Pasta and party food

Angela Casley shares her recipes for a perfect, deliciously simple pasta sauce and party-approved no-fuss finger food.

Creamy celery and bacon pasta

PHOTOS: BABICHE MARTENS
PHOTOS: BABICHE MARTENS
This quick and creamy midweek dinner is simple to make, and a great way to introduce celery to those who think they’re not fans. It adds a little crunch, but the celery itself is slightly hidden in the delicious sauce. You can use any pasta for this.

Serves 4

400g pappardelle

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 rashers bacon, chopped

1 cup cream

¼ cup white wine

2 cups spinach leaves

1 cup basil leaves

1 cup grated parmesan

salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1. Cook the pappardelle as per packet instructions.

2. While the pasta cooks, warm the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and celery, cooking for 3 or 4 minutes to soften. Remove and cook the bacon until browned. Return the onions to the pan. Add the cream, wine, spinach leaves, half the basil leaves and parmesan, heating through. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the hot pasta, tossing well to combine. Serve with extra parmesan and basil leaves.

Citrusy chicken and pine nut salad cups

Citrus is a welcome addition in so many settings, bringing its zesty flavours to the plate. Here the lemon or lime adds a great tang to these simple but tasty salads.

Makes 12

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 Tbsp roughly chopped capers

1 Tbsp lemon or lime zest

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup aioli

¼ cup chopped parsley

½ cup toasted pine nuts

salt and pepper, to taste

12 baby cos leaves

To serve

extra lime wedges

Method

1. Place the chicken, capers, zest, sour cream, aioli, parsley and half the pine nuts in a large bowl, combining well. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Place the cos leaves on a platter. Spoon the chicken mixture into each leaf and serve with extra pine nuts and lime wedges to squeeze. — viva.co.nz

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