Please look away now if you’re Italian because this pasta did not come from the cobbled streets of Napoli or Rome, and I suspect a telling-off would be headed my way!
I stir fried bacon bits in olive oil with a dash of garlic, then added six chopped tomatoes and later, when this was mostly melted down, emptied a tin of drained and roughly chopped artichoke hearts in salt water.
This time round I used basil flavoured linguine. Pop the linguine into enough boiling water to cover it, and add a dash of salt. When it’s al dente, which you can judge by trying to cut it cleanly with your spatula or spoon, drain the water, drizzle some olive oil, and add the sauce.
Spoon the sauce onto the pasta, grind some pepper on top. Sprinkle some capers.
Here it is- a hasty TV dinner.
I couldn’t vouch for you, but for a lazy git like me the most fun sort of cooking is where there isn’t much cooking at all. The magic mantra is (a) prep, (b) shove in, (c) eat. That’s all I’m prepared to do most of the time.
Basically, a jacket potato is the best dinner for this couch potato.
Step 1: obtain baking potato, wash, poke a few holes with a fork, baste with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and shove into the oven for an hour at 225 degrees centigrade.
Step 2: mix up sour cream (ideally reduced fat!) with snipped chives.
Step 3: crack open baked potato, pour sour cream, snip more chives on top if you like them I do! Spring onion snipped very fine would be a decent chive substitute at a pinch.
Step 4: if hungrier than a hog, add a random side. Salad, or if feeling a bit more naughty, heat olive oil, add a miniscule dash of garlic, add diced mushrooms, a chopped tomato, pinch of salt and some chopped spring onions.
So, lazy side satisfied and hoggy side satisfied, for the nicest step of them all-
Step 5: grab remote and settle down to dinner.
I’m fond of a good réchauffé once in a while. Now this recipe -stolen from my mum-isn’t precisely that, but more a put-bits-and-bobs-together deal. The chief protagonist is bread that’s might have gone slightly stale, but is still edible (the last bit here is the important thing, unless one fancies a post-supper dash down to the A&E).
Here’s the lowdown (with the key ingredients underlined, if like me you cook on the fly with the laptop open to the recipe):
- You’ll need all the veg in your fridge that you can (a) possibly have together at the same time (b) that you can’t figure out an alternate use for and need to finish. My personal favourites are carrots, cauliflower and peas. I’ve gone for baby corn once in a while too.
- Potatoes– I poke them with forks, blitz them in the microwave for about ten minutes, and cube them with the skins on.
- You’ll need aforementioned bread, diced into squares. Say 9 squares to the slice.
- Oh, and some chopped onion, and a few tomatoes (or purée).
Thats’s it for the prepping.
Heat some vegetable oil, and when the oil is hot, add a dash of garlic (paste/ couple of pods squashed on the flat of the knife, whatever works), and chopped chillies if you like a little zing.
The onions go in first, and when they’re a bit translucent, the veg goes in (longest to cook goes first -I’m looking at you, cauliflower- then carrots, then peas). Add salt and a dash of sugar to taste (a pinch of sugar really rounds out the flavour). Finally, the taties, then the tomatoes, then the bread. Give it an almighty stir. Squish it a bit, always tastes nicer squished! Let the tomatoes simmer and bread fry.
I like to sprinkle a bit of lemon juice and some chopped coriander and cracked black pepper on top. Sweet chilli sauce also tastes fab. There you go. Bon appetit.
A slice of multi-grain Ryvita
(with extra seeds and nuts); some mussels
in vinegar; snip some chives