tagliatelle with mushrooms and courgette

Another easy and quick pasta recipe for those days that you either just cannot be bothered to make something more elaborate, or you just want a creamy, courgettey, goodness. With some chicken. And mushrooms.


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Ingredients (4 portions)

4 portions of tagliatelle pasta

600g chicken

2 courgettes

150g mushrooms

250 ml cream

parmesan

salt

pepper

pine nuts if you want


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There really isn’t much to it. Start by boiling the pasta.

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and fry until cooked through. Set aside.

Cut the courgette and mushrooms into smaller pieces and fry. Return the chicken to the pan. Add cream and parmesan to taste (I think I used about 50g). Leave to simmer for a bit and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with the pasta and pine nuts.

/t

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review: kelda’s balsamico & roast garlic stew base

One day when I was in the supermarket just buying some little things for when S was coming, I came across something called grytbaser (stew bases) from Kelda. They were on offer because of a short sell-by date, so they were less than half price but still had over a week left of the use-by date. So I bought two; balsamico and roast garlic (a creamy sauce to be served with chicken) and Texas chili (quite self-explanatory, no?).

I decided to ‘listen’ to the back of the jar and pair the sauce with chicken and mushrooms. I then chose to serve it with mashed potatoes, because I really wanted mash and a creamy sauce.


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Ingredients (3 portions)

300g chicken

250g mushrooms

1 jar Kelda Balsamico and Roast Garlic


Fry the chicken until cooked through. Set aside. Fry the mushrooms in some butter until they’re the colour and texture you want them. Re-add the chicken and pour over the sauce. Leave to simmer for a few minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. (I did mash the first two days and pasta the third.)


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And let me tell you – it was fantastic! It tasted so good, was quick and easy, and really hit the spot. If I hadn’t put mushrooms in it, I’m sure S would have loved it too.

Until now I was a bit sad that it was so nice though, because even though it’s not overly expensive, I think it could be a bit of an unnecessary cost. But, drumroll, now that I was writing this post up for you, I Googled the sauce to see if I could find the contents – and Arla has the contents and some of the quantities on their website!

Their ingredients read as follows:

250 ml milk

50 ml water

50 ml cream

1.75 tbsp balsamic vinegar

14g chopped onions

1.5 tbsp cornflour

7g roast garlic

Thyme

Vegetable stock

Chicken stock

Salt

Sugar

Black pepper

So all I need to do is to try and figure out how much stock is used and then I could make it myself!

/t

makaronilåda

Makaronilåda (literally ‘macaroni box’ – can also be called makaronipudding, which I’ll leave you to figure out yourselves) is a Swedish kind of pasta bake, and it’s something I used to eat a lot when I was a kid. It’s a real nostalgia-meal and whenever I have it I remember being a kid. It’s such a feel-good food!

(And I apologise in advance that the photo is not the best. It was very dark and difficult to get a good picture.)

The difference between a Swedish pasta bake and an English pasta bake is that the Swedish one is ‘kept together’ with äggstanning, which you apparently can’t translate into English, but which is a mix of eggs and milk like you use in a quiche, instead of a tomato-based pasta sauce. You can use any kind of pasta really (but I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti) and either keep it vegetarian with the äggstanning only, or add bacon or sausage bits. It’s quick and easy and great to freeze, so I usually make four portions to have in the freezer for those lazy days and nostalgic lunches.


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Ingredients (4 portions)

200g pasta

140g bacon

95g cheese

3 pcs eggs

300 ml milk

Salt

Pepper


Boil the pasta as per the instructions.

Fry the bacon until crisp.

Mix the eggs with the milk, some salt and pepper, and whisk.

Pour the pasta and bacon into a greased tin and pour over the äggstanning. Cover with shredded cheese and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius until set (approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how deep your tin is).


The best thing to serve this dish with is – of course – lingonsylt. Lingonsylt (lingonberry jam) is a very Swedish (Nordic?) thing, and if you want to be ‘convenient’ it’s a bit similar to cranberry sauce. Swedes eat it with meatballs (as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to IKEA), meatloaf, black pudding, oven pancake (another Swedish thing), kroppkakor (another Swedish thing), etc. It is the best thing. Ever. I might even make a whole post about lingonberries in the future.

/t

tagliatelle with mushrooms and peas

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)

125g mushrooms

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)


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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.)

/t