Left-overs pasta

Packets of left over food from our Monday night fridge,

Everything from the fridge for left over pasta

Pasta never makes me feel full or bloated, if it is predominantly vegetable. We do cheat a bit and add a bit of bacon and, of course, the parmesan to finish.

But this still makes for a light, but filling and delicious meal, and you won’t feel like someone has inserted a bicycle pump down your throat for the previous half an hour. If you are in a bloating phase, then leave out the bacon and go easy on the cheese.

1/2 onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – crushed
1/2 red chilli – chopped
1/2 green chilli – chopped
A good slurp of olive oil
Black pepper
2 rashers of bacon -sliced
1/2 leftover red pepper – chopped finely
1 oldish zucchini, cut out soft bits- chop into chunks
1 generous pinch of Oregano
Old tomatoes as many as you have (including cherry tomatoes) – chop
Leftover green beans -cut into four centimetre lengths
1 vegetable stock cube
1/2 water
Leftover olives – chopped (and the oil they are in)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 packet linguini
1 handful of spaghetti (or whatever pasta you have)

Brown the bacon, onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil with black pepper – maybe 5 minutes
Put on pot of boiling water with oil and salt.
Add red pepper, zucchini, oregano & tomatoes to the garlic, onions, bacon and chilli – stir for another 5 minutes.
Add green beans. Add olives and stock cube and water. Add tomato paste.
Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Just before serving add rocket or spinach.

When water boils add spaghetti and cook for 16-18 minutes.

Serve with lashings of parmesan of course.

Putanesca with a twist

vegetables waiting to be chopped

Some of the ingredients for Putenesca with a twist

Friday night. Its the end of a hard week and we are all tired. (Highlight: Kalai bought me a great scarf today!)

The weekend is already cram packed with activity. Roger is doing a funeral celebrancy course, we are continuing to prepare the house for sale. We need something nourishing, easy to prepare that might leave us left overs for lunch.

Putanesca of course, but with a twist. We cannot resist adding a few extra ingredients just to give life a zing when you need an lift. Putenesca is essentially well combined, barring the small quantity of anchovy and parmesan.

Yup, sorry the addition of the anchovy means that it is not strictly speaking vegetarian!

The bulk of it is carbo, with just a little protein. We go by the rule that the meal needs to be 90/10 either carbo or protein and if that is the case, you can get away with the usual bloating requiring undoing of zips and tearing off of bras!

Serves 4, 15 minutes preparation

1 leek–sliced (part of the extra zing)
4 cloves of organic garlic – crushed
1 hot red chilli – finely sliced
80gm (2oz) anchovies – mashed
3/4 cup Kalamata olives – chopped
2 tablespoons capers – crushed
3 large tomatoes – chopped or one tin crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Cherry tomatoes – roasted (extra zing)
Spaghetti for 4.
1 large handful of chopped Italian parsley
Grated parmesan cheese

1. Lightly fry leeks, garlic and chilli in olive oil until translucent
2. Add mashed anchovies
3. Add freshly chopped tomatoes or tin of crushed tomatoes, olives, capers and tomato paste
4. Bring to boil and reduce to medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes until flavours are infused
5. At the same time, boil a pot of water, add a splash of oil and a little salt.
6. When boiled add spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente (soft but not slushy!)
7. Add chopped parsley to sauce 5 minutes before serving
8. Grate lots of parmesan cheese to sprinkle over pasta and sauce when served.
9. Top with a few lovely succulent roasted cherry tomatoes.

Zucchini and leek soup

This Zucchini and Leek Soup is just what you need on a cold night during the week, when you are tired and need something easy to make, tasty and well combined.

Well, perhaps if you have lashings of parmesan and yoghurt with it, forego eating any bread. Otherwise you can bulk it up with toasted seed bread and be sparing with the toppings. Just add more parsley. Either way, this is a simple dinner (or weekend lunch) meal and it will leave you feeling full but not bloated.

The fennel seed adds a lovely dimension to the flavours, especially if the seeds are freshly crushed and a light peppery pinot noir finishes it off beautifully.

Zucchini and Leek Soup

Serves 4. 15 minutes preparation time.

I large leek – finely sliced
5 zucchini – sliced
1 onion – chopped
4 cloves of garlic– crushed or finely chopped
I small green chilli – chopped
1/2 tsp of fennel seed – crushed
1 litre of vegetable stock
Italian parsley – finely chopped
Tzatziki or Greek yoghurt
Grated Parmesan
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Put onions, leek, chilli and garlic in heavy bottomed pot with a little olive oil
2. Cook on a slow heat until lightly browned
3. Add zucchini and 1 litre of vegetable stock and a half tsp of ground black pepper and crushed fennel seed each
4. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer until zucchini is soft (20 minutes)
5. Put in blender briefly to create a coarse texture
6. Serve hot with a dollop of yoghurt or tzadziki and generous sprinkle of parsley and parmesan