The qualities of pasta dishes

Pasta is one of the world’s favourite ingredients, and part of most people’s daily diet. The main reasons for its appeal are these: many different meals can be made out of pasta and its versatility is one major advantage for it, and it is a simple ingredient to cook, which also happens to be a quick one as well. Here are two recipes that represent these qualities of pasta dishes (the term in Danish is pastaretter):

pasta dishes

Sicilian pasta.

This is a rich textured pasta dish, with typical Sicilian tastes. There are sardines, pine nuts, broccoli, fennel, sweet raisins, and olive oil.

The ingredients needed to serve six people:

  • Four tablespoons of extra virgin oil, and a little bit extra for the pasta
  • 500 grams of spaghetti
  • 500 grams of broccoli
  • Two sliced red onions
  • Four thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • One very thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 50 grams of salted sardines
  • 25 grams of pine nuts
  • 25 grams of raisins
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Chili flakes
  1. In a boiling saucepan of water, with a little splash of olive oil, lower the pasta into it. The broccoli should be added to the pan for the final five minutes of the cooking process of the pasta.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Then add the fennel and cook until it is soft. This should only take another couple of minutes. Take the sardines and flake them into the frying pan before stirring them until they are truly broken up.
  3. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli into the frying pan. Add some pine nuts, raisins, and some lemon juice too. Toss the mixture together to let the pasta absorb the flavors and the oil. Season before serving, and then serve with a scattered topping of lemon zest and chili flakes.

Spanish seafood pasta.

This is one of the pasta dishes that proves the ingredient’s versatility. It’s a mix between pasta and paella, containing many of the ingredients one would expect in a Spanish paella.

The ingredients needed to serve four people:

  • 350 grams of pasta. Orzo is a good choice.
  • One stock cube, chicken
  • One teaspoon of turmeric, or a pinch of saffron strands
  • 85 grams of diced chorizo
  • 200 grams of cooked seafood
  • Two roasted and jarred red peppers, sliced
  • 100 grams of frozen peas
  • Two tablespoons of chopped parsley
  1. Cook the pasta with half of the turmeric and the stock cube. Between five to seven minutes before the pasta is ready, crisp the chorizo in a frying pan with oil. Add the remaining turmeric, with the seafood, the peppers, and the peas.
  2. Drain the pasta, while keeping some of the stock. Return the pasta to the pan, adding the contents of the frying pan with the pasta, and some of the kept stock. Heat the mixture and then stir in the parsley, saving a little of it.
  3. Serve the pasta with a topping of sprinkled parsley, to put the finishing touch to one of my favourite pasta dishes.