> The Beesley Buzz: Respect The Pasta Challenge Two: Doing it Right

Respect The Pasta Challenge Two: Doing it Right

As I'm sure you will remember ASK Italian have asked us to take part in a series of challenges as part of their campaign to remind people that pasta is not just a back-up ingredient stuck in our store cupboards. Instead it can be an exciting idea for a meal if you #RespectThePasta.

For our first challenge, we got to 'Respect The Cook' by having a fantastic Mothers Day meal out at our local ASK Italian restaurant. This time we are 'Doing it Right' by learning to cook pasta properly using top tips from chef Theo Randall.
Miss T loves pasta!
Theo Randall has worked closely with ASK Italian on their menu and, having a passion for Italian food, has come up with some important Do's and Don't's to remember when cooking pasta:
We put these rules into practice when we cooked a 'Meatloaf and Spaghetti' meal for dinner. We love spaghetti but I wanted to try something other than Spaghetti bolognaise. A friend had cooked this dish recently and it tasted great so I wanted to have a go at cooking it myself.
Meatloaf and spaghetti
I've used the recipe she told me, which I think is a Jamie Oliver one as it uses Feta in it like this one, but its not exactly the same so I will list the ingredients we used.

I made two meatloafs so that I could keep one for dinner the next day and just cook another batch of pasta to go with it. So these quantities are enough to make two meatloafs.

Ingredients -
for the meatloaf:
500g pork mince
400g beef mince
2 tablespoons dried oregano
3-4 slices bread
60g feta
2 eggs

for the sauce:
2 onions
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 packs of 500g passata
a little olive oil

you will also need:
60g grated cheddar
6-7 small carrots (cut into quarters)
Spaghetti - enough for how many people there are.
Salad to serve

I followed the method described on the Jamie Oliver recipe but added the beef in as well as the pork mince. So in summary; I started the carrots cooking in a preheated oven (200C).

Then made the meatloaf by mixing together all the meatloaf ingredients and shaping it. I had a helper for this part!

The meatloaf then goes into the oven in the same tray as the carrots to cook. As I was making two meatloafs I increased the cooking time to 40-45 minutes for this stage.

The sauce is made by frying the chopped onion, chopped garlic and dried oregano in a little olive oil, then adding the passata. Once the meatloaf has had its initial 40 minutes cooking time, add the sauce around it, top with the cheddar and pop back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.

'don't use a colander - instead take the pasta out the water' 
Whilst it is having its final 10 minutes, cook the spaghetti, making sure you remember the #RespectThePasta Rules! So plenty of salted boiling water and cooking it for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions so for our spaghetti that meant 8 minutes cooking time.

Doing it right! #RespectThePasta
I lifted the spaghetti out of the cooking water using a spoon and fork (rather than draining it in a colander) and I saved a little of the pasta cooking water to add to the sauce, which I stirred into the sauce just before serving.
'Coat the pasta in sauce - don't drown it'

I was really pleased with how this recipe turned out as it was the first time I had ever cooked meatloaf. Spaghetti made the perfect accompaniment to it and tasted all the better for 'doing it right'.

Stay tuned for more challenges in the coming weeks!

Disclosure: We have been asked by ASK Italian to take part in a series of #RespectThePasta challenges. No payment has been received for this post and all opinions are our own. 


  1. What a great challenge! #respectthepasta although I have never hear about throwing it against a wall to see if it is done. The meatloaf looks delicious, I will pin that for later

  2. Sounds like a delicious meal and now I'm really hungry! #LAB club

  3. This looks delicious. I use a recipe for meatballs that uses cream crackers, which is another Jamie Oliver recipe and it's yummy.

  4. Yum that meatloaf looks delicious. Great recipe. I love pasta and so do my boys

  5. I love the Respect the Pasta rules :) I've never made a meatloaf either and I wouldn't have thought of putting one with spaghetti. Looks and sounds really nice though, I'm tempted. I'll be looking out for the rest of your challenges with interest.

  6. Mmmm this looks delicious. Glad Miss T likes it too, i'm having a nightmare getting mine to eat anything wish she would eat pasta.

  7. The Italians would hate the way I cook it - I don't cook with salt at all and I love pasta drowning in sauce. Whoops!

  8. A great challenge! This looks delicious! We love pasta here.

  9. I must admit that I have a pack of spaghetti in my cupboard which is feeling a little unloved. This is a great idea to get people thinking about using it properly, although I don't think I could bring myself to fling it at my walls to test if it's fully cooked.

  10. I love meatloaf and we do it quite frequently but never with pasta. So interesting thought to try that combination #LAB

  11. ooooh, that looks great! We love pasta and meatloaf but have never tried them together!

  12. Ohh looks yummy!
    I shall no longer throw my pasta on the wall :)


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