20 Pasta Recipes That Are Fast and Easy

Pasta dishes can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them. You can play around with your flavour combinations and enjoy a variety of dishes. Best of all, some of these dishes can be reheated later if you have leftovers.

1. Cheese and Onion Mac with Spiced Vegetables

Cheese and Onion Mac with Spiced Vegetables
© lilechka75, AdobeStock

A delicious twist on the classic pasta dish, this is perfect for families and those who want a simple meal to make.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Broccoli Florets
  • 50g of Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Diced and Deseeded Chili Peppers
  • 2 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 400g of Macaroni Pasta
  • 500ml of Vegetable Stock
  • 500ml of Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hot English Mustard
  • 200g of Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Large Diced Spring Onions
  • 2 Chopped Red Peppers

Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with cauliflower and water. Cook for 5-8 minutes, then add the broccoli half-way through and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and roughly chop them and put to one side.
  2. Pour the sunflower oil into a deep pan and gently heat. Add in the onions, red peppers and 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Cook the onions on a low heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Mix in the garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, spring onions, and the remaining cayenne pepper. Fry for 1 more minute, then add in the macaroni, vegetable stock, coriander, mustard, and milk. Stir the mixture well to combine and cook on a simmering heat for 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the coriander and chili peppers and mix in the cheese. Let everything melt together for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
  5. Top with additional cheese if required.

2. Simple Spaghetti and Meatballs

Simple Spaghetti and Meatballs
© Maxim Khytra, AdobeStock

A great dish that is a hit. This is a classic dish that looks great and tastes amazing.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ Pint of Milk
  • 2 Torn Slices of White Bread
  • 500g of Ground Beef
  • 1 Finely Diced White Onion
  • 50g of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons of Chopped Basil
  • 2 Teaspoons of Oregano
  • 150g of Tinned Tomatoes
  • 50ml of Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons of Crushed Chili Flakes
  • 1 Finely Chopped Red Pepper
  • 700g of Spaghetti
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Soak bread and milk in a bowl. Let the bread absorb the milk for 5-10 minutes. Then combine with the beef, 2 tablespoons of parmesan, 1 tablespoon of garlic, half of the onions, salt, pepper, oregano, and half of the chopped basil.
  2. Form meatballs around 2-3-inches in diameter and place them on a plate.
  3. Pour the tomatoes, chili flakes, and red pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Take a deep saucepan and heat half of the oil. When heated, add the remaining garlic and onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the tomato and pepper mixture, along with the remaining basil. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce thickens or around 20-25 minutes.
  5. In a skillet, heat the oil and begin to brown the meatballs for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then, add them to the tomato sauce. Cook the meatballs in the sauce for 10-12 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the sauce and turn down to a low temperature.
  6. Pour water into a pot and cook the spaghetti until soft or around 6-8 minutes. Drain the pasta and pour it into the meatball and sauce mixture. Simmer on a low heat for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
  7. Serve with added parmesan cheese if required.

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3. Cauliflower and Broccoli Pasta

Cauliflower and Broccoli Pasta
© lilechka75, AdobeStock

This is a great dish for families, especially those who want to add a few more vegetables to their diets. Loaded with delicious vegetables and pasta, this will please most children and adults alike.

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 700g of Fusilli Pasta
  • 250g of Broccoli Florets
  • 250g of Cauliflower Florets
  • 4 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 500g of Premade Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Sliced Onions
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • 200g of Grated Parmesan Cheese (Or, whichever Cheese Everyone Prefers)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the pasta and fill 2/3rds of the way with water. Add a pinch of salt and then boil the water. Cook the pasta for 5-7 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil and add the garlic and onions. On a medium setting, cook the garlic for 2-4 minutes. Then, mix in the cauliflower and broccoli florets and a pinch of salt and pepper; cook on a low heat for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a lid too.
  3. Add in the vegetable broth and cook until the sauce begins to thicken (5 minutes or so).
  4. Add in the pasta and heat for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and finish with a generous helping of grated parmesan on top.

4. Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi

Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi
© whitestorm, AdobeStock

Gnocchi might not immediately spring to mind, however, it can be a fantastic dish to make at home. It’s tasty and will make a great mid-week evening meal.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 550g of Gnocchi
  • 250g of Torn Spinach Leaves
  • 450g of Button Mushrooms
  • 2 Litres of Water
  • 2 Diced Onions
  • 3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Puree Paste
  • 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 550ml of Cream (Double often works best)
  • 100ml of White Wine
  • 25g of Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Fill a deep cooking pot with water and mushrooms. Leave them to soak through for 3-5 minutes. Then remove and pour the water into a saucepan. Set the mushrooms to one side for the moment.
  2. Boil the water until only half remains.
  3. Pour the oil in a pan and add the onion. Heat for 5-6 minutes on a low setting, then add the thyme and garlic. Cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, remove the onions from the heat and mix in the tomato puree pasta. Combine well and pour in the mushrooms into the pan too. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat and carefully pour in the white wine. Reduce the wine until there is only ¼ left. Mix in the mushroom stock and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and sieve the sauce in a different saucepot.
  7. Mix in the cream, slowly stirring until it thickens and reduce by at least ¼ - be careful to add a little amount of cream at a time to prevent the sauce splitting.
  8. Pour in the lemon juice, spinach leaves, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Fill a pot with water and mix in the gnocchi. Boil the pasta for 2-5 minutes – or until the gnocchi floats. Remove from the heat and drain.
  10. Mix in the mushroom sauce and plate up.

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5. Creamy Mexican-Inspired Pasta Salad

Creamy Mexican-Inspired Pasta Salad
© Ezume Images, AdobeStock

Delicious and creamy, this Mexican-inspired pasta salad is healthy and easy to make.

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 700g of Bow Tie Pasta
  • 50g of Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 100g of Finely Chopped Oregano
  • 100g of Tinned Sweetcorn
  • 100g of Tinned Black Beans
  • 75g of Sliced Vine Tomatoes
  • 2 Pitted, Peeled, and Diced Avocados
  • 2 Sliced White Onions
  • 2 Diced Jalapenos with the Seeds Removed
  • 2 Teaspoons of Paprika
  • 150g of Plain Yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
  • 1 Zest of a Lime
  • 2 Teaspoons of Hot Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chili Powder
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. Pour pasta and water into a large pan and cook al dente – around 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and carefully add to a large serving bowl.
  2. Mix in sweetcorn, tomatoes, onions, black beans, avocados, jalapenos, and oregano. Combine well.
  3. In a second bowl, mix lime juice, zest, yogurt, olive oil, salt, paprika, chili powder, and hot sauce.
  4. Whisk well and pour the dressing over the pasta salad.
  5. Finish with a light dusting of feta cheese.

6. Deconstructed Hamburger Pasta

Deconstructed Hamburger Pasta
© Fanfo, AdobeStock

A deceptively easy dish that is healthy and great for even fussy eaters.

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Finely Diced Red Onion
  • 1lb of Ground Beef
  • 4 Diced Carrots
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hot English Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hot Sauce
  • 550g of Macaroni Pasta
  • 100ml of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Pepper
  • 250g of Premade Beef Broth
  • 150g of Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • 50g of Finely Chopped Chives
  • 50ml of Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. In a deep cooking pot, heat the oil. Add the carrots and onions and gently cook for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Mix in the garlic and simmer gently for 30-40 seconds. Then, switch to a high temperature and mix in the beef. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and break up the beef as it browns – 6-7 minutes.
  3. Give the beef a good stir then mix in paprika, hot sauce, and mustard and carefully add the broth.
  4. Pour in 450ml of water and give the beef mixture a thorough stir. Boil, then add the pasta. Stir every few minutes until the pasta is cooked – 5-7 minutes. Let the liquid reduce until it’s almost evaporated.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and rest for 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese, sour cream, chives, and yogurt.
  6. Thoroughly combine until the cheese is fully melted.

