Tag Archives: chilli

Summer Puttanesca

Wow! I haven’t blogged for ages! I have been cooking loads but doing so for myself without the pressure to blog at the same time – i used to use my commutes to write blog posts but am using my tube time to watch TED talks, listen to podcasts and read aswell as watching the occasional episode of This Is Us!

Anyway – Summer is here and i fancied a light, fresh pasta dish. Inspired by the NYT Cooking app I cooked Summer Puttanesca – chilli kick, fresh lemon and rich anchovies were lovely in the South London heat tonight!

Serves 2

  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – sliced
  • 1 tin anchovies – chopped
  • 1/2 jar of capers
  • 1 bag rocket
  • 1 Tin tuna
  • 1 bunch parsley (chopped)
  • 2 servings wholewheat spaghetti

Put the spaghetti on to boil as per instructions. In a separate frying pan heat some olive oil and gently fry the garlic and chilli until sizzling and softened. Add the anchovies and capers and allow the anchovies to melt. At this stage, keep mixing all together and add a ladle of the pasta water and add the rocket . Mix together, adding extra water if needed to loosen. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the mixture and stir in the tuna. Finally stir the chopped parsley through ensuring everything is mixed together and the pasta is smothered in the sauce.

I served my dinner with some toasted lemon zest breadcrumbs on top and a side salad of asparagus, parmesan and pinenuts.

Enjoy!

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    Trullo Pastas

    Peter bought me the Trullo cookbook as a pre-Christmas gift and we decided to celebrate the New Year with an Italian themed dinner.

    Trullo is a very popular Italian restaurant in Highbury – North London – its always busy, gets great reviews and serves delicious unfussy Italian food.

    Our starter was Burrata with anchovy paste and broad beans – this is the sort of dish i always order when im out for dinner and it was surprisingly easy to make – blitzing anchovies, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in the nutri-bullet, and simply topping with the burrata and scattering broad beans on top.

    Anyway – on to the main courses which i will write up here – both very simple and tasty and again, the sorts of dishes I would always order in an Italian restaurant.

    Firstly for the Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovy and Chilli

    Serves 2
    500g Tenderstem or Purple Sprouting Broccoli
    2 Garlic Cloves – finely diced
    Sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes
    1/2 tin Anchovies
    200g Orecchiette Pasta (Farfalle is recommended if you cant source the “little ears”)
    Olive Oil
    Salt & Pepper
    Parmesan – for seasoning at the end

    Boil the broccoli for 7 minutes and leave to one side.
    Boil the pasta according to instructions – ours took around 10minutes which is exactly how long the sauce took to cook!
    In a shallow frying pan gently fry the garlic and chilli in some olive oil until the garlic starts to colour. Add the anchovies to melt for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and a dash of water and pop a lid on the pan for 8-10 minutes. Remove the lid, season and add more olive oil for a little extra richness. Mix together with the pasta and serve with parmesan shavings on top.

    The second dish was Linguine with Crab – this used both white and brown crab meat and was a completely new but easy and super tasty way of cooking a crab and pasta dish.

    Serves 2
    1 tin White crab meat
    80g Brown crab meat
    200g Linguine
    1/2 Red Chilli – diced
    20g Butter
    Olive Oil
    Lemon Juice
    Salt & Pepper
    1tbsp Parsley – chopped

    Cook the linguine in boiling water for 10 minutes – again this is roughly how long the crab takes to prepare.
    In a bowl, mix together the brown and white crab, chilli, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and leave to one side.
    In a large shallow frying pan, gently fry the butter and add the crab mixture – mix well, adding a splash of pasta water to seperate if needed. Once the pasta is cooked and drained – add this to the crab and mix thoroughly – adding more pasta water if needed. The sauce will emulsify as it coats the linguine.
    Serve with a little extra black pepper to taste.

    A quick and easy Dinner Treat

    Last week after a tough day I wanted to treat myself to something new and a little different for dinner. Luckily for me Sainsburys in Toots had some beautiful fresh scallops on the Fish Counter which I decided to combine with the comfort of linguine and chorizo.

