Category Archives: Pasta

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 2…Pasta and Noodles…

Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard…Of things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Don’t they always though…haha

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at Pasta and Noodles…

Mixed pasta and noodles

Pasta and noodles keep well and are invaluable store cupboard staples as they can be used in many dishes either hot or cold…


Dried pasta keeps for months in an airtight container and can also look very pretty stored on your kitchen counter…Do however always check the pack for information on storage.

Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes. Egg pasta is enriched with egg yolks and has a richer flavour than plain pasta it is also often more expensive than plain dried varieties however it is all in the sauce and bog-standard plain pasta can be elevated with a good sauce…It is all about personal taste or the occasion…

Pasta should be cooked in plenty of water heated to a rolling boil…Just be aware that fresh pasta cooks very quickly and is bought chilled or if you are clever and make your own …Well done…Something I have never attempted…If you buy fresh pasta it can be stored in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for several months.

I am lucky enough to have found a source here which sells lovely coloured fresh pasta which is coloured with natural colours i.e beetroot…

Pasta also comes in tiny shapes which are ideal for soups and kids like them…Thes lovely little alphabet shapes served with a homemade tomato sauce…Kids love it!


alphabet pasta shapes

You can freeze small portions of sauce and keep a supply of pasta in your store cupboard …20 mins and the kids are fed and happy…


Noodles are very very popular here and sold fresh, dried and ready-cooked everywhere…They are a staple in the Thai diet… and served at most meals…

Rice Noodles…

These translucent white noodles are a great alternative to wheat noodles especially for those on a gluten-free diet.  They are available as broad flat or thin noodles that can be added to stir-fries and soups as well as used cold as a base for salads. Easy to prepare as they need no cooking just soak in boiling water for about 5 mins depending on the size of the noodles then use as required.

prawns with glass noodles

This is a typical Thai glass noodle salad…normally quite spicy….Lovely…Quick and easy to use they are a good standby in your store cupboard.

Egg Noodles…

Made from wheat flour and eggs may be thick, medium or thin again very popular in both Chinese and Asian stir-fries or deep-fried as a garnish…who doesn’t love crispy noodles? Here they are used as a garnish for my favourite Khao Soi…A Thai Yellow noodle chicken curry…

Egg noodles can be brought dry or fresh, store accordingly to the type …dry for the store cupboard and fresh for the fridge or frozen…

Egg noodles have a lovely nutty taste and are a good value for money as well as being a versatile store cupboard ingredient…Like rice noodles they can be served in hot or cold dishes they lend themselves to both…

Couscous and Polenta…

Like pasta and noodles are cheap to buy and can be used as a base for many dishes…Mild in flavour they go very well with strongly flavoured food such as aromatics, herbs and spices.

Couscous is made from durum wheat and is often thought of as a type of pasta it is also a handy store cupboard staple. Traditionally couscous needed a long steaming before serving whereas there are now many supermarket instant brands or ones which only need a quick pre-soaking in water. Classically known as an accompaniment for Moroccan tagines it is now more popular and goes well with meat, fish or vegetable stews. Also, an excellent base for salads it is very economical.

My tried and tested recipe for tagine…This was one of my first attempts and using prunes which neither hubby or the grandkids would have tried if they had known…Sometimes we have to be sneaky then food is tried with an open mind…I have learnt that much over the years…haha

Chicken and Prune Tagine/Stew


• 4 large chicken breasts, skinned and cut into cubes
• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil I used coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
• 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
• 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
• 200g/7oz pitted Prunes
• 2 large Onions, sliced
• 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
• 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
• Salt to taste
• 14fl.oz fresh Chicken Stock


Let’s Cook!

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.
  • Add the spices, garlic, ginger, and onions and cook stirring over medium heat until the onions have softened.
  • Add the stock and season with salt then bring to a slow rolling boil and reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about one hour stirring occasionally.
  • At the end of the cooking remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce.
  • Serve with rice or couscous.



