Time taken: Half an hour
Ingredients: Wholewheat pasta, a little oil, Philadelphia/pesto/tomato sauce & any veg you can dream of
Hello there readers,
Welcome to the new week! It’s Monday again, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Mostly, and quite often, it’s a bad thing. But not today! Today readers, this is a good Monday!
It’s a good Monday for me because tonight the Geography Society at Newcastle Uni are hosting their Christmas meal on the Quayside… at Newcastle’s oh so swanky Pitcher & Piano! I’m so excited! Tonight I’ll be getting my Christmas dress out again and dolling up for our special meal. Almost all of my course mates are going, and we get champagne and professional photos and then a 3 course meal!! You can’t knock it. Last year we had a lovely time and I’m really hoping for a top night with the girls later. I’m very excited!
So that’s why my Monday’s a good one. How about yourself? Wrack your brain and I’m sure there’s something positive about your day today. I’m confident that there is!
Anyways, today I’m determined to eat small seeing as we’re having such special food at the restaurant later. So I haven’t been whipping up any magic in the kitchen today. But I’ve been meaning for a while to share with you my key to the simplest student tea around: pasta.
I think it must be true that every student in the UK cooks pasta AT LEAST once a week, if not more. It’s such a versatile dish and there are so many variations and twists to be had with it! When you’re feeling rough, you can boil some up and eat it plain as a test of whether or not you’re keeping food down. When you’re in a hurry, you can get some ready-made pasta (in a fridge pack or in a tin like ravioli or even in a frozen ready meal) and there’s your tea ready in 5 minutes flat. And when you’ve time to spare you can craft a full on lasagne or whip together a pasta bake, and stick it in the oven for an hour. All these dishes have the same wonderful foundation: pasta.
And a lot of days, readers, I just like to make regular veggie pasta! It’s a cracking tea. There’s no whistles or bells to it, but you can’t fault this tea for its belly filling quality!
Here’s how I regularly rock a veggie pasta meal:
1. I set the kettle boiling and pop a couple of handfuls of brown pasta into a saucepan.
2. When it boils, I pour the water into the pan and put its lid on. I get this on a hob to heat for the next twenty minutes.
3. I chop up my veg.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Anything goes here, readers! My favourite veg to throw in a pasta dish are olives, peppers and mushrooms. But, literally, there are no bounds. Anything you have in your fridge will probably work fine.
4. I heat some oil into a frying pan and tip in my veg.
5. I fry my veg for ten minutes.
6. I put a plate or bowl in the microwave to heat for a couple of minutes.
7. I remove my pasta from the heat and drain it using a colander, then return it to the saucepan.
8. I turn the heat off my veg and tip them into the saucepan with the pasta.
9. To the pan I add either a tomato stir-in sauce, a dollop of pesto or a dollop of Philadelphia cheese, depending on whether I want a tomatoy, basily, or creamy pasta.
10. I stir this up over a low heat for a few minutes, sometimes I season with salt and pepper, and then I serve my tea!
Pasta con Tomato
Pasta con Pesto
Pasta con Philly
And that’s all there is to it! Now, I imagine you’ve all made pasta before. I’m not revolutionising student cooking here. But have you made it like I do? How do you do it?? Which is better? I like my tried and tested method and I think it generally turns out a tasty tea. Carnivorous readers of mine, would this tempt you to switch the meat in your pasta dishes for some veg, perhaps?
I think this is a solid, sure-fire filler of a tea… and it’s never once let me down. So, even though I’m having fun trying out new recipes at uni and documenting them in this blog, I can’t pretend that there won’t be days still where I won’t reach for the pasta. Everyone does! And I hope this inspires you to maybe try something new with your pasta, the next time that you do.