Pasta is such a staple food in most households and I think one of the easiest fast foods around. It can be made healthier by using the Wholewheat variety. When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Wholewheat pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.
This dish uses Scottish Smoked Haddock, fresh from my favourite fishmongers in Pittenweem, Ryan Black, they deliver straight from the Shore to your door.
It also uses some of my fresh vegetables from my garden….yum!
I used my Steam pot for my Combi Microwave for this recipe, but if you don’t have Steamer just cook your pasta as per packet instructions. In a pan, bring some water to the boil add your vegetables and simmer for 4 minutes until softened. (you could use frozen vegetables or tinned vegetables for this too). Bring a large pan of water to the boil, bring to a simmer and add in your fish, cook for about 10 minutes.
If you have a Steam pot, add the pasta with 300ml water to the base, then your fish and vegetables onto the grid and cook on Pasta Setting for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your sauce as per above recipe.
Remove fish and place onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break up into bite size pieces.
Drain your pasta and vegetables. Add the vegetables to the pasta then pour over the sauce mixture and mix through, add in the fish, mix and serve.
Oh yum! Today was absolutely stoating it down (heavy rain) and very Dreich (dull, moody) weather, so it was a warming pasta bake for dinner. Not only is pasta filling but this dish is simple and easy to make, great for a family meal or just when you are looking for something comforting to warm you up. The recipe uses a lot of store cupboard essentials so easy to put together.
Serves 2 large portions (or 4 small)
100g Wholewheat Pasta (again your choice, I used Fusilli)
2 Chicken Breasts
1 onion – chopped
1 red pepper – chopped
1 Garlic clove – crushed or 1 tsp ground granules
1 tsp dried Italian herbs or Oregano
200g Chopped tomatoes
200ml Chicken Stock
100ml Milk (or cream)
Handful of Spinach leaves, chopped
Handful of frozen peas
100g Grated Cheese (I used cheddar)
1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)
1 tsp Paprika (for sprinkling on top)
80g Chopped Chorizo
Salt & Pepper
Heat a little oil in a fry pan and preheat your oven to 190 deg fan.
Brown the onions & red pepper with the garlic in the fry pan until softened, add in the chorizo and cook for a few minutes then add the chicken, season & brown chicken on all sides for a few minutes.
Once browned, add in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, milk, herbs and chilli (if using) to the pan and mix through, bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for at least an 1 hr.
Meanwhile cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
Using 2 forks, remove the lid from the pan and shred your chicken breasts (if you prefer chunks, that’s fine but I like it shredded)
Add in the frozen peas and Spinach and cook for a further few minutes.
Drain your pasta and add to the pan and mix through.
Now decant the pasta chicken into an ovenproof dish and grate the cheese on top with a sprinkle of paprika and salt & pepper to season.
Bake on middle shelf for about 25 minutes. Serve. Yum!
This is a great mid week dinner, super quick and easy (if you have prepared paste before hand). I had to use up some leftover vegetables in my fridge, and I had stored some coloured pasta I made a few weeks ago. So super easy and super quick.
Pasta of your choice
200g Baby Spinach
150g Cherry tomatoes, chopped
150g Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried garlic (or 2 cloves if you have fresh)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook pasta as per packet instructions, or if fresh, 2 minutes in simmering salted water.
Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms then add in the tomatoes, cook until slightly softened.
Add in the garlic, paprika, cayenne, chilli, tomato puree and stir through. Then add in the Spinach and cover to allow to wilt down (about 1 minute).
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce mix and stir until coated. Serve.
I first saw this recipe on Pinch of Nom site, I got their first book and have preordered their second, its full of healthier option recipes that do not compromise on flavour. This Lasagne was both delicious and lower in calories.
Makes 4 portions
400g Scottish Mince
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 Red Pepper, chopped
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Oxo cubes
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Mixed Italian Herbs
2 tsp Dried Garlic Granules
For the White Sauce
350g Natural Yoghurt Fat Free
1/2 tsp Mustard
120g Low Fat Cheddar
Lasagne Sheets – I made my own but you can buy ready made
Heat pan with a little low fat spray oil. Fry onion, carrots, pepper and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
Add the mince and brown.
