While you might be tempted to dive into the familiar world of spaghetti bolognese and cheesy pasta bakes, it’s worth taking the opportunity to spice up your culinary regime. Here are our top 5 freshers favourites made fancy (all without breaking the bank).
Our Top 5 Alternatives to Student Classics
Pesto pasta: Try homemade pesto
There’s no doubt pesto is universally loved, especially when it is virtually free from preparation and can be added to almost any dish for instant flavour. However, it goes without saying that homemade pesto is exceedingly more flavourful than store-bought varieties. While pesto might seem gourmet, its humble origins in the north of Italy are a testament to the fact that it is just as simple to make at home in your mortar & pestle or blender. When this sauce is made by hand, its ingredients are elevated from good to great, and will also taste more fresh, nutty and complex. Our authentic pesto alla Genovese recipe is perfect to recreate for when you have a spare 5 minutes; trust us, you’ll want this one in your university store cupboard.
Tuna pasta: Try gemelli with anchovies, tomato, and mascarpone
Swap out the tuna and ditch the mayonnaise; this meal is amply more flavoursome and will have all self confessed anchovy cynics lapping at their plates. With heavy adulation from Nigella Lawson and home cooks alike, it’s definitely worth scheduling a dinner party with friends for. They’ll come for the company and then stay for second helpings.
Garlic butter pasta: Try aglio e olio
When it comes to both alternatives to buttery pasta recipes and ease of preparation, there’s nothing that can beat a well made aglio e olio. A sumptuous combination of oil, garlic, and spaghetti, this dish comes together in ten minutes and replicates that buttery, melt in the mouth feeling. Being that it is scarce in ingredients, it is key that you use high quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic to reap the benefits of this dish’s aromatic Mediterranean flavour.
Craving something indulgent? Try our creamy tagliatelle carbonara
Yes, pasta carbonara is indulgent and so it also has a bad reputation for being difficult to prepare. While it is important to have the right technique, as well as good produce when preparing (as with our aglio e oglio recipe), it also the ultimate meal to make when you have next to nothing in the house for dinner. It hardly takes any time to cook, but the creamy emulsion of the eggs when paired with the salty kick of pancetta makes it feel like a decadent masterpiece.
Spaghetti bolognese: Try tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese
How could we end with anything else? Bolognese first appears in L’Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Art of Eating Well) by Pellegrino Artusi in 1891. While I’m sure we can all agree that there are many ways to eat well, Artusi was pretty adamant regarding a certain exception to the rule: in order for bolognese sauce to be truly authentic, it must be served with tagliatelle. This pasta shape is wider than spaghetti and therefore produces an arguably even heartier meal when paired with chunky plant or meat-based sauces. Why not enrich your weeknight dinner by trying our creamy tagliatelle & wild mushroom ragù for a vegetarian alternative?
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.