Press Night Pasta

After driving back to Stratford from London and before Richard II press night at the RST…

Soften an onion

Add three finely chopped smoked rashers of bacon

Once they are cooked chuck in a tsp of chilli powder

Then a tin of tomatoes. Reduce.

At the last moment stir some pine nuts and rocket in and mix with the cooked spaghetti and chopped chunks of mozzarella.


Tagine for Mum

After yet another quite indulgent weekend, some meals mainly made of vegetables was definitely on the cards. I also needed to prepare something that could be made in advance and heated when required to fit in with meeting Mum at the station and then watching the play. This is what was concocted. It makes masses. I will be eating it for days…

A butternut squash, peeled and cubed

A yellow pepper (or red)

An onion

Two cloves of garlic

A teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, chilli powder and harissa 

Some new potatoes

A courgette, chopped into chunks

A few carrots, chopped into chunks

A tin of chickpeas

A tin of chopped tomatoes

500ml of either chicken or veggie stock

Fresh coriander to serve

Soften the onions then add the spices and garlic. Fry for a few minutes. Chuck in all of the vegetables and then the  tinned toms and stock. Simmer for 30mins. Add the chickpeas. Either serve now or reheat later. We had this with brown rice but cous cous would be tasty too. As would a handful of flaked almonds scattered on top.

What I make when I can’t think of anything else to cook…

When I want something yummy and quick and easy/when I can’t think of anything to make/when I have to cook for someone else (usually for the first time), this is what I make…

Prawn & Noodle Curry

Start by making the paste by whizzing the following up in a food processor

A whole red or green chilli with the hat chopped off, but seeds still in there

A shallot or half a red onion

A thumb size piece of ginger

Some coriander

A stick of lemongrass

A glove of garlic

Some lime zest

A bit of oil (ideally sesame, otherwise vegetable will do)


Fry the paste for a few moments in a big wok. Then add some green veg of your choice (I like sticks of courgette, mange tout, pepper, green beans) and fry for a few minutes. Next add a tin of coconut milk and allow to simmer for about five minutes. Next add noodles and some prawns. Once the latter two are heated through stir in a tablespoon of fish sauce and the juice of a lime. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Giant Cous Cous Salad

After a very yummy but rather filling lunch at Tim Norton’s I wasn’t desperately hungry, but still in need of something to sate a bit of an appetite and soak up all the booze drunk at Tim’s. (For the record lunch at Tim’s: mackerel with beetroot, butternut squash and horseradish dressing followed by Ottolenghi chicken cooked with dates, olives & capers). Bella and I made this big tasty salad, which we munched with Mum, Dad and Chris before devouring a couple of episodes of Homeland to finish things off.

Giant cous cous boiled in chicken stock for 12 minutes mixed with:

-Roasted vegetables (onions, butternut squash, courgette, aubergine, tomatoes, red peppers) roasted with some sumac, zatar, thyme and chilli flakes and drenched in olive oil.

-A tin of chickpeas

-1/2 a chopped red chilli

-Tablespoon of tomato puree mixed with a crushed garlic clove

-A few big handfuls of babyleaf spinach

-1/2 a tablespoon of rose harissa paste

-A handful of pine nuts and some other seeds found in the back of the cupboard

-A cubed pack of feta

-A big handful of coriander


Served with a green salad. Would be a fab lunch/picnic dish and go well with chicken. 

Bangers for One

A lonely Tuesday evening in Stratford, feeling a bit knackered and low, some comfort food was in order. I had some bangers in the fridge leftover from yesterday’s sausage pasta made for Tabs before we saw As You Like It and also some spuds. So…

Whacked the bangers in the oven

Softened some onions in a pan then put them in the dish with the bangers along with some beef stock and a bay leaf and some thyme.

Once the sausages were cooked: made onion gravy by stirring some cornflour in with the onion mush. 

Serve with spuds and greens.