Yum, back to pasta. A wonderful invention set to make amazing meals in no time at all, and yet they are healthy and super tasty. So yes, this blog will be full of many different pasta meal ideas. Sorry.
Carbonara is an Italian classic that everyone has heard of and probably tried. I have managed to find a way to make this dish super easy and tasty every time. I have tried hundreds of different methods to make a carbonara and this is the one that is the winner for me.
350g dried tagliatelle
150g smoked bacon chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
150ml double cream
2 tbsp chopped parsley
How I make it
Cook pasta and drain
Fry bacon for 4-5mins
add to drained pasta and 1tbsp olive oil
Put eggs in a bowl, add cream, whisk together
add to pasta (while pasta still warm) and add cheese
serve with parsley on top
This is a very simple and easy meal to cook and goes down a treat with my daughter and household. I usually serve with a herby bread and salad followed by a fruity dessert.
Spaghetti Bolognese, yum yum and healthy! There is so much about a spaghetti bolognese that I absolutely love. For one, you can pack it full of healthy vegetables and the kids will never know. They end up getting their five a day and you can rest easy knowing that you made a yummy nutritious meal that they finished in like 5 mins. It’s a win-win situation really.
What is even better with Spag Bol is that it literally only takes about 10 mins to make, it’s super simple and super quick, so when my little one is trying to raid the cupboards for snacks and telling me she is “soooo hungry mummy I need those biscuits” I am able to whip up a quick and healthy meal in just a few minutes.
Spaghetti (enough for the amount of mouths you’re going to feed)
Minced meat (or vegetarian alternatives)
1 carrot grated
1 onion (i used red)
2 cloves garlic
1 pepper (I used a yellow pepper)
handful of mushrooms (or as many as you like)
1x veg oxo cube
1x beef oxo cube
salt and pepper to taste
As you can see from this meal alone you are getting at least 3 of your 5 a day (considering how much would be in the portion). And as you will be making the sauce yourself you know that it is low in sugar and much better for you in the long run.
Making the dish
Before we start cooking, boil some water in the kettle (this will be used to cook the pasta), and prepare all the veg. Dice the onion, pepper, courgette and mushrooms and crush the garlic. As stated in the ingredients list the carrot should be grated. Once the ingredients are prepared you are ready to go.
Put the spaghetti on to boil – you want everything to be ready at the same time.
put a little oil in a frying pan, when hot add in the onions and garlic.
once the onions have started to soften add in the pepper.
as the pepper begins to soften add in the mince and mushrooms
once the mince is mostly cooked through mix in the chopped tomatoes.
crush the 2 oxo cubes into the mix and sprinkle some herbs over the sauce.
once the sauce is boiling add in the courgette and grated carrot.
make sure to taste the sauce as you go along and add to it where needed to your taste.
I usually add a couple of teaspoons of tomato puree right towards the end to give an extra tomato flavour kick.
Once the sauce is to your liking and the pasta is cooked through, drain the pasta and serve.
Remember pasta first then meat mixture, and top with your favourite cheese (parmesan goes best)
As you can see this is a very easy dish (you are literally throwing everything into one pot) and it all comes together in just a few minutes. Have fun with it and try adding in other flavours to make it your own.
I hope you enjoy my recipe, if you want to see more of my simple recipes then please follow me on social media.
In my previous post Easy peasy paella I posted about how we love a good rice dish in our household and often swap between these two very similar dishes.
So here is my absolute fave (against what everyone in the household feels) my vegetable risotto. I love the diversity that you get with a risotto as you can literally use anything that you find in the cupboard or fridge to make it something rather special. This is usually a dish that gets created at the end of the week right before we need to do a food shop.
Theres very little use me putting up an ingredients list as every risotto I make is different from the last, as I use whatever I have left in the fridge. Here is a list of the most commonly used ingredients in my risottos.
