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!

One Pot Mini Pasta Marvel

This quick and easy pot of pasta is packed with flavour to really deliver full on satisfaction.

I made this for lunch today. The kids are off school, we ate all the bread at breakfast, I didn’t have much time. Enter one pot mini pasta marvel. And this, my friends, really is a one pot deal. I hate it when you start cooking a ‘one pot’ meal only to discover half way through that you have add a pre-cooked ingredient, like rice or potatoes or roasted veg.

As with most of my recipes you can chop and change these ingredients at your pleasure. So you might heat up a veggie or a beef stock. Bored of carrots? Try sweet potatoes. Out of fresh veg? Use frozen spinach, peas or sweetcorn. Don’t have mini pasta in your store cupboard? Just break up spaghetti into small pieces.

I’d say this pot of loveliness is a cross between soup and a hearty (albeit mini) pasta dish. If you are in the mood for a bowl of soup just add more liquid. If a soft and tender bowl of pasta is more your thing then simmer without a lid on your pan for the last couple of minutes.

One Pot Mini Pasta Marvel

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 litre of stock (use 1.5 litres if you’re going for a soupy texture)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, fairly finely diced
  • 1 medium potato, fairly finely diced
  • 300g small pasta shapes such as stellini, ditalini or those tiny alphabet shapes
  • A couple of pinches of oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • A couple of mushrooms, diced
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • A tablespoon or so of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan and extra for serving
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Heat your stock in a large pan. While you wait for it come up to a simmer add the onions.
  • Once the stock is simmering chuck in the chopped potato and carrots. Simmer for 5 – 6 minutes.
  • Now pour in the pasta shapes, oregano, tomato puree and mushrooms. Continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the pasta and veg are tender. Stir quite frequently as I find these rascal pasta shapes have a tendency to stick to the pan.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the herbs and parmesan. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes while you gather your bowls / spoons / fellow diners.
  • Serve with a grinding of black pepper and an extra sprinkle of grated parmesan.