This post is supposed to go up tomorrow but I have some totally unplanned time today to write. Tomorrow will be a busy day and anyhow something happened this afternoon which I feel deserves a mention. So if you don’t mind sticking around just for a little while, I would like to share something with you. Some will not like me after this but in this space I’m allowed to speak my mind and get to the personal stuff once in a while. Don’t worry, you will find a recipe at the end of his post, but you will have noticed that by now in the title. Here we go.
If you know me personally, or even if you come by my blog or Facebook wall once in a while, you will notice that I take many matters to heart. C&T is mostly about food and I understand that’s why many people come here. Hopefully you stop by because you like the recipes and photos, and my occasional rants about food, and I’m always glad when you pop in and say hello, both on this blog and also anywhere else you can find me on social media. Reading comments is something I hold dear and I don’t take these for granted. No blog comes to life without readers, both the regular ones and those who visit sporadically. I have been criticised many times, and that’s OK. Really. I do get upset sometimes but I am learning to let some things go.
I don’t mind people criticising my food on here, and neither do I really mind people taking issue with what I eat, even though I constantly say that I don’t eat a whole chocolate cake on my own! I was at an event last year when a lady came up to me and bashed one of my recipes. It’s not the bashing-of-the-recipe that got to me – it was the attitude and perverse sense of entitlement with which she confronted me that annoyed me. I tried to troubleshoot the problem but there was no reasoning with her. At all. By all means, tell me if you find my blog to be rubbish. I’ll tell you not to read any of my
crap stuff and we’ll leave it at that. Especially if you choose to come back. I’ll be flattered. But there’s no real need to embarrass yourself.
At this point I was going to say that what I just said also applies to other topics. Not quite. Although I love food and love this blog very much, I accept that there could be some of you out there that don’t like it. Fair enough. What gets to me and what I’m averse to is any form of patronising, especially when it comes to stuff like politics, religion and/or faith. I won’t go into this and I never intend to here because this is not the place for it. I still wanted to mention it though. Whoever knows me, knows what I’m on about and knows what I’m for. That’s it.
I rarely get into such debates on Twitter or Facebook, but sometimes I do. I’ll talk (I love to chat) but I won’t allow anyone to shove beliefs and opinions down my throat. People tell me: you shouldn’t take any comments personally. What?! If you don’t want me to take them personally, then why do you choose to post your comments on my wall? That’s my constant experience with Facebook. What a can of worms I just opened for myself. I always said I have a complicated relationship with it. I keep it mostly because it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends, but yes I also use it to promote my blog, which I have every right to do. If you’re on social media, follow me, tweet me, message me, about food, about anything. My Facebook wall is public, as is my Twitter page. I’m here and I’m listening. You won’t get any BS from me. I just won’t accept any BS from anyone either.
About the recipe:
This one goes way back. Way way back. I was in my very early twenties and I had no idea what cooking even was. Yep, that was me. A friend of mine invited me over for lunch and she made us a pasta salad using tortellini of the dried variety. I don’t like the dried ones that much, I’ll eat them sometimes, even though I find them to be rubbery. Nowadays fresh pasta is reasonably priced and found almost everywhere, and if you find the time and have a reasonable amount of patience (I lack the latter) you can even make them yourself. I would sure love to try that!
Pasta salads are as easy as they get, and as my friend Sarah says, they’re fun – the possibilities are almost endless. You can put any ingredient you like as long as the flavours work. My friend added cubes of hard cheese and some good quality ham. I love to add a few crunchy bits of bacon or pancetta to the lot, but in that case I won’t add any cheese, or ham for that matter. I love concoctions like these. They make certain days much easier, and that’s always a good thing. For days like today, when two days seemed to have passed instead of one, this works.
It’s one of the simplest dishes you will ever make, but so convenient to have in your cooking arsenal. This is a guide, so feel free to add, take away or reinvent the recipe for you and your friends. As always, keep me posted. Good luck!
- 250g tortellini, fresh or dried, cooked
- 200g frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
- 1 large red pepper, chopped into fine strips
- 2 large tomatoes, washed and cut into chunks
- handful of fresh parsley, washed and chopped
- a good glug of extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Cook the tortellini according to packet instructions. In the same pan tip in the frozen peas and let them cook from frozen with the pasta. Drain and set aside until needed.
In a shallow pan over medium heat, sweat the garlic and red pepper with a glug of regular olive oil, just enough for the pepper to caramelize. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked tortellini, cooked peas, the garlic and red pepper mixture, tomatoes, fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.