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.


Beef stew for two

A lazy Sunday in Stratford called for a few things: eggs for breakfast, a nice walk along the river and some comfort food for a snuggly evening in watching the unbelievably brilliant Homeland. Sunday happened to be day two of the Stratford food festival, which meant that right outside my door were a host of stalls selling all sorts of yummy things. Having had a peruse, Chris and I opted for some olives, French cheese and a nice saucisson for a snacky lunch and we also grabbed some casserole beef…


Season some flour with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and cover the beef with a dusting of it before browning in a pan. 


In a separate pan soften a red onion, two cloves of garlic, a stick of celery (finely chopped) and some big chunks of carrots. Then add the meat and a big glass of red (we used pinot noir). Let this simmer for a moment before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato puree, two bay leaves then some beef stock (make sure there’s enough liquid to cover the stew). Simmer for as many hours as you possibly can. 

We served it with new potatoes and buttered green beans and the rest of the red. Yum.

An Alternative Sunday Lunch

‘Alternative’ not really in any cool sense of the word, but just a non-roast dinner sort of way. Although the following were made for a Sunday lunch, they’d work very well any other day of the week too.

Being back in London for a week called for catching up with friends and also making the most of having a free house (parents in Paris for a few days, sister in Seville visiting her boyfriend). As my friends have somewhat unpredictable schedules, a ‘drop in when you can’ lunch/dinner was decided upon. This could not be a meal that relied on precise timings. This could also not be something too meaty. We had one veggie and one non meat and non spicy and not too wheaty person as well. To cater for all tastes, the following was produced…



These were based on the really yummy ones I’d eaten at a couple of RSC press nights. They didn’t taste quite the same, but were almost there. As usual, quantities are not precise…

Mix a couple of tablespoons each of honey, wholegrain mustard and orange juice. Pour over cocktail sausages. Cook for 20mins at about 200 degrees C.



I used this recipe…



Loads of tomatoes of varying colours and sizes with good lugs of olive oil, masses of salt and pepper and some basil leaves



Essentially it’s a tablespoon of quinoa per person, boil the quinoa for 15-20mins. Let it cool and then add some cooked broccoli and peas plus chopped cucumber, feta & avocado. I also stirred in some random seeds found in a jar. Dressed with lemon juice and oil.



Cooled boiled new potatoes mixed with mayo, cruched garlic, lemon juice and chives.



Eight cooked beetroots chopped into chunks; a cubed, roasted butternut squash; a small pack of walnut halves; a goat’s cheese chopped in chunks; some big handfuls of spinach; a dressing of red wine vinegar, mustard and olive oil.


This was all followed by some exceptional puddings including Greer’s tasty apple crumble and Lucy’s chocolate courgette cake.


Although we never got round to playing Articulate, Abby, Andy, Gre, Lucy, Paddy, Matt, Tadhgh, Anna and I had a blast mainly taking the piss out of our ridiculous lives, debating quinoa/keenwa, talking about tutoring, theatre and all sorts of other things. To me, food, friends and a fair bit of wine = perfect Sunday. Lovely.