Perfect Pasta

We reveal the pasta recipes every family needs – especially for busy weeknights.

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We reveal the pasta recipes every family needs – especially for busy weeknights.

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Meatlovers Mac & Cheese With Cauliflower

Prep 20 mins / Cook 30 mins / Serves 6.
500 g macaroni.
1 head cauliflower, florets.
1 tbsp olive oil.
420 g packet Italian pork and beef sausages.
1 red capsicum, sliced.
2 rindless bacon rashers, chopped.
1 chorizo, sliced.
4 green onions, sliced.
2 tbsps sliced olives.
Chopped parsley, to serve.


60 g butter.
¼ cup plain flour.
3 cups milk, warmed.
1 cup pizza cheese, plus ½ cup extra.

1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook pasta following packet instructions, adding cauliflower at the final 4 mins of cooking time. Drain well. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Squeeze sausages from casings into pan, breaking up lumps with the back of a spoon. Cook 5 to 6 mins, until well browned. Stir in capsicum, bacon, chorizo and onion. Cook 3 mins, until golden brown.

3. CHEESE SAUCE In a medium saucepan, melt butter on high. Stir in flour and cook 1 min. Remove from heat. Mix in milk. Return to heat and cook, stirring until sauce boils and thickens. Simmer 3 mins. Stir cheese through and season to taste.

4. Preheat oven grill on high. Spoon pasta and cauliflower into a 4 L casserole dish. Pour sauce over and mix through. Sprinkle with cooked sausage mixture and extra cheese. Scatter with olives. Grill 5 to 6 mins until golden brown. Scatter with parsley to serve.

CHEF’S tip: If you don’t have pizza cheese, use a combination of grated mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan.

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Leek & Salmon Fettuccine With Lemon Crumb
Prep 15 mins / Cook 15 mins / Serves 4
375 g fettuccine.
40 g butter, chopped.
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced.
2 garlic cloves, sliced.
1 cup white wine.
¾ cup vegetable stock.
½ cup frozen peas.
2 x 200 g skinless salmon fillets.

10 g butter.
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs.
¼ cup finely chopped parsley.
2 tsps lemon zest.

1. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook pasta following packet instructions. Drain, keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in a large heavybased frying pan, melt butter on medium. Saute leek and garlic 3 to 4 mins, until almost tender. Add wine and simmer until wine has almost evaporated.

3. Stir in stock and peas, then bring to simmer. Place salmon pieces on top of leeks in pan. Season. Cook covered, 4 to 5 mins, until salmon is just cooked through.

4. LEMON CRUMB In a small frying pan, melt butter on high. Saute breadcrumbs, 2 to 3 mins, until golden and toasted. Cool. Stir parsley and zest through and season.

5. Flake salmon through leek mixture. Add pasta and gently toss through. Sprinkle with lemon crumbs to serve.
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Cook’s Solution

Spread The Love

When you want a smooth mash or a creamy carbonara, you’ll need butter. But not any butter will do. You want a good-quality butter, like Kerrygold Butter, to elevate your dishes. Made from the finest milk from grass-fed cows that roam the Irish pastures, it has a higher level of unsaturated fatty acids, that make it easily spreadable and delightfully creamy. The Naturally Softer Pure Irish Butter is perfect on sandwiches too.

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Easy Ham Hock Minestrone.
Prep 30 mins / Cook 2¼ hours / Serves 6.

1 kg smoked ham hock or you can substitute with smoked ham, bacon or sausage.
2 onions, diced.
2 carrots, chopped.
2 celery stalks, chopped.
1 baby fennel bulb, chopped.
1 garlic clove, finely chopped.
2 thyme sprigs.
1 long red chilli.
2½ L water.
1 cup farfalle.
400 g can diced tomatoes.
400 g can four bean mix, rinsed, drained.
1 cup frozen peas.
1 bunch silverbeet, sliced parmesan crisps (see Chef’s tip), garlic bread, to serve.

1. In a large saucepan, combine ham hock, onion, carrot, celery, fennel, garlic, thyme and chilli. Cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours, covered, until ham is very tender and meat falls away from the bone. 

2. Remove ham hock from pan. When cool enough to handle, shred meat, using forks.

3. Add pasta and tomatoes to pan. Simmer 10 to 12 mins until pasta is tender.

4. Return shredded ham to soup with beans, peas and silverbeet. Simmer 2 mins. Season to taste. Top with parmesan crisps and serve with garlic bread.

CHEF’S tip: To make parmesan crisps, line an oven tray with baking paper. Sprinkle 2 cups finely grated parmesan over tray in 6 small rounds. Bake in hot oven, 200 C, 10 mins. 
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Linguine with Rocket Pesto, Anchovy & Chilli

Prep 10 mins / Cook 15 mins / Serves 4.

500 g linguine.

100 g rocket, plus extra to serve.

1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsps extra.

1 lemon juice.

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped.

1 tomato, finely diced.

10 whole anchovy fillets, finely chopped.

3 long red chillies, seeded, finely chopped.

½ cup grated parmesan Silvered almonds, chilli flakes, to serve.

1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook linguine following packet instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse rocket, olive oil, lemon juice and half garlic until combined. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan, heat extra olive oil on medium. Cook tomato, anchovies, chillies and remaining garlic, 3 to 4 mins, until softened.

4. Add pasta, reserved cooking water, rocket pesto and parmesan to pan. Cook 1 to 2 mins, stirring, until sauce has thickened and pasta is hot. Season to taste.

5. Serve pasta sprinkled with silvered almonds, extra rocket and chilli flakes.

CHEF’S tip: Shredded barbecue chicken or sliced salami would be delicious in this dish. 

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Cook’s Solution

For The Gourmet In You

Serious home chefs will appreciate the form and function of this stainless steel cookware range. WMF’s Gourmet Plus pans come in a sleek matte finish, and have a TransTherm base that absorbs heat quickly and evenly, so cooking is more efficient. Being made from Cromargan, they are resistant to food acids and are easy to clean. At $399 (for the three-piece set), from leading department stores.

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Easy Mushroom, Ricotta & Spinach Cannelloni
Prep 25 mins / Cook 45 mins / Serves 4.

20 g butter.
1 onion, finely chopped.
500 g cup mushrooms, diced.
2 garlic cloves, crushed.
2 tsps thyme leaves.
1 bunch English spinach, roughly chopped.
400 g firm ricotta.
½ cup grated parmesan, plus ¼ cup extra.
4 fresh lasagna sheets.
700 ml jar tomato passata.
Fresh basil leaves, to serve.

1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Lightly grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish.

2. In a large frying pan, melt butter on medium. Saute onion 2 to 3 mins, until tender. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook 5 to 6 mins, until tender.

3. Stir in spinach and cook 4 to 5 mins, until very wilted.

4. In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture with ricotta and parmesan. Roughly mix together. Season to taste.

5. halve each pasta sheet width ways. Spread half cup spinach mixture lengthways along each strip. Roll up to enclose filling.

6. Pour half cup passata into dish. Arrange cannelloni on top, seamside down.

7. Pour remaining passata over. Scatter with extra parmesan. Cover with foil and bake 25 to 30 mins, until pasta is tender and sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with basil leaves to serve.

CHEF’s tip: If liked, uncover cannelloni and sprinkle with some extra tasty cheese.Bake a further 5 mins.