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5 ways with... pasta

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Pasta is a student staple – cheap and filling and good with almost anything. But how to keep your meals exciting and original? There’s much more to explore with pasta than the basic twirls and sauce, and knowing a few simple recipes can help you make the most of your store cupboard. Here are a few ideas of easy but delicious ways with pasta to get you started.

Pasta Bake

The classic. Ultimate comfort food with minimum effort, pasta bakes are a student favourite. Cook the pasta, drain, then whack in the oven with whatever takes your fancy: meat, fish, veg, cheese; creamy sauce, tomato sauce or pesto. Even whack in some leftover nachos for an extra crunch. Delightfully versatile, you don’t need a recipe book to keep the ideas flowing with this one.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Whether you’re a culinary champ or somewhat an amateur, Bolognese is a must-have recipe in anyone’s repertoire. Whilst stirring some readymade sauce into cooked mince is oh-so-simple, for a homemade touch fry onions, bacon (yes, bacon!), garlic and mushrooms in butter before adding the mince. Then whack in a can of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree or ketchup, throw in whatever herbs you have in the cupboard, season and simmer for half an hour. Mamma mia.

Tortellini

Can pasta really get much simpler? For kitchen shy students tortellini is god’s gift; with a wonderful array of flavours spanning from the traditional ham and cheese to the more adventurous herbs and spices, this instant favourite can be whacked straight from the fridge into boiling water. It even tastes great just with seasoning and a drizzle of oil – though perhaps not crisp’n’dry.

Macaroni

When the cold weather bites or the workloads starts to grind, what better to warm your cockles than the taste of nostalgia. A firm family favourite for generations, this midweek winner of a dish is actually really cheap and easy to make, demanding only butter, flour milk and cheese (and of course the macaroni). To spice it up, add some bacon or ham, peas, any herbs you can get your hands on and even some chilli.

Find the recipe here.

Pasta salad

Spending all your money in the campus cafes? A sucker to a mid afternoon snack? Pasta salad is a delicious and filling lunch option that can be made the night before and whacked in a Tupperware on your way out the door. For an easy but flavoursome meal, mix pesto and spinach into cooked pasta with some left over chicken if you have some and you there you have lunch. Pasta salads can be made with anything from cheese to tuna, and don’t forget the salad!

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