To get the ball rolling with the new blog I thought I’d choose a simple, but tasty recipe that I have had lots of experiencing making in the past.
I love what I call Secret Vegetable Pasta because not only is it very easy to make, it is jam packed with healthy and tasty vegetables without tasting like it is. I used the following recipe on 2 of my friend’s kids who often complain about vegetables and it went down a treat. This recipe would easily serve 4 people, or 2 people with lots left for seconds or yummy re-heated leftovers the next day.
1 x Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 x Onions, finely chopped
½ x Yellow Pepper, diced
8 x Olives, halved
2 x Tomatoes, diced
2 x Cups of Frozen Peas, pre-cooked
400 grams of Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (I used a packet, but feel free to use a tin)
250 grams x Whole Wheat Pasta
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of Basil, chopped coarsely
Handful of Grated Cheese, I used Red Leicester though you could use Parmesan or Cheddar
Start by cooking the frozen peas in a pan, following the directions on the packet. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a frying pan and gently warm that while you start preparing the vegetables. Finely chop the garlic clove and onions and dice the yellow pepper half and add them all to the frying pan. Season the ingredients in the pan with salt and pepper to taste and fry on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables start softening and getting some colour.
While you are waiting for the veg in the frying pan to cook off a little, dice the fresh tomatoes, half the olives and roughly chop the basil leaves. Add these all to the frying pan with the packet (or tin) of chopped tomatoes. By now your peas should be ready, so drain them off and add them to the frying pan as well. Spend a good couple of minutes stirring the ingredients in the frying pan to make sure it is all incorporated together nicely. Fry this for another 10 to 20 minutes on a low heat so it doesn’t catch, but uncovered to allow it to reduce slightly
I rarely measure out pasta properly and prefer to do it by eye, but I know for a fact that I used around 250 grams of whole wheat penne for this recipe and that was more than enough. Follow the usual directions for cooking pasta. For speed I usually boil enough water in a kettle, add that over the pasta and bring it to the boil and then cook for 15 minutes.
As a general rule of thumb, I try to make sure that whatever sauce I am making with the pasta has just around 10 to 20 minutes cooking time left, so that everything is finished at the same time.
One the pasta and sauce have both cooked, drain the pasta and mix in the sauce. Once the pasta and sauce are incorporated nicely, it’s ready to serve with a little bit of grated cheese on top for extra yumminess!