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When your pasta is just cooked, throw a cup of cold water into the pasta pot to bring the temperature down - it will stop your pasta from over-cooking. Drain the pasta and use immediately.

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How to toast pine nuts

Lots of recipes call for toasted pine nuts. It's simple to do here's how.

1. Take a dry non-stick pan. Put the pine nuts in it (use no oil) and turn the heat to medium. Shake the pan every 30 seconds and toss the pine nuts. When they are lightly browned, turn the heat off and remove the pinenuts to a plate and leave them to cool. If you leave them in the hot pan they will keep on cooking.

What to do with toasted pinenuts

Serve on top of pasta, mix in with the filling for bruschetta to give it more texture or mash them with a little olive oil to make a paste that you brush over cooked cod fillets before grilling them lightly until the pine nut mixture bubbles.

Toasted pine nuts are excellent added to salads to give them crunch.

Pinenuts are also great for nibbling on the go for a healthy snack. Toast them and store them in a plastic container so you can take them with you to the office to keep hunger at bay.

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