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The Plate X The Playlist: QUICK-COOK

This month's edition of The Plate X The Playlist is all about quick cooking, with a fast-paced playlist to keep up your energy reserves.

By Isabelle Blakeney, Third Year History and English, and Oscar Ross, Music Editor

This month's edition of The Plate X The Playlist is all about quick cooking: a recipe ready in minutes with a fast-paced playlist to keep up your energy reserves while you cook it. Isabelle offers up a 15-minute butterbean, tomato and feta pasta recipe, while Oscar's playlist features upbeat tunes from the likes of King Curtis and The Supersonics.

The Plate

Isabelle: I first made this recipe by accident a few weeks ago. I’d started cooking, deciding to try the fried butterbean recipe that I’d been seeing everywhere, then realised that I had to leave for work in 20 minutes. So the recipe I had been planning had to be scrapped and a new one had to come of it very quickly. But surprisingly, the impromptu dish came together well and has become something of a staple in my time-restricted dinners ever since. It’s very simple- pretty much a ‘throw everything in the pan whilst you run around headless trying to get ready for work’ kind of thing- and most of the ingredients can be swapped out for whatever you have in the fridge or the cupboard. When I first made it, the pasta sauce was just olive oil, and the veg was old asparagus. I’ve tweaked it a bit since, but its super flexible, especially if you’re low on time or ingredients.

The butterbeans are really the star of the show. I’d kept seeing recipes for them, and the crispy exteriors with soft, buttery centres were just too tempting to ignore. And they don’t disappoint- I could easily pick at them like nuts if you gave me the opportunity. They can be put in pretty much anything from couscous to salad or, like I did, with pasta. They’re a great source of nutrients and very filling, so actually as a pre-work meal they’re ideal. And they’re so easy to make- all you have to do is put them in the pan and stir a few times, but they’re guaranteed to spice up any meal. Seasoning wise, it's mostly just mixed herbs and balsamic vinegar- but again, these can be swapped out for whatever you fancy or have in the cupboard.


Half a tin of butterbeans (approx. 110g drained), rinsed and patted dry

Handful of cherry tomatoes (approx. 15)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

½ tbsp mixed herbs

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Handful of spinach, roughly chopped

Handful of black olives, halved

90g dried pasta

2 tbsp pesto

30g crumbled feta


  1. Boil your kettle and put both a pot and an olive-oil drizzled frying pan on a very high heat.

2. Start cooking your pasta in the pan as you normally would with a generous amount of salt.

3. Put the butterbeans, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar in the pan to give them a quick burst of heat.

4. Immediately turn down to a medium heat to prevent burning.

5. Stir in the garlic and herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Then stir in your spinach and olives with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and allow it to wilt.

6. Continue cooking the veg and beans until the pasta is cooked, put a couple of tablespoons of pasta water in the frying pan to help the spinach wilt, and then drain the pasta.

7. Stir the pesto into the pasta and tip into a bowl. Scrape the contents of the frying pan on top of the pasta, crumble the feta on top, and eat!


Running late for a lecture? Just realised that the only thing you ate today was a meal deal and you have to go drinking tonight? No need to panic, we have you covered with Isabelle's quick and easy pasta dish and a new playlist to get you into that quick-cook groove.

The Playlist:

Featured image: Isabelle Blakeney

What are your favourite last-minute recipes?