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7. Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake

Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake
© Africa Studio, AdobeStock

Pasta bakes are simple but very tasty and can be adapted to suit individual needs. Best of all, there isn’t much hands-on prep either.

Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of Macaroni Shell Pasta
  • 175g of Cottage Cheese
  • 450g of Tinned Flaked Tuna
  • 3 Teaspoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Roughly Diced Red Onion
  • 250g of Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
  • 1 Zest of a Lemon
  • 750g of Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 Sliced Tomatoes
  • 75g of Chopped Parsley
  • 200g of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons of Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 200g Mixed Salad Leaves (Rocket, Spinach, Lettuce)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven for 10-15 minutes on a medium temperature.
  2. Fill a saucepan with water and add a pinch of salt. Pour in the pasta and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and pour back in the pan for later.
  3. Take a large or deep oven-safe baking dish and grease with oil or butter – whichever you prefer.
  4. Pour a teaspoon of cooking oil into a skillet or frying pan and gently heat. Add in the diced onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Mix in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Then, pour the tinned tomatoes into the pan and 100ml of water. Simmer gently on a low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.
  6. Add in the cottage cheese, parsley, paprika, cayenne pepper, lemon zest, mustard, tuna flakes, and cooked pasta. Stir to combine well.
  7. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into the baking dish. Add the tomatoes on the top and sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes on a medium heat.
  9. Serve with the salad leaves.

8. Chicken, Bacon, and Mushroom Tagliatelle

Chicken, Bacon, and Mushroom Tagliatelle
© michaelnero, AdobeStock

A great meal for the family, tagliatelle is creamy and full-flavoured.

Cooking Time: 50 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Diced Chicken Breasts
  • 400g of Tagliatelle Pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • 250g Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 300g of Bacon
  • 3 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
  • 1 Diced White Onion
  • 300ml of Cream (Preferably Double or Full-Fat)
  • 150g of Grated Parmesan
  • 150g of Chopped Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a skillet or frying pan, add the oil and gently heat on a low temperature; be sure not to burn the oil and add the chicken. Brown the chicken for around 7-10 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Then, add in garlic and the onions. Cook until soft and stir in the mushrooms. Gently cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cream and let the ingredients combine to create a sauce.
  3. In a second pan, fry the bacon for 5-7 minutes or until crispy. Once cooked, mix in with the chicken.
  4. Pour the tagliatelle pasta and water into a pot and gently boil for 8 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Drain the pasta, then once ready, add to the creamy sauce. Combine well to ensure the pasta is coated.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve with the grated parmesan.

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9. Chicken and Spinach Pasta with Tomatoes

Chicken and Spinach Pasta with Tomatoes
© Marco Mayer, AdobeStock

A family-friendly dish that looks good and tastes amazing. Plus, it doesn’t require a laundry-list of ingredients either!

Cooking Time: 25-35 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 250g of Tinned Sundried Tomatoes
  • 450g of Penne Pasta
  • 3 Diced Chicken Breasts
  • 150g of Spinach Leaves
  • 100g of Grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper for Season

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, pour in the oil and heat on a low temperature. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper if you so wish. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes and stir frequently.
  2. Add in the tinned tomatoes to the chicken and combine well with the chicken. Cook another 5-6 minutes. Turn the chicken over frequently to ensure it’s cooked through.
  3. Pour water and pasta into a pot and cook for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and carefully add to the chicken.
  4. Mix in the spinach and simmer gently for 2-4 minutes on a low temperature.
  5. Finish with the cheese on top.

10. Simple Carbonara with Mushrooms and Basil

Simple Carbonara with Mushrooms and Basil
© lilechka75, AdobeStock

Carbonara is a wonderful dish that’s perfect for all the family.

