Presto Pasta Nights #212

It’s Presto Pasta Night and now blogger is back up and running, we can get started. I have to say, I was getting worried that I wouldn’t get this post up at all. Come to think of it as Michelle pointed out to me last night on twitter, this is Friday the 13th or black Friday as we like to call it, so what should I expect?

Never mind all that, let’s get started. Oh and a wee reminder that the veggie nature of this blog has been temporarily suspended. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

1 Spaghetti col Tonno / Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce
Simona (Briciole)
Northern California, US

Simona got her entry in lovely and quick this week, giving me the hope that this roundup might be a success. Well, you never know do you? Simona was inspired by her mother to make this quick, easy and healthy pasta dish. Tuna, garlic, anchovy paste, tomato sauce and parsley.

2 Slow Cooker Mex-i-talian Chicken
Martha (Seaside Simplicity)
Florida, US

Hot on Simona’s heels came Martha, who needed something quick to prepare. She piled all her ingredients into her slow cooker, then left it to cook the next day. She had fresh chilli peppers from her neighbour’s garden and though these would go well with some chicken, garlic, tomatoes and seasoning. A quick topping for pasta the next night. Slow cookers are mightily handy when it comes to saving time on prep.

3 Courgette, Feta & Pine Nut Penne
Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream)
Cornwall, England, UK

Yay, one for me! Although the first two recipes looked lovely, being a veggie, I just couldn’t enjoy them, even if I did appreciate the finesse they were cooked with. Now Beth’s, mmmmmmmmm, that sounds really good to me. Garlic, red chilli, pine buts, courgette and feta. Just scrumptious!

4 Baked Brie with Rigatoni & Spinach
Heather (Girlichef)

I got really excited when I saw this dish. It reminded me of dunking bread into Camembert. Such an exciting idea for a pasta dish. Heather tossed her cooked pasta with her spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan and then poured some of the rosemary baked, unctuous, melting brie over each plate. Oh my!

5 Chilli Gnocchi served on Spiced Cabbage
Mangocheeks (Allotment 2 Kitchen)
West of Scotland, UK

I didn’t have much success the last time I made gnocchi, but I do like gnocchi if it is done well. Doesn’t this version look good? Mangocheeks says they are “light and fluffy pillow life puffs - enhanced further by the flakes of red chilli”. A world away from the poor, stodgy examples I made. I really like that they are served on a bed of spicy cabbage instead of being drowned in sauce. Sounds really appetising.

6 Creamy Pasta Salad with Ham, Tomato & Mozzarella
Maria (The Goddess’s Kitchen)
Surrey, England, UK

I am planning to adapt this one and give it a go and I am sure those of you who aren’t veggie would love a bowl of this. It is real happy, comfort food. Lean ham, avocado, plum or cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, spring onions, crème fraîche, salt and pepper. Such a gorgeous and tempting lunch.

7 Chicken & Mushroom Pasta
Cass (The Diary of a Frugal Family)

We could all learn a thing or two from Cass, who brings delicious meals to her family, whilst trying to be frugal. The key it seems, is planning. I knew this in my mind already, it is just taking the time to do something about it. I know it is the right thing to do. If you need some inspiration too, then be sure to visit Cass. Back to the pasta. This was a quick after work standby dish. Pasta, chicken, ham, sliced mushrooms, condensed chicken soup and chopped garlic.

8 Sausage Carbonara
Tina (Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor)

Tina took inspiration from Jamie’s Italy book for this hearty dish. Italian sausages, pancetta, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, egg yolks, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, flat-leaf parsley and extra virgin olive oil all hugging a bowl of linguine. It does indeed look like a hug in a bowl.

9 Tomato, Anchovy & Basil Pasta
Tandy (Lavender & Lime)
Cape Town, South Africa

Tandy made this dish on Christmas Eve for her family. There is real love in feeding your loved ones, isn’t there? Tandy made this with two pastas, a wheat based pasta and a gluten free pasta for her dad. This sauce is a great freezer standby as well. A basic tomato sauce, olive oil, anchovies, fresh basil and thin slices of Parmesan.

10 Pasta Bake with Pepperoni, Tomatoes and Garden Herbs
Susan (Holly Grove Kitchen)
Shropshire, UK

Susan is a much loved regular at the monthly soup and salad challenge ( No Croutons Required), I co-host with my good buddy Lisa, so I was especially pleased when I saw she had put together an entry for me. Susan is re-introducing us to a favourite from her archive and even suggest a veggie alternative. She is such a sweetie.

11 Pasta with Sweet Tomato Sauce
LF (The Humble Home Cook)

British tomatoes are in season just now and if you get a good batch, they are sweet and tasty, so LF decided to make the most of this and made a lovely bowl of rich, tomato coated spaghetti for slurping. The slurping I am adding, I am sure LF eats in a very ladylike fashion. I would definitely slurp it. Oh how I want a bowl right now.

