Chef Brain Episode 4: Spaghetti vs Spaghetti Recipes

January 8, 2018
by Rebecca Down Eat

    In this week’s episode of Chef Brain, we’re banishing the January blues with an ingredient that everybody loves: spaghetti. You can’t go wrong with it. Or can you?

    The ultimate comfort food and a go-to for the days you want to cook something that is guaranteed to hit the spot: spaghetti. This week, we challenged HelloFresh Chefs Patrick and Mimi to create a showstopping dish in just thirty minutes. Mimi didn’t take her defeat too well last time so will she manage to sway the judges with her self-proclaimed ‘edgy’ creation?

    Patrick’s​ ​Cheeky​ ​Parsnip​ ​Puttanesca


    • Spaghetti
    • Aubergine
    • Anchovies
    • Turmeric
    • Parsnip
    • Tinned Tomatoes
    • Fresh Parsley
    • Kalamata Olives


    1. Pre-heat​ ​the​ ​oven​ ​to​ ​220​ ​degrees,​ ​chop​ ​the​ ​aubergine​ ​into​ ​1cm​ ​chunks,​ ​toss​ ​it​ ​in​ ​olive​ ​oil, salt​ ​and​ ​pepper​ ​and​ ​cook​ ​in​ ​the​ ​oven​ ​for​ ​20​ ​mins,​ ​or​ ​until​ ​crispy​ ​at​ ​the​ ​edges.
    2. Peel​ ​and​ ​chop​ ​the​ ​parsnip​ ​into​ ​half​ ​centimetre​ ​cubes.​ ​ ​Heat​ ​1​ ​tbsp​ ​of​ ​olive​ ​oil​ ​in​ ​a​ ​frying​ ​pan on​ ​medium​ ​heat​ ​and​ ​cook​ ​the​ ​parsnip​ ​for​ ​around​ ​8​ ​mins​ ​until​ ​soft.​ ​Add​ ​¼​ ​tsp​ ​of​ ​turmeric​ ​and set​ ​aside.
    3. Chop​ ​the​ ​olives​ ​and​ ​2​ ​fillets​ ​of​ ​anchovy.​ ​Fry​ ​them​ ​in​ ​1​ ​tbsp​ ​of​ ​olive​ ​oil​ ​for​ ​a​ ​minute​ ​before adding​ ​in​ ​the​ ​tinned​ ​tomatoes​ ​and​ ​bubbling​ ​down​ ​to​ ​a​ ​thick​ ​sauce​ ​(the​ ​salt​ ​from​ ​the anchovies​ ​and​ ​olives​ ​should​ ​be​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​sauce​ ​salty​ ​but​ ​check​ ​and​ ​adjust seasoning​ ​if​ ​needs​ ​be).
    4. Boil​ ​a​ ​large​ ​pot​ ​of​ ​water​ ​with​ ​2​ ​tsps​ ​of​ ​salt.​ ​Once​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​a​ ​rapid​ ​boil​ ​add​ ​in​ ​the​ ​spaghetti and​ ​stir​ ​until​ ​the​ ​water​ ​comes​ ​back​ ​to​ ​a​ ​rapid​ ​boil.
    5. Add​ ​the​ ​aubergine​ ​and​ ​parsnip​ ​into​ ​the​ ​tomato​ ​sauce​ ​and​ ​finely​ ​chop​ ​the​ ​parsley.​ ​Once​ ​the pasta​ ​is​ ​cooked​ ​add​ ​a​ ​drop​ ​of​ ​the​ ​pasta​ ​water​ ​into​ ​the​ ​pasta​ ​sauce.​ ​Drain​ ​the​ ​pasta​ ​and​ ​add this​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sauce​ ​too​ ​then​ ​toss​ ​it​ ​all​ ​together​ ​with​ ​the​ ​chopped​ ​parsley. Buon​ ​appetito!

     spaghetti cake

    Mimi’s Aubergine Spaghetti Cake






    1 Parsnip, grated

    Chopped tomatoes with garlic and onion

    Vegetable stock pot




    1. Thinly slice the aubergine and pan fry in a non-stick frying pan until slightly golden in colour on both sides. Set aside when done.
    2. Boil water in a pan for your spaghetti and add a tsp of turmeric and vegetable stock. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. As we’re going to bake it later we don’t want it to be soggy!
    3. Make the sauce. Heat oil in a frying pan along with a small handful of chopped anchovies. Add the mushrooms and fry until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes with garlic and onion, grated parsnip and simmer. When thick add a good grating of parmesan in and stir!
    4. Line a round baking dish with your aubergine, reserving enough to cover the top.
    5. Add your pasta to the sauce and mix until it is covered in the sauce. Fill your aubergine-lined dish with the pasta and cover with a final layer of aubergine.
    6. Bake the cake in the oven for ten mins, 200 degrees Celsius.
    7. Serve

    Spaghetti vs. Spaghetti Cooking Tips

    TIP #1: Don’t salt your aubergines before cooking.

    TIP #2: Don’t be shy with the olive oil when cooking with aubergines. They really soak it up.

    TIP #3: Level off awkward vegetables by creating a flat surface on them before chopping.

    TIP #4: Turmeric adds a vibrant yellow colour to dishes like spaghetti.

    TIP #5: Don’t make dad jokes. Nice try, though, Patrick Drake!

    TIP #6: Turmeric acts as an antioxidant, especially if you keep the skin on.

    TIP #7: Kalamata olives are a great base for spaghetti sauce.

    TIP #8: Hide your anchovies in sauces to keep the flavour but disguise their appearance.

    TIP #9: If you’re baking spaghetti (or any pasta), keep it al dente at the boiling stage.

    TIP #10: Anchovies make you clever.

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