Tag Archives: simple

Broccoli and Cheese Pasta Bake

Have you ever lost something precious and never found it? Or better, you found it when you forgot about it or when you just gave up? So happened with this recipe. I meant to post it months and months ago but my notes and ingredients went missing. Lost in the vortex that was my study and computer files. The one day, when my mind was in a writing funk, I decided to go work in one of my favourite coffee haunts. When I cleared my head I decided to sort and back up some writing stuff I had produced over the past few weeks, and there it was. If I wasn’t surrounded by people I think I would have had a happy dance moment. I know there’s the dance-as-if-no one’s-watching clan out there but I guess it would have been too much in a coffee shop and I would have risked being persona non grata if I did that.

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Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf

1488559328367I know, I know. Pause. I can just see you rolling your eyes at me right now, but I just can’t help it. Yes. This is another banana loaf/bread* recipe. Listen, it’s getting warmer now and I feel my baking days for this Spring/Summer are on their last leg. I’m not really looking forward to that, but one of the joys of this blog is for me to have a record of what I made throughout these past 6 years. Woah…6 years? Yes, and a few months. I can’t believe how much C&T helped me, changed me and taught me.

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Easy pasta dishes

Pappardelle-with-Summer-Vegetables-(4394)

I can understand the urge to grab a quick takeaway on your way home from a tiring day at work. But think about it, you don’t know what really went into it. Arguably one of the most convenient “kind-of-ready-made” food is pasta. Who doesn’t have a packet of pasta lying around in the cupboard right now? So let me give you a couple of ideas which work for me when I’m in a I’m-hungry-NOW mood.

Prawn-and-Tomato-Pasta-Sauce-(4652)

One thing which I am really loving right now is pappardelle. They are so good for lapping up any kind of sauce. They also offer some variety on a plate, unlike the usual spaghetti. I like any flat pasta – be it linguine, tagliatelle, fettucine, mafaldine etc. They tick all the hunger boxes for me. I have to admit it though: there are few things in life better than spaghetti carbonara, but obviously, take it slow with that!

But how about a nice summery pasta concoction washed down with a fresh white glass of vino? Ahh I have dreams about that – me, in a summer garden calmly *cough* wolfing down a lovely biggish bowl of pasta with fresh vegetables with a prawn or two thrown in, at least for those who love them like I do. If you don’t then leave them out and substitute them with either a light meat option like leftover chicken or turkey that was already cooked, or another vegetable. It’s your pasta, you’re the cook so do whatever you like. That’s freedom! There will be no exact quantities for this. Let this be your guide and go with whatever your gut tells you (excuse the pun).

Pasta with Prawn and Fresh Tomatoes (For 4).

  • 500g fresh or dried pappardelle
  • 1 tablespoon or so mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 150g small plum or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 large chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 100g or so shrimps or 8 uncooked prawns, de-veined
  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. In the meantime gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli flakes in the olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Quickly add the plum tomatoes and the mushrooms. I like everything to be al dente, so throw in the prawns, leave until they turn pink and toss everything with the pasta. Serve instantly with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil (now you can since here it only serves as a dressing), freshly ground pepper and some fresh lemon juice. Ready? Now let’s eat!

For a vegetarian option try the following:

While the pasta is cooking, gently fry in olive oil some chopped onion, finely chopped garlic, chilli flakes in a hot pan. Throw in some chopped zucchini (courgettes) and mushrooms. When cooked through but still firm, add some chopped fresh tomatoes and there you have it. Toss with the pasta, serve as the recipe above and go eat this in the garden. Bliss!

Rob x