12 Orecchiette with Fresh Fava Beans, Ricotta & Mint
Theresa (Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine)
Phoenix Arizona, US

When Theresa was offered some fresh fava beans in an Italian shop which has become her local store, she snapped them up and decided to make this pasta dish. Doesn’t it look pretty? I immediately want to eat it. I have never tried fava beans and I am now looking at this pasta dish longingly and wondering why. Fava beans, orecchiette pasta, olive oil, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, fresh mint, freshly ground black pepper and mint sprigs.

13 Avocado Pasta
Johanna (Green Gourmet Giraffe)
Melbourne, Australia

Yum, yum, yum! I don’t know about you, but I love avocado and I love the sound of this pasta. Spaghetti lovingly coated avocado, olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt and black pepper, and lemon zest. This pasta floats my boat, as they say. I don’t know who says that, but allegedly they do. As if that wasn’t enough, Johanna topped her pasta with some veggie haggis. If you haven’t tried veggie haggis before, I urge you to give it a go. It is lovely and spicy, mmmmmmm.

14 Herby Spring Pasta
Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes)
Dundee, Scotland, UK

Yippee, blogger is back up again and even better it has restored my last post, which was my entry for PPN. I was getting a little worried there and thinking as I approached some of the newer entries that they might too be missing. Phew! That’s all I can say. Anyway, you say, the pasta. Oh, yes! For my dish I made a herby dressing for my pasta dish by whizzing up fresh herbs with oil and garlic. I coated my pasta with this and then topped it with lightly steamed fine beans and asparagus. I finished the dish of with a sprinkling of feta cheese. It was very yummy.

15 Rotini with Chickpeas and Kale in a Creamy "Cheesy" Hummus Sauce”
Deb (Kahakai Kitchen)

Deb is taking part in a 28 day diet challenge , which pretty much means a vegan diet with no or very little oil. She is doing very well sticking to it and is already feeling lighter, more energetic and has also lost some weight. Quick everyone make a note of this dish. You just know it is going to be good for you as well as being super tasty. I really should take note. I am very impressed Deb! Homemade hummus, almond milk, nutritional yeast, chickpeas and kale. Mmmmmmm, it does sound good and it looks so creamy.

16 Simmered Kale Somen Noodles
Tigerfish (Teczcape – An Escape to Food)
California, US

Tigerfish was hit by the blogger malfunction too, so wrote a new post for PPN. Now that is dedication folks! Isn’t it gorgeous? Tigerfish did a bit of experimentation with this one. She usually uses somen noodles in soup, but discovered they work fabulously as a pasta dish. Caramelised onions, ginger, carrots, garlic, cabbage and kale combined with somen noodles.

17 Pizzocherri
Adam (Yogi Kitchen)

This is a northern Italian dish cooked by the lovely Adam. Adam and Theresa follow a diet that very much ties in with their practice of Ashtanga Yoga, but on Saturdays they relax their diet and quite often indulge in their love of pasta. Adam found this dish online and thinks it may be from Giorgio Locatelli or as Graham calls him “My Good Friend Giorgio”. It is a long story, but basically, I bought Giorgio’s wonderful tome Made in Italy and found it all so fascinating that I quoted and read from it a lot and so Graham began to call him “my good friend Giorgio”. Hehe, it does make me smile and he is lovely, Giorgio that is, although of course Graham and Adam are too! Adam made his own pasta and combined it with potatoes, cabbage, celery, butter, parmigiano cheese and fontina cheese. Mmmmmm, lovely.

18 Herb & Garlic Orzo and Manicotti
Ruth (Once Upon A Feast)

Our lovely creator and host of Presto Pasta Nights is next up and of course as you would expect it is pretty spectacular. Ruth made us a Eggplant (& Lamb) Manicotti and the pasta in the dish is actually slices of aubergine. The filling is made up of garlic, ricotta cheese, spinach leaves, fresh basil leaves, flat leaf parsley, Swiss cheese, toasted sunflower seeds & parmesan topped with a tomato sauce and mozzarella. The lamb is optional, I was glad to hear. It looks pretty darn tasty to me.

19 Roasted Garlic Pesto Pasta
Michelle (Ms. Enplace)

Michelle's husband came up with the wonderful pesto for this dish. If you are like me, then you love pesto. This pesto is a lot mellower than your average pesto because of the roasted garlic. Roasting the garlic makes it mellower and sweeter. Michelle's secret to this dish is a wee splash of cream to loosen the pesto. Slurp!

