Quick pasta meals 10 ways
1. FRESH TOMATO
Mix 6 to 7 seeded and diced ripe tomatoes with 1 clove crushed garlic, 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Variations: Add 250 grams of grated fresh mozzarella or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.
Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan, saute 1 cup chopped carrots and one minced garlic clove over medium heat. Add 2 cups cherry tomatoes and saute for another 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chicken stock, bring to boil and add 250 grams asparagus, cut into 2.5cm lengths, and 250 grams frozen peas. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add to pasta with 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
To hot, drained pasta, add 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 3/4 cup grated Emmental, Gruyere or Edam and the same amount of mozzarella or fontina. Add 125 grams of butter cut into small pieces. Toss well to coat, adding 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen if needed. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Pasta: tortellini or elbows
4. LEMON ARTICHOKE PESTO
Place 1/4 cup coriander, 2 medium garlic cloves, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 cup walnuts, 1/3 cups each canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Gently break up artichokes from one small jar and stir into pasta. Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
5. TOMATO, ONION AND MUSHROOM
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat and add 1 cup chopped onion, cooking until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cut 4 tomatoes in wedges and add them along with 2 cups sliced button mushrooms, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Sauce will reduce and thicken. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.
Pasta: wholemeal penne or elbows
6. QUICK CHICKEN ALFREDO
Melt 125 grams butter in a medium, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add 250ml thickened cream and 2 teaspoons minced garlic, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups milk while whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in 170 grams grated Parmesan and 1 teaspoon white pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly. Thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta and diced white meat of a takeaway BBQ chicken.
7. LEMONY SCALLOP
Heat 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan and cook scallops for about 1 minute, until firm and white. Pour over drained hot pasta in a large serving bowl, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over all and season with salt and white pepper. Stir gently to combine. Then scatter Parmesan cheese and chopped flat-leaf parsley over dish.
8. WHITE WINE, MUSHROOM AND CREAM
Saute 250 grams sliced mushrooms with 2 small minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1/4 cup white wine and cook until just evaporated. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and heat gently until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Pasta: tagliatelle, vermicelli or pappardelle
9. SAUTEED GARLIC AND BROCCOLI
Heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan and add 3 minced garlic cloves, cooking until garlic turns golden. Add 3 cups broccoli florets and 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Pasta: rigatoni, macaroni or shells
Heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan. Add 500 grams peeled and deveined prawn and cook through; remove with slotted spoon and set aside. To remaining oil in pan, add 4 large, minced garlic cloves, some red-pepper flakes and about 1/2 cup white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then add 75 grams butter in pieces. Return prawn and heat briefly. Mix with pasta and garnish with chopped parsley.