Quick Quorn Creamy Pasta

I’m a big fan of quorn. Especially when I need to get dinner on the table quickly. I try to have a bag of quorn pieces (basically veggie chicken substitute) tucked away in the freezer just waiting for me to pluck out to add to something quick and delicious.

One of the mighty quorn’s exemplary features is that it absorbs all of the flavours you add to the cooking pot, so every mouthful is bursting with a lively, savoury punch.

I made this yesterday when time had run away from me and before I knew it I needed dinner to be on the table in less than 30 minutes. After a quick scavenger hunt around the kitchen this is what I concocted.

So, do the same, grab what your have and please don’t feel wedded to the ingredients I suggest. This would work with any pasta shape. Most vegetables would be grand here, I simply chose peas as they are quick and effort free. I love creme fraiche as you can keep things light by opting for the half fat version, but you could make this creamy dreamy with double cream. In times of severe bare fridge moments I have made something similar with cream cheese.

You get my point. Let your fridge be your guide.

Quick Quorn Creamy Pasta

Serves 4 people with hearty appetites

Ingredients

  • 500g bag of pasta (I used tricolor farfalle, because it was in my cupboard)
  • A tablespoon of olive oil or butter
  • 2 leeks, chopped into fairly small pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bag of quorn pieces
  • 1 stock cube
  • A couple of large handfuls of frozen peas
  • A tub of half fat creme fraiche
  • A large handful of cheddar, grated
  • A couple of tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  • Cook your pasta according to packet instructions.
  • Meanwhile cook your leeks in your oil of butter over a gentle heat, until softened.
  • Add the garlic and stir for a minute, before crumbling in your stock cube and tumbling in the quorn pieces.
  • Stir, then pour over enough hot water to cover the base of your pan. Pop a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Pour in your peas, stir then pop the lid back on. Add a little more water if the pan is looking dry.
  • After about 5 minutes the peas and quorn should be nicely heated through, so turn off the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and then the cheddar.
  • Once your pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and return to the pan. Pour over the creamy quorn and add the Parmesan. Give it all one final big stir.
  • Serve with a good grinding of black pepper and, if you fancy, an extra sprinkling of Parmesan. Buon appetito!

Light & Fluffy Scones

These scones are so light and fluffy they are cloud-like, they are probably what angels eat for afternoon tea. Add some lightly whipped cream and a jewel-like spoonful of ruby red jam and I could feasibly be in heaven.

For me scones are the ideal goodie on any day of any season, but the lightness of these does rather make them ideal for a Summer afternoon tea treat in the garden.

While I am no stranger to the joy of baking I’m no expert on its alchemy. The magical chemistry behind using just the right of amount of each surprisingly plain ingredient to conjure up the tastiest of morsels remains largely a mystery.

But what I have found when making scones is that the less I mix and handle the dough the lighter the scone. I also recently discovered extra fine self raising flour which has resulted in not only angelic scones but impressively well risen sponges (not something I can always attest to). It’s more expensive than your everyday self raising flour but I’d say a worthy investment.

Serve these with your favourite jam and, if it’s Summer, a couple of ripe strawberries. You can’t beat a dollop of clotted cream but on this occasion I happened to have some double cream in the fridge, which I lightly whipped at the last minute as the kids were complaining about the absence of clotted cream (honestly!). No cream? Just jam is delightful or a light spread of butter.

Light & Fluffy Scones Recipe

I usually make 8 – 10 depending on the size of cutter

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour (or extra fine SR flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar
  • 70g chilled butter, diced
  • 150ml milk

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 230 C / 210 C fan / gas 8
  • Lightly butter a baking sheet
  • Sift your flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar
  • Plop in your diced, chilled butter and rub it into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Make a well in the middle of the breadcrumb like mix and pour in the milk. Start to mix the flour into the liquid with a metal spoon. Once it is all mixed you should have a lovely soft dough. If it’s too sticky add a little more flour.
  • Lovingly tip your dough onto a floured surface and gently pat out to a thickness of about 2cm. Cut the scones into rounds and place on the baking tray.
  • You will have to reform your dough and pat out again to continue cutting the scones, until you have used up all of the dough.
  • Now pop the tray of scones in the oven and bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes. At this point your scones should be gloriously risen and golden brown. If they are not quite perfect just leave them for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack. In my opinion they are best eaten when still slightly warm… who could wait any longer.