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Pleasing pasta

Comforting, easy and versatile, pasta is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Whether it’s indulgent or a bright, fresh dish to enjoy in the sun, make the most of a staple ingredient with this selection of perfect pasta recipes . . .

Mushroom Pasta

Serves: 3-4

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 25 minutes


250g button mushrooms, sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

200g pasta

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup olive oil

4 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Chilli flakes (optional)

Pinch salt and pepper


Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly until it softens.

Add the mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil and cook for around 10 minutes until slightly golden and cooked through. Stir through the garlic, salt and pepper.

Add the tomato paste and cook over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes then add the lemon juice.

Add the cooked pasta to the mushroom sauce and combine well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley and chilli flakes. Serve warm.

Avocado Basil Pasta

Serves: 4

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes


2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, some to garnish

2 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

300g spaghetti pasta

⅓ cup olive oil

Pinch salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

To make the avocado sauce, blend avocados, basil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add olive oil in a slow stream and set aside

In a large bowl, combine pasta and avocado sauce. Transfer to a plate and top with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Broccoli and Lemon Pasta

Serves: 3-4

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes


1 head broccoli, coarsely chopped

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Zest of 1 lemon

⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

200g farfalle pasta (or pasta of choice)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch salt and pepper

Handful fresh parsley, chopped


Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons olive oil

1½ tablespoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Pinch salt and black pepper


In a saucepan over medium heat, add oil and shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add broccoli, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until broccoli is slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

In a large pot, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli mixture, parsley and dressing. Toss well and top with Parmesan cheese.

— Courtesy of 5+A Day

Mushroom pasta
Avocado Basil Pasta
Broccoli and Lemon Pasta