Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage and Brown Butter

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.

This is a great shortcut for making your own pasta. Boiled lasagne sheets form ravioli with a rich sweet potato filling.

Serves : 2

Ingredients :

1-2 sweet potatoes, about 500g, cut into 1 cm cubes
50g Parmesan, finely grated
Fresh nutmeg, for grating
Pinch of ground cinnamon
6 dried pre-cooked lasagne sheets
Olive oil, for cooking and drizzling
4 tblsp butter
24 sage leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Put the sweet potato into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water, cover with cling film and cook in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain and mash.
  • Add two thirds of the Parmesan to the bowl, along with a generous grating of nutmeg and cinnamon. Season to taste.
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and a drizzle of oil to stop the sheets sticking. Cook for 12 minutes, or for 2 minutes longer than the packet instructions. Drain and separate the sheets, then allow to cool.
  • Cut each lasagne sheet in half with kitchen scissors, so you have 12 square. Dollop 1 tablespoon of the potato mix into the middle of each square and top with a sage leaf. Fold the pasta over the filling to form a triangle and press to seal the edges. Leave to cool on a lightly oiled tray.
  • Dry the pan and return it to a high heat, adding the butter and a splash of oil. Add the remaining sage and cook until crisp. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the cooled ravioli to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Divide between 2 plates and serve with the Parmesan, sage leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Make ahead : The filling can be made 2 days in advance and chilled. The assembled ravioli will sit happily in the fridge on a lightly oiled tray for 2 days.

The shortcut : These ravioli can be whipped up speedily in advance, while the filling is made in minutes in the microwave.

Perfect Pasta – One-Pot Pasta

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2020) and taken from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini.

Simply throw all the ingredients in a pot or pan and watch dinner come together.

One Pot pastaServes : 4

Ingredients :
350g linguine or spaghettini
350g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
4 anchovy fillets (optional, if not using, add an extra tsp of salt)
Large handful of basil leaves
2 tblsp capers, drained and rinsed
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method :

Bullet logo Place all the ingredients (except the Parmesan) in the bottom of a pan that is large enough for the pasta to go in whole.

Bullet logo Add 850ml water and bring to the boil over a high heat.  Stir frequently, until the pasta is al dente and the water has almost evaporated (about 9 minutes).

Bullet logo Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve immediately with the Parmesan sprinkled over.

Pasta Perfecto – Classic Red Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2020) and taken from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini.

Make your own sauce with fresh ingredients, bursting with goodness. It’s a classic for a reason, so do it well!

Serves : 4-6

Ingredients :
2 tblsp olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tblsp tomato puree
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes, or whole San Marzano tomatoes
Large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bullet logo Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and saute until the onions are glassy and softened. Add the puree and canned tomatoes. If you’re using whole tomatoes, squash them as they go in to break them up.

Bullet logo Add the torn basil leaves and sugar. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Bullet logo Cook over a very low heat, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, for 40-60 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the sauce is rich, tangy and tasty, and the oil has separated on the surface.

Bullet logo You can leave it chunky or pass it through a fine sieve to remove any chunks and seeds.

Pasta Perfecto – Classic dough for Pasta

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2020) and taken from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini.

This easy recipe comes from Emilia-Romagna, the pasta-making capital of Italy – so it must be good!

Serves : 4-6

Ingredients :
500g type OO flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
5 free-range eggs (the rule is 1 egg for every 100g flour)

Bullet logo Sift the flour into a mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre, add salt and crack in the eggs, one by one.

Bullet logo Use a fork or your fingertips to beat the eggs lightly in the centre of the well, drawing in the flour a little at a time. If too wet, add a bit more flour; if too dry, add a drop of water.

Bullet logo When combined, knead together into a large ball of dough. It will look smooth, more like pastry than bread. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in a cool place for 15-30 minutes.

Bullet logo Once the dough has rested, if working by hand, lightly flour a rolling pin and get rolling until you’ve reached the desired thickness for your chosen shape. Roll either by hand or through a pasta machine until thin, then cut into the required shape. If using a pasta machine, follow the machine instructions.

Bullet logo Work with one quarter of the dough at a time to make it more manageable.

Pasta Perfecto – Arrabbiata

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2020) and taken from the book Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini.

This is a simple tomato sauce with a kick of heat – the spice both exhilarating and moreish. An easy recipe for a quick weeknight meal, topped here with ricotta and aubergine curls.


Serves : 4-6

Ingredients :
Extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, squashed, peeled and halved lengthways
900g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and cut into half-moons
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
Handful of fresh basil, roughly torn, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sugar
400-600g dried pasta or 320-480g fresh pasta

Method :

Bullet logo Heat 5mm oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Toss in the garlic and cook, stirring, to flavour the oil. As the garlic begins to colour, add the tomatoes, chillies, dried chilli flakes, basil and sugar, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bullet logo Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down, but not totally.

Bullet logo Meanwhile, for the topper, slice the skin from the aubergine 1cm deep all around. Discard the pulpy core. Cut the skin into 1cm-wide matchsticks. Put in a colander, sprinkle with salt and squash with a heavy bowl for 30 minutes.

Bullet logo Drain and rinse the aubergine well. Squeeze out all the water with your hands and pat dry with paper towels.

