Tag Archives: pasta

macaroni cheese


For the final of X Factor we had a small group of fans round for a TV dinner! This oven baked pasta is handy, as it can be made in advance and heated when needed.

I put on the water for the pasta and then make a white sauce: to a litre of full milk I add 80 gm butter and 50gm flour and, strirring constantly with a balloon whisk, I bring it to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off the heat I season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a generous amount of parmesan. I cook 600 to 700 gm pasta very al dente, mix with the sauce and put in a lightly buttered oven dish. I sprinkle breadcrumbs on top, dot with butter and cook 20-25 minutes at 200°C.

Very satisfying…but can’t say the same for the standard of the singing in this year’s contest!

pasta with courgettes


I always like a pasta dish that does NOT use tomatoes!

I put water on to boil for the pasta, slice half the courgettes  finely with the mandolin and finely chop half an onion. I whizz the other half in the Magimix and create a paste with a ladle of cooking water from the pasta, a good spoon of butter and fresh basil. In a non-stick frying pan, I sauté the onion and courgette slices in olive oil and add the courgette paste after a few minutes. I add salt and pepper. I cook a few minutes more, add the cooked, drained pasta with a little cooking water. Parmesan and a final grating of pepper.

PS I didn’t actually do it this way in the photo, but this is the way you’re supposed to!

orecchiette and cauliflower


This should be made with broccoli, or better, sprouting broccoli…but cauliflower is OK.

I put on a big pan of salted water for the pasta and divide a small cauliflower into small florets. When the water boils I add the orecchiette (or any short pasta will do) and after a minute or two the cauliflower.  While they cook, I dissolve 4 anchovies in olive oil in a large frying pan with a clove of garlic and some chilli flakes (or fresh chilli). I drain the pasta and cauliflower al dente and sauté them for a minute or two in the flavoured oil.

I’ve tried making orecchiette by hand, but no good. Anyone out there with tips?