calls for spaghetti however I can’t eat spaghetti as weird as that sounds. When I was little I saw a commercial in which an old lady was eating spaghetti and it turned into worms in her mouth. Gross right? Well I can’t eat spaghetti anymore. Poor Yohann, he loves spaghetti. We used penne instead!

Note: we usually make our own tomato sauce, however it is no longer tomato season, so we are going to have to do with canned (organic) tomato sauce. We didn’t have basil but we would highly recommend adding some chopped basil to this dish and why not some Parmesan cheese (or feta).

Serves 4-6 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes


  • 500 grams (1 pound) of whole-wheat penne pasta (OR spaghetti)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700 grams (7 cups) of tomato sauce
  • Non-refined salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Water

Boil water in a large pan. Finely chop the onion and garlic. In a separate pan add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onion at medium heat. Once the onion is translucent, add the tomato sauce, cover and cook at low heat. Add ½ a clove of chopped garlic and add to the tomato sauce with some non-refined salt (if the tomato sauce is not already salted). Add a cup of water if needed.

Once the water has boiled add the pasta and cook half the indicated time on the box (for example if you choose to eat the pizza al dente and the indicated time is 9 minutes, cook in water for 4:30 minutes). Then, drain the pasta and cook the remaining time in the tomato sauce, covered. We usually leave the pasta a little longer than necessary (by a minute or two).

Add the remainder of the chopped garlic, salt (if needed), and black pepper (and basil if you have some).

Your pasta will cook in the tomato sauce, and soak it all in.

Bon appétit!

Why this is good for me:

Whole-wheat pasta has more nutrients than white pasta. It is more than just “sugar”. It is a whole recipe with grains, calcium, and little fat.


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Eating Whole

A vegan & allergy-friendly lifestyle.


time and effort well spent


a culinary journey beginning and ending at the kitchen table

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