With butter and cheese when the cupboard is bare.
With a jar of the ‘red sauce’ when you are in a hurry.
Or, if you are my middle child, just by itself with a glass of milk.
Pasta: the kitchen staple that gets you through not just the busy week but the weekend too.
With three pasta-mad kids, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of go-to recipes. From the ones you can throw together at the last minute, to the ones that you can with some of the more unusual types of pasta, here are some of my family’s favourites.
1. Tagliatelle with tuna, lemon & rocket.
This is one for the parents who want something a bit lighter.
500g San Remo tagliatelle
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
450g can of tuna in oil
A handful of rocket
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Medium dried red chillies, thinly sliced (optional)
- Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in another large pan, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Drained tuna in a bowl, reserve the oil.
- Heat the tuna oil and olive oil gently in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and chilli.
- Lightly mash tuna with a fork and add to the pan, then add the rocket. Remove quickly
- Stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Drain the pasta and add to tuna mixture. Mix well together and serve immediately.
Tagliatelle can be served with a variety of sauces, a very versatile pasta that pleases the whole family. Image: iStock.
2. One pot sausage orrechiette.
Orrechiette is ear-shaped pasta, and what kid doesn’t like sausages? This recipe is easy to make and tastes delicious.
8 sausages. (You can either go for a spicy sausage or just plain ones.)
1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups San Remo orecchiette pasta
A handful of spinach
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot, cook until the onion is soft, then add the sausage mixture (make sure you remove the casings) and stir until it is cooked and broken up.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups chicken stock into sausage mixture and bring to a boil
Add the pasta – dry and cook while stirring occasionally. Add the remaining stock when liquid is absorbed.
- Throw in the spinach until it wilts then bring off the boil.
- Sprinkle with cheese. Eat.
3. Vegetable and risoni bake.
A family favourite for winter nights (and a great way to sneak vegetables into the kids’ diets).