Simple cheap starter recipes for first time cooks.

pastaThis one goes out to all students out there who are facing the prospect of cooking for yourself for the first time.

You arrive at Uni with a random assortment of pans and cutlery supplied by IKEA or your nan.So far you have avoided the kitchen. For the sake of your health, waistline and bank balance I suggest getting to know your local supermarket or shops and trying out a few easy recipes.

 #1 Simple pasta

Penne picante (sounds posh – but it’s spicy tomato pasta)

There will be no weighing out, how much or what you add depends on you, it really won’t go wrong. Any pasta shape works fine,  decide on quantities depending on how many you are feeding and use the portion guidelines on the packet.  The sauce will make enough for 2 or 3.

1 can tomatoes or passata
1 onion ( you can add garlic too – crushed or chopped in the same way)
Dried basil and or oregano
Fresh chillies, chilli flakes or chilli powder
Olive oil or vegetable oil.

  1. Chop your onion –  heres a video to show you how  You can cut the garlic the same way or crush it using a crusher.
  2. Get a medium size saucepan out, put it on a medium to high heat and add about a teaspoon of oil.
  3. Add your onions and garlic – fry till the onion starts getting kind of see through.
  4. Add about 1 teaspoon of dried herbs and a little chilli powder / flakes about 1/4 teaspoon ( if you know you love hot food add more, or use fresh chillies but maybe try it out with a little first)
  5. Fry for a about 1 min then add your tinned tomatoes or passata
  6. When it starts bubbling turn it down and let it bubble gently for about 10 mins (while your pasta is cooking)
  7. Boil a kettle, get a larger saucepan out cook pasta as per instructions on packet.
  8. Drain pasta and add to your sauce. Season with salt / black pepper as required.
  9. Serve in a bowl.

Jazzing it up or spinning it out to feed more

  1. Add sliced olives if you like them, makes it very Italian.  You can top with a little grated cheese too.
  2. You can add some vegetables if you want to be super healthy, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, aubergines or even some Quorn mince, if you have leftovers use them. The more veg / mince you add the more tomatoes I would add.
  3. Make a large quantity and freeze it either just as sauce  or with the pasta combined.
  4. Put your pasta  sauce combo in an  oven proof dish & top with cheese and bake it. (hot oven 180-200 degrees for about 20 mins till the cheese goes golden brown (bit longer if your pasta & sauce is cold)  Et Voilà pasta bake.

What’s your favourite easy recipe?






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