Pasta bake! Who doesn't like the sound of these two words? And this is the perfect vehicle for the boring cooked and peeled frozen prawns.
My go-to pasta dish
I seem to be cooking just one pasta dish all the time: boil the noodles, throw a handful of greenery into the boiling water by the end, drain the lot and stir in some cheese/sauce/butter. Serve, or stick al forno for a while, if time allows. All thoroughly unorthodox, I’m sure, but plenty tasty.
On pasta, less is more
At least I’m not committing the major crime against Italian food which is over-dressing. In Rome, good quality pasta is barely coated in sauce, the latter’s main raison d’être being to flavour the linguine or fusilli. In Birmingham it’s a bowlful of sauce worth about 1000 calories on its own, with a few overboiled pasta strands floating about.
Pasta is not the main course
It’s because we non-Italians refuse to grasp the concept of pasta, which is THE STARTER. Italians have completely the right idea about balanced meals: a salad to begin with, pasta for the first course and a protein dish, no more carbs, for the main.
We throw all three courses into one by cooking spag bol served with mixed salad.
Cook pasta like an Italian
But things are looking up as all the rage of the moment is cacio e pepe – pasta with black pepper, no more, no less (because in Italy Parmesan or butter are such default ingredients, they needn’t even be mentioned).
Who knows, soon we might even stop rinsing boiled pasta with cold water and quit ordering cappuccino after dinner…