All posts tagged: pasta

Tomato, Bread & Butter Pasta, 24p

This pasta sauce started off as a pappa al pomodoro, but quickly veered towards a tomato butter sauce as I craved comfort on an increasingly blue day. I don’t know about you, but lockdown is playing havoc with my already unreliable emotional weather vane, clattering it all over the place, and I am learning to take things hour by hour, meal by meal, and take pleasure in moments of simple comfort in this strange new world of unknowns. I am grateful that all members of my household are healthy and well, and that we are able to do most of our day jobs under lockdown, even with the challenges that presents, and that my young son seems to have adapted well to the changes. He Facetimes and Zoom calls his friends and family every day, keeps a diary of his thoughts, feelings and experiences, does some educational work each day, and seems to be faring the best of all of us. Anyway, back to the pasta sauce. I have a recipe for a three ingredient …

Come-To-Bed Parmigiana, 74p [from ‘Veganish’]

Almost three years ago now, I turned up to work late, sleepless, an incoherent babbling wreck chewed up by an 18 month landmark court trial and with bright copper dye fading from my wiry, tousled mania of hair. I left my walking stick in the lobby, and limped in to work…to find a hand thrust towards me in a polite gesture of welcome, a smile, a curt hello. She introduced herself. I apologised seven times for my lateness and my pulled-from-a-car-wreck appearance. She was firm and professional, and she smiled at me again. And I felt that self-same car wreck collide with my solar plexus and toss me down a rabbit hole of giddy head spinning highs and that soaring, almost nauseatingly disorienting feeling of time stopping and slowing and turning on its head. I stumbled away, a new crush ablaze across my cheeks and in every tip of my fingers, burning coiled springs in the soles of my feet, a song whispering in the cold, grey, slumbering chamber of my strange little heart. And …

Salmon, Lemon and Pea Pasta, 22p [ITV]

This recipe was adapted from the Creamy Salmon Pasta in A Girl Called Jack – I’ve simplified the cooking method a bit and added a generous fistful of frozen peas to make it even healthier. Serves 4 from 21p per head. Prices calculated at major supermarkets and correct at time of writing. 300g spaghetti, 12p (20p/500g, Asda) 150g salmon paste, 54p (27p/75g jar, Stockwell at Tesco) 60ml milk, 3p (52p/1l UHT, Asda) 200g frozen peas, 14p (68p/1kg, Asda) Lemon juice, 3p, and plenty of black pepper, <1p Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, and add the pasta. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas halfway through to defrost and cook so they’re lovely and tender. While the pasta and peas cook, grab a small bowl, and beat together the salmon paste, milk and lemon juice. Season generously with black pepper. When the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Tip the pasta into the pan and coat with the sauce, and …

Salad-Bag Pesto, 13p

Bagged salad is one of the most wasted foods in Britain, with over half of it ending up in landfill. I have had this recipe in mind since my first cookbook, A Girl Called Jack, and although it is something I make for myself on a regular basis, absorbed into my household as a common staple, it has never been committed to paper (nor screen) until now. Bags of salad can be expensive to buy full price, but can often be found in the reduced chiller at the supermarket, which is where I nabbed the first one I ever made this with. (I have priced it as a regular bag of salad to hold off the stampede to my local cornershop supermarket; it’s a long way to come for a half price half wilted bag of leaves!) I like using salad leaves for pesto for variety, too, the peppery tang of rocket, the pop of colour from a beetroot leaf or baby chard, the sweet crunch of a tiny piece of spinach – and as …

Microwave Marmite Mac n Cheese, 34p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

Friends will know that my Marmite obsession is almost as out of control as my peanut butter obsession. In leaner times, I would substitute Marmite, which was well out of my budget range, for a paste made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, mixed with boiling water, and allowed to cool. Smeared onto toast with butter, it delivered that tongue-warming tingle and salty kick I used to get from my yeast-extract friend. These days, my cupboard has a jar of Marmite in for toast and snacks, and today, it went in here, too. If you’re a hater, not a lover, just leave it out – or of course, you could always cook your pasta in a stock made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, and we’ll call it quits… Serves 1 from 34p per portion. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make …

Creamy Salmon Pasta, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

This speedy fish supper – really simply a tinkering with a cheap jar of fish paste – takes just a few lazy minutes to put together and tastes absolutely divine. The sharpness of the lemon complements the salmon flavour, and the yoghurt lends a creamy subtlety. When I first put this recipe on my blog, over 100 people tried it, admitting disbelief that such simple ingredients could make such a yummy meal – but it does! (For vegan and veggie readers, this recipe was published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014 – I have simply updated the prices for accuracy.) (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) Serves 2 from 34p each: 150g pasta, 9p (30p/500g) 1 large onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried, <1p a fistful of parsley, optional 1 tablespoon oil, 2p (£1.20/1l) zest and …

Ultimate Lasagne, 35p [from ‘Veganish’]

This beautiful lasagne barely needs an introduction, as when I posted it on my Instagram, it received rapturous demands for the recipe. Good things come to those who wait, and here it is. Making lasagne from scratch is always a bit of a fanny, so I have deliberately made this recipe enormous so you can freeze it in portions for a quick ready meal, to make all of the work involved worthwhile by rewarding yourself with days where you won’t have to cook. Simply portion it into foil containers with those cardboard lids (around 8 for £1 from most supermarkets and factory outlet type stores, and reusable dozens of times if you wash them carefully) and pop into the freezer for a lazy day. For those of you who don’t have wine kicking about the place or don’t want to slosh it into your dinner, simply add stock or extra tomatoes in place of it. I have opted not to put cheese on mine, but you can if you want – for my vegan readers, …