20 Orecchiette with Dried Tomatoes & Melted Leeks
Lauren (Healthy. Delicious.)

Lauren tells us that this simple yet satisfying meal was inspired by the Shepherd’s Pasta at New World Bistro Bar. This is our last entry, but a really delicious one. Grape Tomatoes, Oregano, Orecchiette, Leeks, Fennel, Fennel Seeds, Feta, Salt and Pepper. Drool, drool. Sounds good doesn’t it? A great dish to end on. On a side note I am keeping Lauren’s post open to show Graham. I don’t know how long I have been hinting for a silpat liner. Jings, I am not event subtle! Whenever, I see chef using one, I point it out and yet it hasn’t worked so far. I have had other liners from him that are a complete waste of time, but my point just isn’t getting across. Might just have to give in and treat myself. It is such a pity they are not available here in the UK. Lauren use hers (lucky sod!) to dry her tomatoes, to make them extra tasty. Oh, here he comes, wish me luck!

Thank you to everyone who took part this week in my first roundup for Presto Pasta Nights and thank you to Ruth for extending me the offer to host. Pasta it’s just the best! Oh and in case you are interested I showed him and he just sort of sighed and grunted. Oh well!


  1. wonderful roundup many flavourful dishes

  2. Very nice roundup, Jacqueline! So many interested recipes, including some Italian favorites. I am looking forward to reading the details. Have a great weekend!

  3. Absolutely fantastic roundup!! The dishes all have me drooling and your commentary is awesome. Thanks for hosting this week's Presto Pasta Night. I hope you plan on doing it again some time... hopefully without any Blogger malfunctions.

    Thanks everyone for such amazing dishes. I can't wait to try them out.

  4. Wow, this is a lot of pasta! Great round-up. Thanks for hosting!

  5. Wonderful round up and congrats for getting it all done with all the issues with blogger! Thanks again for hosting this week :-)

  6. Oh, and we had pasta tonight! Everything looks delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. great round up jacqueline - glad blogger is back up though my last post is still disappeared and I am wondering if I repost it. am sure your wee boy will grow to appreciate pasta - it is so good - have you tried the tiny soup pasta for Cooper?

  8. Thanks so much for hosting--especially during such a challenging time with Blogger. This is a lovely round up--so many wonderful and creative dishes. ;-)

  9. Wow...what a round up of gorgeous looking dishes. I don't know which to vote for or which to cook first, they all look fantastic.

    Well done on coping with Blogger, it's been driving me mad!!

    Sue xx

  10. Thanks Akheela :)

    It is a good varied roundup Simona :)

    Yes, I just hope I'm not jinxed now Ruth, I am certainly not offering to host during Black Friday again. I wonder if that was why the slot wasn't filled.

    Thanks MM :)

    It was a bit of a trial Martha and such bad timing, but I got there in the end.

    Hope you have a good weekend too Mary :)

    Cooper loves pasta Johanna, I just haven't managed to persuade him to eat big pasta yet, he still prefers the teeny baby pasta shells.

    Glad you are enjoying the roundup Deb and thank you for entering your lovely dish.

    Hopefully that is an end to the blogger problems Sue :)

  11. My gosh! So many lovely pasta dishes. I really like the idea of the one with brie lol. I made sauce with camembert and butter-fried breadcrumbs once and it was amazing. Not sure I'm very ladylike when eating spaghetti, just a tiny bit more than Miss 20 months ;)Sluuurp.

  12. There are some great dishes this week - I'm looking forward to browsing them!

  13. Haven't tried Cooper on Spaghetti yet, well he has had the baby spaghetti LF, he is a bit suspicious of new food at the moment.

    Enjoy Corina :)

  14. So many delicious dishes Hacqueline and so little time. Blogger being down definitely put a wrench in the well oiled machine of our blogs.

  15. Wow, the PPN recipes have been flooding in to you this week. And you've done brilliantly with blogger issues over the past couple of days, though I note the problems are still ongoing (my Banoffee Curd post got reposted as if i had posted it today, but it went on Wednesday); and fellow bloggers such as JohannaGGG still missing her most recent post.

    Anyway, Thank you so much for hosting PPN. Your commentary is always wonderful and heartwarming.

  16. Delicious many mouthwatering dishes! Is it just me or is #7 upside down (I must have stared at that photo for like 5 minutes trying to figure it out, LOL!)? ha. Have a fabulous weekend =)

  17. Gorgeous round-up!! What a pain blogger has been, I lost my brownie post and all my comments :(


  18. gorgeous roundup!! that brie on.... drool!!

    have to say, that silpat was one of the best $20 I ever spent. The other versions aren't anywhere as good... you should treat yourself!

  19. All the pasta dishes look healthful and delicious! Thanks for the round up despite the hiccup.

  20. Pasta is pretty much my fave kind of meal, this roundup will keep me happy for a few weeks ;0)

  21. what a great round up of meals :)

  22. Ah Pasta Nights! Their "always the best in town" - to paraphrase that good old seventies disco act!

  23. Super round-up, Jacqueline. And I'm going to try that brie one ASAP!


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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