1 cup risotto rice per person
500ml boiling water
1 veg and 1 chicken stock cube (mixed in the water)
a knob of butter
2 cloves garlic
1 cup peas
mushrooms (usually about half a punnet)
salt and pepper
cheese (any cheese you have left, cheddar works best with parmesan for topping)
Again, literally anything you can get your hands on to use up will work well. I have even used spinach, peppers, bacon lardons, left over chicken and prawns before and all taste great in a risotto.
In this Risotto I added some ham at the end just to give it a little extra colour.
How I made it
First and most importantly you want to prep your food and make sure it is all ready to be cooked. chop the onions and garlic, mushrooms, leaks and any other ingredients you might have that need to be cut (like bacon and chicken).
Once your food is prepped and ready to go then you can start.
fry the onions and garlic until the onions are softening,
add in the leeks and mushrooms (and any other ingredients you might be using, NOT frozen veg yet though)
pour in the rice (no stock yet) and cover in the butter
once covered slowly pour in the stock, making sure that the rice is covered with the liquid.
stir thoroughly and continuously. you don’t want the rice to stick to the sides. stirring continuously also allows for the edges of the rice to break down which will allow for the sauce to become creamy.
before all liquid is absorbed add in the frozen products (if you have any) like peas.
If rice is still quite hard add a splash of water
add in the cheddar and herbs/spices constantly mixing the mixture.
The mixture will become creamy right before your eyes.
taste it at this point so you can add in more herbs/spices or cheese as needed.
once the water has evaporated and been absorbed, the risotto is ready to be served.
I serve my risotto up with a mixed salad on the side or sometimes a garlic bread. I find it is a lot of fun to ask my little one to help me with the stirring, it allows me to have a free hand so I can add in the ingredients, and she gets to see the magic of the creamy texture happen right before her eyes.
Ah, Spaghetti and pasta in general. I love love love making pasta dishes as they are so quick and easy to make, and you can trick your lovely little ones into eating a whole host of vegetables. Psst, just don’t tell them what’s in there! Or if you do getting them to help prepare dinner somehow makes them more likely to eat the veggies which are put into dinner. I don’t know how but it’s MAGIC!
This dish is one that I whipped up with barely anything left in the house. I was very proud of myself and what’s more, it was a very tasty dinner.
I am one for using up everything we have in the house BEFORE doing a big shop, as I don’t like the idea of getting in new things to cook when you still have a freezer, or fridge or cupboard completely full of food. I personally think it’s wasteful as the reality of you ever using the products that are already there are slim to none, as you end up using the new products and forgetting about the old.
For this dish I had the option of using Spaghetti or Fusilli, and I find both pastas work in different ways. For this dish I wanted a pasta which sticks to the sauce and spaghetti seems to stick best to the sauces I have found. Also my daughter has an obsession with noodles, so if she is being particularly stubborn on not eating her food I will whip up some spaghetti (but call them noodles) and most of the time she will eat.
Ingredients I used
Spaghetti (enough for 3 people)
Handful of tomatoes
1 Chicken breast sliced and cooked (left over from the day before)
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
Rocket and salad to serve (Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn, no dressing)
(since making this recipe I have also added broccoli)
How I made it
Boil the pasta
While the pasta is boiling oven bake the tomatoes for about 10 mins (this is when I also steam the broccoli)
when the pasta is cooked, take about 2 mugs of water from the pan before draining – you will be using the water in a bit.
pour all ingredients into a bowl (spaghetti, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, chicken, 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of parmesan, and the pasta water) add any herbs and spices to taste – basil and pepper are what I tend to use.
Mix until a smooth creamy cheese sauce has been created. (I sometimes add a splash of milk, but find the water and cheese is perfectly good enough)
serve with a side salad and some rocket and parmesan on top.
and Voila! a super easy yummy treat for the family in under 20 mins
I hope you enjoy this meal and have fun adding in your own ingredients and making the food your own. As all I am doing is giving you ideas of easy and quick meals to do with a busy family, and these are created to me and my families tastes, so of course you can add in your own flavours to make them your own.