The idea for this came from Madhur Jaffrey, but I wanted something much quicker and easier, based on what I had in the fridge. I started with half a pack of reduced sausages from the co-op, the tail end of a jar of garam masala, and ended up with this delicious switch.
- 4 pork sausages
- chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Skin the sausages and put the meat into a bowl with the spices and herbs, and mix. This is most efficient by hand, although it is a bit sticky. A wooden spoon does a reasonable job too.
- Cut the mixture into four and form into small burgers.
- Fry the burgers on each side in a little cooking oil.
We had these as a quick scratch meal with a yoghurt dressing, flat breads, and a green salad.
This is a quick recipe involving some of the new peas and young herbs from the garden. It was quick and delicious. I had some spaghettini, which is like spaghetti but thinner and faster to cook, you could use spaghetti which is thicker, or capellini which is finer. I was cooking for myself only, so I scaled the recipe appropriately. You can scale it up as required.
- Around 75g mangetout
- around 75g pasta
- around 20g butter
- 4 tbsp chopped herbs, a mixture of parsley, basil and chives, or chive flowers
- 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
- parmesan to taste
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
- Meanwhile prepare the peas; remove any stringy bits and cut to your preferred size, and put into a steamer, ready to cook.
- Mix the crushed garlic, a grate of salt, butter and herbs together in a small warm bowl.
- Put the spaghettini in the sauce pan, put the peas over the top in the steamer, and cook until the spaghettini is just about cooked. Drain the pasta when it is ready, and return to the hot pan.
- Mix the butter and herbs into the pasta, then mix in the peas
- Serve with a dredging of grated parmesan and black pepper to taste.
This recipe is from Rose Elliot’s book, Vegetarian Pasta. The recipes are fab, the indexing is not, so I don’t use it that often. However, we are having days of scorching weather and fantastic vegetables, so I dived in to the section on quick recipes.
- 400g farfalle, or similar
- 350g mangetout peas
- 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
- Juice and finely shredded rind of 1 lemon
- Black pepper, grated
- A handful of large basil leaves
- Set a large pan of salted water on to boil, add the pasta when boiling, and give it a good swirl so the farfalle don’t stick together. Boil the pasta for around 8 minutes, or follow the guidance on the packaging.
- About a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the peas.
- Strain the peas and pasta, and return to the warm pan. Add all of the other ingredients, and divide into serving bowls.
I’ve just read ‘Dear Francesca’ from cover to cover. The recipes use a relatively small range of ingredients to create wonderful food. This is one of the first recipes I tried, using a tray of cherry tomatoes that had ended up in my fridge, along with some of the staples from the book: ricotta and pecorino.
I didn’t have spaghettini, so I used spaghetti, which is very slightly thicker. It was fine, I had no complaints.
- 3 tbsp good extra-virgin olive oil
- A punnet of cherry tomatoes, or a couple of good handfuls, quartered
- a clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 180g spaghettini (or enough pasta for 2 people, whatever your usual measure is, I allow 60 to 75g per person)
- salt and black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- two good pinches of dried oregano
- freshly grated pecorino
- Heat the oil in a pan, and add the tomatoes and garlic. Turn the heat down low and let them cook for ten minutes. There will be a bit of sizzling.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water, according to the instructions.
- When the tomatoes are completely softened, add the oregano and the ricotta cheese, and mix well. Check for taste and add salt if required.
- When the spaghettini is cooked, drain it, return to the pan and add the sauce, pecorino and a grating of good black pepper.
This is a quick recipe from Elizabeth David’s ‘Italian Food’. This is a classic recipe book, lots of recipes, along with descriptions of context and history of individual dishes. It was first published in Britain in 1954.
I had some ham that I purchased from the reduced section in the co-op, and it was a work night tonight, so something quick and easy was required.
- 50g tagliatelle per person
- 50g cooked ham per person, cut into strips
- 25g freshly grated parmesan per person
- Black pepper
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for around 8 minutes, or until done.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and cook the ham for around 3 minutes, until warm through.
- When the pasta is done, drain it and add all of the butter and ham and half of the parmesan, stir together and serve with the rest of the parmesan and black pepper for seasoning.