If you want to follow the seasonality slant of the suggestions,
the list starts with January ideas.
All sauces are intended for a quick fix mid week meal!
In some cases I have given a vague recipe outline, always taste and add salt/pepper as needed.
The pastas can be egg or plain, egg pastas are great with simpler sauces
as they add a richness to the sauce.
Try using noodles or various non wheat pastas for a change occasionally.
Freshly grated parmesan or pecorina can be served with all recipes.
If you want more info on a particular recipe feel free to email me.
- Cauliflower macaroni cheese (add florets of cauliflower to your favourite macaroni cheese recipe)
- Shredded kale, stir fried with chili and garlic, mixed with fusilli, a bit of extra olive oil and finely gratedParmesan or Pecorina cheese
- Bolognese sauce with tagliatelle (make double batch of this and freeze for another evening)
- Leeks and mushrooms, fried in butter with a bit of fresh sage (if you have some in your garden), mascarpone and stilton on a bed of fetttucine (add a tiny bit of orange zest to the sauce to give it a twist)
- Creamy chicken and lemon. Make a sauce with cream and chicken stock and a bit of grated lemon zest, add some strips of chicken and or saffron threads if you fancy, add cooked linguine.
- Chorizo and tomato. Fry some onion, add a tin of tomatoes and wine if you fancy, cook for around 20 minutes add chorizo, chili and dried oregano. Serve on rigatoni with some grated parmesan.
- Chicken livers and mushrooms. Fry some onions and garlic in butter, add sliced mushrooms and roughly chopped chicken liver, when livers cooked add a splash of Marsala and double dash of cream, serve on penne.
- Smoked salmon with spinach and ricotta (add roasted pine-nuts if you fancy) served on spirali (or fusilli).
- Meatballs in a tomato sauce with spaghetti.
- Purple sprouting broccoli with oriecchiette. Pan fry some garlic and chili in olive oil , add chopped up anchovies and then purple sprouting broccoli (trim off woody stem and ensure similar size), coat in mixture and then add a couple of tablespoons of the liquor that the pasta is cooking in. Cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes. Delicious with a bit of grated parmesan or pecorina.
- Prawns (and mussels/clams) in a chilli and garlicky tomato sauce with tagliatelle.
- Swiss chard (if you have some that has overwintered) or spinach, goats cheese and roasted pine-nuts with farfelle.
- Roasted parsnip chips and bacon, finished with cream and Gruyère on rigatoni (add some leek for extra health and vitality and flavour!).
- Rosemary and garlic with vermicelli. (Lightly sauté some garlic in a mixture of butter and olive oiil, add some chopped rosemary, sauté for a further minute or so and use to coat the vermicilli).
- Asparagus, crispy smoked bacon or pancetta and parmesan shavings with tagliatelle, finish sauce with parsley and crème fraiche.
- Tuna with olives and roasted peppers with conchiglioni. (Add lots of ground black pepper)
- Sorrel and nettle pesto, great with spaghetti.
- Spinach and mushroom macaroni cheese. Slice or chop some mushrooms, fry for about 10 minutes in butter, add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix cooked mushrooms, cooked macaroni, spinach leaves and cheese sauce. Bake as usual.
- Smoked mackerel with spinach, horseradish and crème fraiche stirred through farfelle.
- Broad bean and ham or prosciutto with a good dollop of mascarpone and perhaps a bit of fresh mint with fusilli.
- Pea, mint and lettuce, perhaps with an indulgent dollop if cream (or half fat crème fraiche) with orecchiette
- Olive oil, garlic and anchovy, add capers and olives if you fancy, delicious with tagliatelle.
- Minced lamb, kofta style with a tomato and paprika sauce. Make the kofta balls by combining some minced lamb, minced onion and garlic, ground cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and chopped fresh coriander. Fry the balls and make a quick tomato sauce with passata, chopped onion and garlic and paprika. Add the fried balls and cook for around 10 minutes. Delicious with spaghetti.
- Aubergine with ricotta or goats cheese or feta. Dice some aubergines, salt (unless you know they are really fresh), and rinse after 10 – 20 minutes. Either roast in oven or pan fry with olive oil, fresh thyme and a bit of garlic. Add to a tomato sauce and cook for around 10 minutes, if you have some fresh basil tear some in at the end. Delicious with penne pasta
- Asparagus and samphire. Blanch the asparagus and then stir fry in sesame oil with sesame seeds and samphire. Serve with some pecorina shavings.Great with linguine and as an added treat, top with crispy bacon or pancetta.
- Squid, chilli and garlic. Gently fry some garlic and chilli, add squid and cook until just cooked (depends on thickness/size of squid), you can add a few fresh tomatoes, chopped and a squeeze of lime. Fusilli is my pasta of choice with this.
- Tomato sauce and any pasta. Spice this up by adding some grilled red peppers and chilli.
- Spinach and feta with farfalle. Lightly sauté some red onion, add a few diced cherry tomatoes and black olives, add as much spinach as you like (the more the better) and wilt, add to some cooked farfalle and crumble in plenty of feta – yum!
- Pesto with linguine. Nice topped with some extra toasted pine-nuts. If using pesto from a bottle, try adding a tiny bit of lemon juice to it.
- Courgette and courgette flower with oriechette. Coarsely grate courgettes, and roughly chop the courgette flowers. Melt some butter and olive oil together, you can add some strips of anchovy and garlic to this and fry until soft. Add the courgettes and a squeeze of lemon, cook for 3 – 4 minutes, add flowers and cook for a further minute, add to the pasta, sprinkle with a generous amount of grated parmesan or pecorina. and perhaps drizzle with some chilli oil.
- Provençal sauce with penne. I make this sauce a bit like a ratatouille -onions, tomatoes, aubergines, courgette with plenty of garlic, oregano, thyme and parsley.
- Fennel and smoked salmon with conchiglioni. if you have any grilled fennel left over (if only!) use it, otherwise roast or braise some fennel, chop it up. Salmon pieces are a great, flavoursome item to have in the freezer. Add some chopped salmon pieces to the fennel, a squeeze of lemon, some orange zest and then mix with the pasta – you can add ricotta to this which gives it a delicious fresh twist.
- Green beans and tuna with fusilli or similar. You can leave out the tuna and add pesto, olives and capers add a good additional flavour and texture to this dish.
- Beetroot and feta with tagliatelle. Either roast small wedges of beetroot or boil your beetroot and dice. Pan fry a few finely diced shallots, add a bit of crème fraiche, chopped parsley and thyme. Add the beetroot and a squeeze of lemon. Add to cooked pasta and sprinkle with feta or goats cheese.
- Sugar snaps with leeks and ricotta (or crème fraiche). Sauté the leeks in some butter and or olive oil, add a generous amount of grated black pepper, cooked sugar snaps and a squeeze of lemon, mix with cooked pappardelle and ricotta.
- Pan seared scallops with basil and farfalle. marinade the scallops for 10 minutes in chopped garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped basil. Pan fry in butter. coat cooked farfalle in melted butter and olive oil with garlic and basil, top with pan seared scallops and black pepper, serve with a lemon wedge and pecorina shavings.
- Rabbit and fettuccine. This recipe does require a bit of forward planning. Casserole a jointed rabbit (lovely in tomatoes, white wine, garlic and onions). Remove the meat from the rabbit and return to the casserole sauce. Be careful to remove all bones! Serve on the pasta, topped with parmesan.
- Mussels with spaghetti. Cook the mussels in your favourite way, pour over spaghetti with all the lovely juices.
- Chicken livers and butternut squash. Pan fry some chopped up chicken livers in butter with nutmeg, add cooked butternut squash, parsley and a bit of cream and/or Marsala if you fancy. Mix into some cooked rigatoni
- Peppers and penne or spaghetti. I was going to write a suggestion, but came across this recipe from Jamie, tried it last night and it was delicious.
- Venison bolognaise. Make a bolognaise sauce with some ground venison. It has two main differences from using beef: one is it has far less fat and two, it has a gamey flavour. Serve with tagliatelle.
- Chicken and sweetcorn with orecchiette. Make a nice creamy sauce, add a bit of flaked chilli to bring out the flavour more.
- Roasted butternut squash, sage and ricotta or mild soft crumbly goats cheese, topped with roasted cob nuts and serve with farfalle.
- Chestnuts and mushroom. Cook some mushrooms in butter, add broken pieces of chestnut, brandy, nutmeg and crème fraiche. Delicious with tagliatelle.
- Tomato, chilli and basil sauce. Serve with what ever pasta you have in the cupboard.
- Leek, ham and cheddar macaroni – just stir some cooked leeks and diced ham into your usual macaroni cheese, add some dijon mustard to the sauce.
- Mushroom and pancetta with fusilli
- Stir fried beef with soy, spring onions, garlic, chilli and lime on spaghetti.
- Broccoli and any blue cheese with penne
- Seafood – whatever you fancy, cooked with garlic, chili, fresh coriander and lime served with tagliatelle.
- Spaghetti alla puttanesca. Again I have to turn to one of my favourite recipes, Nigel Slater’s – fail pr0of and delicious!
- Caviar and vodka (new year). Purchase some great linguine. Melt some butter with a bit of olive oil, lightly sauté some shallots, add freshly chopped parsley or rocket and black and white grated pepper, add vodka ( a good shot per serving). Then add cooked linguine and caviar. Serve with the best parmesan you can find, very finely grated, freezing cold vokda and a mixed leaf and herb salad!
Click here if you are interested in the texture, taste and science of your pasta.