As my regular reader will know, Tuesday night is pasta night. I just open the fridge and concoct something from its contents. For people who don’t have time to cook, here’s a 15-20 minute supper.
Bear in mind I have an ceramic hob, so you can skip the “put the rings on” bit if you’ve got gas.
- Switch on the big ring, put a deep frying pan on it, add a slug of olive oil
- Switch on the medium ring, put some cold water and salt in a pan, set it on the ring
- Slice up a big leek and put it in the pan with the oil.
- Weigh out the pasta (if you do such things – we do, because carbs/diabetes)
- Slice up some mushrooms, and add to the leeks
- Notice pasta water is boiling – add pasta, set timer for ten minutes (this is dried pasta – your pasta may vary)
- Remember you haven’t put any garlic in, so quickly peel and chop two cloves and throw them in with the vegetables
- Put a colander in the sink for drainage purposes
- Grate black pepper into the veg
- Open the fridge for some lemon juice, find a bottle of white wine open, and add some of that instead. Too much, so turn up the heat to boil it down a bit
- Remove block of feta from fridge and cut up about one third of it
- When timer goes, drain pasta then add it to vegetables, together with the feta.
- Stir it all together, decant into bowls, scoff.
This is another ridiculously quick and easy supper, and pretty cheap too (depending where you shop) – certainly well under £1 per serving. Works well with runner beans as well.
1 pack green beans (89p from Aldi, I think)
125g of pasta (fusilli, quills, whatever – Aldi fusilli is 49p for 500g, so that’s (counts on fingers) 12.5p)
1 chopped onion (20p)
1 dessert spoon (ish) of olive oil
lemon juice – a bottle is easier, and cheaper, than fresh
about 25g grated parmesan (35p?)
Top and tail the beans, while you put a decent amount of water on to boil. When it has, put in the pasta and set a timer (mental, if necessary) for 10 minutes. I put the beans in that pot when there was eight minutes left, which left a nice crunch to them.
While the beans and pasta are cooking, cook the onion off in the olive oil. Add to the drained pasta/bean mix, stir in a good slug of lemon juice, the parmesan, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Light, quick, simple, healthy, cheap. Vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese.
We love asparagus, but we only eat it in May/June, when it is British grown – somehow imported stuff doesn’t taste the same. Well, it doesn’t taste of anything, really. So we tend to gorge a bit when the local stuff is in season.
I picked up two bunches from a roadside stall in Norfolk on Sunday, and we ate the first last night. While the pasta water was coming to the boil, I trimmed the asparagus spears, and put them in the steamer basket as 150g of fusilli was cooking. Made a rapid dressing of lemon juice and 30ml of olive oil, grated about 30g of parmesan, drained the pasta, and stirred it all together with lashings of freshly grated black pepper.
Took 15 minutes start to finish, and was lovely and summery. Approx 475 calories per serving.
We had sausages and root mash last night – one of our favourites. But I forgot to organise onion gravy.
Ideally, for onion gravy, you should cook the onions slowly, but by the time I thought of it, it would have been too late to cook them properly at all. So, in a bit of a rush, I devised a quick version. Please don’t revile me.
I made a roux with a small knob (25g, maybe?) of butter and a tablespoon of plain flour. Added about half a glass of red wine, left from a bottle opened about three weeks ago (!), and not finished – whatever is wrong with us? Whisked that until there were no lumps, then added a little stock pot thing that I picked up in Morrisons yesterday, 8 for a quid. Then water until the consistency was right. And then – oh the shame – I added a couple of spoonfuls of crispy dried onions.
And, do you know, it was perfectly acceptable. Not as nice, of course, but did quite well enough for the job. One to remember.
We had a chicken stir fry a couple of days ago; when I got the chicken out of the freezer, I discovered there were two breasts melded together. One went on the stir fry, and one was left. On Sunday, I made a quick cheesecake, as the friend coming for supper had requested same. So there was a tub of ricotta, and half a lemon, left over from that.
