When I cook, everything on earth shuts down, and I successfully manage to escape all of the happenings. The result is eventually I sit down and enjoy my food pleasantly, since I surpassed chaotic times. The best food to cook is something easy and comforting, such as a bowl of pasta or, even better, a tray of lasagna.

Without anyone telling me about its miraculous healthy properties or to be born Italian, I know by heart that a little red tomato can refresh and soothe my soul. The studies say tomato can clear out the heat, detoxify your system, improve the liver and eyes, and calm your mood. In cooking, the best thing about tomato is its sweet, sour and savory taste, which can be rounded up to yield a nice complex flavor after cooking.


6 TBS Olive oil
400 g Onion, chopped
200 g Carrots, chopped
100 g Celery, chopped
50 g Garlic, minced
1 kg Ground beef or pork
3 cans Peeled & chopped tomatoes
(370 g each can)
200 g Tomato paste
2 C Chicken stock or wine
1 TBS Oregano
1 ts Thyme
3 Bay leaf
1-2 Small dried chilli, roughly chopped
2 TBS Butter
1 TBS Parsley
Sugar, salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large shallow pot, and add the olive oil, carrot, onion, celery, garlic and dried chili. Stir fry for a few minutes at a medium heat.
2. Adjust the heat to high, then add the minced pork. Season well with salt and pepper, stir fry for few minutes to cook the pork, then keep stirring to evaporate all the liquid.
3. Add the tomato paste, oregano, thyme and bay leaves. Stir fry to mix well for a few minutes, then add the stock or wine and chopped tomato. Once it comes to boil, lower the heat to simmer it for 20 minutes. Adjust the liquid if it is too dry by adding the stock or water. Do not over-season; allow it to simmer down first then season later.
4. After 20 minutes, adjust the liquid again, which will depend on your usage – for lasagna, the sauce will be thicker than for sautéing a pasta dish.
5. Season with sugar, salt and pepper, then finish with butter. Let them sit together for at least 30 minutes to develop the flavor.

6 C Milk
3 oz Butter
3 oz Bread Flour
4 Clove
1 Onion, cut in half
Salt and pepper for seasoning
A pinch of nutmeg powder

1. In a pot, melt the butter, add the flour, then whisk to combine for a few minutes at a medium heat.
2. Add the milk, one cup at a time. Keep whisking until it is well combined, then add the onion and clove. Cook on a low heat until the sauce is thickened, keep stirring, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Stir to combine, then cover with cooking film, and let it sit for 10 minutes before use.

1 TBS Olive oil
5 Egg
450 g Bread Flour
A pinch of salt
1. Make a flour well, then add the egg and salt, and use a chopstick to mix little by little in a circular motion. Once they are all mixed, form a ball, then knead it for 15 minutes.
2. Rest the dough for at least 30 minutes, then divide into five pieces. Now the pasta dough is ready for rolling or shaping.
3. After rolling or shaping, for lasagna, it should be a wide strip (mine is 4 inch x 10 inch). Let them hang dry for at least 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water for just a few minutes right before using it.

8 sheet Fresh lasagna pasta
3 C Bolognese sauce
450 g Grated cheese, mozzarella only or mixed
1 C Bechamel sauce
1. Brush some Bolognese sauce on the baking tray, then place the first layer of pasta on top. Add 6 TBS of sauce, then lightly sprinkle the grated cheese on top. It may not seem a lot of sauce but it will be just enough – a little goes a long way!
2. Place another layer of pasta, and repeat the method until you get three layers. On the fourth layer of pasta, add the rest of the Bolognese sauce, then the béchamel sauce. Use the back of a spoon to level the sauce nicely. Do not worry if the sauces get mixed up. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, cover with foil, then bake at 200˚C for 25 minutes, and another five minutes without to brown it.
3. The lasagna will be easy to cut if it is chilled overnight, and the flavor will develop more as well.


½ C Bolognese sauce
6-8 Shrimp, peeled and
1 Lemon
1 TBS Butter
1 ts Sage, finely chopped
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Parsley for garnishing

1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then sear them in a hot pan with butter, and place them on a plate.
2. Zest half of the lemon peel into the same pan, squeeze the juice to deglaze the pan, then add the Bolognese sauce and chopped sage. Reduce the sauce down, then spoon over the shrimp. Garnish with a lemon wheel and parsley.


1 TBS Olive oil
1 ts Chopped garlic
1 ts Chopped onion
Few pieces of chopped dried chilli (optional)
¼ C Red wine
½ C Bolognese sauce
140 g Spaghettini or fresh pasta
Water for boiling the pasta with some salt
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Parsley and Parmesan cheese for garnishing

1. Boil a pot of water, then add salt, let it melt, then taste it. The water should be a bit more than slightly salty. Add the pasta. If it is store-bought, cook it according to the package’s instruction; if it is fresh pasta, it will take just a few minutes.
2. Heat a pan, then add the chopped garlic, onion and dried chili. Cook for a minute, then deglaze the pan with red wine, let it come to the boil, then add the Bolognese sauce. Bring to the boil again, then add the cooked pasta, sauté for few minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the pasta onto a plate, then garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Text by Nateampai Sarakosass/Photos by Rachapant Sukrattanachaikul
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