Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta

I have been craving pasta for the past couple of weeks.  Maybe my body is lacking something or more likely I was just wanting to eat pasta.  I finally succumbed to the craving and made a scrumptious and very moreish meal, I think even my friend John would be impressed.

Anchovie pasta

Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta

If you don’t want to make your own pasta, use your choice of store bought.

Pasta Ingredients

200g all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1ml salt
5ml olive oil

Method

  1. Place the flour on a counter top and create a mound with a crater in the middle. Put the eggs, salt and oil into the crater.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork and gradually incorporate the flour until all the egg is incorporated into the flour.  The dough should be of a rough consistency, feel slightly sticky to the touch and moist. If it’s too sticky sprinkle a bit more flour on the mixture.
  3. Using the palm of your hand push the dough down and away from you. Flip it back towards you and fold it in half. Once again push the dough down and away from you, rotating the dough so that it kneads in every direction. Continue until the dough becomes smooth.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes. Don’t put it into the fridge.  I sometimes even skipped this step.
  5. If you don’t have a pasta machine to roll out your pasta, using a rolling pin, roll dough until flat and fairly thin.
  6. Roll the entire dough up like a pancake and cut into slices. The width of the cut will determine the thickness of your pasta. Unravel the pasta into strips.
  7. Cook for three to five minutes until al dente in a generous amount of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally to separate strands and prevent sticking.

Sauce Ingredients

15 ml olive oil
20 anchovies – more if you can resist eating them straight from the bottle
1 tin Italian tomatoes chopped
5ml sugar
3 garlic cloves crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh coriander and flat leaf parsley chopped for serving

Method

  1. Mash the anchovies in the oil  in a pan.
  2. Add the tomatoes and sugar and reduce by half.
  3. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Add your drained pasta to the pan with the tomatoes sauce.  Once plated, top with the coriander and parsley.

A few shavings of parmesan wouldn’t go a miss here either.

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Herb Garden

It’s no secret that I REALLY dislike winter so to wish it away even faster (it hasn’t even officially started yet – we are still in Autumn) , I sat down and redesigned my herb garden for in our courtyard area, so by the time Spring shows it’s beautiful face, I will be ready to rock and roll.  We have a designated triangular area which is pretty bare at the moment except for a ever thriving bay tree which is smack bang in the middle.  In hindsight, it was probably not the best place to plant it.

The only “open” piece of the triangle is the bottom, both sides are walls so no moving the herb garden to a better position; only remedy is to keep the herbs in pots and move them around.

I have tried to work around companion planting, perennial versus annual herbs and which plants want a little less sunlight and below is a rough sketch of what I have in mind.

Herb garden design

The strawberries, mint and baby tomatoes are in their own terracotta pots which stand separate to the herb garden.

What do you think?

Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pasta

This really should fall into the un-recipe category and into the should make every week category too.  This flavourful meal came about when I found some forgotten tomatoes in the crisper looking quite sad and slightly wrinkled.  While waiting for the tomatoes to roast , you can as I did, enjoy a bubble bath with a glass of wine. 😉 With next weeks version, I shall lose the chicken and replace it with anchovies and try roma tomatoes for a more robust and slightly sweeter flavour.

Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

Tomatoes halved
Garlic cloves unpeeled
Olive or grapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Dried origanum
Pasta of choice
Chicken breasts
Italian herbs
Chilli powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking tray and drizzles with oil and season well with salt, pepper and origanum.
  3. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Blitz the tomatoes and garlic (squeezed out of it’s skin) using a stick blender and beaker.  Add another drizzle of olive oil and stir through.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  6. Fry the chicken breasts over a medium heat in butter and oil seasoned with the Italian herbs and chilli powder.
  7. Once cooked slice into strips.
  8. Serve the tomato sauce and chicken over the pasta with an optional second glass of wine.

Mini Chicken Meatballs over Butter Fried Baby Cabbage and Roma Tomatoes

I really should think about a shorter title but Chicken Meatballs and Cabbage doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.  This makes for a scrumptious lunch or light dinner and comes together in no time at all.

The picture leaves much to be desired but the flavour was delicious, promise.

Mini Chicken Meatballs over Butter Fried Baby Cabbage and Roma Tomatoes

Ingredients

500g ground chicken
1 egg
45ml finely diced onion
15ml sweet chilli sauce
10ml chicken stock powder
5ml dried thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 baby cabbage shredded
8 Roma tomatoes halved

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the cabbage and tomatoes in a bowl and form small meatballs.
  2. Pan fry the meatballs in a little drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
  3. Melt a good sized knob of butter in a pan and fry the cabbage and tomatoes for 2 minutes.

Mediterranean Tartlets

I’d rather you don’t but judge me if you must; I do not make puff pastry, I honestly don’t think it is worth the effort when there are lovely brands available in store and I always have one or two rolls of puff pastry in the freezer, just waiting to be turned into something tasty.  Puff pastry can transform an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one.  I got the idea for these wonderful tratlets from the Baked and Delicious magazine and they will be making a regular appearance on our lunch menu – think next round will be a chicken liver and onion variation.

Mediterranean Tartlets

As ameneded from Baked and Delicious

Ingredients

400g packet puff pastry defrosted
16 anchovies
Half round of feta crumbled
16 roma tomatoes quarted
8 slices streaky bacon cut in half
Vegetable / Italian spice
Olive oil for drizzling
1 egg beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Roll out the pastry and cut into 4 pieces and place on a greased baking sheet , leaving a small gap between each one.
  3. Use a sharp knife to mark a 1cm border around each piece of pastry, taking care not to cut right through the pastry.
  4. Arrange all of the ingredients on the 4 pieces of pastry and sprinkle with the spice and olive oil.
  5. Brush the edges of the tarts with the egg and bake for 20 minutes.
A nice addition would be some basil pesto spread onto the pastry before adding all of the other ingredients. 🙂

Un-Recipe – Egg and Tomato Sandwich

I love un-recipes for a quick and tasty lunch.  Un-recipe’s also fall into the comfort food category for me, which is a double bonus.  The last short while, whilst sorting out our home and garden, un-recipe’s of sorts has been on the cards for lunch – either that or leftovers from the previous evenings dinns.  I love eggs and tomatoes together in a sarmie or on a slice of hot buttered toast, especially when the egg yolk is still lovely and runny – there is something magical that happens with an egg and tomato – not sure what but it’s yummy.  Please let me know how you enjoy this moreish sarmie if you give it a try.

Un-Recipe Egg and Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices fresh white bread – brown just isn’t the same for this
Butter
Sliced tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
Fried egg

Method

  1. Butter the bread and top the one slice with the sliced tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.
  2.  Add your fried egg and top with the second slice of bread.
  3. Cut and enjoy.