1, Cheesy broccoli pasta bake
1 lb dry whole-wheat pasta (rigatoni, penne, or other macaroni pasta with ridges)
2 cups broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1 tbsp spicy brown or Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water for the last two minutes of cooking the pasta. Drain the pasta and broccoli and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until it begins to brown. Add the flour, and whisk until a smooth roux forms. Add the milk, mustard and the spices and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
- Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and stir until combined. Pour the pasta mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the pasta is warmed through and the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
2, Cheesy broccoli pasta bake
- kosher salt
- 1 lb. corkscrew pasta or cavatappi
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c. half-and-half
- 1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 c. baby arugula, roughly chopped
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and return to pot.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear chicken until golden and no longer pink, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to let rest, then cut into 1” cubes.
- Meanwhile, return skillet to medium-high heat and melt butter. Cook mushrooms until golden, 5 minutes, then add garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until incorporated. Add half-and-half, chicken stock, Parmesan, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, 5 minutes.
- Fold cooked pasta into sauce with chicken (and its juices) and arugula. If sauce is too thick, add pasta water until you reach desired consistency. Top with more Parm and serve.
3, Creamy courgette lasagne
- 9 dried lasagne sheets
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 700g courgette (about 6), coarsely grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250g tub ricotta
- 50g cheddar
- 350g jar tomato sauce for pasta
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put a pan of water on to boil, then cook the lasagne sheets for about 5 mins until softened, but not cooked through. Rinse in cold water, then drizzle with a little oil to stop them sticking together.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onion. After 3 mins, add the courgettes and garlic and continue to fry until the courgette has softened and turned bright green. Stir in 2/3 of both the ricotta and the cheddar, then season to taste. Heat the tomato sauce in the microwave for 2 mins on High until hot.
In a large baking dish, layer up the lasagne, starting with half the courgette mix, then pasta, then tomato sauce. Repeat, top with blobs of the remaining ricotta, then scatter with the rest of the cheddar. Bake on the top shelf for about 10 mins until the pasta is tender and the cheese is golden.
4, Gennaro's classic spaghetti carbonara
- 3 large free-range egg yolks
- 40 g Parmesan cheese , plus extra to serve
- 1 x 150 g piece of higher-welfare pancetta
- 200 g dried spaghetti
- 1 clove of garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- Put the egg yolks into a bowl, finely grate in the Parmesan, season with pepper, then mix well with a fork and put to one side.
- Cut any hard skin off the pancetta and set aside, then chop the meat.
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, rub the pancetta skin, if you have any, all over the base of a medium frying pan (this will add fantastic flavour, or use 1 tablespoon of oil instead), then place over a medium-high heat.
- Peel the garlic, then crush with the palm of your hand, add it to the pan and leave it to flavour the fat for 1 minute. Stir in the pancetta, then cook for 4 minutes, or until it starts to crisp up.
- Pick out and discard the garlic from the pan, then, reserving some of the cooking water, drain and add the spaghetti. Toss well over the heat so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add a splash of the cooking water and toss well, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture – the pan will help to cook the egg gently, rather than scrambling it. Toss well, adding more cooking water until it’s lovely and glossy.
- Serve with a grating of Parmesan and an extra twist of pepper.
5, Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 lb. pasta shells, uncooked
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp hot dog relish
- 2 green onions, sliced (optional)
Finely dice the onion. Add the onion, olive oil, and ground beef to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat until the beef is fully browned and the onion is soft and translucent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed.
Add the flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the skillet. Be careful not to let the flour burn.
Add the tomato sauce and beef broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the flour off the bottom of the skillet.
Add the uncooked pasta to the skillet and stir to combine. The liquid in the skillet may not fully cover the pasta, but that is okay.
Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the liquid come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir to loosen any pasta from the bottom of the skillet, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low. Let the pasta simmer, stirring occasionally (always replacing the lid), for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
Add the shredded cheddar to the skillet and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Stir the hot dog relish into the sauce and then top with sliced green onions. Serve hot.
