Struggling to reinvent the wheel at every meal? We take the humble pasta and give it a little twist to create some great mid-week family meals. It’s sure to get them oohing and aahing again! All of these recipes are for four, and we’ve left out the pasta quantities on purpose because feeding a hungry teen over a 7 year old – well you can see the dilemma…
Sausage and fennel seed spaghetti
Sounds a challenge for a non-adult palate but this meal is loved by all!
Ingredients: A pack of 6 sausages, 1 tsp of fennel seeds, 2 x garlic cloves, glass of red wine, tin of tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper
Heat some oil in a pan. Slit the sausage skins and pinch small balls and fry in the oil. When the sausage meat is browned add thinly sliced garlic and a teaspoon of fennel seeds and fry for a minute. Add the red wine and let it bubble. Add the tin of tomatoes, season and let everything simmer for about 15 mins whilst you cook your spaghetti. Once the sauce has slightly thickened, mix together with the pasta.
Top Tip: Goes without saying but a heavy sprinkling of parmesan takes this dish to the next level.
Parma ham and artichoke penne
This quick and easy sauce is a gastronomic delight. The original recipe courtesy of the amazing Mary Berry but with a few added twists of our own.
Ingredients: A pack of parma ham (about 6 slices), artichoke hearts in oil (drained and sliced), 1 x garlic clove, 200g of full-fat crème fraîche, fresh parsley, fresh basil, parmesan, olive oil and salt and pepper
Top Tip: If you don’t have artichoke hearts throw in some peas. This goes really well with a lovely rocket and parmesan salad (and a large glass of white wine).
Linguine with tiger prawns and roasted cherry tomatoes
We love this recipe. Again it couldn’t be simpler and will have you dreaming of the Amalfi Coast sunshine in no time!
Ingredients: 500g of cherry tomatoes, 3 large cloves of garlic, 300g tiger prawns (can be raw or pre-cooked), a handful of basil, olive oil and salt and pepper
Heat your oven to 200℃/fan 180℃. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the over for about 20 mins. Whilst cooking the pasta, heat a big glug of olive oil (about two tablespoons should do it) in a pan and lightly fry the garlic for about a minute stirring constantly. Add the prawns until heated through and then add the drained pasta, roasted cherry tomatoes, a handful of torn basil leaves and season well.
Top Tip: So what are the rules of adding parmesan to fish? We’re not sure but if you fancy a sprinkle of cheese then we say, go for it!
Gazpacho Sauce spaghetti
If your lot turn their noses up at this most delicious cold soup, you may want to try the hot version on pasta – they won’t even realise they’ve been duped.
Ingredients: 500g of cherry tomatoes, a couple of green peppers, 1 large clove of garlic, a red onion, 2 tbsp of sherry vinegar, a couple of splashes or tabasco and a handful of basil
Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Blitz the tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion in a blender until smooth and then stir in the vinegar and the tabasco (go easy if you don’t like it too spicy). Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta and serve with some torn basil leaves.
Top Tip: None for this one! It’s that simple and needs no tweaks.