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20-minute meals

Sometimes you just want a meal that doesn't take too long to make. These three meals -- macaroni pasta and cheese, chicken and sausage gumbo and fettucine Alfredo -- only take 20 minutes but the end results are delicious.

Using frozen vegetables in the gumbo recipe also speeds up the process.

Macaroni pasta

and cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

>3 tsp salt, divided

>350g macaroni

>2 tbsp all-purpose flour

>350ml milk

>180g finely shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

>1 green onion, sliced

>1 tsp hot sauce

>½ tsp pepper

>4 slices cut bacon/rashers, cooked and roughly chopped

>50g breadcrumbs

Method:

>Preheat the grill in the oven.

>Bring a pot of water to a boil with 1 tsp of salt. Cook pasta for 8 minutes approximately.

>In a saucepan, combine flour and 100ml of milk and bring to a medium heat.

>Gradually add more milk as it comes to the boil (in 50ml amounts) until all milk is used up. Let cool for 2 minutes.

>Remove from heat, add in 150g of the cheese and stir to combine. Add in remaining 2tsp of salt, onion, hot sauce, pepper and bacon.

>Add cooked pasta to saucepan and toss. Place into individual ramekins or into a large baking dish.

>Top with remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs, place under the grill for about 5 minutes to get a colour on top.

Chicken and

sausage gumbo

Serves 4

Ingredients

>1 bag boil-in-bag rice

>2 tbsp all-purpose flour

>1 tbsp vegetable oil

>1 onion, chopped

>50g frozen peas

>1 celery stalk, chopped

>2 cloves garlic, minced

>½ tsp dried thyme

>½ tsp red pepper flakes

>200g cooked, chopped boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

>200g spicy Italian sausages, sliced

>350g/400ml can diced tomatoes

>350ml chicken stock

Method:

>Cook rice according to package directions.

>Add onion, frozen peas, celery, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes on top of oil and flour mix. Cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

>Stir in chicken, sausage, tomatoes and stock. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 4

Ingredients

>300g fettuccine pasta or your favourite pasta

>4 slices bacon, chopped

>100g mushrooms, sliced

>1 tsp minced garlic

>1 tbsp all-purpose flour

>230ml milk

>100g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

>1 tsp salt

>2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

>½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

>Cook pasta according to package directions, drain in a colander and keep 3 tbsp of the water to the side.

>While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a non-stick saucepan over a medium high heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on a paper towel.

>Add mushrooms and garlic to pan and cook for 1 minute.

>Sprinkle pan with flour and cook for a further 30 seconds., stirring all the time.

>Add milk, 2 tbsp at a time and cook until the mixture starts to get bubbly.

>Reduce heat and slowly add cheese a tbsp at a time.

>Stir in salt and reserved pasta liquid.

>Add in pasta and stir to combine all ingredients.

>Sprinkle with bacon, parsley and pepper.


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