November 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are plenty of reasons you might not have the time to spend cooking a big meal – if you work full-time, have a to-do list the length of your leg or you’re just too busy to take an hour or two out to cook a meal. Usually we can resort to shortcuts but eventually this can lead to just taking out pizza, or a ready-meal and not really getting the healthy benefit out of what you’re eating.
Today has definitely been one of those days. I recently had an operation but I still wanted to work from home as there’s just so much I’d need to do when I returned to work – whilst working at home might sound relaxing it can be anything but when you’ve got an inbox full of urgent tasks. I can only afford 20 minutes for lunch including cooking time, so I needed to make something fast, filling, healthy and from scratch.
Cue the fridge forage: capsicum, courgettes, carrots, cabbage, lemons, okra, cream… I find that nuts and greens are quite good companions, so I thought I’d give a cabbage pasta a try!
For this incredibly speedy lunch or supper you’ll need:
¼ cabbage, finely sliced
½ lemon, juice only
½ courgette, thinly sliced into rounds
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, sliced
200g rigatoni pasta
25ml single cream
25g roasted hazelnuts, chopped (you can get these from baking ingredients in most supermarkets)
Pour boiling water into a big pan, bring to simmering and then salt and put in a dash of olive oil. Add in your rigatoni and put on the timer for 13-14 minutes. In a separate pan, add olive oil and heat on medium. Add in your sliced onions and start to caramelise for about 3-4 minutes. Then add in your courgette and crush in the three garlic cloves. Keep on a low heat for this time and keep stirring so that the vegetables can start to caramelise, for about a further 4-5 minutes.
At this point, add the thinly sliced cabbage to your pasta water and boil for the remaining 3-4 minutes left on the timer. Going back to your vegetables, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and raise the heat very slightly, it should sizzle and start to smell lovely and citrusy. Let the lemon juice reduce down and coat all the vegetables, then add in your sliced red chillies and chopped roasted hazelnuts and stir through. the hazelnut oils should start to release slowly.
Drain your pasta and cabbage, put back into the pan and transfer the vegetables to the pasta and cabbage pan. Mix through, pour over the cream, season with salt and pepper and mix well. It’s ready to serve in under 20 minutes!
This was a lovely fresh and creamy pasta which was light enough to enjoy for lunch but can be made a bit more substantial with a bit of grated parmesan if you prefer, or the addition of some garlicky breadcrumbs.