Tag Archives: pasta

pasta shells in creamy tomato sauce

Not to be disheartened by my earlier attempts at eating pasta, I decided at 21.00 tonight when I still hadn’t eaten any tea, to try some pasta again.

Last week I bought this Dolmio stuff – pasta in one bag, creamy tomato sauce in the other. You buy them separately and can mix and match as you like.

No E-numbers, no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives (says the packets they’re in). It is described as a “healthy choice meal for one”, and apparently you should check with your parents before cooking.

So, contents of tonight’s meal is:
Pasta: 200g – “My Dolmio” Pasta Shells
sauce: 150g – “My Dolmio” Creamy Tomato Sauce

Sauce contains mostly tomatoes, cream, and mascarpone cheese. Oddly enough, it also may contain traces of peanuts. Only the sauce though – there’s no such warning on the pasta itself.

It comes with good very simple directions, and as they take different times to cook in the microwave, it even tells you to cook the sauce first, and leave that to stand while you do the pasta.

It says 45 seconds for sauce and 75 seconds for sauce. Despite me having the exact same wattage microwave, I never trust microwave times, so always add on a little bit. Plus with my recent experience of pasta going cold very quickly, I thought putting it in for a bit longer might help to combat that.
I cut the corners from the packets, put the sauce in for 60, removed, and put the pasta in for 90.

There was a funny “sparkly” sound coming from the microwave during cooking. I’m not sure what it is – maybe our microwave is on the way out, because presumably if Dolmio tell me to microwave it, it’s microwavable.

All ready from microwave, into a bowl.
The sauce smells, looks, and tastes very nice. It’s a shame there’s not a bit more of it.
However, I’d forced myself to eat maybe 1/3rd of the bowl of pasta, when even a nice sauce like that couldn’t cover up just how boring pasta really is.

Reading from the ingredients, pasta = water, egg, wheat semolina and…no..that’s it. There’s literally nothing in it.
In my problem-solving, energy conserving (lazy) brain, that seems like something extra to cook/eat for no real reason.

Someone told me once during a conversation about food, that they could “live” off of just pasta. I don’t understand it. For a while as a teenager (and possibly even into my early 20’s), I “lived” off of toast. I have to say that was considerably more interesting.

Tonight’s attempt does gets bonus points for the lack of almost-all washing up. The only washing-up you end up with at the end is one bowl and a fork. That’s not bad going.

I will say it again too. The sauce was very nice. It was so nice, I was imagining what else I could put it on while I was eating it. I bet it would taste great on a nice piece of chicken.

Thinking about that, I made myself so hungry I decided to toast some hot cross buns I purchased yesterday and have them instead of the pasta.
That’s not really a proper evening meal though is it?
I didn’t think so either, so I had a snickers bar as well.
I might have one of my healthy organic yoghurts for dessert. That will make up for it.

Beefy pasta-y…thing

Yesterday I forced myself to go to Tescos on my way home from work.
This is to stop me doing what I usually do – whereby I come home from work directly, get changed, have a cup of tea, chat on msn and don’t think about eating til 9pm.
So tonight, I had every intention of cooking something. Every intention I tell you.

However, while loitering in my kitchen, my new French housemate who moved in a few days ago, was cooking something that didn’t look half bad. It was spirally pasta of some sort, which had some form of minced meat in it (turned out to be beef), and he had apparently cooked a lot of it. He added a tomato sauce that came straight out of a jar and didn’t contain garlic. I questioned what sort of Frenchman he is, as he wasn’t even wearing a string of onions round his neck. He isn’t that keen on French food, it seems.
He asked me if I wanted some of what he’d cooked.

Normally I’d panic a little here, and usually decline – as I don’t like to accept generous offers of others’ cooking, as I think it seems a little rude then if I really don’t like it. I explained I wasn’t sure I’d like what he had cooked, and tried a small amount of it. Still not 100% sure, he told me he had cooked far too much and if I didn’t have some, he would end up throwing a lot of it away.
I figured if he was going to throw it away, it didn’t matter so much if I didn’t eat all that much of it, so got myself a plate and had some.

