In a spectacularly productive ‘lazy Sunday’ I made a whole bunch of things from the odds and ends around the kitchen, one of which I’m most proud is this one – stuffed courgette, with whole wheat couscous, garlic, Parmesan and fresh herbs. Doesn’t it just look lovely! I’ll get these roundy courgettes again, even if it’s just for this kind of dish, because it looks good, because I’m eating with my eyes just as much as my stomach.
For that post-Christmas roundy feeling, there’s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup for dinner – filling but light, and always satisfying. I made this after coming back from a few days away with family for the festivities, so, fridge empty, I went in search of tins to make a warming bowl of goodness. And, hey presto, a soup was born. It’s based on a Marcella Hazan recipe (from a book I got for Christmas); please do read some of her recipes, they’re hearty, uncomplicated, dare I say it, ‘rustic’ type of Italian dishes that I love. And I’m sure you’ll love them too. This soup is a tomato, chickpea and optional tiny pasta combo, with some added stock, rosemary and olive oil, nice served with some Parmesan-style cheese, should you have some in the back of the fridge, or even the rind will do, adding it to the soup but removing it before serving. Or no cheese, too, that’s okay. You decide.
This is always a good recipe to have up your sleeve – it relies on a few ingredients you’ll have in the cupboard, it’s very handy for those days when you’re waiting to get paid and have little or no funds for fancy pants foodstuffs and it’s also a very versatile, base sauce you can change and dress up for all kinds of dishes. Taken from the Silver Spoon, a.k.a. my go to book on Italian food, it couldn’t be simpler (unless you bought a jar ready-made, because life happens and sometimes this is the best thing for long days away from the kitchen.) Continue reading
BRO-DO! BRO-DO! BRO-DO!
To calm down that restless inner child feeling that insists in having dessert for dinner, I give myself soup with tiny star-shaped pasta called stelline. It sounds cute and tastes nice, it’s uncomplicated and puts a smile on my face. Any small pasta shape would work here; raid your cupboard, there’s a chance you’ve some orzo, quadratini or filini behind a family size box of breakfast cereal or a wall of tinned tomatoes.
On a quest, so I am, to eat all teh tortellini I can find in the supermarketz.
This week, I’ve tried the Emma Girodani Spinich and Ricotta Tortellini from Tesco and they’re a decent dinner in a flash. I still prefer the Aldi ones, though.
For whatever reason, I had cooked the whole packet and only eaten half (awesome work lunch, btw). A clingfilmed bowlful was waiting for someone to give it a new lease of life so I heated them up nice in some hot stock/broth (a.k.a. brodo) and I had a tasty dinner in minutes, with minimal washing up. Wining at being a responsible adult.
This has been a busy week. One of my fave dinners to make in a hurry is fresh tortellini or ravioli. Easy as you like. Pick up a packet from the supermarket on the way home from the office. Put on a pot of water and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes. Just add some peppery extra virgin olive oil or melted butter to serve and there you have it – pasta satisfaction in minutes.
A surprising treat this week in the form of Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli from Aldi. Ticks all the boxes: savoury, pillowy, didn’t fall apart and gave sustenance to an otherwise wrecked 9-5er. Will defo buy them again.
This was the best one yet. I have reached the heights of lasagne making and my belly has been so grateful. This is a Silver Spoon recipe, gently tweaked to what I had in the fridge and cupboard, it was enough for 2 dinners – happy days. And, dare I say it, it tasted even better the second day. I love it when that happens! Still delicious and less washing up to do.
There’s two parts: The Basic White Sauce and the Tomato Combo with mince. You could easily substitute the mince for Quorn mince, roasted Mediterranean veggies or your choice of bean, all of which would make for a satisfying dinner and tasty leftovers.