Here’s another 20 minute recipe (although, to be fair, I used cooked chicken – you’d need to allow a bit longer if you used raw; if you do, cook it off as the first stage).
Put some olive oil in a deep frying pan and heat it up (just low-medium is fine), chop up a courgette, add it to the pan.
Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta; I used spaghetti for a change, but any pasta will do. Don’t forget to add it when the water is boiling 🙂
Chop an onion, ditto. And some garlic. Add them. Saute the veg gently in the oil. When all the veg are softened, add the chicken, and keep stirring. I added a little splash of white wine at this stage, but it’s not compulsory.
When the pasta is done, drain it, and add it to the veg, and add some pesto. I was cooking for two of us, with 150g of pasta, and I used three teaspoons or so. Stir it all together, dump in a bowl, scoff. Really nice for a hot summer evening, and very little time standing over a hot stove.
As my regular reader will know, Tuesday night is pasta night. I just open the fridge and concoct something from its contents. For people who don’t have time to cook, here’s a 15-20 minute supper.
Bear in mind I have an ceramic hob, so you can skip the “put the rings on” bit if you’ve got gas.
- Switch on the big ring, put a deep frying pan on it, add a slug of olive oil
- Switch on the medium ring, put some cold water and salt in a pan, set it on the ring
- Slice up a big leek and put it in the pan with the oil.
- Weigh out the pasta (if you do such things – we do, because carbs/diabetes)
- Slice up some mushrooms, and add to the leeks
- Notice pasta water is boiling – add pasta, set timer for ten minutes (this is dried pasta – your pasta may vary)
- Remember you haven’t put any garlic in, so quickly peel and chop two cloves and throw them in with the vegetables
- Put a colander in the sink for drainage purposes
- Grate black pepper into the veg
- Open the fridge for some lemon juice, find a bottle of white wine open, and add some of that instead. Too much, so turn up the heat to boil it down a bit
- Remove block of feta from fridge and cut up about one third of it
- When timer goes, drain pasta then add it to vegetables, together with the feta.
- Stir it all together, decant into bowls, scoff.
We bought some chicken breasts from our fabulous butcher up t’road, wrapped them individually, and froze them. And then fetched one out at the weekend to make a stir fry and, readers, it was *huge*. Well, huge to us, because we don’t eat much meat. So we used half in the stir fry, and the other half was confined to the fridge for another day.
Regular readers will know that Tuesday night is pasta night, so last night I chopped up the remaining chicken into small pieces and fried it off in some olive oil. Added four wizened mushrooms, half a wrinkly red pepper, and a chopped onion (£1.80 for 4kgs from the Turkish shop). Added about 30g of Danish blue and stirred it round till it had melted, and a good grinding of black pepper.
Served over spaghetti – delicious. It’s worth keeping a chunk of blue cheese in the fridge, as it livens up pasta sauces, and makes great cheese scones (although you get quite sticky making them).
This is another ridiculously quick and easy supper, and pretty cheap too (depending where you shop) – certainly well under £1 per serving. Works well with runner beans as well.
1 pack green beans (89p from Aldi, I think)
125g of pasta (fusilli, quills, whatever – Aldi fusilli is 49p for 500g, so that’s (counts on fingers) 12.5p)
1 chopped onion (20p)
1 dessert spoon (ish) of olive oil
lemon juice – a bottle is easier, and cheaper, than fresh
about 25g grated parmesan (35p?)
Top and tail the beans, while you put a decent amount of water on to boil. When it has, put in the pasta and set a timer (mental, if necessary) for 10 minutes. I put the beans in that pot when there was eight minutes left, which left a nice crunch to them.
While the beans and pasta are cooking, cook the onion off in the olive oil. Add to the drained pasta/bean mix, stir in a good slug of lemon juice, the parmesan, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Light, quick, simple, healthy, cheap. Vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese.
The mystery butcher’s bag in the freezer turned out to contain about 150g of sausagemeat, clearly bought for sossidge rolls for the festering season. Hmm … what to do?
I added some chopped mix herbs to the meat, and mixed it all together. Into the slow cooker went onions, garlic, a diced courgette and some mushrooms, and I formed the sausagemeat into eight small balls, and laid them on the top. The last of the tomato paste had a slosh of red wine, and some water, added and went on top. Into the slow cooker for six hours, and very nice indeed.
There’s a fair bit of the sauce left, which we shall have tonight with the addition of some Matessons* sausage (no, not gourmet, I know, but dead handy as a standby!).
* or Aldi equivalent
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 …
I had a boneless pork chop, about 120g worth, loitering in the freezer. We’re trying to eat up all these oddments, so I fetched it out on Monday to do a stir fry. Pete volunteered to cook it, and while it was very nice, it would have been even better if he’d remembered to put the bloody pork *in*.
So last night I fashioned it into a quick pasta dish. I cubed the pork and fried it off in a little olive oil, then set it aside. Put chopped onion, courgette, garlic and mushrooms in the pan and sweated them down, then put the pork back in with some salt and pepper. It was a bit … blah, so I rummaged on the spice shelf for inspiration, and added some aniseed. When the pasta quills were cooked, I added them to the mix, with about three dessert spoons of creme fraiche, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
About 454 calories per serving.
We had a chicken stir fry a couple of days ago; when I got the chicken out of the freezer, I discovered there were two breasts melded together. One went on the stir fry, and one was left. On Sunday, I made a quick cheesecake, as the friend coming for supper had requested same. So there was a tub of ricotta, and half a lemon, left over from that.
Diced up the chicken, and fried it off in a very little olive oil. added three cloves of garlic, some sliced chestnut mushrooms, and a chopped red onion. Stirred it about for three minutes or so, then added the lemon juice, and a small slug of white wine from an open bottle in the fridge. We seem to be slightly overrun with white wine – no idea why, because we don’t buy or drink white. I think people bring it, and then decide they like the red on offer better!
Put a lid on the pan, and let it simmer down while the fusilli cooked. At the end, stirred in about half a tub of ricotta and some torn basil leaves.
About 210 calories, plus 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.
There seems to be Quite a Lot of Stilton in the fridge, so yesterday I made a start on it. I had oatcakes with stilton for lunch, accompanied by rather a lot of silverskin onions, and some of the coriander chicken soup (which is a triumph, though I say so myself).
Then last night, I rummaged through the fridge, and a carton of rather sad chestnut mushrooms presented itself.
So … I chopped an onion and set it to cook down in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Chopped the mushrooms and a couple of cloves of garlic and added them in.I kept the heat low and stirred all the time, because I’m trying to use less oil in cooking, and mushrooms just slurp it up. Stuck a pan of hot water on to boil, and added 120g of fusilli pasta when it did so.
Kept stirring the mushrooms, while also dicing up 30g of stilton (that’s seen off the slab, now just the jar to go :). When the pasta had five minutes to go, I put the diced cheese in, and kept it all moving so that it melted down and coated the mushrooms. Then drained the pasta, put it in the mushroom pan, and added 2 good teaspoons of half fat creme fraiche.
Really tasty, and about 520 calories a portion.