Oodles of noodles and plenty of spaghetti

On a busy weeknight, a plate of pasta or noodles is the perfect meal to make. But you can make it even better with a few more steps and ingredients.

Oodles of noodles and plenty of spaghetti

Noodle kugel

Noodle kugel is the pasta-lover's version of bread pudding. With its perfect mix of creamy and sweet ingredients, it could very well be the ultimate comfort food. We've taken the kugel a step further by adding a crunchy top layer made from crispy cornflakes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes 

Serves 6

  • 500 g (1 lb) wide egg noodles
  • 60 g (4 tbsp) plus 45 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175 ml (3/4 c) half-and-half
  • 135 g (2/3 c) plus
  • 45 g (3 tbsp) sugar
  • 500 ml (16 oz) sour cream
  • 500 ml (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 250 g (1 c) golden raisins
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 g (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 725-750 g (3 c) cornflakes, lightly crushed1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Coat a 23 x 35 centimetre (9 x 13 inch) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot, add 60 grams (four tablespoons) of the butter and stir until melted.
    3. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, 135 grams (2/3 cup) of sugar, then the sour cream, ricotta, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the noodles and toss well to coat. Transfer to the baking dish.
    4. Melt the remaining 45 grams (three tablespoons) of butter in a small microwavable bowl for 30 seconds. Combine with the cornflakes and remaining 45 grams (three tablespoons) sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the noodle mixture.
    5. Bake until the edges turn brown and the liquid has set, 50 to 55 minutes.
    6. Let stand for five minutes before cutting.

Spaghetti alfredo

Pasta Alfredo is a fixture on most Northern Italian restaurant menus. For a fun twist, we use spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti ­noodles. When the squash cooks, it separates into strands that resemble spaghetti yet have a delicious sweetness that pairs well with mild and savoury Alfredo sauce.

Preparation time: 10 minutes 

Cooking time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4

  • 1 spaghetti squash (1.25 to 1.5 kg/2 3/4 to 3 lb), halved and seeded
  • 125 g (1/2 c or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) heavy cream
  • 50 g (1/2 c) grated good-quality Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 g (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
    2. Place the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet and prick the skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and hold the skin side of the squash with an oven mitt. Scrape the inside flesh of the squash in long strokes with a fork over a medium bowl. Repeat with the second half.
    3. Combine the butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter melts and is hot, three to four minutes.
    4. Pour over the squash and stir in the Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
    5. Serve immediately.

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