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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with pasta

06Aug 12

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca
If you like anchovies, or even if you don’t, I recommend trying this recipe. My flatmate says she doesn’t like them, but when I made Puttanesca Pasta, I didn’t tell her what was in it. She loved it! I think it’s because the strong flavour of the anchovies is softened by the onion and tomato and disguised a little by the garlic, chilli and basil. It’s a very flavourful sauce that I think deserves to be served with fresh pasta, which apart from being tastier, is also faster to cook.

Accompany with this no-egg caesar salad, which also uses an anchovy paste, a perfect complement to the pasta recipe.

The origins of Puttanesca sauce (sugo alla Puttanesca in Italian) are not certain, but many say it has something to do with “ladies of the night” because puttana is a colloquial word for prostitute. It’s said that prostitutes in Naples created this dish with readily available ingredients and that they used its fragrance to tempt customers into their brothels, offering them dinner and then “dessert”!

Pasta Puttanesca
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Italian Puttanesca Pasta combines anchovies, capers, garlic, chilli and basil in tomato sauce.
Ingredients
  • 300g tinned sieved tomato (Passata)
  • 200g fresh pasta
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • 6 tinned anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp finely chopped basil
  • 10 pitted black olives
  • 1 or 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of chilli powder
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Fry the garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 1 minute. Then add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry over a low-medium heat until it is soft and transparent.
  2. Add the sieved tomato and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the olives in halves or quarters, or leave whole if preferred.
  4. When the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency, add the capers, anchovies, olives, basil and chilli powder and stir.
  5. Taste the sauce, add more chilli if you like it spicier and a little more sugar if you find it’s sour. Remove from heat.
  6. Cook the fresh pasta according to the instructions on the packet (usually no more than 3 minutes).
  7. Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce and serve.

 

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15Jun 12

Pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese

Pasta with Veg and PestoPesto is an all-time favourite of mine and one of my must-have sauces at home. There is both a green and red variety, but I prefer the green one because it is so versatile. Here is a dish of pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese that I make a lot – often in the morning before I rush to catch the bus to Uni!

A typical pesto is made by first placing garlic and pine nuts in a mortar and reducing it to a cream. After that, you add washed and dried basil leaves and grind it to a creamy consistency. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses are then added together with some olive oil. However, if you don’t want to go to all this trouble, you can find pre-made pesto in most supermarkets. The most common one is pesto alla genovese.

You may believe that pesto is only used as a sauce for pasta, but think again! These pesto cod and chips use it as a dressing on top of seafood. Play around with pesto, and you never know what new delights you might discover!

What we need:

  • 200g of tricolour pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 dl of broccoli florets
  • A small tin of green beans
  • 10 black olives
  • 100g of Feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Tip! If you want to make your life easier, you can even use frozen vegetables instead of fresh.

How to make it:

  1. Wash and chop the onion, pepper and broccoli into pieces.
  2. Pour 1 litre of water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the pasta and cook it according to instructions on the package.
  4. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan.
  5. Place the vegetables in the frying pan and let it all fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the green beans.
  7. Chop the olives into halves and add to the frying pan.
  8. Drain the pasta when ready.
  9. Add the pesto to the hot pasta and mix carefully.
  10. Add all the vegetables from the frying pan.
  11. Grate the Feta cheese over the pasta and stir once or twice.
  12. Serve hot or store it in a Tupperware for later use.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 2
Level: Easy

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30May 12

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious. Pasta is so versatile that I, being a student, probably eat it several times a week. Good thing that nowadays you can buy the supposedly healthier versions made of spinach or other vegetables, or the wholemeal version.

It is not often that I use lime in my cooking, but lime and salmon is a great combination, and lime is a very tasty and healthy fruit. They are a great source of vitamin C, and historically they were used to treat scurvy among sailors and soldiers. And apparently, due to their vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, limes are also very good for your eyes, something that I try to keep in mind since I read a lot.

Lime juice can be stored for use at a later time if you place freshly squeezed lime juice in ice cube trays until frozen. A great way to use these little zesters in drinks or food! (Also try this prawn and courgette tagliatelli.)

