Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta, it tastes good, looks good, and is full of iron.

It was one of those Sundays where time passed as life between meals. It is my favourite kind of life.

My stomach was a bottomless pit, and I had little else to do but cook lots. And lots. I made a cake too, but that was not enough.

Sometimes I like a challenge, so I chose this, inspired by GHK food again. It looks visually like a lot of work! Truth is it isn’t that much work at all, just some serious stuffing skills.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

You will need:

  • 450g fresh spinach
  • 125g ricotta
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 25g grated parmesan
  • 225g conchiglione shells or large enough pasta to stuff, I used this
  • 25g each grated parmesan
  • Your favourite tomato sauce recipe
  • 1 tbs cream cheese

1) Make the sauce (I fry off 2 cloves of crushed garlic, add 1 tsp oregano, one can tinned tomatoes, pinch of sugar and a splash of Worcestershire sauce). Then set the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2) Wilt down the spinach in a large pan and squeeze out most of the moisture. Run the spinach under some cold water first if you are squeezing it with your palms!

3) Chop the spinach finely, then stir in the the ricotta, egg, nutmeg and parmesan.

4) Cook the pasta for 10 minutes, then use a teaspoon to fill each pasta shape with the spinach and ricotta filling.

5) Pour the sauce into an oven proof dish, stir in the cream cheese then arrange the shapes.

6) Grate over more parmesan or cheddar if you prefer, and bake for 20-25 mins until bubbling and slightly golden.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

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Prawn Pomodoro Linguini with Creme Fraiche

I love vegetables but I also love prawns, especially in pasta with tonnes of garlic. This dish is light and perfect for summer dining on the deck!

Make sure you buy good, happy prawns, your tummy will benefit and so will the sea!

Prawn Linguini

You will need:

  • 450g tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 glug worcestershire
  • 1 clove garlic
  • linguini
  • bag of fresh or frozen prawns
  • 1 tsp creme fraiche
  • Fresh basil to garnish

1) Slice up the tomatoes and place them in a large pan with a glug of oil to start stewing. Add the sugar, the red chilli, the worcestershire sauce and the clove of garlic and simmer intill the skins start to come away from the tomatoes.

2) Boil a large pan of water and add your linguini. Boil for 12 mins.

3) Meanwhile, add your prawns to the tomatoes in the pan and cook until pink if they are frozen, if not cook for about 3-5 mins.

Prawn Linguini

Prawn Linguini

4) Drain your pasta and serve with a generous helping of prawns and tomatoes, stir though a teaspoon of creme fraiche and garnish with fresh basil.

Bon apetit mon petit pois!

Prawn Linguini

Halloumi Bean Stew

My veggie staple.

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My mums a bit of a super hero. Not only does she keep up a job as a research nurse, but she is studying for her masters degree and has 3 kids to look after. One of them being my dad!

Due to this, as much as possible I like to cook. This is something I make all the time at Uni because I just don’t get bored of it.

Firstly these are my tips for making anything with a tomato sauce base. Don’t be afraid to burn and over cook the tomato sauce! It makes it so incredibly rich and tastes sooo much better. Also, add a bit of sugar and a splash of lea & perrins. This takes the edge off bitter tomatoes and again makes it much more flavoursome. Finally, don’t slack on the garlic!!!

You will need:

  • 2 x diced red onion
  • 2 x crushed clove of garlic
  • 2 x sliced peppers
  • 1 x sliced courgette
  • 1 x fresh red chilli (optional)
  • 1 x splash of Lea & Perrins
  • 1 x teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 x tin of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x can of cannelloni beans
  • 1 x block of halloumi
  1. Fry off the onion with the garlic in a large deep pan
  2. Add the sliced peppers and courgette and continue to fry until softened slightly
  3. Add the chilli, remove the seeds for a milder flavour
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, cannelloni beans, Lea & Perrins and sugar, then simmer for 10 mins
  5. Transfer into an oven proof dish and bake for 20 mins
  6. Slice up the Halloumi and lay on top of the stew, then grill for 15 mins
  7. Eat and enjoy (maybe with some wine)

The great thing about this is you can add or take away any veggies you like. Add an Aubergine, some mushrooms or some spinach. You can eat it with pasta, couscous, new potatoes, salad or some fresh crusty bread.

It will last you days if you’re cooking for one, or will happily serve about 6! If you haven’t tried halloumi before, this is the perfect way to do so, I dare you not to like it.

Happy eating!