5 super-easy pasta dishes that everyone can cook

It’s cheap, it’s healthy, one bag can last you for weeks and there’s no need to worry about it going off. And once you’ve got the water boiling, it’s ready in about ten minutes, which is perfect if you’ve got lectures in an hour and you need something quick. Still, if you’re not an experienced cook, all the chopping and frying and juggling the pasta with some fancy sauce can seem pretty daunting. Luckily, from a final year student who’s had some kitchen nightmares of her own (mainly involving tin openers, no I DON’T want to talk about it), to mark World Pasta Day on Friday 25th October, and you thought Halloween was exciting!

Here are some ultra-fast, super-easy pasta dishes that everyone can cook.

  1. “Tomatoes, feta and other bits”

From: The Vegetarian Student Cookbook- £7.19 on Amazon


(Serves one person)

75–100g of pasta

100g cherry tomatoes

1/3 of a block of feta cheese

1 crushed garlic clove

A handful of basil leaves

25 ml of olive oil


This one’s probably the easiest on the list, with barely any cooking at all. Just chop the tomatoes in half and pop it into a bowl, add the garlic and basil (torn, not chopped-it brings out the flavour), cut the feta into cubes and add that to the bowl, then pour the oil over the ingredients. Ideally, you should do this about an hour before you’re eating, so the tomatoes have time to soak up all the flavour from the oil, but if you’re in a rush you can always knock this together while the pasta’s cooking.

Cook the pasta, drain it and chuck the rest of the ingredients on top. Yum!

2. “Pesto and broccoli”

From: Vegetarian NOSH for Students: A Fun Student Cookbook by Joy May- £7.64 on Amazon.

Cooking at uni will never get boring with @vegsocapproved#Vegetarian Nosh for Students” https://t.co/BlHskjJC8l #nationalvegetarianweek pic.twitter.com/c3seJAlolP

- Quaker Centre Books (@QuakerCentre) May 18, 2017


(Serves one person)

75–100g of pasta

Half a head of broccoli

Two tablespoons of pesto

A handful of pine nuts

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Vegetarian parmesan (plain old cheddar works fine too).


Wash the broccoli, ditch the stalk and cut into smaller pieces. Cook the pasta as usual, then add the broccoli when there are about five minutes to go. While that’s cooking, grate some cheese and mix the pesto, oil and pine nuts together. Drain the pasta and broccoli, mix everything together and you’re done!

WARNING: If you’re vegetarian or vegan, be careful with the pesto because a lot of it doesn’t actually have the “suitable for vegetarians” label on. Also, the cheese can be made with animal rennet, so go for one that’s specifically billed as “vegan pesto”, and you’ll be fine.

3. “Spaghetti with beans and tomato”

From: Vegetarian NOSH for Students: A Fun Student Cookbook by Joy May- £7.64 on Amazon.


(Serves one person)

75–100g of spaghetti

Half a tin of mixed beans (the book’s recipe has cannellini beans, but if you can’t find those don’t worry. Also, drain and rinse them in a sieve before cooking);

Half a tin of chopped tomatoes

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon of oregano

Some vegetable oil for frying

Half a tin of sliced mushrooms


Put the spaghetti on to cook (this should take about 10 minutes). While you’re waiting for that, heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the garlic and cook it for about a minute. Add the mushrooms, cook them for a minute, then add everything else and cook for another five minutes, stirring frequently. Feel free to add some grated cheese and/or a sprig of basil, if you want.

4. “Gnocchi with spinach and stuff”

Fresh Gnocchi Today @CardinalLegerSS #lancerlearning pic.twitter.com/QaROJffmF4

- Dales (@Dales13864944) October 21, 2019


(Serves one person)

75–100g of gnocchi

A big handful of spinach (wash before cooking)

1 clove of garlic chopped

A chunk of butter or margarine for frying

A splash of olive oil and half a lemon

Some parmesan and black pepper (optional) to go on top. (Make sure the cheese is suitable for vegetarians.)


Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the gnocchi, and fry until it’s a sunny, golden colour on each side. Add the garlic and spinach (I’m guessing at this point you squeeze the lemon and add the juice plus the oil on top, but goodness knows) and keep frying for 3–5 minutes until the spinach has wilted a bit and the gnocchi is nice and crispy. Keep moving everything around in the pan so it doesn’t burn.

Take everything out and add a squeeze the lemon over the top, and top with the cheese and pepper.

5. “Creme fraiche, mint and also peas”


(Serves one person)

75–100g of pasta

35g frozen peas

50 ml creme fraiche (or a vegan substitute)

8g of mint leaves, torn (keep a sprig to put on top)


Cook the pasta as normal. About two minutes before it’s done, add the peas. While the pasta is cooking, gently heat the creme fraiche in a smaller saucepan; after about five minutes, take it off the heat and stir in the mint.

Drain the pasta and peas, put them back in the saucepan, then stir in the creme fraiche and you’re done!

Why not try some of these, and let us know in the comments how you get on?

Originally published at https://uni.news on October 25, 2019.



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