Tag Archives: pasta

Recipe of the Week – 6th June 2016 – Courgetti with Homemade Pesto

I have been experimenting with my spiralizer recently, and up to now haven’t tried the recommendation of making courgette ‘pasta’, or Courgetti, with it. I was initially a bit sceptical that it wouldn’t be quite as satisfying as traditional spaghetti, but was really pleased with the results of this. I think the key thing is not to blanch the vegetables for too long to ensure that the texture and flavour is at it’s best.

Serves 4


3 large courgettes, trimmed and cut into spiral ribbons (cut into strips with a peeler is good too)

2 large carrots, also trimmed and cut into ribbons

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice

For the Pesto;

100g fresh watercress

30g grated vegetarian Parmesan Style cheese

1 clove of garlic, crushed

40g cashew nuts

Small bunch of fresh basil

5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to season


1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then add the potato cubes. Return to the boil for 7 minutes.

2. Add the carrots and simmer for a further 2 minutes before adding the courgettes. Simmer for a further 3 minutes then drain and set aside.

3. To make the pesto, place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

4. Return the vegetables to the dry pan and heat gently for 2 minutes to dry and warm through. Add the pesto and stir well to combine.

5. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and extra basil to garnish.


Recipe of the Week – 16th May 2016 – Sweet Potato and Pepper Linguine

This is a light yet nourishing way to add a new twist to pasta – I wasn’t sure if the different textures between the grated sweet potato and the pasta would work initially, but they seemed to compliment each other very well. The strips of pasta also added a nice bite to the dish.

Serves 6


500g linguine

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly grated

5 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle on serving

6 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 yellow and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes

1 tbs dried tarragon

2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbs lemon juice

Salt and pepper to season

Grated vegetarian Parmesan style hard cheese to serve


1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain, drizzle with a little olive oil, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil to a large saucepan, and fry the garlic on a medium heat for 2 minutes before adding the sweet potato, pepper strips, tomatoes and 50 ml water. Stir well and simmer for  5 – 8 minutes.

3. Add the pasta to the vegetable mixture, then add the herbs, lemon juice and seasoning. Stir well and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

4. Serve immediately with grated cheese, drizzled olive oil and fresh basil leaves if preferred.


Recipe of the Week – 29th February 2016 – Sweet Potato and Spinach Pasta Bake

There are times when only good stodgy comfort food will do (I have a lot of them!), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have lots of interesting flavours and textures too. This recipe is perfect for these cold Winter evenings when getting full is the main priority!

Serves 4


500g dried pasta (I used fusilli)

5 tbs olive oil

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly diced

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1 courgette, sliced

200g fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped

2 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

2 tsp dried oregano

Small handful of fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp soy sauce

50g grated mature cheddar (optional if vegan)


1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place the diced sweet potato cubes on a large baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil, season and place in the oven to roast for 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat the remaining oil on a low-medium heat and add the onion, pepper and courgette. Saute gently for 10 minutes.

4. Add the pasta to a large saucepan of salted boiling water and par-boil for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain.

5. To a large casserole dish (I ended up using two!), mix together the roasted sweet potato, sautéed vegetable, pasta, chopped tomatoes, spinach and herbs, season and mix together well. Top with the grated cheese if using and sprinkle with soy sauce.

6. Return the casserole dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is brown.

7. Serve immediately with bread or a fresh salad.

Recipe of the Week – 25th November 2013 – Butternut Squash Caponata Pasta


This is a great variation on the traditional caponata recipe which uses aubergines, and the butternut squash adds a sweeter flavour which lends itself perfectly to a pasta dish like this. Alternatively, this is great on a hot baguette or as a pizza topping.

Serves 4 – 6


1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1cm dice
4 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbs raisins
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 x 400g tin of good quality chopped tomatoes
2 tbs green olives, chopped
2 tbs capers, rinsed (optional)
400g dried pasta of your choice (I used macaroni)
Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Toss the butternut squash cubes in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking tray and bake for approximately 25 minutes until soft.

3. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in the balsamic and white wine vinegar.

4. In a large frying pan gently sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tbs olive oil for 5 minutes until soft.

5. Add the vinegar and raisins and squash cubes to the onions and cook gently to coat the squash for 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the tomatoes, olives and capers if using and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, until the mix is thick.

7. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente then drain.

8. Mix the pasta and the caponata mixture together to combine and serve warm.

Recipe of the Week – 10th June 2013 – Macaroni and Broccoli Cheese


This is a brilliant staple for family meal-times which I always seem to forget to get around making! When I do remember, the huge casserole dish is always emptied between the four of us!

Serves 6


300g dried macaroni

150g broccoli. cut into small florets

50g butter

50g plain flour

500ml milk

1tsp dijon mustard

250g grated mature cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the macaroni and broccoli in a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for approximately 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Put the butter in a separate saucepan, and heat gently until melted. Add the flour and stir to form a roux, then cook gently for 2 minutes before whisking in the milk, a little at a time to prevent lumps. when smooth, cook gently for 10 minutes until thickened.

3. Remove the sauce from the hob, add most of the grated cheese (retaining enough for the topping), the mustard and seasoning, and stir until melted.

4. Add the macaroni and broccoli to the sauce and mix well before placing in a large ovenproof dish.

5. Sprinkle over the remaining cheddar and place the dish under a hot grill until browned. Serve hot with a fresh green salad and crusty bread.

Lemon Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms and Asparagus



I thought to celebrate the final day of National Vegetarian Week, I would do one more Recipe of the Week. I got these fantastic mushrooms yesterday at a wild mushroom tasting day at Doc Green’s in New Mills, and got a bit inspired!

This is a lovely simple recipe, which doesn’t take very long to make. As the asparagus season has just started in England, I thought I’d add these as well!

Serves 6


15g pack of wild mushrooms (I used the Forest Mix from Get Funghi
500g fresh tagliatelle
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/2 tsp salt
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp dried tarragon
12 spears of fresh asparagus
2 tbs butter


1. Soak the mushrooms in a large bowl of water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Place the pasta in a large saucepan of water of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until al dente (2-3 minutes). Drain and toss with some olive oil and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, gently steam the asparagus spears over a pan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes until tender.
4. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat then add the garlic and fry gently for 1 minute before adding the soaked mushrooms, tarragon and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes before seasoning to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
5. Combine the mushrooms, pasta, lemon zest and juice, and butter and warm gently to mix.
6. Serve in a large bowl with the asparagus, plenty of black pepper and vegetarian parmesan cheese if desired.