Pasta La Vista, Spaghetti

5 Fab Alternative Recipes

Pasta feastA recent survey by UKTV Food revealed that Spaghetti Bolognese is not only one of the nation’s favourite dishes, but the one that most people know how to cook by heart. Conjuring up memories of Mum’s home cooking, romantic first dates and foreign holidays, Spag Bol is a dish fit for a king whatever the occasion. But while we love a bit of nostalgia, there’s something to be said for experimenting and trying new recipes, or giving a fresh take to a culinary classic.

Fettuccine con Verdure

Fetticini VerdureA recipe shared with us by the chefs at ASK Italian as part of their Respect the Pasta campaign. Fettuccine, or ‘little ribbons’, are traditional egg noodles from the Roman area. This is a lovely spring pasta dish made with seasonal vegetables, and it’s a nice change that there’s no creamy sauce.

70g green beans
3 tablespoons ASK Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 medium courgettes
220g peas
100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut into large pieces
80g baby spinach
1 medium red chilli, de-seeded and cut into rings
120ml water
20g fresh basil
900g fresh egg fettuccine
80g black olive tapenade

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Serves 4


1. Blanch the green beans by dropping them rapidly into boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the spinach leaves and wilt slowly, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Season lightly and set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the rolling boil for the pasta.
3. Heat the remainder of the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté lightly. Then add the chopped courgettes and sauté gently for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Stir in the peas, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, green beans, chilli and water and cook over a medium heat for a further 4 minutes. Stir in the finely chopped basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while the pasta cooks.
4. Drop the fettuccine into the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Using a mug, scoop out a cupful of the pasta cooking water and set aside.
5. Drain the fettuccine and turn them into the pan with the sauce. Cook together over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring to blend the sauce with the noodles. If the sauce seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water.
6. Divide the pasta into hot bowls and place a spoonful of tapenade on top of each dish.

Fusilli with Peas, Asparagus and Prosciutto

Pasta with Peas, Asparagus Prosciutto RACHELSA light and simple summer pasta recipe using natural yoghurt instead of cream recommended by the tasting team at Rachel’s. Serve with a rocket salad and fresh crusty bread for a real Mediterranean meal feel.

250g fusilli
225g fresh peas or frozen
200g fresh asparagus tips
80g sweet cured or dry cured prosciutto
200g Rachel’s Greek Style natural yogurt

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Serves: 2

1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is nearly cooked add the peas and asparagus spears to the water and cook until tender. Drain and return the pasta and the vegetables to the pan.
2. In a small frying pan, preferably a non-stick pan, add the slices of prosciutto and fry until the slices turn golden and crispy. Leave to cool slightly and then crumble, stir into the pasta and peas.
3. Stir in the yogurt and fresh oregano, season well and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Fettucine Bolognese ASKA fresh take on the old classic, the tagliatelle spreads out the flavour through the pasta. Another recipe from the artistes at ASK Italian so follow closely for a meal guaranteed to tickle the family’s tastebuds.

4 tablespoons ASK Italian extra virgin olive oil
130g white onion, finely chopped
4506 lean minced beef
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100ml red wine
150ml beef stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
500g tomato passata
5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
500g tagliatelle
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Preparation time: 10 minutes               Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes              Serves 4

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat, add the onion and cook slowly until it has softened and become translucent. Add the beef mince and brown gently, breaking the meat up with a fork and stirring constantly. When the meat has lost its raw look, add the garlic. Add the wine, turn up the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the wine has evaporated.
2. Stir in the stock, tomatoes and passata. Season with the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Check the seasoning, adding pepper to taste.
3. Lower the heat and cook the sauce very gently for 1 hour 20 minutes with the lid off. Stir often to prevent the sauce from sticking. It should be at a low simmer.
4. Drop the fettuccine into salted boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain the pasta. Mix the fettuccine and Bolognese sauce together and cook gently for a further minute. Divide between heated bowls and serve immediately, garnishing each plate with a sprinkling of parsley.

Smoked Salmon & Tiger Prawn Linguine with a Boursin Garlic & Herb Sauce

BOURSIN Smoked Salmon & Prawn LinguineThis recipe was created especially for cream cheese brand Boursin by celebrity TV chef Marcus Bean, and they’ve shared it with us. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and some micro herbs or rocket leaves to garnish.

100g dry linguine
1tbsp unsalted butter
14 raw peeled tiger prawns
200ml double cream
Juice of half a lemon
2 x Boursin Garlic & Herbs Portions
100g smoked salmon (cut into strips)
Salt & pepper to season
Freshly grated Parmesan to serve
Rocket leaf or micro herbs to garnish

Preparation time: 5 minutes            Cooking time: 15 minutes         Serves 2

1. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the linguine and cook for 10-12 minutes, until just cooked
2. While the pasta is cooking, using a medium frying pan add the butter followed by the prawns, cream and lemon juice. Finally, stir in the Boursin Garlic & Herbs Portions until they are dissolved and the prawns are cooked
3. Once the pasta is cooked remove from the pan with a pair of tongs and add to the frying pan. Stir together and then add the smoked salmon, stir together and season with salt and pepper.
Tip: if the sauce becomes too thick just add a little of the water from the pasta water
4. Remove from the heat and serve immediately into two bowls

Penne al Pomodoro

pasta_pomodoroItalians eat an incredible 30 kilograms each of pasta a year and spaghetti al pomodoro makes up a big percentage of that pasta mountain. Kids love it too, so it’s become a staple in households all over the world. We like to top ours with mozzarella for a creamier, fresher tasting result.

4 tablespoons ASK Italian extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
230g plum tomatoes, de-seeded and quartered
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
500g tomato passata
12 basil leaves, finely chopped
500g penne
200g buffalo mozzarella, torn into bite size pieces

Preparation time: 15 minutes               Cooking time: 20 minutes                         Serves 4

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the rolling boil for the pasta. On another hob heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the fresh tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, until they start to soften.
2. Add the tinned tomatoes and the passata with half the basil, stirring as you bring the sauce to the boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain when al dente and turn the pasta into a heated bowl. Stir in half of the sauce and mix well. Serve the pasta in individual bowls, topped with a spoonful of the remaining sauce, the torn mozzarella pieces, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of chopped basil.

If Spaghetti Bologenese is your weakness see our special Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese recipe here.

• ASK Italian’s Respect the Pasta campaign is now live in each of ASK Italian’s 110 restaurants in the UK. For more information please visit

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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