Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Roast veg, courgette, pepper and artichoke pasta

This is a easy dish to whip up for dinner or lunch.

Fry some red pepper and courgette with olive oil, until charred and soft.

Cook pasta.

Mix it together, adding pesto, chopped cherry tomatoes, some fresh herbs (basil or parsley) and some grilled artichokes. You can also add toasted pine nuts and sprinkle with Parmesan. Add salt and pepper and your’re ready to eat.

Top tip: Make more to put in your lunchbox for the next day.

Spinach, penne and cheese spoufflé

Another one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s  (and who says you can’t be famous with a complicated name!) recipes (slightly adapted) from River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook. Made this for dinner the other day and absolutely loved it – it’s pasta with a twist.

Serves 4

300ml whole milk

1 bay leaf

1/2 onion finely cut

100g penne or similar shaped pasta

A little rapeseed or olive oi

250g spinach

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

50g plain flour

75g mature Cheddar, finely grated

A little freshly grated nutmeg

3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 190 Celsius / Gas Mark 5 and put a baking sheet in to heat up. Liberally butter a 1.5 litre soufflé dish or fairly deep ovenproof dish of similar capacity.

Bring a pan of well-salted water to boil. Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and then add a bit of oil to stop sticking together.

Fry the onion until soft and then add the spinach cooking it with just the water clinging to it after washing, in a large covered pan over a medium heat until wilted – just a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the liquid with your hands, then roughly chop the spinach.

Heat the butter in a a pan over a medium heat, stir in the flour to form a paste and cook for a few minutes. Add the bay leaf and milk slowly to the flour mix and keep stirring until you have a thick bechamel sauce. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg, chopped spinach, and some salt and pepper. Beat in the egg yolks, then mix with the cooked penne.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peakes. Fold it in with the pasta and bechamel. Tip into the buttered dish and place on the hot baking sheet in the over. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until well risen and golden. Serve straightaway.

VARIATION

Courgette penne spouffle

Instead of the spinach use 500g finely sliced courgettes. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the courgettes with a finely sliced garlic clove and a pinch of salt and fry gently for at least 15 minutes, tossing regularly  without browning. As they soften, break them up a bit with your spatula to form a very rough, creamy puree. Fold into the bechamel along with the cooked penne and continue as above.

Aubergine pasta with panko breadcrumbs and mozzarella

This tasty dish was made following this recipe from the Big Girls Small Kitchen blog which is great and I plan to be making more recipes from there.

Bellow is the recipe taken directly from Big Girls Small Kitchen although I’ve changed some of the ingredients a bit to make them sound a bit more British:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 medium aubergine, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 pound rigatoni 
10 basil leaves, torn
½ pound perlinis (or chopped fresh mozzarella)
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

In the meantime, set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Add the eggplant, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the eggplant is tender, but not falling apart. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.

Pour the tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes over the eggplant mixture and stir to combine. Simmer gently until the acidity of the tomatoes has burned off, and the eggplant is soft and falling apart, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.

In a small non-stick pan, toast the breadcrumbs with a little bit of olive oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add to the pan with the pasta sauce. Add the basil leaves (reserving one or two for garnish) and the perlinis (or chopped mozzarella) and toss to combine.

Spoon the pasta into serving bowls and top each with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Garnish with torn basil leaves, and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!