Pasta dish with salmon and lime
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious
Ingredients
  • 200g ravioli
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • 175ml milk
  • ½ a courgette
  • ½ a carrot
  • 1 tablespoon pressed lime juice
  • 150g smoked salmon (steak)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of cornflour
Instructions
  1. Boil the ravioli according to instructions on the package.
  2. Fry the salmon steak in a frying pan in the oil. When ready, cut into small pieces.
  3. Wash and peel the courgette and carrot and cut them into small pieces.
  4. Pour the crème fraiche, milk, lime juice and cornflour into a saucepan and bring it to the boil while stirring the whole time.
  5. Add the courgette and carrot and let it all simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the salmon pieces and the dill to the sauce.
  7. Add the pepper and more lime juice according to taste. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. When the pasta is ready, add it to the saucepan and mix carefully.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

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25Apr 12

Tagliatelle with salmon

Tagliatelle with salmon

 

This dish of Tagliatelle with salmon, horseradish and dill is not only easy to make, it is also tasty and healthy. Horseradish is thought to have both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects and can help boost the immune system. And lo and behold, some say it even has aphrodisiacal properties.

The more I research the benefits of horseradish, the more I find. This ingredient is similar to mustard and is a cheap substitute for the Japanese wasabi used in sushi. It seems to be a superfood that not only adds punch to a dish, but also can help fight everything from the common cold and flu to urinary tract infections. In traditional folk medicine, it is thought to be one of the best treatments against sinus problems as it clears them when they are congested.

Forget chicken noodle soup – this is what I usually make when I am feeling a bit under the weather. Just a few weeks ago, I got caught in a rainstorm and had the sniffles for several days. This hearty recipe warmed my belly, and the next day I was feeling much better. Whether it was the horseradish, the hot creamy sauce that soothed my sore throat or the long nap I took afterwards, somehow this recipe got me feeling revived and much more energetic!

There are a number of products in which you can find horseradish; the basic prepared horseradish, cream-style prepared horseradish, specialty mustards, dips, spreads, relishes and dressings can all contain this flavourful ingredient.

Since I am a huge fan of pasta in all its varieties, I thought I´d try this dish with tagliatelle, a broad flat pasta. I hope you enjoy this dish!

What we need:

  • 150g dried tagliatelle
  • 200g of gravadlax (dry-cured salmon)
  • 200ml of light creme fraiche
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill

How to make it:

1. Boil the pasta according to instructions on the package.
2. Cut the salmon into a saucepan and add the crème fraiche, honey, lemon and horseradish. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
4. Add the dill.
5. When the pasta is ready, drain it and add to the crème fraiche and salmon sauce.
6. Mix carefully and serve immediately.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

Note: I also recommend this baked salmon with red pesto, red peppers and tomatoes.

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11Apr 12

Linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoes

Linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoesOne could write a book about all the different kinds of pasta that the Italians have invented. Wait, they probably already have! Here is a recipe using just one of those pastas in this linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoes. (Also try this chilli garlic pasta.)

Linguine means ‘little tongues’ in Italian, due to them being flatter and wider than spaghetti. My recipe combines linguine with cherry tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar and really couldn’t be easier to prepare. Perfect as a quick dish to whizz together when I arrive home late after a day at uni. I just have to remember that, with all that garlic, I might want to buy some chewing gum the day after!

What we need:

  • 2 medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • 60g dried linguine
  • 25-30 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 -2 pinches of salt and pepper according to taste

How to make it:

1. Peel and chop the garlic cloves into very fine slices. Wash and chop the basil leaves finely as well.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic slices. Fry on a low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly until very lightly golden.

3. Wash and chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, or leave whole as desired.
4.  Mix the cherry tomatoes and sugar with half of the chopped basil leaves. Cook for around 5 minutes on a medium heat until the tomatoes just start to break up. Switch off the heat.

3. Cook the linguine per instructions and drain. Return to the saucepan after draining and add some olive oil to separate the strands of pasta.