Bullet logo Heat 2.5cm oil in a pot suitable for shallow-frying – check if it hot with the end of an aubergine matchstick to see if it sizzles.

Bullet logo Add the aubergine matchsticks and fry, stirring, until golden brown and slightly curled.

Bullet logo Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a few pieces of paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Bullet logo Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions.

Bullet logo Drain the pasta but keep a cup of the cooking water. Tip the pasta back into the pan, add the spicy cherry tomato sauce and toss over a high heat, until the pasta looks creamy and well coated. Add a splash of the retained cooking water to loosen, if needed.

Bullet logo Serve, topped with crumbled ricotta, the crispy aubergine curls, extra basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with extra black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese if it makes you happy!



Summer Leek and Lemon Pasta

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine.

Serves : 4 – Cook time : 30 minutes

Ingredients :
1 tsp olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 2 leeks, chopped; 150g broad beans; 50ml dry white wine; Juice and zest of 1 to 2 lemons; 300ml crème fraiche; 50g Parmesan cheese; 150g peas; 275g linguine; Small bunch of basil; 1 dsp mint; 75g rocket


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Season and fry garlic and leeks over low to medium heat until soft and sweet.
  2. Stir in beans, wine, lemon juice and zest. Simmer gently for about 3 to 4 minutes and then add crème fraiche, Parmesan and peas.
  3. Cook linguine according to packet instructions and then drain and combine with sauce in pan. Add basil, mint and rocket and stir. Season to taste. Serve with extra lemon zest grated over each plate.

Blue Cheese and Broccoli

Serves : 4 – Prep time : 10 mins – Cook time : 18 minutes

Ingredients :
1 tbsp olive oil; 8oz (225g) tricolore penne pasta

For the sauce :
8oz (225g) broccoli florets; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 ½ oz (40g) whole blanched almonds; 1 onion, peeled and chopped; ¼ pt (150ml) dry white wine; 4 tbsp double cream; 6oz (175g) Dolcelatte cheese


  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add oil and cook pasta for 10 mins, or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Cook broccoli for 4 mins. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Reserve.
  3. Heat oil and add almonds. Cook for 2 mins, then remove and reserve.
  4. Add onion to pan and sauté for 4 mins. Stir in wine and cream, and bring to the boil. Boil until reduced by half.
  5. Break cheese into pan, then add broccoli and almonds. Cook for a further 2 mins. Drain pasta an spoon sauce over. Serve.

Marille with Peas

Marille was designed by pasta loving Giugiaro, the famous Italian car designer. Its ribbed tubular shape holds lots of sauce. If you can’t buy marille use penne or rigatoni.

Serves : 4 – Prep time : 20 mins – Cook time : 25 mins

Ingredients :
2oz (50g) butter; 5oz (150g) smoked bacon, rinded and cut into strips; 1 lb (450g) carton or bottle of passata, or 4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and deseeded; 7oz (200g) frozen petits pois or small fresh peas; 13oz (375g) Marille, penne or rigatoni; 8 basil leaves; 5oz (150g) mascarpone cheese; Salt and fresh ground black pepper; 3oz (75g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the butter and fry the bacon until crisp. Add the tomatoes and petits pois and cook for 5 minutes (or cover and cook for 15 minutes if using fresh peas).
  2. Meanwhile cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Add the basil and mascarpone cheese to the sauce and stir until just warmed through and the cheese has melted. Season to taste.
  3. Drain pasta, add to sauce and mix with the Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Broccoli and Smoked Cheese

Time to prepare : 20 mins

2 tbsp olive oil; 1 large onion and 1 garlic clove, finely chopped; 500g (1 lb) fresh pasta and
6 Lapsang Souchong Tea Bags; 500g (1 lb) broccoli, divided into bite-sized florets; 400g (14oz) can of chopped tomatoes; 1 tbsp concentrated tomato puree; 125g (4oz) either smoked or herby black olives
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme; 125g (4oz) smoked mozzarella, sliced.
To serve: sliced tomato and fresh basil leaf salad


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and tea bags, stir well and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain well and keep warm. Discard the tea bags.
  2. Cook the broccoli florets in boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, olives, broccoli and thyme, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Gently toss this sauce with the pasta then add the sliced mozzarella and serve before the cheese melts with a tomato and basil salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Orecchiette with Broccoli, Chicken Sausage and Harissa Paste

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2019) and taken from Skinny Pasta by Julia Azzarello.

This dish is a healthier version of the traditional sausage and broccoli because it is made with lean chicken. It still packs a lot of flavour into one meal, especially with the zing of harissa and lemon.


Serves : 4

250g chicken sausages, removed from casings and cut into 2 cm chunks
320g dried orecchiette or 400g fresh
125g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tblsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 tblsp harissa paste
2 tblsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges
40g Parmesan cheese, grated

Step One : Saute the chicken sausage chunks in a non-stick pan for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the packet states, or until just al dente.

Step Two : Add the broccoli to the pasta for the last 2 minutes of its cooking time. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Step Three : Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Step Four : Add the pasta, broccoli and sausage chunks to the pan and toss with the harissa paste and a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and parsley.