There are three things I’ve never been able to give up…not for Lent, for a diet, or for charity. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. My three non-negotiables are: pizza, potatoes and pasta. I live off these magnificent carbs and they are a firm staple in our weekly shop, although if I had to pick, based on versatility then pasta would have to be my MVP. This is my favourite way to cook pasta because it’s so speedy. I try not to eat once I get home from working at the theatre, but on the off chance that I’ve had an after hours medicinal wine at the bar and have no self control, this is my go to. It’s faster than ordering a take away and tastes far superior too!
- dried oregano or mixed Italian herbs
- salt and pepper
- bunch of spaghetti or linguine
- a good chunk of butter, (or a vegan alternative)
- parmesan/cheddar/hard cheese of choice
- 2 x bay leaves
- Put a pan on to a medium heat and bring a large pot of salted water to boil
- Drop your pasta of choice into rumbling water and sprinkle your dried herbs or oregano into your heated pan to release their flavour. I just eyeball this but I assume it’s roughly 2 tbsp
- Once you can smell the herbs, add in a ladle full of the hot pasta water and your bay leaves. It should sizzle and then simmer, so turn the heat down
- Add your chunk of butter – notice I said chunk and not knob, please don’t skimp on the butter, it’s what makes the dish so damn delicious
- Once the butter has melted away, (roughly enough time to top up your wine or lay the table) remove the bay leaves and add a good helping of cheese. Again, I don’t measure for this but I’d say it’s a fair portion, maybe a cup?
- Drain your pasta, but reserve a little of the cooking water in case you want a looser consistency
- Add the steaming fresh pasta to the cheesy, creamy sauce and mix with love
- Garnish heavily with cracked black pepper and extra cheese. I like to adorn with any loose fresh herbs that I have, basil works nicely. Mix in pre-cooked bacon to turn this into a carbonara or mushrooms cooked in liquid smoke for a vegan alternative. Add a garlic flatbread and a green salad and this super speedy meal can satisfy a whole family.
What’s your favourite recipe for something yummy in a hurry? Let us know in the comments ~L.