It was alright. There were a few crunchy bits in it – maybe some fat from the beef or something. It tasted quite nice, but I felt like I couldn’t eat that much of it. Plus it seemed to get cold very quickly. Maybe its a recurring design-fault with pasta. I might have to look into that.
I stopped eating it, and no sooner had he started putting it in tupperware to reheat (he said he was going to throw it out if it wasn’t eaten!), I felt hungrier.

I think at this point if I want to have some chocolate, I deserve it. I’ve tried my new food, eaten something healthy, so it can be time for something unhealthy.

Pasta – Carbonara Tortelloni

Friday nights have traditionally (for a few years anyway) been where I’ve had no real evening meal.
I would come home, relax, watch tv, and eventually about 9.30ish get hungry enough to need food. I would then snack on toast, chocolate, biscuits, or sometimes just go to bed and skip dinner altogether.
This very evening for example I got home just before 6, had a twix ice cream, a cup of tea, and a large vanilla and chocolate cookie I got from the bakery this afternoon.

So tonight I thought I’d break that habit with the second new meal of the week for me.
I went to Tescos a couple of days ago and picked up what’s described as “Carbonara Tortelloni” or “pasta”.
The reason I went for this is because I never used to like Chicken Pies when I lived with my parents. Now I like them a lot.
I’ve tried pasta before and not liked it.
When I say this to people, they normally ask “how can you not like pasta?”. I don’t know.
I’ve tried noodles (excuse my terrible cooking/food knowledge if this doesn’t count as pasta) and hated them. Supernoodles they were.
So tonight, pasta.
It’s part of Tesco’s “italian” range and it looks nice enough in the packet.
It is apparently “italian egg pasta parcels filled with pancetta, smoked ham, ricotta and Edam cheeses”.
I like cheese, I like ham.. what’s to go wrong there?

So I got it out, and read the instructions (open packet corner, add 75ml of water, microwave for 1minute, then shake, microwave for 1 minute). It sounds easy enough.
After I’d struggled to find anything that could measure 75ml of water, and decided 80ml was “close e-f**king-nough” – I measured the water, opened the packet and….well I’ll be honest I thought it smelt quite disgusting.
I’m not letting that stop me though, so in the microwave it goes.
At the mid-cooking shake it smelt decidedly different. A bit like something I’ve smelt before. Smoky bacon crisps perhaps? I actually like them, so maybe it will taste like them too and I’ll have something else I can eat.

Cooking time over, removed, left to stand for 30 seconds or so, and I nervously put an egg pasta parcel into my mouth. Tastes…well..I don’t know really. Quite bland to be honest.
I force myself to try another and not mix “bland” with “don’t like”.
I’ve eaten 10 or so of them and they’re still a bit bland. Less bland than they started but still not particularly exciting.
Also they have cooled a lot, so I whack them back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
Is pasta meant to be hot? I don’t know.
Surely not, if its only cooked for 2minutes?

I remove it from the microwave, and place another pasta parcel in my mouth.
Still quite bland.

So I try something that has worked for me in the past when I’ve not known how else to make things taste different, but have known I didn’t like them much as they were.
When I lived with my parents, I refused all sauces. I’d have burgers and chips without ketchup or any sauce.
At some point since moving out of parents’ aged ~18yrs old, I’ve gotten a likening for HP barbeque sauce. I generally put it on everything from Birds Eye “simply cod” fillets, to new potatoes, to chicken burgers.
Most everything except sausage sandwiches (where I prefer brown sauce) get HP barbequed to the max.

Tesco’s finest carbonara tortelloni – in barbeque sauce.
It doesn’t really work. Tastes of barbeque sauce if I put enough on – other than that, bit bland.
I eat another few (probably still less than 1/4 of the 300g packet) and stop because I don’t really feel that hungry anymore.
God knows how anyone is meant to eat all of this in one sitting. Maybe they’re not meant to have the twix, biscuits, cup of tea, etc..first?

I’ll likely try it again somewhen, but I might buy a pasta sauce to go on it. I’m putting that down as a general positive – I didn’t totally hate it – but it is just as boring as anything else I might have cooked tonight, as it was.