A go to pasta dish is pretty much a staple part of our midweek meal plans! It can be thrown together in minutes and requires mininal effort. I also love pasta due to how versatile it is as you can add any vegetables, sauce, meat, fish or nuts and really mix it up a bit. One of my favourite quick meals is a Leek and Spinach Spaghetti Carbonara. There is something so comforting about sitting down with a bowl of this classic dish.
Yet I do appreciate that eating pasta every night probably isn’t the most varied or healthy of diets. It is why I like courgetti to help cut down. However, I do stand firm that a pasta dish is part of a healthy and balanced diet and I have made it no secret that I find the whole gluten free craze absolute rubbish. I was dissappointed to hear that the NHS is going to crackdown on prescribing certain items. While there are many items affected, one of those is gluten free products. The rise in healthy and trendy gluten free diets has given those actually diagnosed with coeliac disease better access to a whole range of gluten free access. Most supermarkets have a ‘free from’ range and never before have we had easy availability to gluten free products for example. This all sounds good for those who have no choice but to avoid gluten, especially as they make up an incredibly small percent of the population! But this is what happens when items become readily available over the counter. It becomes cheaper to buy them without a prescription but gluten free products are still expensive. And what about those who would usually get their prescriptions for free? The ‘free from’ aisles are also bigger in areas that are more affluent. Again highlighting the social status of following diets glamourised by the clean eating crowd. So what about those who live in less affluent areas and the supermarkets have a much smaller range, if at all?
Following a gluten free diet should also be down to personal choice. But there is an issue that a lot of that is falling onto the NHS and instead those who really can’t eat gluten will be affected by the cuts. What I would like to see is better education in food. I honestly believe that a balanced diet is the most long lasting and healthy approach. Look at the amount of success stories to come out of Slimming World. Their recipes involve all food groups and create a balanced diet. It is also not expensive.
This Blue Cheese, Broccoli and Walnut Tagliatelle is one of my favourite recipes. It has gluten, it has cheese and it has cream. It is real food! I just don’t eat it every night and instead as part of a balanced diet. I cook the cheese with just a tablespoon of crème fraîche that still gives the pasta dish a rich and creamy texture. Blue cheese has quite a strong flavour and so you only need a small amount. The walnuts and broccoli add a little extra crunch. It really is the perfect quick and easy recipe to make after work.
- 50g blue cheese (I usually use gorgonzola)
- Tagliatelle (enough for 2 portions, around 150-200g in total)
- 250g broccoli florets
- 1 tbpsn crème fraîche
- Juice of half a lemon
- Handful of walnuts (roughly chopped)
- Olive oil
- Salt/ pepper
- Add the tagliatelle to a pan of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Around 4 or 5 mins towards the end add the broccoli to the pan.
- Once you have added the broccoli heat a dash of olive oil in a large/ deep pan. Stir in the crème fraîche and lemon juice and heat on a gentle heat. Then add the blue cheese and walnuts and stir until the cheese has just started to melt.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the pan with the cheese. Mix everything together so that the pasta is coated in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve!