Howdo! This rigatoni caprese pasta is a treasure, not least because it’s perfect for when you can’t be arsed to fuss about in the kitchen for very long because your ankles hurt and you’ve got a touch of sweaty boob rash and your husband is an unhelpful clot. Just me? The recipe can be found if you just scroll straight on down to the photos, as ever, but also, as ever, we have all our self-indulgent ramblings to get through. Only a quick one though! Before I do, one note on the rigatoni caprese pasta – you can reduce the syns entirely by leaving out the pine nuts, honey and olives, but honestly, they add so much.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, Paul did indeed come down with the ‘rona and had to be put away in another room, like one might do with best china when you have rough relatives around. Only in this case, Paul is the rough relative. After a long period of wondering whether he was going to get worse (he didn’t) or I was going to catch it (I didn’t) we are reunited and it feels so good. Well, it feels as good as it can do, we’ve been together fourteen years. Reuniting was like pulling an old jumper from the wardrobe before winter comes.
He’s still not 100% – getting breathless very easily being his main bugbear – but given he gets out of breath sucking a Polo mint at the best of times, it’s hard to know what is what. He’s also entirely lost his sense of taste which I’m sure in no way goes towards explaining why he’s started cutting about town in a little yellow woollen hat. Actually to be fair, he does look cute in it so we can let him off. His sense of smell is returning which I’m absolutely raging about because I was in the middle of arranging for the gas taps at home to be uncapped so he could have a terrible accident.
But let’s be honest: Paul got lucky here. He’s a lad of heft, after all, and I confess that as soon as he told me he was positive I was eyeing up my black shirts and wondering whether I had the legs to carry off a set of widow’s weeds. Other people haven’t been so lucky and whilst a vaccine may be incoming, it’s going to be a rough winter.
It’s not my place to hold forth on the legitimacy of the virus or whether it’s all a big conspiracy, although, clue, it isn’t. But I do just want to make one plea: be considerate. Having Paul go under with it made it all very real for me, and I honestly think that’s what it’ll take for all those people not bothering with masks or washing their hands. The mask thing I genuinely don’t understand: absolutely fair enough if you can’t wear one for medical reasons, but those people who make a big show of not wearing them because it’s ‘state control’ or ‘following the sheep’ – nonsense.
It’s just decent behaviour. Even if you don’t think it’ll make much difference, where’s the harm in popping one on when you speak to people in retail, for example? By not doing so, you’re forcing them in a difficult position where they have to be civil despite you not giving a jot what they think. But if you wear one, no-one loses out!
Anyway, shan’t keep you. Let’s do the rigatoni caprese pasta and then you can get back to being filthy.
This rigatoni caprese pasta is perfect for a quick lunch, and remember you can knock out a few syns by leaving out the pine nuts. But you mustn’t!
You can add chilli to this rigatoni caprese pasta if you want it a bit spicier.
It keeps well in the freezer too, though the tomatoes may burst.
rigatoni caprese pasta
Yield 2 servings
This recipe for rigatoni caprese pasta makes enough for two big servings.
You'll know this by now - we're huge fans of Hello Fresh. We took out a subscription while we had to lockdown in a hotel after a Pasta 'n' Sauce went rogue and made Cub Towers uninhabitable for a bit. We've only got a tiny kitchen here and it just made sense, and plus I couldn't be chewed on with queueing outside of the Morrison's. We've stuck with it while we're still here and we're hoping if we big them up enough they'll not get a cob on about us pinching their recipes. If you want a taste of the action, just click here to get £20 off your first box, and also send a pretty £20 note our way too. Thanking you! Now, if you'll excuse me I'm gonna ride this big rigatoni into the sky.
- 2 shallots
- 400g rigatoni
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 black olives (3 syns)
- 250g baby plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp pine nuts (2x HeB, or 6 syns)
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 bunch of chives
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 80g reduced fat mozzarella (2x HEA)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
- bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil
- meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the shallot and roughly chop the olives
- halve the baby plum tomatoes and roughly chop the parsley
- place the baby plum tomatoes and parsley in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt
- when the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions, then drain
- meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the pine nuts, and toast until golden (this will take about 2-3 minutes, be sure to stir them frequently), then tip into a bowl
- place the frying pan back over the heat and spray with a little oil
- add the shallots to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, then add the garlic and tomato puree and give a good stir
- add the chopped tomatoes and olives and crumble in the stock cube and stir again
- bring to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes (until reduced by about half)
- meanwhile, finely chop the chives and drain the mozzarella
- tear the mozzarella into small pieces
- gently stir the balsamic vinegar and honey into the baby plum tomatoes
- when the sauce is cooked, add the drained pasta to the frying pan and stir until well coated
- add half the chives and half of the mozzarella and stir again, and serve onto plates or bowls
- top with the baby plum tomatoes, remaining chives and mozzarella, and pine nuts
- any pasta you have will do!
- the pine nuts are absolutely optional, if you can't be arsed to find them then you can leave them out. Roasted chickpeas work really well in this too!
- if you want to add a bit of zing, feta works really well instead of mozzarella
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Love having your hole stretched? The rigatoni caprese will do that, and you can find more pasta ideas from your tasty cubs below!
- chorizo and bacon carbonara
- red pesto pasta
- no regrets proper macaroni cheese
- coronation chicken pasta
- syn-free minestrone soup in a hurry
- syn-free cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake
- garlic, bacon and chicken pasta
- slow cooker lasagne
- butternut squash spaghetti sauce
- baked spaghetti pie