Christmas Leftover Pasta

After the other day’s cheesy bon-bon tomfoolery (a sentence never before written by mortal hands), I felt it best to act quickly; who knows how long this burst of enthusiasm for leftovers will last?

To that end, I resolved to make a pasta dish with what little remained of good old Delia’s bread sauce. I had some sprouts on hand too (raw), as my mother-in-law had looked desperately forlorn when I mentioned I wasn’t planning on doing them this Christmas. Sadly they don’t do Brussels For One at my local supermarket, so I have around half a bag of them left.

This is an oddly summery dish considering its Christmassy ingredients, which I think is mainly down to the use of herbs and lemon zest, as well as some lemon juice right at the end.

Oh! Yes, I got a new zester for Christmas – it’s so efficient I nearly grated off my entire thumb. I’m in love.

This is another one-pan dish, which is particularly refreshing at this time of year; over Christmas I think I managed to use every pan in the house, as well as some of the neighbour’s and a couple I nicked from passing pedestrians. It was for a good cause.

Christmas Leftover Pasta (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)

Serves 3-4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Equipment

Large frying pan; colander; stirring and cutting thingymabobs; I mean that’s pretty much it guys. Sorry.

Ingredients

  • 200g wholemeal pasta (GF alternative)
  • 200g leftover bread sauce (GF alternative)
  • 50g sprouts
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1tbsp garlic puree)
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • 1-2 handfuls fresh herbs (I used sage, parsley, and dill)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 250ml water (or enough to cover the pasta)
  • Salt
  • Splash of vegetable oil

Optional: garlic bread to serve

Method

  1. Boil the kettle and get your pan on a medium heat, popping a bit of oil in to give it time to heat up. Peel and finely dice your onions (and garlic, if not using puree), and add to the oil. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until starting to soften – get on with the sprouts while the onions do their thang.
  2. Chop the bottoms off the sprouts and take off the outer leaves, as these tend to be quite tough (as with any cabbage-y vegetable). Slice them from top to bottom into 4 or 5 slices, which should hold their shape – don’t worry if they don’t though! Pop them in the colander and give them a good rinse, then add to the pan with the onions and garlic. Add the lemon zest and cook everything for a further few minutes, stirring frequently – the onions should be fairly soft by now.
  3. Add the pasta to the pan, along with the stock cube and enough hot water to just cover the pasta. Season generously with salt and stir everything together, then leave to bubble away for around 10 minutes.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, roughly chop your herbs – they don’t need to be super finely chopped, but you’ve got some time before they have to be added to the dish so give it a whirl. (I just remembered I got a mezzaluna for Christmas too – why didn’t I use it here?! I’ve been a fool.)
  5. When your pasta’s cooked, push all the pasta to the edges of the pan and plonk the bread sauce into the middle – mix it with the liquid in the pan, then slowly start to incorporate the pasta, stirring everything together. Add the herbs, and the lemon juice to taste (I used the juice of half an exceedingly productive lemon), and mix until you have a creamy pasta sauce. Divide between your bowls and enjoy.

And there you have it! This is the most excited I’ve ever been to eat sprouts, and I hope you enjoy it too.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year, however you’re celebrating it; may 2019 be a vast improvement on 2018 for every last one of you.

Hattie

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