Wellbeing

These 5 Pasta Dishes Will Have You Sorted For Life

Back away from the mac and cheese box, your next pasta dish is about to get real. We’ve enlisted the expertise of HOLLY ANDERSON, the mastermind behind food blog The Wandering Matilda, to bestow us with five decadently delicious pasta dishes to add to our recipe repertoire.

Holly spent the last five years writing, cooking and eating her way across Europe and Asia, so it’s safe to say this lady knows a thing or two about everyone’s favourite carb. Pasta is life, my friends, so eat up, enjoy and never look back. Buon appetito!

1 / 5

Classic Tomato Sauce Spaghetti

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Prepare for this beautifully simple pasta dish to become a go-to recipe when you’ve had a long day and just can’t even.

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 red chillies
Handful of basil
700ml jar of passata
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1tsp salt
1tsp apple cider vinegar – red or white wine vinegar can be substituted 
1tsp sugar – honey be substituted
Large handful of spaghetti

Method

Serves 2-3

Heat the oil in a medium size pot and add the onion, garlic and chilli.

Cook over a low heat, stirring regularly for 10-15 minutes or until super soft and translucent.

Stir through the basil and half the cherry tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes start to break down, pour in the passata then fill up the jar half way with water and add also.

Bring to the boil, add the salt, vinegar and honey, then reduce to a simmer. Leave to gently cook for 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat then using a handheld blender or food processor, puree the sauce until smooth.

Now, pop your pasta into boiling water and once cooked, drain and rinse through.

Bring your sauce to a boil once again then stir through the remaining cherry tomatoes and cooked spaghetti.

Recipe link here.

2 / 5

Mafaldine Ragu Bolognese

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Rich, heavenly mouthfuls of this decadent ragu – that’s what you’ll be dreaming about for weeks after consuming this dish. Inspired by the pasta masters at Melbourne’s Tipo 00 restaurant, this is one dish you’ll be wanting seconds (and thirds) of straight away.

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1tsp of chopped rosemary and thyme
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
4tbs tomato paste
1 cinnamon quill
4 cloves
1 cup of red wine
2 cups of chicken stock
2tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
500g Mafaldine pasta – Mafaldine is just a fun version of fettuccine
Parmesan to serve

Method

Serves 4

Heat a big glug of olive oil in a large skillet then add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and herbs.

Over a low heat, sauté for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the minces to the pan and turn up the heat, breaking it up as you go until browned.

Stir through the tomato paste, cinnamon and cloves and when it starts to bubble, add the red wine.

Keeping the pan on the high heat, cook out the alcohol until the liquid has reduced.

Once the mince is almost dry again, add the stock.

Bring to the boil, season with a good amount of salt & pepper then reduce to a low simmer for 40 minutes. If your mince is pretty fatty, you’ll get a shiny film – feel free to skim this off.

When it’s almost looking done, cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.

Now for the most important part: Using a spoon and search for those cloves! It was four remember? You don’t want to be the one to crunch down on that thing. Throw them and the cinnamon quill away.

Add the balsamic vinegar then have a taste to make sure it doesn’t need more salt or pepper then stir the pasta through the ragu.

Top with cracked pepper and parmesan.

Recipe link here.

3 / 5

Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnudi with Balsamic Butter

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Gnudi are like little Italian dumplings. Super similar to gnocchi, these are potato free and kept light through ricotta. They take about one minute to cook and are super easy to prepare, so don’t feel overwhelmed by the length of the recipe below, just follow it and you’ll get a good result.

Ingredients

1 can of pumpkin puree
250g tub of ricotta
1 cup of grated parmesan
1 egg
1tsp salt and pepper
300g of plain flour
1tsb chopped rosemary
4tbs butter
4tbs balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls of baby spinach
Salt & pepper

Method

Serves 2

In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper until smooth then stir through the flour until you have a sticky wet formed dough.

Sprinkle a little extra flour on your bench top then plop the dough onto it. With floured hands, bring the dough into a ball then using a knife, cut into quarters.

Continuing to flour each quarter, roll into a long log then cut two centimetre dumplings. Again, with floured hands, squish into even sized ovals. Once you’ve done them all, leave aside on the floured bench top.

Now for your sauce, melt the butter with the rosemary in a big pan and let it bubble over a super low heat then turn off the heat.

Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Dividing the gnudi into three (you don’t want to overcrowd the pot) drop them in. When they float to the top – around one to two minutes they are ready. Remove them from the water and keep aside in a bowl. Repeat this until all the gnudi are cooked.

So now back to your butter sauce. Turn the heat back on and add the balsamic vinegar and spinach and season with a little salt & pepper.

Once the spinach has wilted, add the cooked gnudi to the pan. Turn up the heat and continue stirring until caramelised and glossy – around one minute. Any longer in the pan and they’ll lose their form, so don’t take your eyes off them.

Serve with extra parmesan.

Recipe link here.

4 / 5

Broccoli & Blue Cheese Pesto Fettuccine with Crispy Garlic Pangrattato

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Pangrattato are breadcrumbs, and they’re the perfect addition to this rich pesto sauce that easily combines all the leftovers in the fridge.

Ingredients

2tbs olive oil
1tbs of butter
1 broccoli, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
Handful of breadcrumbs
50g blue cheese
4tbs milk
250g fettuccine pasta
2tbs grated parmesan
Salt & pepper

Method

Serves 2

Bring a pot of water to the boil then cook your broccoli. Drain then puree using a food processor or hand held blender. Season with a little salt then leave aside.

Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan and over a medium to low heat, fry the garlic. When they start to become golden, stir through the breadcrumbs. Continue stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden and toasted. Transfer them into a bowl and leave aside.

Now’s a good time to pop your pasta on the boil. While that’s boiling, using the same pangrattato pan, melt the knob of butter then add in the blue cheese and milk. Stir around until fully melted over a low heat then add the broccoli puree and cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the pangrattato with the parmesan then serve on top of the pasta.

Recipe link here.

5 / 5

Gorgonzola & Mushroom Casarecce

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If there’s one thing my seven-year-old self knew for sure it was that everything tastes better with cheese. Casarecce are hand rolled chewy pasta that hold sauce really well – if you can’t get your hands on casarecce, strozzapreti and pici are similar.

Ingredients

1 packet of casarecce pasta
5tbs olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
10 swiss brown mushrooms sliced
100g gorgonzola
2tsp sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
2tbs butter
Handful of roughly chopped walnuts
Handful of parsley
Sprinkling of parmesan
Salt and pepper

Method

Serves 4

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick medium sized pan and add your garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes on a low heat, stirring around. Add the mushrooms, sauté for 10 minutes then pour in 2/3 cup of water and your gorgonzola. Stir through gently until the cheese has melted and leave to simmer while you get your pasta on.

While your pasta is cooking add the walnuts, lemon juice, sugar, butter, parsley and salt and pepper to your sauce. Taste and make sure you are happy with the salt/acidic balance. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce and stir around making sure all those liquids are soaked up.

Serve with a little sprinkling of parmesan and eat up!

Recipe link here.


Holly is the lady behind the food blog, The Wandering Matilda. She has spent the last five years writing and cooking across Europe and Asia. Tasting, treating, tippling and typing, Holly feels she has mastered adulthood when her butcher knows her name, she makes it in time for 6:30am yoga and can justify buying fresh blueberries over frozen ones. Follow her wanders @thewanderingmatilda.