6, Chicken pasta bake
- butter, for greasing
- 250g/9oz penne
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips roughly the size of your little finger
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50g/1¾oz butter
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 750ml/1 pint 6 fl oz hot milk (see tip)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 100g/3½oz Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
- 2 large tomatoes, deseeded and cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Butter a shallow 1.75 litre/3 pint ovenproof dish.
Cook the penne with the onion in boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain, refresh in cold water and leave to drain again in the colander.
Put the chicken strips in a resealable freezer bag with the paprika and a little salt and pepper, seal the bag and shake to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and quickly fry the chicken over a high heat for about 2 minutes until golden-brown and just cooked through (you may need to do this in batches). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried chicken to a plate and set aside.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the flour and whisk together to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute, then gradually add the hot milk, whisking over a high heat until the sauce is smooth and thickened, and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Stir in the mustard and half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta and onion to the sauce in the pan and stir together. Spoon half this mixture into the dish, arrange the chicken strips over the top and spoon the remaining pasta and sauce on top of the chicken. Scatter over the tomatoes and then top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until piping hot and golden-brown on top.
7, Spicy prawn pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you like)
- 2-3 tsp harissa seasoning, to taste
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 350g spaghetti
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 250g frozen prawns
- 1 lemon, zested and ½ juiced
- Pinch of caster sugar (optional)
- 100g reduced-fat salad cheese, crumbled
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions for 6-8 mins until tender. Stir in the garlic, chilli and 2 tsp harissa and fry for 1 min, then add the tomatoes, rinsing out each tin with 100ml water and adding it to the pan. Simmer for 10-15 mins until just starting to thicken.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti to pack instructions, adding the broccoli for the last 4 mins. Drain, reserving 100ml cooking water.
Stir the prawns, lemon zest and a squeeze of juice through the sauce and simmer for 2 mins or until the prawns have defrosted. Season to taste, adding a pinch of sugar to balance the favours, if needed, and another 1 tsp harissa, if you like.
Add the spaghetti and broccoli to the sauce along with most of the cheese. Toss together well, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen, if needed. Top with the remaining cheese, a squeeze more lemon juice and extra black pepper to serve.
8, Macaroni & Cheese
- 4 c. dried macaroni
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 c. (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) salted butter
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 c. whole milk
- 2 tsp. (heaping) dry mustard, more if desired
- 1 lb. cheese (such as cheddar, jack and/or fontina), grated
- 1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika and/or thyme
Cook the macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat the egg.
In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pour in the milk, add the mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes until very thick. Reduce the heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour the egg mixture into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. Add the salt, seasoned salt and pepper. Taste the sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT. Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake at 350˚ for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.
9, One-Pot Chorizo & Yellow Pepper Conchiglie
- 1 red onion
- 5g rosemary
- 200g conchiglie
- 5g parsley
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 40g mature cheddar
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 100g British mini cooking chorizo
- 1 tomato
Boil a kettle
De-link the mini cooking chorizo and cut them in half
Peel and finely slice the red onion
Strip the rosemary leaves from the stalks and chop finely
Heat a large pot (with a matching lid) with a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat
Once hot, add the chorizo and onion
Cook for 3-4 min or until the chorizo has released its oil and the onion has softened
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic
Deseed the yellow pepper[s] (scrape the seeds and pith out with a teaspoon) and cut into small bite-sized pieces
Chop the tomato coarsely
Add the chopped rosemary to the pot and cook for 1-2 min or until fragrant
Add the chopped garlic, tomato and pepper and cook for a further min
Dissolve the chicken stock cube[s] in 700ml [1L] boiled water
Add the stock, conchiglie pasta and a large pinch of sugar to the pot and give it a good stir
Cover and cook for 7-10 min or until the pasta is nearly cooked
Meanwhile, grate the cheddar
Chop the parsley finely, including the stalks
Remove the lid from the pot and continue to cook until most of the stock has evaporated, stirring continuously, until a sauce has formed and the pasta is cooked
Once reduced and thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and half of the chopped parsley
Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed
Serve in bowls with the remaining chopped parsley sprinkled over