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Oh Pasta How We Love You

The winning pasta recipes in our home.


There is a cupboard in our house that I reserve for all different kinds of pasta. Short pasta, twirly pasta, long pasta, wheel pasta... you name it, we have it! I'm Italian after all and we just LOVE pasta. It's also a winning dish with the kids every. single. time. But I can't just keep feeding them Pesto pasta (although I think they'd love it actually), my moral, health conscious self has to mix it up a bit. So, here are my top 4 pasta recipes the boys love which means I can feed them quite a bit of pasta and they can't get bored :) And they're all home made!


And why not try your hand at making pasta with your kids too... it's an amazing activity to do together which is both fun and educational! And they're more likely to eat their food afterwards too - win win!


Homemade pasta by my boys! Image by my hubby!

The Green One


Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: None

Servings: 4-6 (can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days)


Ingredients

Pack of fresh basil

Handful of parmesan cheese (grated)

Handful of pine nuts

Half a pot of ricotta cheese

Lots of extra virgin olive oil

Pasta of your choice (Linguini or Tagliatelle work well)


Instructions

Super duper easy (even when it's not shop bought). Just chuck everything into a blender and blitz away. Add more olive oil as desired to loosen the sauce if it's too thick.


The Red One


Pasta al Pomodoro

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4-6 (or make more and freeze to use on pasta or homemade pizza on a rainy day)


Ingredients

500g Sweet tomatoes (chopped)

Half an onion (finely chopped)

1 Garlic Clove (finely chopped)

Bunch of Basil

Extra virgin olive oil

Spoonful or so of tomato puree

Small pinch of sugar (Tomatoes are just not as sweet in the UK as they are in Italy but this is optional)

Parmesan (Grated for serving)

Pasta of your choice (Spaghetti work well)


Instructions

Cook the tomatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil on a low heat for approx. 30 mins. Remove from the heat and blitz to create a smooth sauce. Place back in the pan and add the tomato puree and sugar (if using) then continue cooking for approx. 30 mins. If the sauce starts to dry out just add a little bit of hot water. Add the Basil towards the end and parmesan when serving.


Homemade pasta by my boys! Image by my hubby!

The New Yorker


Spaghetti Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4-6 (can be frozen and/or served with rice as an alternative to pasta)


Ingredients

250g beef mince

250g pork mince

Half an onion (chopped)

Bunch of parsley (chopped)

1 egg yolk

1 spoon of breadcrumbs

Pasta (Spaghetti or Penne)


Instructions

For the meatballs, place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and just cover with water, leave to soak for a few mins. Add the beef, pork, onion, parsley and egg yolk in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs when ready. Mix all of the ingredients with your hands and start to roll into medium sized balls.


Fry the meatballs lightly and, using the pomodoro sauce above, add the meatballs to the sauce once the tomatoes have been blitzed. Continue cooking for approx. 30 mins.


The Show Stopper


Macaroni Al Forno

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Servings: 4-6


Ingredients

For the mince

1lb long zitone pasta (long tubes)

1lb pork mince

1 small white onion (finely chopped)

Olive oil

30g mushrooms (finely chopped)

1 tin of tomatoes (liquidise)

Pinch of fresh mint (chopped)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of fresh parsley (chopped)

Pinch of salt and pepper


For the béchamel

Sunflower oil

5 spoonfuls of plain flour

2 pints of semi skimmed milk

Two eggs


To serve

Parmesan (grated)


Instructions

Fry the meat and onion in olive oil and make sure all the lumps are taken out of the meat. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook for approx. 20 mins. Add the salt, pepper, mushrooms and herbs and cook for approx. 30 mins.


Meanwhile make the béchamel sauce. Heat the sunflower oil and flour together until lightly browned. Take off the heat and slowly add the milk whilst whisking. Ensure all the lumps have been whisked out then add the eggs and stir. Then add back to the heat and stir slowly until the sauce thickens to the texture of yoghurt.


Meanwhile par cook the pasta and strain well to remove excess water.


Once all elements are ready grab an oven dish and start layering. First put a layer of mince at the bottom, then a layer of pasta plus some grated parmesan. Then another layer of mince and cover with a layer of béchamel. Add the remaining pasta, parmesan and finish with béchamel on top.


Bake for about 50-60 mins at 180 degrees until brown on top. Devour :)


Enjoy!


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