Recipe: A ‘throw it together’ supper with corner shop ingredients

This recipe pays tribute to our corner shops - it's a dish of few ingredients, all available in your local stores, writes Di Curtin
Recipe: A ‘throw it together’ supper with corner shop ingredients

Throw together Pasta by Di Curtin.

IN these days of lockdown, the advice as always is to stay at home as much as possible and only leave the house for essential journeys.

Whilst food shopping in the supermarket is an essential journey, sometimes you really feel you don’t want to trek far to get something for dinner. The small local and corner shops of Ireland are brilliant for the basics. These often long standing family businesses are lifesavers in emergency supplies.

During all these lockdowns, many of these small family run shops have become pillars of their communities, going over and above their usual services to help support the elderly and vulnerable and anyone who can’t get out and about at this difficult time.

My own local shop has provided email/phone ordering services and priority access for the elderly, along with many other kind gestures and small personal touches that you just don’t get in the big supermarket chains. 

So it really is worth supporting these businesses during this very tough economic period.

This recipe pays tribute to the corner shop . It’s a dish of few ingredients, all of them available in your local shop. 

This dish might be small on content but its definitely big on flavour and style.

What’s more, it can be added to and adapted to fit whatever you fancy. The addition of tuna adds savoury sustenance and texture. You can also add defrosted frozen prawns or some chopped chicken if you want a more substantial bowlful. But I think its great as it is and it certainly doesn’t lack from being simple.

It’s just spaghetti, or whatever pasta shape you prefer, with a quick sauce of chopped tomatoes, cream cheese, garlic, chilli and herbs.

 This sauce is rich and smooth and the dish can be served with extra cheese in the form of grated Parmesan, but it doesn’t absolutely need it.


Ingredients (Serves 4)

400g spaghetti or pasta of choice

Olive oil for cooking

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Pinch of dried red chilli flakes

1 tsp dried oregano

2x400g cans chopped tomatoes 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp cream cheese

Grated fresh Parmesan to serve (optional)


  • Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water with a splash of olive oil added until just al dente.
  • Meanwhile, add a splash of oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan and fry the garlic till soft but not browned.
  • Stir in chilli flakes, oregano and chopped tomatoes and season.
  • Bring to bubbling then simmer for a few minutes over low heat.
  • Stir in cream cheese to melt.
  • Drain pasta and return to pan.
  • Pour over sauce and toss to coat.
  • Check seasoning and serve in warmed bowls with extra freshly ground black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.

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