Diced up the chicken, and fried it off in a very little olive oil. added three cloves of garlic, some sliced chestnut mushrooms, and a chopped red onion. Stirred it about for three minutes or so, then added the lemon juice, and a small slug of white wine from an open bottle in the fridge. We seem to be slightly overrun with white wine – no idea why, because we don’t buy or drink white. I think people bring it, and then decide they like the red on offer better!
Put a lid on the pan, and let it simmer down while the fusilli cooked. At the end, stirred in about half a tub of ricotta and some torn basil leaves.
About 210 calories, plus pasta.
Not terribly exciting, I know, but there was ⅔ of a goaty cheese left in the fridge.
So we chopped an onion, some garlic and a bunch of chestnut mushrooms, and fried them off in the smallest amount of olive oil possible. Mushrooms are horrors – they just slurp up all the oil and don’t give it back for a while so I had to stand over the cooker; the horrors of being on a diet 🙂
When the veg were cooker, I added some penne pasta that had been simmering at the same time, ⅓ of the cheese, and some basil leaves. It really was very nice. And very quick.
377 calories, by my best estimate.
We’re going to be away for a couple of days, so I’m Using Stuff Up. Aldi had some smoked salmon at half price last week, so I bought a pack. About 2/3rds went into a pasta dish, and the rest was still in the fridge. As was about half a bag of baby spinach.
I won’t tell you how to make an omelette – you’ll all have your own way, and anyway, I’m not very good at them 🙂 But I made a 4-egg omelette, scattered the salmon, spinach and about a quarter of an Aldi goat’s cheese over the mix, folded it, and we scoffed it. And it was dead good.
About 410 calories, as far as I can tell.
About half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms and some spinach needed eating up, so I deliberately made last night’s cabbage dish with only half a mozzarella ball, and saved the rest for today’s lunch.
Finely chopped the mushrooms and set them to cook down slowly in some olive oil. Put the wraps on individual plates, and scattered some raw spinach leaves on them. Chopped the mozzarella quite small. When the mushrooms were done, added salt and black pepper and the rest of the spinach, and stirred till it wilted. Then added the mozzarella.
Bunged the resultant gloopy mess onto the wraps – as always I’d made to much, so some of it oozed out, but that didn’t affect the fab flavour one iota!
About 360 calories, I reckon.
There must be gazillions of recipes for this, but this is what I cooked tonght. if you can even call it cooking, to be honest.
Put 13og of pasta on to boil
While it’s cooking, slice 125g smoked salmon and one red pepper (remove seeds).
When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pan. Add the salmon and pepper, a slug of lemon juice, loads of black pepper, and half a tub of low fat creme fraiche.
And that’s it. About 420 calories a serving, so far as I can tell.
Handy tip: do ensure that the smoked salmon *isn’t* still in the freezer when you start. I didn’t.
Pete brought home a small bag of trimmed green beans from Morrisons last Sunday. We wouldn’t normally buy trimmed veg, but these were 50p. And I always feel guilty about the food miles with Kenyan beans, but it’s very efficient (the Food Programme told me so), and Kenyan farmers are entitled to a living.
Anyhow, we needed to be fed and out quickly last night, so here’s a 15 minute meal start to finish.
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta
- Chop one onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic (or more – entirely up to you)
- Make sure the beans are in fact trimmed – sometimes packets lie (snarl)
- Weigh 125g of pasta quills (that’s what we have for two of us)
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and put the onions and garlic in to cook gently
- When pasta water is boiling, add pasta *and* beans (thus saving time and washing up). Set timer for 10 minutes
- Realise that the small packet of beans is really quite small, and add some pancetta cubes to the pan
- (Ideally get husband to) grate lots of parmesan
- When timer goes, drain pasta and beans, add to frying pan, add parmesan, stir around, eat, run.