Tom’s mushroom tagliatelli with home-made pesto.

As I am often told, being vegetarian is a pain for people when I go to theirs for dinner. Despite Tom moaning a little, he made this extraordinary pasta dish especially for me, for which I am uber-grateful. 

Courtesy of Tom, here it is!

For the home-made pesto (because shop bought stuff isn’t veggie):
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • handful of pine nuts
  • some veggie cheese (as much as you fancy), finely grated
  • olive oil
  1. This is so simple. Just chop the basil as finely as possible and put in a bowl. 
  2. Chop the pine nuts to as close as a powder as possible. Add to the basil.
  3. Throw in the cheese. 
  4. Mix all together with a dash of olive oil. Start with a small amount of it then add more if needed. It should resemble a paste. And there you have it! Home-made pesto.
For the mushroom pasta:
  • one batch home-made pesto
  • 4/5 chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • two wheels of tagliatelli
  • olive oil
  1. Pour some salted boiling water into a saucepan and add the pasta. 
  2. About 5 minutes later, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Throw in the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes until soft. Add in the garlic.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain and put back in the saucepan. Add in the garlic mushrooms and the home-made pesto and toss together until it’s all coated. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and serve. 

Voila! A lovely vegetarian pasta dish that’s tasty but not too time consuming. 


Frankfurter pasta bake.

Who doesn’t love those cheap nasty sausages you get in tins? (Or the even more tasteless Quorn ones which I used?) Well pair those with the ever versatile pasta and cheese combo and you actually have a really lovely meal! Protein, energy and veg – could you ask for more?

Personally, the crispy pasta on the top is the best bit!

  • Enough pasta for one (about 1/2 cup American)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 frankfurters, chopped
  • 2 lumps frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • A few mushrooms
  • 20g cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 1 slice of stale bread, made into breadcrumbs (optional)
  • A little olive oil
  • Sprinkling of oregano and parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celsius. 
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic.
  3. Meanwhile heat some salted water in a pan. When boiling, add the pasta.
  4. Add the chopped sausages and mushrooms to the onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  5. Add half the chopped tomatoes to the onion and sausage mix, along with the  spinach. Sprinkle over the herbs.
  6. Check on the pasta. If it’s done, drain and put back in the pan.
  7. When the spinach is hot, add the frankfurter sauce to the pasta and mix well. Transfer to an oven proof dish and grate the cheese over the top. If using, add the breadcrumbs – I find this adds a nice alternative texture to the soft pasta and the sloppy sauce.
  8. Put in the oven and wait until the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes). Take out and demolish. Nom nom.