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Perfect pasta to suit every palate.

Byline: Sheila &Sean

THERE is nothing like a hearty plate of pasta on a cold evening, so this week we have three delicious pasta recipes. For the first two, make sure you have plenty of good quality Parmesan cheese - it makes all the difference!

This creamy mushroom and prosciutto pasta is a rich recipe that makes the perfect autumn dinner.

To serve four, you need 400g tagliatelle or pappardelle; 1 tablespoon olive oil; one crushed garlic clove; four slices prosciutto, chopped; 200g sliced button mushrooms; 80ml chicken stock; 80ml cream; some sea salt; some freshly ground black pepper; one tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium/high heat. Add the garlic and prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until the prosciutto is crisp. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, or until light golden. Add the stock and let it reduce by half, then add the cream and simmer for a further two minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta, add to the sauce and toss well, season with salt and fresh pepper, stir in the parsley and serve with plenty grated parmesan.

If you fancy something lighter, try this spicy recipe for spaghetti with garlic and spinach.

To serve four people, you will need 400g spaghetti; 80ml extra virgin olive oil; six garlic cloves, thinly sliced; two small red chillies, sliced; 80ml white wine; 90g baby spinach; some; sea salt; a small handful finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley; grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil, garlic and chilli in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring for 20 seconds. Add the drained pasta and spinach and toss to coat it well. Season with sea salt and sprinkle with parsley, then serve with lots of grated par mesan.

Finally, we have baked tomato and mozzarella pasta. This is a classic pasta bake, easy and quick to prepare. Olives are optional!

This recipe serves four.

One tablespoon olive oil; one small onion, finely chopped; one crushed garlic clove; one small carrot, diced; one celery stalk, diced; 400g tin chopped tomatoes; 45g small black olives, pitted; some sea salt; some freshly ground black pepper; 300g cooked short pasta (fusilli or penne will do); 75g fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 180C / Gas 4. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium - low heat and cook the onion, stirring for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring for a further 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the olives, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Stir the tomato sauce through the cooked pasta and spoon into a casserole dish. Dot with the mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

* SHEILA BENSON and Sean Millar are at The Side Door, 29a, Hope Street, Liverpool. Tel: 0151 707 7888.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Dec 3, 2010
Words:538
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