3 Pasta Meals in Minutes

Things are rarely what they seem (and people for that matter), skimmed milk masquerades as cream…as does 3.5% Turkish yogurt, which is to die live for….My addiction!

IMG_7885Moving on, the story I bring you is certainly a case of not judging a book by its cover….
I mean, you can’t tell human carnivores from herbivores can you? Not by their dispositions, or height, or weight for that matter. I know many slim meat eaters (I’m not one of them I might add!) and therefore I presume there’ll have to be many not-so-slim vegetarians, but let that discussion hang there for a mo and I’ll tell you why you’re here, listening to my ramblings.


Weeks ago in the office, a colleague and I happened upon the hot topic of – Steak , a discussion (which I can’t fathom the origins but that’s by the wayside isn’t it. To the heart of the matter now :-), which lightly degenerated into a little argument if truth be told. Harmless albeit. Anyway, since I wasn’t raised a steak chic, I was saying to him the difficulties I had cooking it till I found Jaden’s recipe. It was at this point he said the unexpected: ‘Well Oz, I wouldn’t know… I’m vegetarian’.


For a few seconds, I was quiet. Ask me why? I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t expect him to be vegetarian. There’s nothing wrong with being vegetarian. What completely bowled me over was the strength of my bias. Why couldn’t he be vegetarian? What made me think he was a meat lover? Had he said anything to hint at this? or not? and was it even important? Afterall, my good friend S who is veggie has been over twice for meals and has inspired me on each occasion to make soups with heart and soul. Though she eats fish, just like P. Actually they are pescitarians – vegetarians who eat seafood!

Anyhow, further conversations with P got me thinking about what he calls Chili sin carne – a vegetarian version of chili con carne, which I made. Also, since one of my new year’s resolutions is to eat more pulses and become a Flexitarian, (a vegetarian at least once a week), the following recipes fit in rather nicely.


All you need is a pot of chili sin carne, some pasta tubes (I use Schiaffoni, which are rather large tubes) and dumpling wrappers, cheese, bechamel and you’re set to go off to make 3 different recipes. Mind you, a lot of these things are suitable make-ahead candidates so this also makes for super quick and super tasty meals, also perfect as appetisers!

Note that these are loose recipes, use the quantities you desire and style as you wish. Take these as mere suggestions. You also need to be aware that the Schiaffoni takes up to 20 minutes to cook before it becomes al dente/soft (for me anyway!)

The key thing is to have the recipes heated up and ready to go….

Recipe #1 – Stuffed Schiaffoni with basil and cheese


Place a pasta tube on a plate and fill the core with chili. Sprinkle some cheese over it and if you like, pop it under the grill for a few minutes. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve.


You just may end up with clean plates too…well almost!

IMG_7889Recipe #2 – 10 minute grill lasagna

For this, you’ll need some bechamel sauce, in addition to chili, some Schiaffoni tubes and cheese.

Split the Schiaffoni tubes into two to form small sheets.

IMG_7891 Then form two stacks with alternating layers of pasta, chili, bechamel (ignore my rather lumpy bechamel…case of not following a recipe :-)).

IMG_7893 IMG_7894 IMG_7896 IMG_7899

Finish with a layer of pasta, followed by some bechamel sauce and then a sprinkling of cheese.


Pop this under the grill for a few minutes…


…till the cheese melts and is golden!
IMG_7918Enjoy the delicious combination…..

IMG_7927I think it makes a great starter!

Recipe #3- Cheat’s round ravioli

I am a dumpling lover, having made tons of them recently! So, with some leftover dumpling wrappers, I decided to try out a chili bean ravioli served with basil pesto oil.

Essentially, you’ll need 2 wrappers per ravioli.

IMG_7860 IMG_7864

Place the required filling in the centre of one wrapper – I used some grated cheese and chili.

IMG_7932 IMG_7934IMG_7937 IMG_7939

Dip your finger in water and wet all around the edge of the wrapper. Place the second wrapper over the top of the filled one and press edges together to seal.


Place in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, till the ravioli rise to the surface and shrink a bit.


Serve with some basil pesto oil (a mixture of pesto and olive oil).


* Clink* to keeping with our Ten in 10 and to my New Year’s resolutions of eating more pulses and having veggie meals!

I am also sending this on to Presto Pasta Night, hosted by Ruth….of Presto Pasta Nights![wpurp-searchable-recipe]3 Pasta Meals in Minutes – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. My partner and I made this for our dinner last saturday. One and all loved it, for certain I will be serving it on a regular basis from now on, it really is amazing to obtain innovative inspiration for recipes in addition to straightforward ways to cook them. Thanks for giving them.

  2. I love how you used one sauce three very different and delicious ways! I also love how these are all decadent stuffed/baked pastas. Some of my favorite things.

    Fantastic photos. I am quite impressed.

  3. They all look superb – I especially love the mini-lasagnas, what an excellent idea! As it happens, I make a mean chili sin carne (seeing as I am one of those pesky pescitarians :)), so I reckon I’m good to go on these 🙂

  4. This looks like such a beautiful dish. Very impressive. Whoever got to eat this with you was lucky indeed!
    Yes, attempt 10 of macarons, I’ve made some changes and there were actually improvements, but i overcooked them :(. Finished my eggs but and cant get new ones tomorrow cause of severe wether warnings in my area… crap!

  5. Thanks everyone. Glad you all enjoy the recipes…..here’s another *clink* to healthy eating in 2010!!!!! When we can 🙂

    Celia, I used cooked pasta shells

    Beth, thanks for telling me about Mr Bitman’s advice!!!

    Ruth, looking forward to sharing more on PPN

  6. Great post and stunning photos. Not to mention a fantastic way to start 2010. It’s resolution I think even I could keep. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I do hope to see more of your tasty treats showing up in the new year.

  7. I’m noticing a pasta theme around the web recently, maybe it’s time for me to revisit the idea?

    I like the Flexivore idea. I try to follow Mark Bitman’s no meat before 6pm idea on weekdays and limit myself to meat at one meal on the weekends. The husband says vegetarians are crazy (he was once engaged to one–but I think her vegetarianism had nothing to do with the craziness!) so he insists that I eat meat at least a few times a week!

  8. That’s really clever, I would never have thought to do three different things like this with pasta as I’m too lazy reaching for the bag of Penne (although my son likes the wheel shaped one from Waitrose). Here’s me making Chili Sin Carne with soya for years without realising. I’m not vegetarian but I often eat meals without meat, especially spicy stuff.

  9. Hello. Thanks for popping up my blog.
    Your recipes are absolutely amazing.
    N i really like the way food looks on your pictures, i can nearly taste it.
    I will be around here alot to see what you been doing and learn from you.

  10. All three of these are terrific! Your little lasagnas remind me of my lasagna cupcakes. Now you have me craving pasta for my lunch. I must try your ravioli! 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.