The verdict…It is lovely with couscous…

Everyone including little Lily loved it. After they had expressed their delight and hubby said he thought the black things were mushrooms(shitake) and grandson asked for more I confessed the dish contained prunes, a dish which is now a family favourite… I was pleasantly surprised at that given the lack of chilli and some of the spices used. The biggest plus is now the grandkids will try dishes with prunes…Result…


Is made from finely ground cornmeal…Cooked with water and either served soft rather like mashed potato or left to set then cut into pieces and grilled( broiled) or fried. Again a mild flavour and best served with flavourful ingredients…

It can also be used in baking…my preference is a polenta cake rather than as a savoury side…

Again another good store cupboard essential which is now sold both ready-made or a quick cook product…All I would say is check what has been added…Many quick quick and ready-made products contain additives.

That’s all for Pasta and noodles so now our store cupboard can be stocked up a little more…Next week it is rice…


You are reading a recipe and come across something you have never heard of or know it is ridiculously expensive and doesn’t store well…It is well worth the time learning what you can substitute for an ingredient and often it doesn’t alter the taste at all …I will do a post on substitutes at a later date…But always do your research don’t let one ingredient put you off making a recipe…

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx

Pasta wih sausage and tomato sauce.

sausage and pastaMy pasta recipes seem to go down very well so I am having a bit of a change from Thai Food maybe it is not to everyone’s taste. I love pasta and it always goes down well although my love is Thai or Indian food as yoou all know.


Pasta and sausage with tomato and cream sauce.


1 tbsp Olive Oil.

1/2lb of sausages skinned and broken into pieces. I use a spicy sausage but you cann use any sausage of your choice.

1/4-1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes

2 garlic cloves finely  chopped.

Diced and skinned red onion.

I can of tomatoes diced or if like me you have a glut of fresh tomatoes then I also use them skinned and chopped.

3/4 cup of cream

1/4 tsp salt  I use  pink Himalayan salt.

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leafed parsley.

Parmesan to serve.

Let’s Cook!

For quickness you can put your pasta on now in boiling salted water or if you are making the sauce in advance then cook pasta when you are ready as per instructions on the packet.

To make the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the crumbled sausage. Cook until sausage is no longer pink about 7-8 mins then add the onions and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until sausage is nicely browned and onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes, cream and salt and not boil for a further 4 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened.

If you are making the sauce in advance then cover and store in the fridge until later or the next  day.

If you are using the sauce immediately then put pan to one side and cook pasta in boiling water. When ready, drain and add the sauce and stir to combine. Bring the pasta and sauce back to simmer and make sure it is heated through.

Serve in serving bowl or individual bowls , sprinkle with chopped parsley and grate parmesan over the top.

Serve with green vegetables or salad and garlic bread.



Greek Chicken and Artichoke Pasta.

Just for Andria…I hope you like this, I know how you feel all that Christmas fare and we want something different don’t we and a little of what we fancy does us good….. Doesn’t it girls???

So let’s go Greek….


16 ounces of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

1 kilo of chicken meat, breast or thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces

A can of marinated Artichoke hearts drained and chopped.

Med red onion, chopped.

1 large tomato, chopped.

A half cup of feta cheese, crumbled.

1 tbsp Olive Oil.

2tbsp lemon juice.

3 tbsp chopped parsley and a little extra for garnish.

3 cloves of garlic crushed.

2tsp oregano

Salt and Pepper to season.

Lemon wedges to serve.

Let’s Cook!

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al-dente. About 8 mins.

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Stir in chicken and then cook for 5-6 mins until juices run clear and chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat, add artichoke hearts, feta, tomato, parsley, oregano and lemon juice, warm through and then add pasta and stir gently to combine. Remove from heat and check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed to taste.

Garnish with lemon wedges and a little parsley.

Sometimes I use basil(instead of parsley) and a few olives for a change.


Image Pixabay