Spanish puttanesca pasta

IMG_20150912_145640[1]A success from the “oh no there’s nothing in the fridge” school of cooking.  Feeds 4 – ish.

  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chorizo ring
  • handful of black olives, chopped
  • a splash of red wine, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or whatever’s around along those lines
  • black pepper
  • grated parmesan

Put the spaghetti into a large pan of boiling water with the olive oil and pinch of salt. Meantime, chop up the chorizo into slices about the width of a pound coin and then cut the slices in half.  Add them to a frying pan (no need for oil) on a medium heat, moving them about so they don’t stick and start releasing the oil.  After a few minutes add the handful of black olives and empty the tin of tomatoes into the pan, stirring everything about.  After a few minutes more taste the sauce and add red wine, or balsamic vinegar, or a pinch of sugar, or whatever you think it might need to brighten up the flavour a bit.  Turn down the heat and let it all simmer together.  Add some black pepper.  Meantime test the pasta.  Wholewheat normally takes about 10 minutes.  When the pasta is ready, take a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water and mix into your sauce.  Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the sauce in it and mix it all together so all the pasta is coated with the sauce.  Serve with grated parmesan to sprinkle over the top.

Oriental salad dressing – and Oriental coleslaw

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon “lazy” garlic puree
  • 1 tablespoon “lazy” ginger puree
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake it all about until the honey is dissolved.  We like this so much we normally make double or triple quantities and leave the jar in the fridge as a ready-made salad dressing. It’s great on any kind of robust or peppery salad leaves. Originally it was for coleslaw, from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe for Asian coleslaw – our take on it is below.

  • Half a small head of red cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, cleaned
  • 6 radishes
  • a bunch of spring onions
  • half a lime
  • bunch of coriander leaves

Chop the spring onions finely, and grate the cabbage, carrots and radishes on a coarse setting.  You may have more success in cutting the cabbage finely with a really sharp knife as it does need to be a bit crunchy.  Mix all the veg together in a bowl and squeeze over the juice of half a lime. Leave to relax for a bit then pour over the dressing above when you’re ready to serve, and garnish with a good handful of chopped coriander leaves. Or if you can’t stand coriander (there are some people who swear it tastes of soap…), just leave it out.

The salad dressing is vegetarian, and if you use maple or agave syrup instead of honey it is vegan.