Pasta salad

This is a pasta salad I made just before the lockdown restrictions came into force – which seems like forever now, but it’s only actually about two weeks ago. At the time there was a wave of panic buying and I was having real trouble finding anything in the shops. Things have calmed down a…

Quarantine food kit

The Coronavirus crisis is affecting everyone worldwide. It’s becoming more and more scary and the news and government advice changes every day. Any time now in the UK we could find ourselves in lockdown. Food supplies and grocery items are getting harder to find because of panic buying.  I haven’t been able to buy loo…

Macaroni cheese

I made mac n cheese last night for a friend who came over to supper. He wanted to go over his pitch for a business idea – he’s made it to the semi finals of an entrepreneurial competition (very exciting) so it was a bit of a working dinner. He’s eaten my mac n cheese…

Pasta puttanesca

Pasta puttanesca, or prostitutes’ pasta (so named perhaps because it is so quick to make it left ladies of the night more time to earn their living) is one of my store cupboard standby recipes. I nearly always have the ingredients in stock and it’s also really handy to make on holiday. If I know…

Pasta bake

With the temperature plummeting it’s time to roll out some comfort, carb heavy recipes. As pasta bakes are cheap, tasty and very easy to make they can be top of your list. I say easy but I have just remembered an occasion years ago when I was cooking with my then teenage niece and we…

Cheap and cheesy vegetable bake

I popped into Sainsbury’s on my way back from a trip to Somerset on Sunday and found a packet of Brussels sprouts in the  bargain section – 300g reduced from 80p to 19p – so I decided to use them in a vegetable bake. Added to a few florets of cauliflower (taken from a cauliflower…

Super green lasagne

I had a similar lasagne last week at The Magic Garden pub in Battersea – it was delicious  – and as usual when I find something particularly good I want to see if I can make my own. The Magic Garden used asparagus and I did too because I found a packet at a reduced…

Pretty herb pasta

I’ve started making my own pasta. I bought a pasta making machine for around £25 a few weeks’ ago and I love it. It’s a relaxing and therapeutic process and you can prepare pasta dough to keep in the fridge for a few days so you can make it in advance for when you are…

Antonio Carluccio’s beetroot lasagne

I was very sad to hear of the death yesterday of Antonio Carluccio. I loved watching him in cooking programmes over the years and listening to him talk about growing up in Italy during the war and foraging for food – to make meals from mushrooms and nettles. His cooking reflects so much of the…

Spaghetti with minty aubergine and sun-dried tomato sauce

Aubergines are cheap and nutritious and make a great base for a spaghetti sauce. I watched Rick Stein make something similar to this recipe based on a Sicilian dish but he used tinned tomatoes which I didn’t have (very unusual for me) so I made it with a few sun-dried tomatoes and tomato puree instead….