Spicy prawn pasta with creamy tomato sauce
Cook 400g farfalle pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to package instructions, then drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add ½ tsp chilli flakes and 450g raw, peeled and deveined prawns. Cook the prawns for one minute per side or until completely pink. Remove from pan and set aside. Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan and cook 2 finely chopped shallots over a medium-high heat for five minutes. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and cook for one more minute. Add 1 x 680g jar of tomato passata, 120ml cream and ½ tsp Italian seasoning. Simmer for five minutes, then return the prawns to the pan. Stir in the pasta, heat through for 3-4 minutes, then serve.
Vegan “green goddess” pasta salad
In a food processor, blend together 1 large ripe avocado, 1 crushed garlic clove, the juice of 1 lemon, 10 mint leaves and a large handful each of dill and coriander. Whizz until very smooth, then add a splash or two of water until the mixture is the consistency of a light dressing. Set aside. Cook 350g penne according to package instructions. Chop 100g mangetout into 2cm lengths and add to the pan about two minutes before the pasta is ready. After one minute, add 120g frozen peas and then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta and sauce together and stir in ½ a sliced cucumber. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
Bacon and poached egg pasta
In a large pan, cook 6 rashers over a medium heat until crispy, then set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Reserve the fat in the pan. Poach 4 eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside. Cook 400g pasta according to package instructions. Return the pan with the bacon fat to a medium heat and add 600g asparagus with some seasoning. Cook for 4-5 minutes until barely tender, stirring occasionally. Add 150g fresh or frozen peas and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to the pan with the asparagus, add 120ml cooking water and crumble in the bacon. Add 2 tbsp chopped parsley and toss to combine. Divide between bowls and top each with a poached egg.
Tortelloni in blue cheese and walnut sauce
Melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a low heat and cook 2 finely chopped shallots for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for another minute. Turn the heat to medium, then add a generous splash of white wine. Once the sizzling subsides, add 150ml cream and 120g crumbled blue cheese. Stir together over a low heat until the cheese melts. Taste and season with black pepper. Add 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves and stir until wilted. Keep the sauce warm while you cook 2 x 400g packs of tortelloni (any flavour – prosciutto is nice) according to package instructions. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with a handful of chopped walnuts and some fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
Pappardelle with slow-cooked pork ragù
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saucepan over a high heat. Peel and quarter 1 garlic clove, add to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium-high. Season 650g pork ribs and add to the pan. Brown on all sides, then remove. Drain away the oil and place the pan back on a medium-high heat. Add 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 2 crushed garlic cloves and some salt and pepper. Return the ribs to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until tender. Remove the ribs and shred the meat using two forks. Return the meat to the pan and stir to combine. Cook 600g pappardelle according to package instructions, then serve the ragù over the pasta.