The perfect cut-and-save pasta recipe for hungry back-to-school seasons – The Irish Times

With the return to school looming or already begun for some, I share with you a real family crush. It’s the perfect cut-and-store recipe that’s so handy to have. I cook it very regularly and the leftovers are just as good the next day. That’s a big cook of pasta to feed six people, so it might be worth freezing half of it for another day if you don’t think you’ll eat it all. Coleslaw is perfect for meal prep. It can be made a few days ahead and is a delicious side dish for so many things. It has a light and bright dressing that is so good in sandwiches or with roast chicken.

I used beef for this pasta cook, but I also regularly use flavored sausages. O’Flynns sausages here in Cork make an amazing sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds. It really does enhance a dish to use a good quality flavored sausage as a base. There is also less need for additional seasoning. Simply remove the casings and cook the ground pork in the skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. I always keep some in the freezer as a reserve when I have nothing else planned for dinner.

Pasta will always be pure comfort for me. I love rigatoni, and Italian brand Russo makes a lovely one that’s widely available. You can use any shape of pasta you like here, like penne or fusilli. My kids have become quite obsessed with this particular brand and even notice a slight change in scale or texture, so I’m sticking with that. It’s the same with Bunalun orzo, they love that particular brand and how it cooks so well and holds its rice shape.

I’m always amazed at what my kids like and dislike. Fennel is high on their list of vegetables they like, so I often include it. Its fresh, slightly aniseed flavor works so well here and gives a great crunch to the coleslaw.

Recipe: Baked rigatoni pasta with carrot, fennel and red cabbage salad