Christmas can be a time of ‘big eating’, so give your tummy a breather in January with these simple pasta recipes that will satisfy in minutes.


PastaMushroom, spinach & walnut fusilli

Begin by wilting a bag of washed spinach leaves in a pan. Keep removing the liquid, reserving it in a jug. Once it is wilted, drain over a collander, squeezing out any remaining liquid. Slice on a chopping board until you have luscious green strips.

Place the liquid from the spinach in the saucepan you are cooking the pasta in, top up with ordinary water and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions and once cooked, drain, reserving some of the liquid.

Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep frying pan and gently sauté a selection of mushrooms. You could use ordinary mushrooms or the more exotic varieties like shitake and chestnut. When they are part-cooked add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and continue to cook through before adding the chopped spinach and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts per person.

When you are ready to serve, return the pasta to the pan it was cooked in with two tablespoons of the cooking liquor. Toss rapidly to prevent sticking until it is warm, and add the vegetables. Serve immediately, topped with grated parmesan.

Use pasta shells or twirls so that the herby flavours can easily get into every bite. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a garden full of fresh herbs, look out for reduced packets in the supermarket. Ideally you want around 2 handfuls of fresh leaves, chopped per person. The varieties are entirely up to you, but 75% fresh basil and 25% oregano is always a winning favourite.

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Once cooked drain and return to the saucepan. Place over a low heat, add the chopped fresh herbs and enough olive oil to coat the pasta. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, a dash of balsamic vinegar and as many black olives as you see fit! Serve immediately.

Spaghetti with anchovy & capers

Begin by cooking the pasta as per packet instructions. Meanwhile, chop the contents of one can of anchovies per two people, reserving the oil. Chop 2 tablespoons of capers per person, two tablespoons of parsley and 2 cloves of garlic. Mix well.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return the saucepan to a low heat. Stir in enough anchovy oil to coat the pasta, then add the chopped ingredients. Delicious with ciabatta and a fresh green salad.

A healthy eating future

These are just two of the many wholesome and healthy meals that can be part of a new eating regime, that will help you to manage your weight and ensure you are getting your recommended daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals.

(Story source: 50 Connect)

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