Pasta with Tomatoes, Chilli, Ginger and Garlic (v)

I don’t have a picture for this, boo. So you’ll just have to imagine in your minds the bowl of steaming hot pasta topped with a gloriously vibrant red sauce, speckled with pungent ginger and chilli and garlic…
This was made for me a couple of weeks ago and was a revelation. I had never ever thought to add ginger to a tomato based pasta sauce but it works so well. Usually I reserve the holy trinity of ginger, garlic and chilli to Indian or Chinese style dishes, not pasta. But try it. You won’t be disappointed.

For 2 people you need:
150g pasta of your choice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
good knob of ginger, finely grated (only a microplane will do imho)
1 cup fresh baby plum tomatoes
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile prepare the fresh tomatoes by chopping them and then pulverising them in the pan. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and heat. Season. Serve on the pasta. Groan with pleasure, even moreso if you have been spoiled and someone else does the cooking and washing up…

Courgettes with Feta and Lemon

I thought the wonderful Ottolenghi had done a recipe for this but apparently I dreamt it cos I couldn’t find it so created this instead to satisfy a craving and a glut of courgettes…

For 2-3 people you need
2 courgettes, cut into 3 inch lengths then thin slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp excellent quality olive oil
1/2 pack feta
1 tub chilli olives

Griddle the courgettes till scorched in places and just tender. Meanwhile place everything else apart from the feta and olives in a bowl. Place the hot courgettes into the dressing to marinade then top with the feta and olives and eat with copious crusty bread to soak up the garlicky juices. Nomnomnom.

Salad of Haloumi and Croutons

A quick and easy salad to throw together from bits and bobs leftover from other days. And a useful way of using up stale bread too.

For 1 person you need:
1/2 pack haloumi cut into slices
red onion

For the garlic croutons you need:
1-2 slices stale bread
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss the crouton ingredients together in a bowl then toast in a hot oven for 5-10 mins taking care not to burn them. fry the haloumi till golden brown then serve with the salad and croutons. Yum.

Cauliflower, Carrot & Spinach Curry (v)

It’s officially autumn today. The lights were on in the living room from 4pm and it’s grey, murky and dankly drizzly outside, sigh. This is the sort of food you need on days like that…

For 4-6 portions you need:
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup split red lentils
600ml water
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 jar minara madras curry paste
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cauliflower, broken in to florets
1/2 bag spinach
1 tbsp oil

Sautee the onions in the oil for 10-15 mins, adding the carrots after 5 mins. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook out for 1-2 mins. Add everything else apart from the spinach and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins till the lentils are cooked. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to allow it to wilt. Serve with mango chutney, lime pickles, indian salad and, er, chips if you want 😉 I added a hardboiled egg too but obviously omit if you’re vegan.

Umami Noodles with Peas and Courgettes (v)

I adore the dark, salty, savoury magic that is umami. I can eat marmite from a jar I like it so much. Ditto soya sauce. This speedy noodle dish blends savoury soya sauce with black bean sauce for a really satisfying salty umami kick. The peas give a nice sweetness to balance the overall flavour of the dish. Yes I am aware that writing a description in that way makes me sound like a poncy twat. Care much lol?!

For one person you need:
1 bundle soba noodles (or eggs ones if you are not vegan)
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 courgette cut into chunks
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp black bean sauce
splash mirin
1 tsp vegetable oil

Cook the noodles in water and drain once done. Meanwhile fry the onion in the oil and add the courgette and peas. Once the noodles are cooked add to the vegetables and add the mirin, soya sauce and black bean sauce. Cook till warmed through and serve.

New Potatoes with Feta, Olives and Garlic

This is a cinch to make but benefits from being made ahead of time to let the flavours develop and infuse. Perfect for a lunchbox 🙂

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 pack baby new potatoes, cooked till tender
1 pack feta
1 red onion, chopped
1 pack chilli olives
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic crushed

Place the lemon juice, olive oil. garlic, pepper, olives and red onion in a bowl. Mix well. Once the potatoes are cooked cut in half and to the bowl. Crumble over the feta. Leave to infuse then scoff. Yum.

Simple Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar (v)

I never used to like tomatoes, but apparently I do now. But only when perfectly ripe and preferably served with balsamic syrup. This is a lovely light summer salad that makes the most of the last of the perfect tomatoes.

For 2-3 people you need:
2-3 large tomatoes
Couple of handfuls of salad leaves
1 red onion, sliced
basil leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3-4 tbsp very good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cucumber
1-2 tbsp balsamic syrup

Start by making the tomato salad. Slice the tomatoes and onions and lay in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle over the red wine vinegar and the olive oil. Scatter over the basil leaves. Leave to infuse at room temperature for a couple of hours if you can.

When ready to serve; plate up with salad leaves and cucumber and then add the tomatoes. Drizzle over some balsamic syrup and serve with bread.

Bruschetta with Pesto, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Poor ickle blog. No posts for ages. Bad Becka. But here is a quick, easy and tasty end of work feed me now recipe to get me back into the blogging groove again…

For 2 people you need:
1 garlic ciabatta
1 tub fresh green pesto
1 pack mozzarella
1 cup baby plum tomatoes, cut in to quarters
1 red onion, finely diced
handful fresh basil leaves

Bake the ciabatta in the oven according to the instructions. Meanwhile mix the onions with the tomatoes and 2/3 of the pesto. Once the bread is cooked, place the pesto onion and tomato mix on the bread, top with the cheese and basil leaves. Drizzle over the remaining pesto and season with black pepper. Eat with your fingers and sigh with pleasure…