That’s Amore!: We’ve got a lot of love for the 2018 pasta trend. Give these halal recipes a go!
Penne, macaroni, spaghetti, tagliatelle, linguini, fettuccini, orecchiette, farfalle, vermicelli, orzo… Although pasta has been eaten in Europe as a staple food since the twelfth century, suddenly, fairly recently, we were warned off of it. It would make you bloated, or worse still, fat. But it’s about how you eat it, and how much of it you eat. Pasta itself is low in fat and has no cholesterol. Most pastas on the market are enriched with iron, and whole-grain varieties offer more protein, fiber and vitamins. The key is to make pasta part of a healthy diet. At last, this fast, cheap and versatile food we all love is set to become a trend of its own, amongst the sushi croissants and plant-based proteins of 2018. So, if trends are anything to go on, we don’t have to feel guilty about a bowl of Bolognese. Here are a few new, protein-packed recipes to inspire you, for hot dinners and pasta salads. So, get your gingham table cloth out, light a candle, and enjoy a “bella notte”! (We jest. Pasta is a global food after all, and most of our suggestions aren’t even Italian.)
Pasta with Beef
There’s nothing wrong with a classic Bolognese, but what about this instead? Rick Stein’s rustic recipe for ‘Sporki Macaroni’ from Croatia is dominated by a hearty beef-sauce. The recipe uses red wine, which you can substitute for a rich halal beef or chicken stock. Use our diced halal beef, and if you decide not to cheat and make the chicken stock yourself, one of our whole halal chickens will do the job. (Making a chicken stock is cost-effective and requires little effort. Storing and using the liquid for soups and sauces throughout the week is invaluable. But, if the draw to pasta is one of minimal effort, go for stock cubes.) The flavour of this dish comes from the beef, along with the garlic and fresh herbs.
Pasta with Chicken
There are many good iterations of pasta and chicken. A good pasta bake with pesto, for one. We love pasta cooked on the stove with sliced halal chicken breast, cooked with white onion, garlic and lemon juice, and mixed with handfuls of fresh oregano, more garlic (sliced, raw), black pepper, rock salt, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and toasted pine nuts. If you like, throw in some black olives. But, if you want to try something a little different, it’s worth remembering that pasta isn’t so different from its noodle cousin. Why not be inspired by oriental cuisine and make a pasta dinner more like a vegetable-packed stir-fry? You can use spaghetti or linguine to make a hot dinner or a pasta salad from East Asian-inspired flavours. Along with the halal chicken, whack in some soy, toasted sesame seeds, brown sugar, lime juice, and your favourite crunchy veggies (peppers, broccoli, spring onions – we love the addition of crisp water-chestnuts and leafy pak choi).
Pasta with Lamb
Nigella has an excellent recipe for a ragù of lamb, flavoured with mint and redcurrant jelly. Use halal minced lamb, and throw in the fresh mint at the end, which she suggests as ‘optional’. Nigella uses pappardelle, the large, broad, flat pasta noodles that take their name from “pappare”, meaning ‘to gobble up’ or ‘wolf down.’ We’re positive you will do just that!
Lastly, if you’re interested in making your own pasta, try this guide. It’s a great way to fill your own delicious ravioli and cannelloni with your favourite halal meat and other ingredients.