4. Return the tomatoes to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour the tomato mixture into the pan of linguine and mix the pasta all together with the cherry tomatoes.

6. Place the pasta onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining basil and some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 15 minutes
Level: very easy

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02Apr 12

Pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and BaconBroccoli and bacon make a great combination. I especially like broccoli salad with bacon because of the contrast with the leafy green veg and crispy meat. In this recipe for pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon, I add pasta to the mix, as well as a few more veggies for good measure.

I am aware that pasta salad is considered a summer food, but being the eternal optimist, and having seen the latest weather forecasts for London, I believe we soon enough will be visiting the park for a spring picnic. One can only hope!

It is not important whether we have to eat it inside huddled on the couch or, with better luck, on a picnic blanket in the park. Regardless of the weather, a pasta salad is easy to make and is a quick and cheap lunch to bring to University in a plastic box. Plus, it stays fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge! Make a large bowl and you are set for lunch, dinner AND picnic time!

What we need:

  • 500g of Penne pasta
  • 1 large red onion
  • 200g of broccoli
  • 200g of Feta cheese
  • 100g of black olives, without pits
  • 200g of sliced bacon
  • 100g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 pinches of ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 and ½ decilitre of crème fraiche (sour cream or natural thick yoghurt for cooking)
  • 2 cloves of garlic

How we make it:

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and put in a bowl for later.
  2. Chop the onion into thin slices.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into squares.
  4. Chop the olives into halves.
  5. Put all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl.
  6. Fry the bacon in the oil. Take off excess fat with paper and let it dry.
  7. Once cool, cut the bacon into slices and place in a bowl.
  8. Grate the Feta cheese over the salad and add the sun-dried tomatoes.
  9. Mix all the ingredients and carefully put the pasta in the large bowl.
  10. Add the pepper according to taste.
  11. Pour the crème fraiche into a small bowl and press the garlic cloves into it. Mix carefully and pour into a salad bowl. Mix with all the ingredients.

Serves: 3-4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: very easy

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14Feb 12

Pasta with egg yolks and walnuts

Pasta with egg yolk and walnutsAs the temperatures plummet to negative numbers, and we are all tucked up at home, shivering and dreaming of warm beaches and barbeques, it is often a good idea to eat food that provides us with plenty of energy, such as pasta with egg yolks and walnuts.

Since we might not have the time to cook hearty stews for hours on end, pasta is one particularly high-energy and easy-to-prepare food which is perfect for wintertime. This will keep us warm when -or if- we dare to venture out, since you can actually eat yourself warm.

In this recipe, we have added egg yolk and walnuts for an even more energy-packed dish, and as though that wasn’t enough, topped it off with cream and bacon. This dish is probably not for the calorie-counting people out there, but bear in mind that in these freezing temperatures, your body needs more of them than usual. Calories can be counted when spring arrives in a month or so! In the meantime, while winter is still here, you can use the leftover walnuts to make an apple and walnut crumble for dessert.

So, put your favourite film in the DVD, take 15 minutes to make this easy dish, and cozy up on the sofa knowing that this is a yummy way to give your body that extra boost that it needs and deserves!

What we need:
• 300 grams of spaghetti or Tagliatelle pasta
• 300 grams of bacon
• 1 clove of chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 deciliter of grated parmesan cheese
• 1 deciliter of cream or full-fat milk
• 2 pinches of ground pepper
• 4 egg yolks
• Parsley
• Top it off with chopped walnuts

How to make it:
1. Boil the pasta in lightly-salted water according to instructions on the packet and drain.
2. Mix the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic in a bowl.
3. Fry the chopped-up bacon in a frying pan and take off excess fat with a tissue.
4. Pour the bacon and the mix of egg yolk, cheese, olive oil and chopped garlic into the pasta and stir it together carefully.
5. Sprinkle the chopped up parsley and ground pepper over the pasta and serve immediately.
6. Add more parmesan cheese according to taste, and add chopped walnuts as desired.
7. Crawl under a warm blanket with a bowl of this amazing pasta, and enjoy with a good film – just until the weather improves.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy

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