Pasta

Spaghetti with Anchovy & Tuna (Serves 1)

This recipe is one that I found in a the book ‘Cook, a Year in the Kitchen with Britain’s Favourite Chefs’, it has recipes from many renowned chefs including this one from the Michelin starred chef Giorgio Locatelli. Don’t be put off by the fact that he is a professional cook – this recipe is very easy!

The white wine may seem extravagant but you can use the small 18.7cl bottles which are around £1.75 to £2 from your supermarket and you’ll have a small glass left to have with your meal!

*Tip  – You won’t use all the anchovies but they can be used to make a delicious butter which you can keep in your freezer to be sliced to have with jacket potatoes or simply spread on toast, or for a real treat with a lamb chop or minute steak! – See recipe here. Alternatively just place an anchovy on a slice of buttered toast for instant ‘salt gratification’!

100g spaghetti (gluten free if required)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic,  cut into quarters

2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained

125g canned tuna in olive oil, drained

25ml white wine

25g capers, rinsed and drained

1 tomato, diced

To Serve:

5 basil leaves (optional)

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and fry over a gentle heat for about 3 minutes, then add the anchovies and cook until they have melted into the oil.
  2. Increase the heat and add the tuna, stir for a few minutes, then add the white wine, let it bubble for a few minutes for the alcohol to evaporate.
  3. Stir in the capers and tomatoes.
  4. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions until al dente.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving 2-3 tablespoons of cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, mixing in the basil leaves (if using) and extra virgin olive oil, season to taste. If the pasta seems a little dry add a little of the reserved cooking water.
  6. Serve – how simple is that!

‘Everyday’ Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti (4-6 Portions)

This is  a great Bolognese Sauce, very tasty and easy to cook with homely, satisfying flavours. It can be cooked on top of the stove or in the oven, either way you should cover it with a lid or a sheet of foil. It is from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Happy Days with the Naked Chef’ (one of his original cookbooks – he looks incredibly young in the photos!), I have slightly tweaked it over the years. I serve it with spaghetti but you could serve it with other pasta shapes. The red wine in this sauce does make it richer however you could choose to omit it, depending on how your student budgeting is going(!), likewise the basil could be omitted. I would definitely use the balsamic vinegar as it really sweetens the sauce, this vinegar will keep in your cupboard for a very long time and is is great for making a quick salad dressing (1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, whisked together with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste).

This sauce will give you four- six portions, it keeps well in the fridge for a few days, or alternatively, freeze individual portions, tightly sealed, in heatproof bags (I use roasting bags – you can buy them from amazon), then when you want a portion all you have to do is place the bag in boiling water and boil for 10 -12mins, whilst you’re cooking your pasta. When the pasta is ready, add the defrosted, reheated sauce (ensure that it is piping hot!) to your pasta; a simple, quick dinner is served!

Watch the video of this sauce being made here!

150g cubed pancetta

Small bunch of basil, leaves picked, and stalks chopped (optional)

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

450g minced beef

1 wineglass red wine (optional – see note above)

1 level teaspoon dried oregano

400g tin of tomatoes

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

200g tomato purée

100g spaghetti for 1 portion (400g for 4 portions)

Sea salt and black pepper

Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve

  1. In a large pan/ casserole dish that can go in the oven, fry the pancetta in a little olive oil until lightly golden.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and, if using, chopped basil stalks (not the leaves), and fry for a further 3 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the minced beef, continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the wine (if using) and reduce slightly.
  4. Add the oregano, both the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée, and the balsamic vinegar. Season well.
  5. Now cover with a lid (or with foil), and either place in a preheated oven, 180’c or cook on top of the stove over a very low heat – you want it to barely simmer. Cook for an hour and a half.
  6. Once cooked separate into portions if  freezing (see note above)
  7. Cook your portion of spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente. Stir the sauce through the pasta, and serve with the torn basil leaves (if using) sprinkled over and some grated parmesan cheese.

Penne with Creamy Tomato, Bacon and Pea Sauce (4 portions)

A very easy pasta sauce, you could almost make it with your eyes closed – it’s that easy! Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cream cheese, it is not ‘cheesy’ tasting, it makes this sauce deliciously creamy! You could substitute it for cream cheese for a cheaper option, the flavour will be slightly different, but it will still very good.

This sauce will give you four portions, it keeps well in the fridge for a few days, or alternatively, freeze individual portions, tightly sealed, in heatproof bags (I use roasting bags – you can buy them from amazon), then when you want a portion all you have to do is place the bag in boiling water and boil for 10 -12mins, whilst you’re cooking your pasta. When the pasta is ready, add the defrosted, reheated sauce (ensure that it is piping hot!) to your pasta; a simple, quick dinner is served!

50g butter

150g smoked back bacon, cut into strips

450g tomato passata

200g frozen peas

8 basil leaves (optional)

150g mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese – see note above)

100g  penne pasta for one portion (400g penne for 4)

Freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the bacon strips, cook until beginning to crisp.
  2. Add the tomato passata and the peas, cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile cook the penne (100g for one portion) according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente (i.e. still has a little ‘bite’ to it).
  4. Add the mascarpone cheese and the basil leaves (if using) to the sauce, stir until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. At this point you should separate the sauce into portions if you are freezing it or storing it in the fridge.
  6. Drain the penne.
  7. Serve the sauce (1 portion per 100g penne) mixed through the pasta and sprinkle with lots of parmesan cheese.

*To see the video of this dish being made go to my Instagram Page!

*Tip – A Sweet Treat!…left over mascarpone cheese is delicious whipped up with a little sugar, preferably icing sugar but you can get away with caster sugar (you could also add a drop of vanilla essence if you have any), and serve it with fruit – Yum!

Penne Pasta with Sausage (4 portions)

This is a really easy pasta to make and very tasty, it is worth investing in the spices – ground cloves and nutmeg, they will keep in your cupboard for a very long time and I am sure that you will make this recipe time and time again. This recipe will make four portions, depending on how hungry you are, it will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days, or alternatively, freeze individual portions, tightly sealed, in heatproof bags (I use roasting bag– you can buy them from amazon), then when you want a portion all you have to do is place the bag in boiling water and boil for 10 -12mins, whilst you’re cooking your pasta. When the pasta is ready, add the defrosted, reheated sauce (make sure that it is piping hot!) to your pasta – simple!

The white wine may seem extravagant but you can use the small 18.7cl bottles which are around £1.75 to £2 from your supermarket.

*To watch the video of this sauce being made click here!

400g penne pasta (100g per portion)

75g butter

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

300g pork sausage meat, removed from casings and broken up

1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

150ml dry white wine

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Melt the butter and gently fry the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the sausage meat, continuing to break it up, mixing it in with the onion and garlic. Fry gently until well browned.
  3. Add the wine and rosemary, reduce heat and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the nutmeg, cloves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. At this point you should separate the sauce into portions if you are freezing it or storing it in the fridge.
  6. Meanwhile cook the penne (100g for 1 portion) according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente (i.e. still has a little ‘bite’ to it).
  7. Mix the sausage mixture with the penne and serve with lots of parmesan sprinkled over.