When life gets busy, I tend to return to the same recipes, time and time again. It sometimes means having a food blog suffers, though, because I can’t really keep posting recipes for chorizo pasta or lentil dhal or burrito bowls, can I? It’d get very samey. Anyway, life currently is busy, and it means I’m not making much that’s new. But this recipe has entered my repertoire this year, and has quickly become a firm favourite.
It’s vegetarian and extremely cheesy. It’s also excellent for those times when you have half a block of feta to use up, which happens to me every time I make Moroccan dippy eggs. But despite the cheesiness, it’s not terribly unhealthy. Yes, there’s cheese, but there’s also plenty of vegetables including tomatoes, peppers and loads of garlic - and I usually throw in spinach, too - which all have lots of health benefits including helping your brain perform better. And if you are watching the calories, I’ve stretched the sauce over several portions of pasta, which means it’s actually under 350 calories per serving. For all this cheese. Not bad, really.
Feta – like many blue cheeses – changes in a sauce. It becomes less salty, less potent and turns into something creamy and delicious. It’s best mates with pesto, although you might not have guessed it.
Feta & Pesto Pasta
180g Philadelphia Light (1 tub)
100ml semi skimmed milk
100g feta cheese (half a block)
3 tbsp pesto
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion
1 green pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
3 cloves garlic
300g pasta (based on 50g per person)
1. Prepare your pasta according to the package instructions.
2. Chop up your onion and pepper, and dry fry until soft and sweet (add a little water if they start to stick, I never think you need oil).
3. Crush your garlic and throw that in, then add the pesto, feta cheese and milk.
4. Stir well until it forms a sauce. If it’s a little runny, then mix your cornflour with a tsp of water to create a slurry, and throw that in. Add more if required.
5. Grate your cheddar into the sauce, then add any seasoning if required – some black pepper is always good.
6. Add your spinach, stirring until it wilts into the sauce. Then drain your pasta and add that to the sauce until it’s well coated.
7. And serve!
It’s such a simple recipe, but really tasty. It also reheats well, so make extra and pop some portions in the freezer for later. The perfect not-too-naughty comfort food for these cold evenings!