Sunday, 27 March 2016

Day 87 - Pasta Al Forno

The simplest of food is what I like the best.  The other night I made us a big dish of Pasta Al Forno, which is simply pasta that is then baked in the oven.

Just a big pan of pasta boiled for the length of time it tells you on the packet minus a minute or so, you definitely do not want soggy pasta so a little more al dente is good.

A minute or so before it is cooked drop some frozen peas into the pan to cook along with the pasta, then drain everything and put back into the pan.  Tip in a jar or two of tomato based sauce and give it all a good stir, then pour this mixture into an oven proof dish.  Dot over the top of the pasta little slices of Feta cheese, spoonfuls of Pesto, (or sliced up cubes if you do as I do and freeze your pesto in ice-cube trays) add a good sprinkle of Parmesan or any hard cheese and put in a medium oven for 20-25 minutes or until everything is piping hot.

The top has a lovely slightly crusty texture and as you dig in the pasta underneath is lusciously smothered in sauce and so very, very tasty.

Simple and tasty .... my sort of food ... it was so tasty I forgot to take a photograph of the finished dish .... I'll have to make it again so I can get a picture   ;-)

Today is a No Spend Day.


  1. Sounds delicious. I have all those ingredients but I'm not a pea fan, but I do have some spinach which needs using up so I'll substitute that.

    1. Yes, any green veg is good, for its flavour and a vital, in my opinion, splash of colour.

  2. As you say, it's the simplest food which is the best. This will definitely be on the menu at mine this week. X

    1. Also, I've never thought of freezing pesto. Thanks for the tip. X

  3. That sounds delicious, may give it a try.

  4. I have just finished reading through yours achives including 365 days. Now I feel bereft! It was a far more fascinating account than any "we did it this way" book that I have read and my brain is now teeming with hints and tips. I may have to reread and jot down some of them.
    One I remember was combining dried herbs into one jar to use them up.
    My question is this; do you have lots of different herbs and spices lurking in your cupboards or do you limit yourself to a few at a time and then buy different ones
    I have a certain number that I always replace when they have run out but I always have quite a few that have been bought for a specific recipe.
    I can't throw them out because it would be wasteful but neither do I want to cook recipes dictated by which spices and herbs I have.
    Any advice would be welcome Sue

    1. I would say if you haven't used your specifically bought spices by their best before date, throw them out and DON'T feel guilty just stick with a core stock of herbs and spices.

      As you said I have my jar of Mixed Herbs which has been added to over and over, and fresh herbs in the old tin bath outside the back door.

      I have a few spices but my most used are Turmeric, Curry blend and Mixed Spice, which contains Cinnamon and I use this for mainly sweet dishes.

      Don't feel guilty if you want to turn over a new leaf and get back to a core of well loved and well used herbs and spices, it's very liberating to downscale the contents of the kitchen cupboards.... as I am finding out :-)

    2. Thanks that's really helpful. I can't bear to throw anything out but I am trying, inspired by you, to restrict what I store (hoard!).
      As you say it is incredibly liberating.
      Tomorrow I shall do what you advise and chuck most of my herbs, many of which are beyond out of date!
      What fun, Sue.

  5. Sue
    I just wanted to say that every time I read your blog and you write 'Today is a no spend day' I always think that typing that statement must make you feel so good and really proud. Each time you write that it must feel like another step taken towards your goal - just thought I'd say because you're doing brilliantly xx

    1. PS the recipe sounds good too - will try that soon x

    2. Thank you, what a lovely comment. I always feel relieved that I have made it through another No Spend Day, and yes, a tiny bit proud.

      Being able to type that inspires me to stay on my no spend path.


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