Monday, October 27, 2014

From humble beginnings: pasta with carrot sauce

This dish was a bit of a revelation to me. In my kitchen carrots are the most humble of vegetables, good for adding bulk to stews or a background flavour note to soup. Occasionally they might come to the fore in a soup, but only if paired with something punchy like coriander, or perhaps orange.

Who knew that they could also be the main ingredient of a delicious pasta sauce?

This is a budget-friendly dinner (especially if your soft cheese is an own-brand supermarket version). Oh, and did I mention that it's low in fat too?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Still pretending it's summer: pasta with fresh tomatoes, green beans and herbs

This pasta dish was made to celebrate the unseasonably warm weather, and the fact that I found some vine tomatoes really cheaply in the shops.

Very soon there won't be enough sunshine for even imported tomatoes to taste of anything much, and I'll stop buying fresh tomatoes for a few months. But for now, here's a quick pasta dish that is equally good hot, or cold as a pasta salad.

You can make this in the time it takes to cook the pasta - who needs ready meals?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nuts and roots: a deep purple salad recipe

With earthy beetroot, the crunch of some nuts and some substantial grains, this is a salad to soothe the soul and keep you going all day.

It's a dish that can take five minutes or 50, depending mainly on whether you want to cook the beetroot yourself.  You can also use couscous, which cooks in moments, or quinoa, which takes about 20. (I took the middle ground here, and used brown bulghur wheat - this cooks in less than five minutes and is, I think, far more interesting in flavour than couscous, and more nutritious too.)

Either way, it's brilliantly purple, and with interesting textural contrasts.