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes.
Yield: 2-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 100g of Finely Chopped Basil Leaves
  • 125g of Smoky Ham Slices
  • 25g of Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 350g of Spaghetti
  • 500ml of Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons of Crushed Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 Finely Diced White Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to cook for an extra 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Gently add in the milk and whisk constantly.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce until it reaches a sauce-like consistency. Stir in the ham, mustard, cayenne pepper, and mushrooms and reduce to a low temperature. Warm through for 2-5 minutes and stir occasionally.
  4. In a pan, cook the spaghetti on a low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in the parsley. Set aside for a moment.
  6. Drain the pasta and pour into the sauce and finish with a sprinkle of grated parmesan if required.

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11. Chicken and Cheese Pasta Bake

Chicken and Cheese Pasta Bake
© Jacek Chabraszewski, AdobeStock

A great combination of flavours, this pasta bake is delicious and easy to make.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Diced Chicken Breasts
  • 250g of Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 250g of Parmesan Cheese
  • 700ml of Cream
  • 700ml of Chicken Broth
  • 550g of Penne Pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Parsley
  • 4 Teaspoons of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive
  • 25g of Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to a low-to-medium temperature and grease a deep baking dish with butter.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the chicken and garlic. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and brown for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the pasta, cream, and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer, and cover with a lid for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in 175g of parmesan. Stir well to melt in and combine.
  5. Carefully pour half of the pasta into the baking dish and then add half of the mozzarella cheese. Then pour in the remaining pasta and mozzarella.
  6. Sprinkle on the parmesan and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with the parsley on top.

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12. Kicking Hot Pasta

Kicking Hot Pasta
© azurita, AdobeStock

A great bake with a lot of heat. The great thing about this dish is that it can be adapted to however hot or mild desired.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 3-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 10g of Butter
  • 500g of Penne Pasta
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Pepper
  • 450g of Diced Chicken
  • 4 Tablespoons of Crushed Chili Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Hot Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cumin Powder
  • 1 Diced Red Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Diced Red Peppers (Keep the Seeds if you Want an Extra Kick)
  • 4 Sliced Chili Peppers
  • 100ml of Milk
  • 125ml of Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
  • 350g of Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 250g of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 50g of Chives
  • 100g of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to a low temperature and grease a baking dish with butter.
  2. Add pasta to a pot and fill with water and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain the pasta and return it back into the empty pot.
  3. In a frying pan, add the diced chicken and a generous helping of crushed chili flakes, cayenne pepper, cumin, and hot sauce. Cook for 1 minute, then add in the garlic, onions, red peppers, and 2 of the chili peppers. Cook until the chicken is browned.
  4. In a saucepan, pour in milk, cream, Dijon mustard, flour, and garlic powder. Stir in cheddar cheese and onion powder until it thickens slightly, 5-8 minutes. This will create a cheese sauce. You can also use a premade jar or packet sauce if you want to skip this part.
  5. Add the pasta to the baking dish and add the browned chicken mixture. Pour in the cheese over and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle parmesan cheese and chives over the top. Bake for another 5-8 minutes.
  7. Top with the remaining chili peppers and extra cheese.

13. Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar Pasta Salad
© okkijan2010, AdobeStock

Pasta salads are incredibly easy to make and this one won’t disappoint.

Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of Boneless Chicken Thighs or Breasts
  • 550ml of Chicken Stock
  • 150g of Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
  • 300g of Macaroni Pasta
  • 50g of Croutons
  • 2 Teaspoons of Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 50g of Grated Parmesan
  • 4 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 4 Teaspoons of Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, pour in the stock and gently heat with a few tablespoons of water. Add the chicken in the pot and boil. Reduce the temperature and allow the chicken and stock to simmer for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Carefully remove the chicken from the stock (but don’t discard the stock) and place in a bowl to cool down.
  3. In the pan with the chicken stock, add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  4. Slice the chicken and mix into the pasta. Stir in the lettuce and croutons and mix in the parmesan cheese.
  5. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, mayonnaise, and oil. Season with salt and pepper to create a dressing.