Add the Italian herbs and Worcestershire sauce and stir through
Add in tomato paste, oxo cubes, tin tomatoes and 200ml water and mix through until combined.
Put lid on and simmer for 30 minutes
Spread a layer of the beef mixture into a deep oven dish and then layer the lasagne sheets, then another layer of beef mixture, then layer lasagne sheets until you reach near the top.
To make the sauce, mix yogurt, mustard, eggs & salt to taste with the cheese in a bowl until combined. (leave a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top)
Spread the sauce mixture over the lasagne dish and garnish with pepper and leftover cheese.
I baked using my Lasagne setting on my oven, or you can bake in an oven at 190 deg for about 30-35 minutes until browned.
This was my first go at coloured pasta, I’ve seen loads of posts on instagram showing beautiful colour pasta shapes and needed to give it a go. It was a lot easier that I originally thought, although my filling shape needs to be improved. lol! Practise makes perfect as they say….lol.
I use my Kitchen Aid pasta roller for this but any handheld pasta roller or even a rolling pin will do.
The general rule of thumb when making pasta is:-
100g ‘OO’ Flour, 1 egg, pinch salt. (makes enough for 2 small portions)
If you need more simply double everything ie: 200g flour, 2 eggs etc, 400g flour, 4 eggs etc.
For the basic past dough:-
100g ‘OO’ Flour
Pinch of salt
For the Colouring:-
1 tsp Beetroot Powder (Red)
1 tsp Blue Pea Powder (Blue/Purple)
1 tsp Spinach Powder (Green)
You can of course use any colour you wish.
1 tsp nutmeg
handful chopped Dill or Spinach
40g Parmesan grated
Make a well in the middle of your flour on a flat surface.
Crack the egg into a jug, add the tsp of colouring and salt and whisk until blended, pour into the well of flour.
Gently with a fork mix a little of the flour into the egg, once it starts to come together use your hands to bring together into a dough. If it is too dry just dip your fingers into water and add. You want the dough to be like a child’s play dough type texture.
Once in a ball wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Using the pasta roller, roll through on 1 twice, then fold the edges in, this is to try and keep the pasta sheet shape, then roll through on 1 again twice then 2,3,4,5 twice then a final roll on 6 then 7 just once. Sprinkle some semolina on a baking sheet and lay pasta down, this is to try and stop it from drying and sticking too much.
Once all your sheets are ready, change cutter to tagliatelle. Choosing just 2 of the colours, pass through the cutter, then coat the strips in semolina to stop sticking together.
Take each strip of colour and lay onto the final colour past sheet and press down, then put through the pasta roller to combine on setting 4, then 6 then 7 just once.
Now you can decide on your shape, cut using pasta cutter.
If filling, turn upside down 1 sheet and add dollops of your filling leaving enough space between, using a little water to edge the pasta (this allows the seal). Take the other pasta sheet and place on top and press around filling to seal ensuring no air bubbles. Freeze the filled pasta and then cook from frozen when required. (By freezing you ensure that the filling doesn’t leak when cooking)
I had some tagliatelle left over, so I just cooked in a little salt water for 2 minutes using my steam pot on my pasta setting, drained and mixed with the left over cheese mixture (quick little snack)
If you have any excess, allow to completely dry out by hanging (48 hours) then just bag or jar (ensuring covered with semolina to stop sticking).
Yum. Looking in my cupboards tonight I needed to use up an opened carton of tomatoes, packet of broccoli and cauliflower so this is what I came up with. Already planning on having salmon just didn’t know what with, so this was one of those delicious last minute meals. And under 500 calories it was healthier too.
Makes 2 portions
100g Wholemeal Fusilli Pasta (or penne if you prefer)
Boil the pasta as per instructions and add the broccoli and cauliflower 4 minutes before ready.
