spaghetti al pesto

Home made pesto is so infinitely superior to the store-bought jars, it’s a totally different beast. This authentic Italian recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious sauces for pasta. All you do is stick the pasta on and put the pesto ingredients in a food processor, although pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. The first time I had this wasn’t with my Italian family, it was in an Italian restaurant in Hamburg when I was a teenager and I vividly remember thinking it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten and it’s perfect for a date night.

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mashed pea bruschetta with parmesan

I love peas and always have, and will always be excited if I know they are on the menu, and I try and find any excuse to put them in a recipe. I have wanted to make a pea bruschetta type scenario for ages, and now I have knocked one up for the blog. It’s a delicious mix of crunchy bread with the delicate pea mash and the flavours of the Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. Bloody delish and great as a canapé or starter or as a snack.

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midnight spaghetti

You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella.  Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.

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midnight spaghetti 2

This is my second midnight spaghetti (sometimes called spaghetti di mezzanotte) only I use linguine, but you can use spaghetti if you prefer. I got this version from The New York Times and because of its simplicity and because it’s not only a great store-cupboard standby, it’s also perfect when you can’t be bothered to cook yet another massive meal at Christmas or any time and fancy something easy, delicious and quick. It’s the chefs choice because they arrive home tired and want something easy to cook after a day of cooking, and the reason it’s really tasty is because it’s flavour bombed with a combo of anchovies, garlic, chilli and capers. I love it with Parmesan or without. It’s also perfect served with a crunchy green salad with my vinaigrette or as a midnight feast in a candle lit kitchen à deux after a party.
Recipe 
Serves 2 (you can double or triple the quantities).
Ingredients:
250g of linguine or spaghetti
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 anchovy fillets chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of small capers chopped
¼-1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Grated Parmesan (optional)
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creamy fish curry

I love this delicious Madur Jaffrey dairy free creamy fish curry recipe and have been cooking it for ever. It’s perfect for Friday night dinner, a dinner party or as an antidote to all the Christmas fare at Christmas. It’s great served with a wedge of lime and fantastic to serve on Christmas eve to guests as a simple supper with basmati rice or with whatever you fancy.

Recipe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
A thumb size piece of ginger
3 green chillies
7 cloves of peeled garlic
400ml can of coconut milk
250ml carton of coconut cream
4 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive
3 medium onions finely chopped
8 small tomatoes halved
800g of white skinless fish (haddock, cod, monkfish), cut into big chunks
¾ teaspoon of turmeric
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
A handful of coconut chips, toasted in a dry pan (optional)
A bunch of finely chopped coriander (optional)
Salt to taste

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gnocchi

Little pillows of gorgeousness, these are much nicer than shop bought gnocchi. I put them with my sugo recipe with lots of Parmesan and basil and you have a brilliant vegetarian dinner.

Makes enough for a starter for 6 or a main for 4 people.

recipe

Ingredients:

350g of plain flour or potato flour
1kg of large floury potatoes (i.e. Desiree or Maris Piper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
2 small beaten eggs

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