    This dish contains 2 of your 5 veg a day from the spinach and tomatoes – which also provide an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Scallops are low in fat and also a great source of Vitamin B, potassium and magnesium – all of which are great for heart health. 

    You’ll see I added dried spice – I used a dried arrabiata mix I picked up from Italy which contains dried chilli, parsley, oregano and garlic but dried chilli is also just fine.

    Serves 2
    12 Fresh Scallops – keep the roe to one side
    220g Cherry Tomatoes
    100g Chorizo – cubed
    200g Spinach – shredded
    2 handfuls Linguine
    1tsp dried chilli/dried arrabiata mix

    Start by boiling the linguine – this is a quick dish so by the time the pasta has cooked everything else will be ready!
    In a frying pan, dry fry the cherry tomatoes – keep an eye on them. When they start to char and soften, turn down the heat and add some olive oil. At this stage, add the dried chilli or dried herbs (depending on how much spice you fancy) and also add the chorizo. I also added in the scallop roe – many people dont like to eat this but it adds a mild scallop flavour to the sauce which saves having to add extra seasoning for those trying to limit their salt intake. As everything sizzles, gently mash the tomatoes to make a chunky sauce. Add the spinach and let it wilt down into the sauce.
    Allow the sauce to simmer on a low heat and get on to the scallops.
    I fried my scallops in a little olive oil in a frying pan – I cooked for 2 minutes on one side until they had a lovely golden sheen and then flipped to cook on the other side for another minute.
    To serve, I mixed the sauce with the linguine and placed the scallops on top. A perfect Summery comfort dish.

    Korean Salmon

    As i sit on the train up to St Albans to see my bestie Zoe I am writing this blog as a reminder of the best chilli sauce i have ever tasted. Its super easy and versatile and uses one of my favourite ingredients at the moment – gochujang paste. I think I have mentioned it before in a blog – its Korean Chilli Paste – rich, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.

    The inspiration for this recipe is JinJuu which is a brilliant Korean restaurant in Carnaby St London. I’ve been a few times and always get the Tofu Bibimbap and the Sticky Chicken wings – AMAZING!

    Anyway, Judy Joo, the chef behind the place has a cookbook which i bought for Elix for Christmas and it is packed with tasty recipes.

    This recipe is a simple grilled Salmon dish – its the Gochujang glaze which makes it so special. After making a batch of the glaze I also used it to marinade some chicken and drizzled it over some lightly fried tofu – both worked and were delicious!

    For the Gochujang Glaze
    3tbsp Gochujang Paste
    2tsbp Mirin
    2tbsp Soy Sauce
    2tbsp Sugar
    2 Cloves Garlic – grated
    1/2 tbsp Sesame Oil
    1 tsp Grated Ginger
    1 tsp Black Pepper

    Mix everything together! Yep – thats it, so straight forward!
    To make the salmon dish, I brushed the sauce generously over the salmon fillets and grilled for 8 minutes. To serve, scatter over some spring onion slices and sesame seeds and plate alongside some brown rice and greens.

    Nutritious Seabass with Salsa

    I wanted a nice, easy, fresh tasty dinner this evening to make after a good gym session. I settled on Seabass with a salsa inspired by good old Rick Stein. I haven’t had my favourite prawns for a few days so was a nice way to have them as part of the meal too! Prawns are packed with protein so were a good addition to my post-workout meal.
    Seabass is also a great source of protein, its vitamins A, D and E and omega-3 oils strengthen immunity and it is a well balanced source of good fats.
    The mango and avocado are a good source of vitamin b, courgettes give us vitamin c and chilli is great for detox and lowering cholesterol.

    Serves 2
    Seabass fillets x2
    1 avocado
    1 red chilli
    1/2 mango
    Handful of Coriander
    Juice of 1 Lime
    1/2 Courgette
    100g Cooked Prawns
    2 Spring Onions

    Finely chop all the veggies, chilli, mango and coriander and mix together. Add the prawns thickly sliced and the lime juice. The salsa should be chunky, fresh and colourful!
    Lightly fry the seabass skin side down in some olive oil – 3 minutes on each side should do the trick.
    Serve alongside the salsa, I also had some plain brown rice (needed the carbs after my workout!) and some tenderstem brocolli and green beans.