Cooking doesn’t have to be hard work. No one knows how long you’ve spent in the kitchen. All they are thinking is if they really liked the food or not.
Having already created two cooking apps for Apple, I have now created my own blog version which simplifies otherwise complicated recipes so anyone can feel confident in cooking them. The easy recipes and the way they are written are great for teaching kids to cook too, plus it’s all designed for a basic kitchen and the ingredients are available in most supermarkets. The cost of most of these healthy recipes is, per portion, less than the price of a commercial sandwich and predominantly pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan with an anti ageing and mostly healthy bias. There is an indulgent section too because no one’s perfect and life’s too short. So you can easily pimp up your repertoire on a budget.
“Since I starting cooking Anna’s truly delicious and easy recipes, I am throwing away most of my cookbooks as I use only one or two recipes from each book, whereas I’ll happily cook all of these recipes, over and over again. It has become my favourite cookbook, and I’m always recommending it to my friends who want really delicious food without the hassle.”
This delicious traditional Italian pasta recipe is made with salt cod in a tomato sauce: the salt cod needs a couple of days prep in advance but it’s really easy and really worth it. It’s the most delicious combination of textures and the salt cod has a divine flavour. Salt cod is an excellent store cupboard ingredient too.
200g of salt cod/fish (prepared, see below)
300g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbs of aged balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of maple syrup
1 medium onion finely chopped
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
4 tbsp of olive oil
A small bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
1 clove of garlic peeled and finely slice.
Juice and zest of half a lemon
200g of any long pasta (I made mine with linguine)
To prepare the salt cod it needs to be soaked for 2 days, changing the water three times a day. I store it in the fridge. Drain it thoroughly. The skin, if it has any, can then be removed and any bones too. Cut into chunks.
In a frying pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil till soft, put in the tomatoes, the lemon zest, a little pinch of the chilli, the maple syrup, the balsamic and the cod and gently simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. If it starts to dry out add a splash of water.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and mix with the sauce in the pan. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Check the seasoning, I add a good grinding of pepper as it might not need salt, or very little.
This Italian recipe is made on Christmas Eve and holidays but I like to eat it anytime and it’s made with the unbelievably delicious dried salted cod which is rehydrated in the fridge for 3 days before you cook it (salted dried cod is a brilliant store cupboard ingredient and it’s available in most supermarkets in the world food section or a Spanish or Italian deli). It’s a complete meal with the potatoes, just add a crisp green salad and that’s lunch or dinner sorted… if you are extra hungry you could add some roasted sourdough with olive oil and a scraping of fresh garlic. It’s even delicious served at room temperature.
400g of dried salted cod which is rehydrated in the fridge in water for 3 days, refreshing the water about two to three times a day. If it tastes pleasantly salty it’s ready, if not repeat for another day.
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 finely diced celery stalks
2 large peeled potatoes
Half a red pepper chopped
1 large red onion finely chopped
1 cup of fish stock (I always use Knorr stock pots, they are brilliant)
1 cup of white wine
A handful of black olives (stoned)
A small pinch of chilli flakes, or to taste
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of capers
A small bunch of chopped parsley
Pepper and salt to taste
Firstly prepare the potatoes by cutting them into small chunks and blanching them in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain them and set aside.
prepare the fish by draining it thoroughly, pat dry with a clean tea towel and then remove any of the skin. Cut into medium sized chunks, about the size of your thumb.
Put the olive oil into a large pan and on a medium heat fry the cod pieces till they cooked through.Take out and set aside.
Put the chopped pepper, celery and onion in the pan and sauté till soft, about six minutes. Add the fish stock, tomatoes, olives, chilli flakes and capers and bring to a simmer.
Add the potatoes and gently cook for another six minutes. Add the cod, some pepper and some of the parsley and cook on a low heat for a further twenty minutes. Check the seasoning. Serve straight away with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley.
I was inspired to make this simple salad after I had a similar tomato salad at the excellent Turnips restaurant in Borough Market. It’s really delicious on its own or with burrata, as a side to a main meal or with or on toasted sourdough bread. You can add chopped herbs like basil and parsley to it too if you fancy.
An assortment of heritage tomatoes cut into chunks
A colourful refreshing salad that is really tasty and healthy and full of fresh veg, herbs and noodles. You can add hot fried prawns to it if you fancy and If I want to make a lower carb version I use zero noodles (there are lots of makes…) which have no carbs and are available in most supermarkets, Asian shops and online.
3 tbsp fish sauce(you can also get vegetarian fish sauce in Asian supermarkets or online)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2-3 tbsps maple syrup
Juice 1-2 limes
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 large carrot, julienned (cut into matchsticks) or grated
200g rice noodles
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 small or half a cucumber sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
A handful of radishes very finely sliced
A bunch of fresh Thai basil or basil leaves picked off of stems
Small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked off stems
Small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked off stems
Large handful salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Ready-made crispy fried onions, from a tub, to sprinkle (check for gluten, otherwise fry a shallot or onion till crispy)
Firstly mix the fish sauce, vinegar and maple syrup from the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour half the dressing into a big bowl. Add the onion and carrots and stir to coat in the liquid making sure everything is covered in the liquid. Set aside, moving it around now and then, so the veg absorbs the flavours. Stir the juice of 1 lime, a minced garlic and the chopped chilli into the remaining dressing in the other bowl.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, removing them a slightly before you’re supposed to. Rinse thoroughly in a colander with warm water to wash off the starch, then drain again, shake dry and generously drizzle over the sesame oil to coat the noodles evenly.
Put the cucumber, radishes and herbs in a large bowl with half the peanuts. Once the onion and carrot have taken on the dressing flavours, drain and add to the bowl (discard the liquid they were in)
Scatter with the remaining peanuts, herbs, plenty of the crispy onions and wedges of lime and serve.
This is a recipe I created for a bread company that combines the sweetness of the creamy peas with the savoury crunchy sourdough and lots of parmesan, lemon and a dash of balsamic..brilliant as a snack or light lunch
I have been meaning to put this Sicilian recipe on the blog for a long time as I adore it and love bottarga. Bottarga is a dried, salted fish roe which is a condiment that adds the unique flavour of the sea to the pasta. You can buy it in most Italian delis or online and a little goes a long way, as you only use a small amount. The breadcrumbs add a bit of texture and you can add some lemon zest too like I do. It’s perfect for dinner for two with a salad.
I love cherries in anything, and this delicious sorbet is all raw. I buy a bag of frozen stoned dark cherries from the freezer department in my local Sainsbury’s (they are only £2.00 for 500g which is a bargain)
The sorbet is beyond easy to make, no churn and I like to serve it with biscotti and or some shaved dark chocolate on top… or just garnished with fresh cherries.
These soft nutty lemony Sicilian biscuits are served at breakfast in Italy with an espresso and are really popular at special holidays like Christmas and Easter. I like them all year round for breakfast with my coffee or after dinner when I fancy something sweet.
This aubergine recipe is absolutely one of my favourite things ever. It’s an ancient Middle Eastern recipe that is so delicious I could eat it every day. I serve it with warm flat breads, Greek yogurt (or Oatly crème fraîche if you are dairy free) and salad and it’s the perfect lunch or starter. It’s brilliant with my Baked Falafel too. Sometimes I add toasted pine nuts on top with the mint and parsley leaves. My friend Giada and I had it for lunch on toast with hummus and it was delicious.