Pasta forms the basis for countless recipes which are quick and easy to make with a range of delicious flavours to pair with.
Not only is pasta i expensive but comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours. And this makes them a versatile ingredient. You can also cook oastsa in so many forms, baked , on salads, saucy, vegetarian and the list is endless was b
Dried pasta have a long shelf life so they can be kept in the cupboards for a long time to be ready on hand when the fridge is bare and shops are closed. Just cook pasta and heat up a jar of pasta sauce, or some oil and herbs and hey you have a simple meal in minutes.
Here below i share my quick and super easy pasta sauce ideas for those midweek meals in minutes.
– Fry green and red pepper strips, add prawns and a jar of tomato and basil sauce, heat through and serve over pasta as a sauce
– fry onion, garlic and bacon then add peas and stock and simmer until tender. Serve that over pasta.
Cooking times vary depending on tyoe of pasta you are using, dried long pasta generally takes 8-12 minutes to cook, fresh pasta takes far less time to cook about 6 minutes.
Secret of success when cooking pasta
Always use a large saucepan and always cook pasta in plenty of rapidly boiling water. Thus helps to keep the temperature constant and ensure evenly cooking.
Always add salt to water its the only way the pasta can absorb seasoning.
Add a little drizzle of oil to the cooking water as oil helps stopping pasta from sticking to itself.
Pasta should be served piping hot, drain in metal colander which will retain heat from the cooking water and serve it as quickly as possible on warmed plates.
1. Creamy chicken and Spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breast, cut into strips
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
250g button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tbsp chives
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 cup fresh cream
1 packet spaghetti cooked according to packaged instructions
Parmesan shavings forserving
Heat oil in a large saucepan add chicken and brown it just until cooked.
Remove chicken from pan and add onion in the same pan and cook gently until soft.Add mushrooms and herbs, cook until mushrooms are soft, add back the chicken, paprika, salt and pepper and mix everything together cooking gently for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir the mushroom sauce into the ready cooked spaghetti and toss together. Plate and sprinkle with parmesan shavings and some fresh herbs
- Pasta Tuna and Vegetable Salad
200g about 2 cups pasta shells
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1cup frozen peas
170g can tuna in olive oil, drained
1/2 of cucumber, chopped
1 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 small red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 can of sweetcorn, drained
1 disk feta
4 tbsp white vinegar
8 tbsp olive oil
A handful of flat-leaf parsley
Cook pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the package instructions. Add the peas on the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, mix together tuna, cucumber, carrots, red pepper and sweetcorn. In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar and olive oil, then stir in parsley and season.
Drain pasta and peas then return to the pan and pour in the dressing. Stir well and leave to cool. Add the tuna and vegetables and stir gently and serve at room temperature with crumbled feta over the top.
- Speedy Beef and Macaroni
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and crushed
500g beef mince
375ml bottled tomato and basil pasta sauce
Salt and pepper
1 cup water
400g about 4 cups macaroni
Heat oil in a frying pan, add mince and fry it until brown about 8-10 minutes while constantly tossing and turning. Add onion and for 4 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the pasta sauce, seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and with the mince sauce. Serve immediately