We love pasta; there must be some Italian blood in our veins. It is also such a wonderful stand-by to have in the kitchen. Dried pasta comes in so many forms from the familiar spaghetti strands to exotic spirals (fusilli) and bow-tie shapes (farfalle). It keeps well as long as it is kept dry and can form the basis for a quick meal.
Pasta really is a food for all seasons.
The simplest vegetarian pasta recipe of all has to be to cook 80g of pasta per person in lightly salted boiling water for 8 - 10 minutes until it is soft, drain and serve with olive oil or pesto. This would work out at roughly 350 calories per serving.
Not the most exciting of recipes but it is filling and it is quick. It is also a way of adding a filling course to a meal if you have unexpected guests, making the rest of the meal easier to spread around more plates.
Taking a little longer to cook but tastier, our recipe for Peasant Pasta is still based on ingredients that you probably keep handy all the time. Including preparation time, this takes about half an hour to cook and is another standby if we get hungry visitors. The recipe is written for two but is easy to scale up for four or six people. With the emphasis on ingredients that are available throughout the year this is an ideal Winter recipe.
Fresh ingredients are always good to use when you can get them and for me the ultimate fresh vegetable is asparagus. These delicate spears can be bought for most of the year but the very best are freshly picked, locally grown and in their natural season. We like to buy at the farm gate and like to cook them the same day. Delicious! Our Pasta Primavera recipe uses fresh asparagus and is one of our favourite Spring-time recipes.
Moving from Spring into Summer and it's time for salads. No need to abandon our pasta theme, just follow our Pasta Salad Recipe to get a summer meal that tastes fabulous. Personally, I?ve never been a great fan of salads but this recipe is an exception. It tastes really good and has a nice range of textures as well.
If Pasta Primavera represents Spring then Macaroni Cheese must be the Autumn. This recipe produces a substantial meal that really helps to keep the cold weather at bay. At 736 kcal per serving this is definitely not a low calorie or low fat recipe but it is a good way to satisfy an appetite.
Four recipes for four seasons, but there is so much more that can be done with pasta.
If you are prepared to make your own fresh pasta a whole new range of possibilities opens up. It really isn't difficult to do, just try our Fresh Pasta Recipe for yourself. It helps if you have a pasta machine but a rolling pin is nearly as good.
Freshly made pasta cooks in 3 - 4 minutes and lends itself to all sorts of filled pasta recipes. Try our Goats Cheese & Honey Ravioli recipe and we are sure you will see what we mean. This particular recipe has subtle flavours that we love, and is our attempt to recreate a particularly enjoyable holiday meal.