All things pasta…fresh and simple dinner ideas!

For me cooking and meal-planning centre around simple, fresh and healthy food that is quick to put together. Like so many families, we have a busy schedule, and rushing between work, school and nursery means that cooking time can be very limited. Pasta is very often the perfect quick solution! Simple pasta recipes that I can add a fresh sauce and veggies to have endless variations. I absolutely love pesto pasta with penne or fusilli, and Mia and Joe’s all time favourite is spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce (or peasketti as Joe calls it!) with lots of stringy cheese melting on top.

Jamies-Italian_V6Jamie’s Italian have created this gorgeous pasta infographic, with details of the unique story behind each pasta shape. Reading about the different pasta varieties and their history inspires me to experiment with some new pasta shapes. How pretty are the corzetti and campanelle shapes!

I thought it would also be fun to share my super-simple tomato sauce recipe. I make it at least once a week, and it is great with lots of different pasta varieties. It is very quick to make and (I think!) it tastes so much better than ready made sauces.


400g fresh or canned tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp sugar or honey

1/2 tsp salt

a little freshly ground black pepper

pinch of dried chilli flakes

a splash of olive oil

fresh herbs…oregano, thyme, rosemary


Add the tomatoes to a large frying pan and sprinkle in the salt, sugar, pepper and chilli flakes

Let the tomato mixture cook for 5 minutes on a fairly high heat before adding the garlic, oil and herbs. Lower the temperature so the sauce bubbles gently.

Cook the sauce for another 5-10 minutes until it thickens slightly, adding a splash of water if it starts to stick to the pan.

Check the seasoning, and adjust if necessary, and it’s ready!

Some variations I love are adding a handful of black olives, or parmesan, or some pre-cooked smoked bacon lardons.

I would love to hear your pasta recipes too, what are your favourites?


This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “All things pasta…fresh and simple dinner ideas!

  1. mirari Reply

    i must be an alien but i don’t like pasta!!!! said that, my family loves when i make them ham+cheese pasta, easy and fast! xx

    1. hellomistermagpie Reply

      Ham and cheese pasta sounds delicious! I can definitely understand about disliking popular foods though, I’m not too keen on chips! ☺️

      1. mirari Reply

        i live in the chips country and i wasnt a big fan but oh, they’re extremely tasty here in belgium!!!

        1. hellomistermagpie Reply

          I will have to try a belgian chip one day! 😉

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