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14. Easy Spaghetti Puttanesca

Easy Spaghetti Puttanesca
© Igor Dutina, AdobeStock

A classic dish that is family and budget friendly, spaghetti puttanesca is a great meal that’ll appeal to most people.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Chili Flakes
  • 4 Finely Chopped Anchovy Fillets
  • 50g of Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 350g of Spaghetti
  • 4 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 4 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons of Drained Capers
  • 500g of Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 100g of Pitted Olives

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, add in oil and heat on a low temperature. Add the onions to the pan and fry for 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix in the chili flakes and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the capers, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Put the spaghetti into a deep pan and fill with water. Boil and cook the spaghetti through or for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Drain the spaghetti and mix in with the sauce.
  5. Finish with the parsley and combine well.

15. Classic Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Bacon

Classic Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Bacon
© Joshua Resnick, AdobeStock

Cheesy, creamy, and so very tasty, there is no better dish than homemade macaroni cheese. Best of all, this classic dish can be adapted easily.

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 2-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 550g of Macaroni
  • 350g of Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons of Onion Powder
  • 1 Pint of Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 250g of Smoked Bacon Rasher
  • 250g of Mixed Rocket and Spinach Leaves

Directions:

  1. Fill a deep cooking pot with macaroni and pasta and cook for 6-8 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta.
  2. In a frying pan, gently cook the bacon for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and roughly chop into small bitesize pieces.
  3. In a saucepan, add onion powder, butter, and flour. Whisk together on a low heat until the butter melts. Cook until it bubbles, then whisk and cook for another 1 minute.
  4. Slowly pour in the milk and stir constantly. Let the sauce simmer gently until it thickens slightly.
  5. Switch off the heat and add mustard, salt, and pepper. Then carefully mix in the cheese. Add only a small amount each time and whisk until the cheese melts fully. Repeat the process until all cheese has been mixed in the sauce.
  6. Heat the sauce gently for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  7. Mix in the cooked pasta and combine well with the sauce. Add the bacon and more cheese if required.
  8. Serve with the spinach and rocket leaves.

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16. Smoked Salmon Pasta Bake

Smoked Salmon Pasta Bake
© Olha Afanasieva, AdobeStock

A beautiful dish that is filling and very easy to make. With little prep required, this is ideal for midweek evening meals.

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 2-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 400g of Pasta Shells
  • 100g of Grated Parmesan or Mild White Cheese
  • 25g of Butter
  • 175ml of Cream
  • 4 Smoked Salmon Flaked Fillets
  • 4 Diced Spring Onions
  • 50ml of Sour Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons of Chopped Dill
  • 1 Zest of a Lemon
  • 125g of Chopped Asparagus
  • 125g of Peas
  • 125g of Carrots

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven on a low-to-medium temperature.
  2. In a pan, add water and salt and cook the pasta for 6 minutes. Remove the pasta from the water and leave to one side. Reserve 50ml of the water.
  3. In a skillet pan, melt the butter, and add the spring onions. Cook for 2 minutes, then mix in the sour cream, pasta, cream, and pasta water. Stir until a thick sauce-like texture is created.
  4. Mix in the carrots, peas, dill, asparagus, half of the cheese, pasta, lemon, and salmon to the sauce. Combine well to mix the ingredients and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and finish with a sprinkle of cheese.

17. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs
© nadin333, AdobeStock

A simple dish that is great for any night of the week. It also makes a great pasta dish for all the family, even for those fussy eaters.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 300g of Ground Beef
  • 550g of Spaghetti
  • 125g of Breadcrumbs
  • 100g of Grated Parmesan
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons of Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 4 Tablespoons of Crushed Chili or Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Teaspoons of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons of Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 500g of Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Fill a cooking pot with water and pasta. Season with a generous helping of salt and cook the pasta for 7 minutes.
  2. Combine parsley, eggs, garlic, parmesan, breadcrumbs, beef, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Once mixed, create a dozen meatballs.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and brown the meatballs for 5 minutes.
  4. In the pan, add in the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and season generously. Bring the tomato mixture to a medium heat and add the meatballs into the sauce. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta and serve on a plate. Pour the sauce and meatballs on the plate and finish with parmesan if required.

18. Sausage Pasta Bake

Sausage Pasta Bake
© trendyrowdy, AdobeStock

Bakes are simple but very tasty, and this one doesn’t require much effort either.

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 450g of Penne Pasta
  • 10 Sausages
  • 1 Peeled and Diced Squash
  • 12 Chopped Sage Leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 550ml of Milk
  • 50g of Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 300g of Halved Vine Tomatoes
  • 150g of Grated Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Slices of Torn White Bread

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven on a medium setting.
  2. Place the sausages, a 1/3 of the sage, and squash on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Roast the sausages in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. In a frying pan, melt butter and gently add in the flour. Stir frequently to create a paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add the milk to create a sauce. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens – 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese to the sauce and stir until it has fully melted. Once the cheese has melted, remove from the heat and cover with a lid.
  5. Add pasta to a pot and cook for 5 minutes, then remove, and drain.
  6. In a blender, blitz the breads to create breadcrumbs. Mix the remaining sage and cheese in with the breadcrumbs and pour into a large bowl.
  7. Remove the sausages from the oven and carefully slice into small bitesize pieces. Mix in the sauce, pasta, and squash to the cheese sauce.
  8. In a deep baking dish, pour in the sauce and pasta mixture and spread the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp.

19. Kicking Creamy Chicken Pasta

Kicking Creamy Chicken Pasta
© vaaseenaa, AdobeStock

Cajun chicken is sweet and very juicy, this pasta dish is perfect for weekends.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons of Paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
  • 4 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder
  • 400g of Skinless Diced Chicken Breast
  • 3 Diced White Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
  • 350g of Penne Pasta
  • 200g of Cream Cheese
  • 250ml of Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 300g of Sliced Tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Combine garlic and onion powder, pepper, salt, thyme, paprika, coriander, and cayenne pepper to create a spicy Cajun seasoning.
  2. Coat the chicken with the seasoning and heat butter and oil in a frying pan. Lightly brown the chicken in the pan for 5 minutes on a high heat.
  3. Mix in the onions and cook them for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes, broth, and pasta and stir to combine well.
  4. When the broth begins to boil, lower the temperature and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir frequently until the broth thickens to a sauce-like texture.
  5. Mix in the cheese and stir until it has fully melted.

20. Beefy Cheese Pasta

Beefy Cheese Pasta
© Bill, AdobeStock

A more unusual dish, this beef and cheese combo makes a great evening meal.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Diced Red Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 400g of Tinned Tomato Cooking Sauce
  • 1 lbs of Lean Ground Beef
  • 500g of Spiral Pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons of Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Basil
  • 3 Teaspoons of Crushed Red Pepper
  • 100ml of Flour
  • 250g of Beef Broth
  • 50g of Chopped Parsley
  • 250g of Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • 150ml of Cream
  • Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, heat the oil on a low-to-medium temperature. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft or around 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the beef and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spoon to ensure it’s cooked through. Drain any excess grease before returning back to the heat.
  3. Add in the flour, basil, coriander, salt, pepper, and garlic to the beef and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir the beef and coat with the flour mixture.
  4. Pour in the broth and tomato sauce and combine well. Stir frequently and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes.
  5. Fill a pan with water and pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes. Drain the pasta, then add to the sauce.
  6. Mix in the cream then stir to combine well. Mix in the cheese and stir until it melts.
  7. Finish with a light sprinkle of parsley on top.
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