Pasta Please!

When we think of pasta, we think of Italy. And yet the Chinese were making noodles made from rice flour as far back as 1700 B.C.E. The Etruscans, who lived around Tuscany, Latium and Umbria, were making a kind of lasagna pasta around 400 B.C.E out of spelt. But it is the Arab traders who take the credit for dried pasta, as a primary food to sustain them on their long journeys along the “Silk Road” to China.

The history and origin of pasta is much disputed, however the first mention of Italian pasta was in Arab Sicily in 1138. Later in the middle ages, pasta was considered a luxury, because the making of it was so labour intensive. Men with bare feet would be hired all day, to stamp and tread on the pasta, to make the pasta dough soft and elastic. And during the 1400's guards were even needed to protect pasta shops.

Pasta is popular today, because it is delicious, nutritious and fast. And now for some recipes.

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Lemon

 Garlic has a wonderful aroma and taste and it is also contains a powerful antioxidant called allicin.Angel Hair PastaCredit: Flickr miikkahoo

  • 1  tablespoon olive oil
  • 2  cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/4  cup  lemon juice
  • 1  cup  tomatoes; 1 medium, chopped
  • 12 oz  angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil; chopped
  • 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper


  1. Boil a large pot of water.
  2. Saute olive oil and garlic in a fry pan and cook over medium heat until the garlic begins to brown.
  3. Remove the fry pan from the heat and pour in the wine. Return it to the heat. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes,  until the wine has reduced by half.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and tomato. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Drain the pasta and place into a warm serving bowl.
  7.  Add the basil, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper, along with the tomato  mixture. Toss and serve immediately.


Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

LasagneCredit: wikipedia

Eating spinach provides protection for your eyes, due to the presence of lutein in this vegetable. The human retina accumulates lutein, which protects the eye from free radicals and sun damage.

  • 2 bunches of fresh English spinach
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2 cups of fresh ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped basil leaves
  • 10 lasagna sheets (approx)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 jar of traditional pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Switch on the oven to 200 degrees C ( 392 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Wash spinach and cook in a saucepan for a few minutes until soft. Set aside to drain.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and cook onion and garlic. Turn off heat and add the chopped spinach to the pan, removing as much moisture as possible.  Then add ricotta and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 of your spinach/ricotta mixture into oven proof dish. Place 1/3 of lasagna sheets on the top. Repeat this process with half your remaining mixture and also pour over 1/3 jar of pasta sauce. Repeat this process finishing off with remaining lasagna sheets and sauce. Top with cheese.
  5. bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Pasta Bake

Pasta BakeCredit: Flickr Steve A Johnson

This recipe contains peppermint which is anti-inflammatory and soothing.

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 200 g (7 ounces) of lean mince beef
  • 1/2 jar of  pasta sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups of small spiral pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of dried mint
  • 1/4 grated cheese
  1. In a frying pan heat oil and add onion and zucchini. Cook until soft.
  2. Add mince and garlic, stirring.
  3. add 2 1/3 cups of cold water, pasta, pasta sauce and mint to the pan. Mix to combine.
  4. Boil and then reduce heat, cooking for 10-12 minutes until pasta is soft and mixture has thickened.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and place under the grill for a few minutes, until cheese has melted.

Salmon Pasta with Dill

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits.

Salmon PastaCredit: wikipedia

  • 1 tin of salmon approximately 425 g (15 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup of green capsicum
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill
  • 350 g (12 ounce) spaghetti
  1. Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente (around 10 minutes)
  2. Drain pasta and return it to the same hot saucepan. Add flaked drained salmon, with bones removed and other ingredients. Mix to combine and serve.

Pasta Bows Creamy and Low Fat

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Pasta BowsCredit: Flickr special dark

  • 1 pound pasta bows (approx 1/2 kilo)
  • 2 1/2 pints water (5 cups)
  • 3 oz olive oil (84 g)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small tubs of natural yoghurt
  • 2  cloves of crushed garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Finely chopped parsley


  1. Boil water and cook the pasta, with a teaspoon of salt added. Boil until al dente ( slightly firm in the middle).
  2. Drain pasta in colander.
  3. Add the pasta back to the hot saucepan and add tablespoon of butter, mixing through pasta well. Then set aside
  4. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the chopped garlic. Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and add yoghurt. Pour this mixture over the spaghetti. Sprinkle with parsley

Vegetable and Pasta Soup

Corn contains polyphenols and is a good source of dietary fiber.

SoupCredit: Flickr Greencolander

  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 small finely chopped Spanish onion.
  • ½ cup carrots diced
  • ½ cup zucchini chopped
  • ½ cup diced yellow squash
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup baby peas
  • ½ cup minced firm tofu
  • 1 to 1½ cups orzo pasta (risoini pasta)
  • Parmesan cheese grated
  1. Boil the broth in a saucepan
  2. Add pasta and onion
  3. Add carrots, and reduce heat to a simmer
  4. Cook until carrots are just tender
  5. Add zucchini, squash, and corn
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add peas and tofu
  7. Simmer a few minutes more
  8. Serve hot with crusty bread

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”― Sophia Loren

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