Photo Feature – Gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and basil

Hello lovely readers,

Here’s today’s lunch:

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Just 10 minutes to make and eaten in about the same amount of time 🙂

xo

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Pasta with tuna, tomato, capers and black olives

It’s a cold December afternoon and, lucky me, I’ve a day off work, I can cook my lunch. I like taking my time with these things, even if it’s just to appreciate the fact that I can taste my food, and not rush to get out the door on time or to take out the rubbish or do another load of washing or… you get the picture. Slowing down, in general, helps me re-focus on the important things, like food.

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Stelline in Brodo – Dinner Express

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.

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Tortellini in Brodo – Dinner Express

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.

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Fresh Pasta – Dinner Express

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.

xo

I had a go at Pesto

…and it was good enough.

From the last recipe I posted, I used some fresh basil (which was delicious, btw). But, I wasn’t 100% what to do with it next. And by that I mean, how can I incorporate this into my next dinner?

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Pasta and Beans – Dinner Express

When the day’s been long, I reach for a tin of beans and a packet of pasta for my ultimate comfort food a.k.a. hug for my belly.

Pasta and Beans

Serves 1 person, who really needs to eat and be snuggled at the same time

75-85g pasta, the short variety

100g beans, about half a tin, cannellini, borlotti or mixed beans work quite well

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of chili flakes

First, stick on the water for the pasta. It’s such a small amount, you can use a small pot for this. And no I won’t scold you for not being ‘authentic’ and putting it in a fancy pants expensive pasta pot. I’d never do that to you, we both know that. Add a little salt here if you wish. When it’s reached a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.

Drain the beans. If using a big tin, keep the other half for another time. You could do so much with them! But, focus on the present here, you need to eat.

Gently heat the the beans in another pot with some olive oil and season to taste. Or, if you’re like me after work, wait until the pasta has cooked to al dente, drain, set aside, and heat the beans in THE SAME POT. Season as you like here. And rejoice! You have reduced the amount of washing up to do.

Mix the beans with the pasta and voila. Dinner is served.

xo