Tag Archives: basil

courgette and pasta bake

courgettes

We make this recipe (or a variation on it) fairly often, and it involves far too long standing over the cooker in a cold kitchen (the hole in the wall is being mended tomorrow – hurrah!). So in the interests of experimentation, I thought I’d have a bash at doing the sauce in the little slow cooker.

I diced onion, crushed garlic and chopped courgettes, and put them in the slow cooker with a glug of olive oil, and another of red wine. Left them on low for a couple of hours, then added a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes, then left it for another couple of hours And it was really nice,  but I should have turned it up to high for the last hour, I think, just to get the last of the slightly raw tomato taste to it (I cannot abide raw tomatoes).

Did the pasta on the hob as usual, then dumped the lot in the small Remoska, and dotted it with mozzarella and basil leaves.

Worth mentioning that courgettes are lovely veg – dice them up small and include in soup or casseroles, cut them into strips for a nice stir fry, bung them in roast veg …

goats cheese, mushrooms and pasta

Not terribly exciting, I know, but there was ⅔ of a goaty cheese left in the fridge.

So we chopped an onion, some garlic and a bunch of chestnut mushrooms, and fried them off in the smallest amount of olive oil possible. Mushrooms are horrors – they just slurp up all the oil and don’t give it back for a while so I had to stand over the cooker; the horrors of being on a diet 🙂

When the veg were cooker, I added some penne pasta that had been simmering at the same time, ⅓ of the cheese, and some basil leaves. It really was very nice. And very quick.

377 calories, by my best estimate.

broad beans with feta and pasta

broad beans, originally uploaded by ramtops.


I shelled these last night, because I knew I wanted to cook them for lunch – I have taken up Morris Dancing (yes, really!), and practice is on Tuesdays, so I prefer to have my main meal at lunchtiime then.

So: chopped an onion, and put it in some olive oil to fry down. Put some pasta on to cook, and then added the beans about 7 minutes before the end.

Diced half a block of feta cheese, and tore some fresh basil into pieces (we keep a pot of basil on the kitchen windowsill – it is just the most gorgeous herb).

When the pasta/veg was cooked, hurled it in the onion pan with the cheese and basil, and added a little lemon juice, and some black pepper. Stirred it all round, ate from bowls.

Lovely summer lunch.

another lentil moussaka

supper - lentil and courgette moussaka

We’re struggling a bit to keep up with the veg at the moment – really, we need a box two weeks out of three, but Abel and Cole had a special offer when we joined, and there’s a £50 voucher at the end of our first four weeks,  so we must keep going; this week is the fourth, so we can take a breather!

Things are so dire that I took a leek, two courgettes and a load of carrots yesterday, and hurled them in the slow cooker with some veg stock and barley, to make soup, so a heatwave will be approaching as I type.

We had a real courgette glut, so I decided to do a take on moussaka.  We had some lentils cooked with Moroccan spices in the freezer, so I removed that.  Sliced up two courgettes quite thinly, put them on a tray and doused them liberally with olive oil, then baked at gas mark 7 for about 25 minutes, turning them half way through.

Made some bechamel sauce, then layered lentils / courgettes / white sauce twice.  We have a hugely prolific basil plant on the kitchen windowsill at the moment, so I picked a whole load of leaves from that and scattered them over the top, then added cubes of feta.

25 minutes at Gas 6.  Lovely.

Followed it with a bramble crumble with fruit from the garden – nothing like your own produce, even if it is growing wild!  We have 3 lbs in the freezer too, this year, which will give us bramble Stuff through the winter.

duck and pineapple stirfry

No photo, I’m afraid, as the household was a tad fraught last night, due to one thing and another.

I bought a pineapple last week, and Pete brought home a huge bunch of coriander.  We were going to have pork and pineapple, but somehow we ate all the coriander with other things.  Then when I went to get the basil from the fridge for Thursday night’s pasta, I realised that we had enough to open a market stall.

So yesterday morning, I took a duck breast from the freezer ready for a stirfry.  Pete manfully chopped up the pineapple – in fact he cooked the whole thing.

A tip if you’re stir frying duck is to steam it over some boiling water for a few minutes, skin side down.  It causes the fat to crisp up nicely.

He stir fried the duck first, then set it aside; then he fried the usual suspects – green onion, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, added the duck back to the wok, added some pineapple and the remaining basil.  Delicious!

We had the rest of the pineapple for breakfast this morning, combined with some strawberries.