Meanwhile, to make the béchamel sauce melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan and add the flour, mix, slowly add in the milk, little at a time constantly whisking to prevent lumps. Remove from heat when it starts to thicken up. Then stir in the grated cheese.
Mix the sauce into the pasta and empty into an oven proof dish, add the salmon and tomatoes and mix through. Season. Mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs over.
Yummy little dish, I got this recipe from Pinch of Nom and added my own stamp to it. I do love one pot cooking and especially slow cooking too, it is sometimes so good just to put something in the oven and carry on with your daily tasks. This was slow cooked for 5 hours and was delicious. A really good simple throw together meal.
Makes 2 large servings
300g Scottish beef mince
300g tin tomatoes
60g chopped chorizo
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 carrot, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 beef stock cube crumbled
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
100g dried wholemeal pasta
150ml boiling water
40g low fat cheddar
Salt & pepper
Set your oven to slow cook setting if you have one, if not this can be done in a slow cooker on med-high setting.
Firstly brown the mince in a pan with salt, pepper and garlic then remove and place into an oven proof dish
Next add in all the other ingredients with the exception of the pasta, cheese and boiling water, cover and bake for 4.5 hours
Add in the pasta and boiling water to the dish and mix through, bake for a further 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.
10 minutes before ready, sprinkle on the cheese and allow to melt through.
Oh yummy! I’m still trying to look for alternative healthier options to my meals and this recipe I came across on Eating well website. A few tweeks to suit our own tastes and voila it was super tasty and quite filling too.
400 g Scottish Steak (cubed)
1 red onion – cut into wedges
1 clove garlic – minced
400ml Beef Stock
1/2 cup of Red wine
70g sugar snap peas
1 red pepper – sliced about 0.5cm thick
8 cherry tomatoes – halved
Cornflour to thick sauce – I used about 2 tbsps
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt & pepper to taste
80-100g pasta (I used wholewheat as a healthier option)
Heat a little oil in a large pan, add in the steak and brown, season with salt & pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon once browned all over.
Fry the onions and red peppers with the garlic and tomato paste.
Add back to the pan the steak, red wine & beef stock bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer and slow cook with lid on for about 4-5 hours.
Just before serving cook your pasta as per packet instructions, drain then add the the pan along with the sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
If sauce is still watery, make up your cornflour and stir in until you achieve the desired thickness of sauce.
This little dish was super tasty with a little kick, perfect for a Saturday night dinner. My ultimate favourite is 1 pan cooking (well kinda..lol), don’t you just love throwing everything in to 1 pot, easy cooking, less washing up….lol!
We served this with a glass of Chardonnay and it went perfectly well.
6-8 Beef Meatballs (sliced in half)
150g pasta (I used wholewheat Fusilli)
200g tin tomatoes
75g chopped chorizo (good quality, we love Picante)
1 red onion (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil (I would recommend using fresh, but unfortunately I didn’t have any)
1 chopped chilli or 1 tsp dried chillies
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper to season
Parmesan to garnish
First bring to the boil a pan of salted water and cook pasta for about 8-10 minutes, Save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the meatballs & chorizo and brown all over. When browned remove with a slotted spoon and put to the side.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and add the peppers, onions, carrots, garlic and thyme and gently cook until slightly tender.
Return the meatballs and chorizo back to the pan, add the sauce and bring to a simmer for a few minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
Then add the pasta to the pan along with the remaining pasta water and simmer for a further 5 minutes to warm through.
Serve with some grated parmesan and chopped basil. Yummy!
Oh yummy. I had some pasta left over and some Italian sausage that I bought recently that needed to be used up, so looking in my cupboards this is what I threw together and it worked an absolute treat. Super tasty and filling.
Makes 2 servings
100g pasta (of your choice)
50g spiced italian sausage (any of your choice)
4/5 mushrooms – sliced
handful of piccolo tomates (or cherry if you have) – sliced in half