Like a vast percentage of the British population, I am a student, therefore food in my life must be easy, fast and inexpensive.
This simple recipe is my favourite hearty quick-fix to turn to after a long day of study space and textbook wars with strangers in the library.
Things you’ll need:
- A normal sized portion of pasta. Any type would work, but spaghetti is my favourite in this dish, if only for the fun factor. (Quick tip – measure the amount of pasta you’ll need on the dish you’re going to eat it in, this reduces the risk of pouring far, far too much into the pan and inevitably wasting it later.)
- A few florets of fresh broccoli.
- About half a cup of frozen peas. (Fun fact: peas increase the levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in our brain. High levels of serotonin are scientifically proven to be related to happiness and a lack of depressive symptoms.)
- A quarter of an onion.
- A clove of garlic (or blob of garlic paste if you’re lazy or don’t like hands that smell of garlic for days on end.)
- Cream cheese, the kind that comes with garlic and herbs (basically, Philadelphia or an own-brand equivalent.)
What to do:
1. Bring a pan of very slightly salted water to the boil, and pour in your chosen pasta.
2. About five minutes before the pasta is due to be ready, drop in the florets of broccoli.
3. Once all of the above are cooked, drain them and leave them sitting happily in the colander.
4. Fry off your onion and garlic with the peas for a few minutes, until the peas are nice and cooked.
5. Turn down the hob to a low heat and add the pasta and the brocolli to the frying pan, along with a few healthily sized spoons of cream cheese and a little hot water to emulsify. Stir everything together until the the cheese has melted and covers everything.
6. Serve and enjoy.
A few hints and tips:
-I usually make this with a few stems of cauliflower, too, it works very nicely but isn’t to everyone’s taste. It works really well, so if you fancy it, have a try.
- This works brilliantly with most winter vegetables, but remember when you add more vegetables to substitute some of the pasta, otherwise you’ll end up with more food than you know what to do with.
-Make sure you don’t undercook the broccoli too much, you want it at the very soft stage so that when you stir everything together, it runs through the pasta and all amalgamates in a happy, loving fashion.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy!