Thursday, 25 September 2014

Lake District Cooking Sauces Spaghetti Quarkonara

 The star attraction and purpose for this feature are the new  The Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauces that boast a healthier and convenient way to make meals. The new sauces, made by British Farmers, have already impressed food experts before they’ve hit the shelves, having just won at the World Dairy Innovation Awards.

 My readers of old, will know I lost three dress sizes in five months with Slimming World and quark was and is a SW muched used ingredient. Now with healthy eating still being on the agenda, I like to cook a majority of meals using low fat and sugar alternatives, that way I can indulge at certain times and not worry. Combined with a fast way to prepare a dish that will be tasty and feed a family I was looking forward to trying.

The Lake District Dairy Co. invited me to use the Cooking Sauces and their chosen recipes as an alternative to traditional dairy ingredients such as crème fraiche or double cream, to create a variety of healthy and flavoursome day to day dishes.

I had all the items sent to make a Spaghetti Quarkonara, a much healthier take on a Carbonara. Also the Indian dish usually one to avoid a Chicken Tikka Rice and finally one that you would probably steer clear of if you were weight watching a Gnocchi and Cheese Bake. 

One of my favourite meals is Spaghetti Carbonara and I make my own low fat version, I never use cream now, I use very low fat cream cheese, so i was interested to try this first. So impressive are the health credentials of the new range, that when making a creamy spaghetti carbonara using the Lake District Dairy Co. Garlic and Herb Cooking Sauce instead of cream cheese cooking sauce, the fat content was reduced by 28g – a staggering 88%, and the calorie content dropped by 227 kcal per portion too. The meal was easy to make, I found it very simple and dinner was ready in 10 minutes. I opted out of the nutmeg as not so keen on the flavour in savoury dishes

300g ‘quick cook’ spaghetti
250g The Lake District Dairy Co. Garlic & Herb sauce
150g flaked ham hock or finely chopped ham
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 

1. Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil, add the spaghetti and stir well. Simmer for 7 mins or according to pack instructions.
2. Drain the spaghetti in a colander reserving 100ml of the cooking water. Empty the sauce into the
pan and gently heat until piping hot. Add the spaghetti, ham, parsley and 60ml of the cooking water
and toss to mix. All the spaghetti should be nicely coated in sauce, add a little more cooking water if liked.

3. Divide between warmed plates and serve garnished with more parsley. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

There were mixed reviews for this, Chris loved it, but then he is a mad fan of plain quark. Conor loved it more than my own recipe, he does not like cheese or cream cheese, so a great one for him. granny liked it and said it was really tasty. I was the only one who was not so keen, it seemed a bit bitter for my taste buds. maybe it had too much garlic, I could not put my finger on whether something was missing or needing adding. As you know I often tinker with recipes and adjust them, the fact that three people liked it means I will try again, and maybe add Parmesan to my portion before serving, also smoken bacon may be a great option.

I am adding the other two recipes to a separate feature as this is getting quite long.

Chicken Tikka Rice see here and the
Gnocchi With Spinach, Tomato and Basil Sauce here

The all-new Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauce line-up will be found in the chilled goods dairy cabinets of supermarkets such as Sainsbury's nationwide this Autumn.

For more information please visit - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot


  1. we had mixed reviews of these sauces too - kids loved all the meals but I thought they were a bit bland - although the garlic one was very garlicky!...and not much sauce in the pot either!

  2. i do prefer to make my own cooking sauces, but sometimes it can be easier to use a ready made one, but i have been let down before, with bland flavours, with like what you said something missing.

  3. this looks lovely, the name is fab

  4. Spaghetti Quarkonara sounds delicious !