Quick and Easy Pastas

  • POSTED ON 30 Jul 2013

We're keeping it "simple stupid" and looking at three pasta dishes you can get on the table well under twenty minutes. They're ideal for a mid week dinner or when guests pop in for a drink... which then turns into dinner... 

The ingredients used in these dishes are ones you'd generally find in your pantry or somewhere in the fridge. We've shone the spotlight on some of our favourite products to keep on hand... starting with a good base - the pasta! Pastificio Venturino is the best dried pasta on the market (in our opinion!), with many shapes and sizes available. 

#1 Puttanesca 

Admittedly, 'puttana' in Italian means whore, and reportedly this southern style dish gets its name as it's 'quick and easy' to put on the table. Common pantry items, olives, anchovies, capers and tinned tomatoes, combine to create a beautiful, somewhat slightly, chilli spiked sauce. We think this recipe c/o Nigella Lawson is true to origin but we'd stick with the chill flakes over the jalapenos (that said, if there's no chill on hand, by all means!). 

From the deli?  We love using the Russino anchovy fillets and our own brand of Lilliput capers, either salted, or in brine. Both give the sharp salty kick this dish needs, and is known for. The Pastific Venturino Passata di Pomodoro, provides a dense tomato base. 

#2 Carbonara

Classically a Roman dish, it references the Italian word for coal carbone. It is said that the dish was prepared for the hard working coal workers, the carbonaro, and was named in their honour. It's reported too that the flecks of pepper within represent the coal. This recipe from Gourmet Traveller has all the makings of a great carbonara - eggs, a great Italian cheese and guanciale (although pancetta is a more than suitable and commonly available substitute). 

From the deli? Stock up on flat Montecatini pancetta from the Milton store. 

#3 Tomato, rocket & parmesan 

This doesn't really require a recipe and the quantities are up to you. Just take freshly cooked and drained al dente pasta, combine it with chopped tomatoes (this would work beautifully with heirloom tomatoes from the market), torn rocket leaves, gratings of parmesan and a glug of good olive oil. That's it! It's a great example of 'keep it stupid simple' and lets your ingredients shine. It'll become one you turn to time and time again. 

From the deli? Good cheese in this dish is a must! Naturally, Reggiano Parmegiana is our choice. Buy a large wedge, store well, and it will be on hand for sometime.