The only pasta recipes you will ever need
Pasta has to be one of the greatest ingredients ever created doesnt it? Simple ingredients mixed together to form a product that can then be shaped and used in dozens of different ways. In its simplest form just cooked for a couple of minutes and served warm with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and big grind of freshly ground pepper. One of my all time favourite recipes and the one I find myself eating when I only have to do dinner for myself and not worry about the rest of the family.
Mind you, if you are going to have “naked pasta” (that refers to the pasta by the way and not the recipient of said pasta) you have to make sure you have the finest ingredients. Supermarket own label value range is just not going to cut if for this, pick are really good one, or have a go at making your own.
Should you want to do a bit more to it though the following are two alternative recipes. The first is my ultimate spaghetti bolognese which we have at least once a week. It is my “go to need to feed a crowd” meal as I can make it early in the day and throw it all in the slow cooker to mind its own business whilst I get on with other stuff.
- 500g mince
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 pack of ready cubed pancetta
- glug of red wine
- 1 jar of Barilla pasta sauce
- olive oil
- 1 pack of Barilla spaghetti
- Fry the mince, onion, mushrooms, pancetta, and red pepper in the olive oil until cooked.
- Stir in the glug of win
- Add the pasta sauce and stir
- Leave to simmer until the dish has taken on a really deep red colour (about 30 mins or four hours in the slow cooker on high)
- Boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.
Alternatively if you want to do a carbonara then this recipe wins in our house every time.
3 large eggs
2 peeled garlic cloves
50g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
- Boil a large pan of water. Finely chop the pancetta, having first removed any rind. Finely grate the cheese. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, season with grated black pepper
- Put everything to one side
- Add salt to the boiling water, add spaghetti and cook until done (don’t tell anybody but we test our spaghetti by throwing it at a wall, if it sticks it is done)
- Squash the garlic with the blade of a knife, just to bruise it
- Add the pancetta into the garlic.
- Drop the butter into a large wide frying pan or wok and, as soon as the butter has melted, tip in the pancetta and garlic.
- Leave these to cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden and crisp.
- Remove the garlic and throw away
- Remove the pasta from the boiling water and put it into the pan with the cooked pancetta.
- Mix most of the cheese in with the eggs, keep some for garnish.
- Take the pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat. Quickly pour in the eggs and cheese and lift up the spaghetti so it mixes easily with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn’t scramble, and everything is coated.
- Serve immediately with the remaining parmesan sprinkled on top.