pasta con baccalà in rosso

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. 


Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 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)

How:

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. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

spaghetti alle vongole

This is the food of the gods and needs no explaining as to how good it is. It’s perfect for  a stress-free Valentine’s dinner or a date night as it only take as long as the pasta takes to cook.

When I’ve been to Venice I practically live on it as it really is my favourite thing and I can’t get enough of it. It can be made in under 20 minutes and the ingredients can be bought days in advance. This recipe is an original Venetian recipe which I always love to cook, as it is like a lot of Italian recipes, very simple. There are two sorts of Vongole, in bianco, which is made like this recipe, or in rosso which is made with tomatoes. When I make it everyone goes mad for it… so try it, it’s not expensive and it is quick and easy.

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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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crab linguine

This is my 100th recipe on the blog. I’m really proud and grateful, thank you for subscribing, and as Julia Child used to say Bon Appétit!

I have had the crab linguine lots of times at Polpo restaurant in Nottinghill Gate with my friend Emily, we always order it and we are obsessed with it as it’s so good. I really wanted the recipe, however it isn’t in their cookbooks or online, so I have had to guess what it is. It took me six attempts before I got it right, that’s a lot of linguine and I’m now booking in to a health farm so I can do my jeans up again, however it was worth it. I really think Polpo have nailed it, and I hope you think I have too. The beauty of it is it only takes about twelve minutes to make and you can keep the ingredients in the store cupboard. Perfect for a stress free dinner party or just dinner for two. Ralph has just cooked and tasted it and he thinks that it is so easy and beyond amazing and you should definitely try it and everyone that has cooked this recipe has said it’s the best crab linguine they have ever had. Give it a try…

Recipe

Serves 2 (double or triple the quantities for more people).

Ingredients:
200g of linguine or spaghetti
170g tin of crab meat (drained which becomes 100g) or 100g of fresh white and/or brown crab meat
½ teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
8 cherry tomatoes halved
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan
1 small clove of garlic minced
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

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