Pocket- and waist-friendly pasta to kick off 2017

Basic pasta dish with sweetcorn and basil.

A new year and new resolutions. Lean and mean and healthy and cost wise. Needless to say, the resolutions will fall away in a week or so but there’s no harm after the excesses of the festive season, in cooking up some price-friendly dishes.

I made a basic pasta dish over the weekend and the following day adapted it to make it more sexy and enticing.

Tri-coloured fusilli with fresh sweetcorn

Ingredients

4 mealies

500g tri-coloured fusilli

1 handful basil, chiffonaded

Olive oil

Feta cheese

Method

Boil the sweetcorn in a large pot. Remove from the pot and allow to cool slightly. Cut the corn off the cobs. In the same water as the corn has been cooked, add in your pasta, then add in a glug of olive oil and cook it until it’s al dente.

Drain the pasta and put it into a large bowl. Mix in the sweetcorn. Destalk and chiffonade the basil, meaning cut it into thin strips and mix it into the pasta.

Add in some olive oil until it glistens and, optional, is a squirt or two of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and some chilli flakes and top with crumbled feta.

Using your basic recipe as above make:

Pasta with spinach, mushrooms and three cheeses

Ingredients

1 pillow pack baby spinach or swiss chard, washed

1 pack mushrooms, cleaned and sauteed with garlic in a knob of butter

30 g each of emmenthal, mozzarella and pecorino cheese

Method

Using the left-over basic pasta dish, fold in some lightly cooked baby spinach or chopped swiss chard. Add in the mushrooms.

Grate the cheeses and add in and place in a medium pre-heated oven for a few minutes until the cheeses melt.

Serve immediately, adding a swirl of olive oil over the top.