It seems that OK feedback for the recipe stuff means we'll be carrying on. As usual with these things, you learn as you go along. So there's some additional housekeeping....
Firstly, where possible, ingredients will be fresh, or the next best thing. Packets will be avoided at all costs. Secondly, there will be a washing up rating. You'll also see that most stuff verges on the healthy side. That's just the kind of food I eat.
By the way please do read the comments. Recipes have always evolved as people alter them to their personal tastes - and you'll find some good suggestions, not to mention some additional recipes, like these from Helen and Marcus (no link now he's vanished) here.
Next up cherry tomato and bacon pasta.
To serve 2 you will need:
Two good handfuls of penne (by the way I use wholeweat, if you follow the recipe, you won't taste the difference, but it will fill you up for longer and not give you a dreaded insulin surge if you care about such things)
A punnet of cherry tomatoes
A clove of garlic, finely chopped
A teaspoon of fresh basil (or a handful of fresh)
A teaspoon of dried chilli (optional)
Three rashers of smoky bacon ( back bacon/or Canadian depending on where you're from)
Half a glass of white wine (vegetable stock from a cube is cheaper and works fine - but add a dash white wine vinegar if this is what you use)
- Turn the oven on to 200 degrees.
- Put lots of cold water in a big pan, and bring to the boil.
- While you wait for the water to heat, put all the cherry tomatoes in a baking tray. Splash with olive oil and put in the oven for 15 minutes - until the skins go a little black and start to crack.
- The pan should be boiling now - chuck the pasta in.
- Put another glug of olive oil in a frying pan and and fry the bacon. When it's nearly cooked, thrown in the garlic. Whiz it around the pan for no more than twenty seconds, then splash on the wine and bring it to the boil. Then turn the heat off.
- The pasta should be cooked, and so should the tomatoes by now. Turn the oven off, drain the pasta and put it back in the pan with a small nob of butter. Throw in the cooked tomato, and the contents of the frying pan. Throw in the herbs, put on a very hot hob and stir vigorously until everything has come to the boil and the tomato is crushed
- You're done. That should have been no more than half an hour. Serve in bowls. Works a treat with parmesan if you like it.Turn off the oven.
- You're left with two pans, one baking tray and eating crockery and utensils to wash up - and there won't be much scrubbing. Which is pretty much okay.
- This meal is great for microwaving for lunch if you have leftovers.
This is great with frozen spinach too (which has as many nutrients as fresh) - and Morrison's is very good.Just put a metal sieve above the pan of boiling pasta and steam four frozen chunks. Stir it in with the rest at the end. That's just one sieve to wash up in addition.
You'll notice that most of these recipes rely on a few ingredients. Not only does that make it simple, I find that a few simple flavours always work best, if they're decent quality. Fresh herbs make a difference for example.