Author Notes: One of those 'go-to' recipes I almost always have everything in for; a real store cupboard treat and really quick and easy to make (my 12 year old son makes it for me on Mother's day!). Relatively low in fat and calories it tastes like an indulgence but doesn't blow your calorie allowance for the whole day. The ingredient quantities can be simply multiplied or divided (excluding cooking oil and seasoning) to cook for more or less people. I used to just cook this for my son and I but I now get asked for it when friends and family are coming over I simply add garlic bread or flavoured focaccia and a dessert to make it bit more 'posh' for guests. —1
grams Pancetta / bacon lardons
grams Quartered mushrooms
tablespoon Dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh, chopped basil
grams Reduced fat soft cheese
1-cal frying spray
grams Dried fusilli pasta (or shape of your choice)
Salt and pepper
- Cook 300g dried pasta as per the cooking instructions on the pack.
- Remove from the heat and stir in soft cheese until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Add the fresh basil if using and season to taste directly before serving.
- Serve spooned over the cooked pasta on plates or in bowls for that real comfort food feel.
- For a vegetarian version omit the pancetta and fry a chopped red onion instead, the sweetness of lightly browned onion really works. Ensure the soft cheese and other ingredients are also suitable for vegetarians.
- Twist 1: Fresh or dried; thyme, oregano or marjoram can be used instead of basil for subtle flavour changes and Italian seasoning gives an more 'bolognaise' type flavour Twist 2: Using flavoured soft cheeses makes a nice change. Personally I think reduced fat soft cheese with herbs, and reduced fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs both work well Twist 3: For a more substantial meal serve with garlic bread or flavoured focaccia.