Cannelini Beurre Blanc, 38p [Tin Can Cook]

I have very little time for the notion that some foods are ‘not for poorer people’ – it is a criticism I have come up against time and again, whether it is kale pesto irritating the commentariat at the Daily Mail, or a slosh of £2.50 table wine in a risotto, there is a frankly hideous misconception that good food is for the ‘deserving’, with the parameters of who deserves exactly what seemingly set by those who have never had a tenner in their pocket to last a week. Sometimes, when testing new recipes, I have a moment of hesitation, wondering how to frame it to reduce the petty background chatter around what I consider to be ‘food for everyone’. And then I carry on. This was one such recipe. An unctuous and subtly powerful sauce reduced to a thick, provocative shroud for slow-cooked cannellini beans and a scant handful of pasta. It would sit proudly on any hifalutin restaurant menu, but its main ingredient is a tin of beans and a slug of vinegar. …

Pasta e Ceci, 48p [Tin Can Cook]

This is a brand new recipe from Tin Can Cook – 75 store cupboard recipes by Jack Monroe – which is available here, and there is a fundraiser to donate it to foodbanks here.   Pasta and chickpeas is a classic Roman dish, and I have upped the ‘tin factor’ on this version by making it with tinned spaghetti hoops because, why on earth not? Tinned spaghetti is pre-cooked and very very soft, so it needs little more than a gentle warm through at the end.   This recipe may look a little impetuous, or at the very least unappetising, but it is so much more than the sum of its parts, I promise you.   Serves 2, from 48p each. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients.)   1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 33p 6 cloves of garlic …

Cannelini, Leek & Sausage Pasta, 41p

I have set myself a challenge to blog a new recipe every single day for a few weeks – I used to blog regularly, when I was a single mum on the dole scraping meals together from loose change and a food bank box – and I would write about what I had to hand and what I would make from it. That was six years ago now, and both my spice rack and repertoire have expanded beyond recognition. I missed writing regularly for pleasure, however, especially as I cook on average three brand new recipes Every Single Day. Most of them are scrawled on scraps of plain A4 paper, then filed away in a huge lever arch file, to be pulled out and shuffled into some kind order and shaped into a book at some point in the future. I’ve decided to keep a kind of kitchen notebook here on my blog; keeping to my original principles of cooking great food for a little money, with a simple collection of basic ingredients, and costing …

Pasta, Peas-N-Cheese, 22p

“Hey Sprout, do you want tomato and cheese with your pasta, or peas and cheese?” “Cheese!” “Yes, but do you want tomatoes, or peas?” “Peas!” “Peas and cheese?” “PEAS AND CHEESE!” That’s how that conversation went with SB today, having spent all day painting and cleaning and coming home to a rather limited cupboard (and equally limited levels of energy to drag myself in the kitchen to cook – yes, I have off days too…) I decided to fall back on pasta, a piece of cheese in the top of the fridge, and gave him the option of accessorising it with either half a can of chopped tomatoes, or half a can of mushy peas. This resulted, and I watched astounded as he devoured the lot, mentally adding it to my ‘quick lazy dinners’ list… (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) …

Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese, 42p [from ‘Veganish’]

This is one of my favourite comfort meals, quick to assemble, using ingredients that I generally have kicking about the house, and can just be slung in the oven and forgotten about, left to slowly pull itself together in a haze of blissful creamy soft salty rich glorious goodness. I’ve just polished off my second bowl of it, and frankly, it’s too good not to share with you all, so here it is. It’s easy to make it vegan – replace the hard strong cheese and mozzarella with Violife or something similar, and the milk with coconut or almond or soya milk, depending on what you prefer. It’s easy to throw together, and the reward of a deep bowl of melting goodness far outweighs the minimal effort involved in making it. I consider this an essential part of my repertoire these days, and barely a week goes by without it. It freezes beautifully, too, so do double the recipe and sling some of it to one side for a lazy day. Serves three people, or …

Mac n Blue Cheese With Bacon, 54p

This is an idea that has been kicking around in my head for a long time; combining the soft salty kick of a blue cheese sauce with a classic mac n cheese recipe. I made it for my colleagues for lunch today, and it went down an absolute storm. Simple, classy, comforting – and sure to become a quick staple for feeding a crowd. Veggie readers; replace the bacon with mushrooms tossed in a little paprika. Vegan readers, this ‘free from’ blue cheese and any plant milk of your choice would work here. Serves 4 from 54p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 3 tbsp butter or soft spread, 3p (75p/500g) 300g macaroni or other pasta, 29p (95p/1kg) 2 tbsp flour, 3p (45p/1.5kg) 500ml milk, 24p (£1.09/4 …

Lentil & Spinach Daal, 37p

So, if you’ve made the Beetroot, Feta and Lentil salad that I kicked off my Guardian recipe column with – or you have some lentils and spinach still kicking about, here’s a recipe for a quick warming winter dinner. It’s easy and filling – I love mine with pitta breads dunked in… Serves two at 37p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase. 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried flakes, 1p (£1.15/100g) 1 tbsp oil, 2p (£1.10/1l) 2 tsp cumin or turmeric, or a tsp each if you have them, 3p (£1.15/100g) 100g red split lentils, 18p (£1.80/kg) 1 stock cube, 3p  200ml water 200ml natural yoghurt, 16p (80p/1kg) 130g spinach, 22p (£1.50/900g) 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3p First, peel and finely slice the onion, and finely chop the chilli, and add to a large frying pan …