As soon as most parents rise in the mornings they will have to plan the evening’s menu. Of course, some very organised people manage to do this the night before but for most of those leading busy lives, the family will have to rely on an imaginative parent and a well stocked store cupboard for their evening meal.
Pasta is a great solution
The next time you visit the supermarket make sure that you invest in several packets of pasta. Spaghetti for a Bolognese, lasagne for a delicious and warming meal and then an assortment of different pasta shapes for any amount of clever inventions you may choose to concoct.
If you grow your own herbs, why not experiment with making your own pesto? You just take an ample amount of basil leaves, add these to garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, make sure that you season the mixture well and then whiz everything to a pulp.
If you can, try to use fresh Parmesan but if watching your budget then the carton variety will do.
This accompaniment is ideal when mixed with tagliatelle and can be served with a light green salad.
Spaghetti Bolognese comes in very many variations, this is probably why it’s remained a popular favourite throughout the country. Admittedly, the UK version doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original dish from Bologna but with the right herbs and a little love and attention you’ll still be able to produce a very tasty and nourishing dish.
If you’re using mince meat, make sure that you try and buy the best quality meat. Always add plenty of garlic and fresh herbs to the cooking process. Oregano is best and you can always decorate the meal with some fresh basil leaves later.
Freshly ground black pepper is essential and it’s perfectly all right to use tined tomatoes – although you might want to see if you can find some Passata instead of using tomato puree from a tube. Be generous with the Parmesan too, it will enhance the flavour of this family staple.