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Crohn’s, Cooking and Me: The perfect pasta Pomodoro that is bound to be a hit with the whole family

Debbie Hamilton.

Spring has sprung and it arrived with a sting in its tail for our house as covid eventually caught my husband and I.

We had been lucky to have avoided it for as long as we did, but it felt like it was only a matter of time until we’d catch it.

To be honest, there is a part of me that is happy to actually get it out of the way. Finally being free from the fear of the unknown feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

In terms of how covid affected me, the symptoms were definitely not pleasant but they were manageable. The NHS was very efficient and a consultant at the Covid assessment unit at Ninewells Hospital called me before I had even received my results from the PCR test. They recommended that I should take antiviral medication to support my immune system.

Debbie was advised to take medication to help.

I did suffer gastric symptoms with covid and that took around two weeks to fully settle again. Any kind of gastric bug or virus will trigger my crohn’s symptoms and cause a flare up again. This is something I was told by my consultant in the early stages of my diagnosis and is something I need to be careful of.

Losing senses

I lost my sense of taste and smell for around a week and I had an unpleasant chemical taste in my mouth. Everything tasted like what I can only describe as hairspray. I had little appetite and when I did eat the taste didn’t inspire me to continue.

Although my taste and smell have greatly improved now they are still not back to normal yet.

Chicken noodle soup.

It took around three weeks to get back to feeling well enough and energised enough to return to work and to get out walking again. I have been trying to eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods to heal and replenish my body.

Breakfasts have consisted of natural bio yoghurt served with bananas or avocados and eggs. Lunch has been soup  heavy with chicken noodle a firm favourite.  Salads too including a prawn version served with a homemade Marie-rose sauce have proven desirable.

Prawn salad.

For evening meals I have been looking for comfort, sticking to my principles of good quality, locally produced foods.

Pasta Pomodoro was a household hit and it is quick and easy to make. Its a perfect midweek meal that will please absolutely everyone.


Pasta Pomodoro

Serves 4

The pasta Pomodoro.

Ingredients

  • 500g of linguine
  • 6 garlic cloves, kept whole but break slightly to release the flavour
  • 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g of cherry plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 15 basil leaves, torn not chopped
  • 2 ladles of pasta water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • garlic pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Add your pasta to salted boiled water and cook according to the packet instructions.
  2. To a large sauté pan add 3 tablespoons of the oil and three of your garlic cloves.  Cook on a medium heat until your garlic starts to colour slightly and release its aroma.
  3. Then add your tomatoes (being careful as the oil will react when the tomatoes hit the pan). Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to your tomatoes and cook for around 6-8 minutes, stirring to help break the tomatoes down. Now remove your garlic cloves and then add your basil leaves and stir, then add two ladles of your pasta water to your tomatoes and allow the sauce to reduce slightly.
  4. Next drain your pasta then using the pasta pot, add the last of your oil and garlic and return to the heat, again allow the garlic to begin to colour and flavour the oil then remove it from the pan.
  5. Add two ladles of the tomato sauce to the hot oil and stir before returning the pasta to the pot and stir to coat with the flavoured oil.
  6. Serve your pasta, seasoning it with your garlic salt and pepper and then add your tomato sauce and serve it on top of the pasta. Enjoy!

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