I love a good pasta. Creamy, comforting, calorie-laden. My dad used to make a mean Carbonara when I was little (I’m sure he still does) that he served us with black pepper and a raw egg yolk on top. He also made this tagliatelle with chicken in a creamy sauce that I’ve never been able to replicate.
In recent years I’ve rarely had pasta though. S is not the biggest fan, and if we go to Italian restaurants I usually choose pizza (can you blame me?). It’s also not the most healthy of foods and since I’m trying to eat better, greener, and more nutritious after a reign of junk food in London, pasta often doesn’t make the cut. But when I was making my weekly food plan for last week I really wanted a creamy pasta in there. Maybe it was the fact that the weather is getting a little colder, or that my office is freezing because you can’t turn off the a/c, but I was craving some comfort food.
So I got to work looking for a not too unhealthy recipe that covered two bases: tagliatelle and a creamy sauce. Tagliatelle is probably my favourite pasta because it’s so soft and it works with most things (maybe not in a pastabake), and found this recipe for tagliatelle with mushrooms and peas. It had a creamy sauce but was using crème fraîche instead of cream, and mushrooms and peas sounded like a good mix between autumn and summer. It would probably be really nice with ham and peas as well though.
Ingredients (2 portions)
140-180g tagliatelle (2 portions)
100 ml green peas
100 ml crème fraîche
1 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic
A handful of thyme (if you want)
Parmesan (to serve)
Start by finely chopping the garlic and slicing your mushrooms.
Place the tagliatelle in lightly salted, boiling water and leave to cook for the stated time.
Heat the butter in a pan and add the garlic. When the garlic has got a bit of colour, add the mushrooms. If you (like me) use frozen peas, add the peas too.
Once the mushrooms have browned, add the crème fraîche and (if you want) thyme (or rosemary or other herb) and let it simmer a little.
Drain the pasta, pour over the sauce, and enjoy!
One of the biggest problems I think people have with pasta (calorie wise) is portion control. I know I’ve had that problem. If you don’t measure it out properly it’s very easy to just pour in what looks good (especially if you’re hungry) and end up having one and a half or even two servings. A single serving of pasta is usually 70-90g, but looking at that (especially dry) it doesn’t look like much. Our ever-expanding plates (and waistlines) don’t help either, which is why I usually eat my pasta in a bowl. But even then a serving can look small, like in this recipe, where it doesn’t even look like it fills the bowl properly. I partly blame restaurants as well, because a pasta dish in a restaurant is most often nowhere near the recommended single serving – making us want and expect the same thing at home.
This recipe with a 70g per person serving came to 507 kcal. I could have probably done with 90g per person, and I think I would have liked 200 ml crème fraîche instead of 100. It was good for eating straight away, but when reheating the day after for lunch there was barely any sauce. I know that that can often happen with pasta, but since S said it looked nice and we should make it with ham instead of mushrooms, it’s worth a try next time.
(Also, 507 kcal is not that bad for a pasta.)