Thursday 16 October 2008


Recently it's been nothing but doom and gloom; the rain has arrived and the clocks will be changing this weekend. Soon, I will be waking up in the dark and coming home in the dark. The tacky Christmas decorations will be going up, and Oxford Street will be more of a nightmare to navigate when I finish work due to Christmas shoppers. Add to this the incredibly boring credit crunch which people won't stop talking about, and you get a rather grumpy girl.

So on a miserable Monday night, this was the best thing to cheer me up. It was warming and deceptively filling, not to mention very cheap. It also uses all the odds and ends of pasta packets that I strangely hoard.

Pasta Stew

For four

1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 yellow peppers
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Pinch of dried oregano
1 bay leaf
200mls chicken or vegetable stock
Leftover pasta pieces (I used bits of pappardelle and macaroni), about 150gr
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 small handful of basil and parsley
Parmesan to taste (optional)

Fry the onion with the bacon and the chilli flakes until lightly browned, but not burnt. Add the garlic and oregano and fry further until fragrant. Add the carrot and celery and stir fry until softened.

Meanwhile, soak the pasta in boiling water to get rid of excess starch. Drain and add to the saucepan, with the stock, tinned tomato and puree, and bayleaf. Simmer this for 20 minutes, or until the pasta is quite soft. If it's looking dry, top up with more water. Add salt to taste. On serving, scatter with parsley and basil and top with parmesan and black pepper.

This is a really flexible recipe which I often change to add whatever's hanging around the fridge. Savoy cabbage also works well.


Jules said...

Good to see I'm not the only person who seems to hoard pasta!

I really like the sound of this dish and am going to bookmark it got next week.

Anonymous said...

I tried so hard to be thrifty but then my butcher sold me a grouse. I will blame himfor my current financial situation.

The pasta stew looks lovely and warming.

Anonymous said...

I too hoard the dregs of pasta, and this recipe is just the thing to sort that out, nice one schmoof.

However I have to admit the thought of mixing different pasta shapes brings me out in goosebumps, perhaps this is some strain of OCD!!!

Frequent Traveler said...

That sounds really good ! I bet it would be great with cavatappi pasta too :)

I don't think stores should put up Christamas decorations until the day AFTER Thanksgiving.