Tag Archives: penne

Broccoli and Cheese Pasta Bake

Have you ever lost something precious and never found it? Or better, you found it when you forgot about it or when you just gave up? So happened with this recipe. I meant to post it months and months ago but my notes and ingredients went missing. Lost in the vortex that was my study and computer files. The one day, when my mind was in a writing funk, I decided to go work in one of my favourite coffee haunts. When I cleared my head I decided to sort and back up some writing stuff I had produced over the past few weeks, and there it was. If I wasn’t surrounded by people I think I would have had a happy dance moment. I know there’s the dance-as-if-no one’s-watching clan out there but I guess it would have been too much in a coffee shop and I would have risked being persona non grata if I did that.

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Trottole with Courgettes and Ricotta (#PastaFriday and the conclusion to Writing 101)

Trottole with Courgette Sauce and Ricotta (7804)

I can’t quite get my head round the fact that it’s already the beginning of October. Children have started school this week here in Malta and today, poor things, they made their way in the rain. We had quite a storm this morning and this doesn’t make the commute easy for all those who have to walk out the door to work. Flooding affected the usual places and traffic was even more nightmarish than usual. I hope everyone made it to their destination in one piece. It’s Friday once again though, so there’s the weekend to look forward to. Anything to hold on to, to make life better, right?

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Penne with Pancetta, Mushrooms and Bechamel (#PastaFriday)


I think the day has finally come. The day when I can dare to say that the air is crisp and fresh and autumn is here. Can this be true? I don’t know about you but to me this kind of weather makes me want to eat mushrooms. And pancetta. And pasta. Thank goodness these three stars go so well together. All they need is some kind of sauce. Now I’ve got a little confession to make. When I’m in a hurry I make a simple tomato one with a few other ingredients thrown here and there, but I’m not a huge fan. I will eat it because I like it. That’s all. What I really really like is a good cream sauce. Alas, that’s not the healthiest thing on Earth (what a huge disappointment) so instead, that is when I have the time I make bechamel.

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Creamy Pasta with Sage and Peas

Creamy Pasta with Peas (9021)

I have a question for you. Are there days when you are constantly on the move or in some kind of a rush? Every single day I hear you shout! I lead a small life and generally I have a very fixed timetable. Usually. There are times though when everything I’ve learnt about time management just goes out of whack. Whatever I planned for the day just gets thrown out of the window and I just…just…squeeze in the basic things on my to-do list. Do you have one of those? I do. Crossing out all the tasks rarely happens, no news there I guess, though I relish that yes-I-have-achieved-so-much-today feeling. Don’t you love that?

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Penne with Summer Vegetables.


Perhaps it is too early to talk about summer, especially because I’m writing this on a chilly day. Early days indeed. It will soon be here. That’s what I keep telling myself. To me, summer is about long walks, blue sky, fresh good food and minimal time in the kitchen. That’s why I think of pasta as fast food – not necessarily the unhealthy kind either. Though it could easily be also! I must confess though that these days I prefer whole wheat pasta. I love white pasta too and wish I could eat it more often. I have discovered the half whole wheat half white type during these past few months and I like to keep this in stock in my pantry for a quick supper solution. Pasta recipes are so versatile that you can use whatever you like. This recipe serves up to 4 people, depending on how hungry you all are. The sauce is a bit spicy so adjust the chilli according to taste. I know that some people cannot eat chilli due to allergies, so substitute it with pepper instead. For this simple recipe you need:

  • 500g penne rigate
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  •  400g polpa di pomodoro (or chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrate)
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. In a shallow pan, but big enough to hold the pasta for later, pour in the olive oil, and throw in a small piece of onion. When it starts to sizzle add the onions and garlic. After a few minutes add the courgettes and diced pepper. Toss the vegetables together and listen to the sound of the pan. Yummy.
  3. Then add the polpa di pomodoro, chilli flakes, paprika, brown sugar and tomato paste. If you have fresh tomatoes please use those instead. I rarely find good tomatoes where I live, even in summer, which is such a pity!
  4. Leave the sauce to simmer and taste it for seasoning. Add pepper if necessary. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, toss it well in the sauce. I find that penne rigate are one of the better kinds to use here. The sauce will adhere better to the pasta. But again – this is only a guide!

Grab a plate, help yourself and eat this preferably outside underneath the Sun. Enjoy!

Rob x