Pasta soup with chickpeas/Miso ramen & tuna

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Pasta recipes

These delicious recipes feature in Valentina Sforza’s new book, 500 Pasta Dishes (see book giveaway, below). The book includes an excellent collection of recipes and highlights the versatility of pasta. Valentina includes both traditional recipes such as spaghetti bolognese as well as exciting new dishes to try such as squid liguine.

Pasta book coverAt the start of the book Valentina gives us a lovely insight into the history of pasta which makes for very interesting reading. The recipes are easy to follow and variations of each dish are included in a separate area to keep life interesting.

Recipes in the book include a 1 or 2 sentence description that either explains about the flavour, its origin or the importance of using specific ingredients.

Recipes extracted with permission from 500 Pasta Dishes: The only pasta compendium you’ll ever need by Valentina Sforza.
Photography by Ian Garlick.
Produced by Quintet and published in New Zealand by New Holland.


Pasta soup with chickpeas

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is said to be the oldest recorded recipe for a pasta dish; it was prepared by Roman Legionnaires over their camp fires, mixing boiled chickpeas with a primitive form of pappardelle, olive oil and generous slug of garum, a fermented fish sauce.

9 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped to a puree
9 tbsp. olive oil
400g (14 oz.) tinned chickpeas
2 x 5-cm (2-in.) sprigs fresh rosemary
300g (10 oz.) small soup pasta
6 salted anchovy fillets, boned, rinsed and chopped very finely
2 tbsp. tomato puree
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Freshly ground black pepper, to serve

In a large, deep saucepan, fry half the garlic with about one third of the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and stir together with the garlic and oil until heated through. Then add enough cold water to cover, and add the rosemary. Stir, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chickpeas are becoming slightly mushy. As soon as the chickpeas are mushy add the pasta to the soup, adding a little hot water if necessary. Simmer until the pasta is just tender.

While the soup is simmering, put the remaining garlic and oil in a separate small pan with the anchovy fillets and the tomato puree. Fry together very gently, stirring frequently until the garlic is soft and the mixture comes together (about 3–4 minutes). Remove from the heat and keep warm. When the pasta in the soup is cooked, stir in the anchovy and garlic mixture. Serve immediately with a little olive oil and a touch more black pepper.

Serves 6–8


Simple pasta soup with chickpeas & parmesan
Omit the anchovy and garlic sauce and serve the soup simply drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Pasta soup with chickpeas & pancetta
Saute the softened chickpeas and garlic in the olive oil with 3 tablespoons cubed pancetta or chopped streaky bacon to add a lovely meaty flavour to this soup. In this instance, omit the anchovy sauce.

Pasta soup with chickpeas & chilli oil
To add extra fire, finish off the soup with a generous drizzle of chilli oil instead of the oil and black pepper.


Miso with ramen & seared tuna

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Click to enlarge

This light Japanese broth is poured over tender ramen noodles (fine, quick-cooking wheat noodles) and topped with seared tuna to make a healthy and delicious meal.

1L (2 ¼ pints) water
4 tbsp. miso paste
250g (9 oz.) ramen noodles
4 tuna steaks (each about 115g (4 oz.))
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Groundnut or sunflower oil, for greasing
4 spring onions, sliced

Heat the water and miso paste gently in a large saucepan, stirring until the miso has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, drain, and divide among four bowls.

Season the tuna steaks with salt and ground black pepper. Brush a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat until hot. Sear the tuna for about 2 minutes on each side until cooked, but still pink in the middle. Place a tuna steak in each bowl and scatter with spring onions.

Ladle the broth into the bowls and serve immediately.

Serves 4


Miso with ramen & tofu
Prepare the basic recipe, omitting the tuna. Add 250g (9 oz.) cubed silken tofu to the broth and warm through for 1 minute, then ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the spring onions.

Miso with ramen & seared salmon
Prepare the basic recipe, using skinned salmon fillets in place of the tuna steaks. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes, until cooked, then finish as in the main recipe.

Miso with ramen & king prawns
Prepare the basic recipe, omitting the tuna steaks. Add 350g (12 oz.) shelled, deveined raw king prawns to the broth 2 minutes before serving. Cook until pink and cooked through, then ladle over the noodles.

Miso with ramen & chargrilled chicken
Slice 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts into strips. Combine 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and salt and pepper. Toss with the chicken and marinate for 1 hour. Prepare the basic recipe, omitting the tuna. Heat a ridged griddle pan, then cook the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. Scatter over the cooked noodles and ladle the broth on top.



We have 1 copy of 500 Pasta Dishes to give away.

To ENTER THE DRAW TO WIN A COPY simply post a comment below. Anything will do. You can just say hello, if you like. Or you could share your best cooking tip.



  1. I’d love to be able to give this to my son and daughter-in-law as they adore pasta dishes and trying new meals:-)

  2. We all LOVE pasta in our house and I’m always scrambling for new recipes so this would be a welcome addition to our cookbook collection!!

  3. Yum – count me in!! Thank you so much for yet another fantastic giveaway 🙂

  4. I really like pasta but sometimes get stuck for new ideas on how to serve it – this book would be super helpful……might even earn me some brownie points with my wife.

  5. Sounds like it is jam packed full of yummy dinner options, please do pop me in the draw – thank you!!

  6. Connor Baker says

    I love pasta

  7. I’d love to win this for my son. He’s at university and loves pasta. Love your magazine, can’t believe you do all that for us, for nothing. Thank you .

  8. Always looking for new recipes. I read the title of the two recipes you included, and thought…mmmh…. strange! Let’s check it out! And wow, I can’t wait to try both of these! Imagine a whole book of pasta to play with! I can’t wait!
    Many thanks!

  9. Oooo, I’d LOVE a pasta recipe book please – my niece bought me a pasta machine recently and I’m not quite sure what to do with it!! :))

  10. This looks great. We love pasta in our house!

  11. What a great prize! I would love this!

  12. Love to try some more of the recipes

  13. Hi
    this would be awesome!!!


  14. Amazing book

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