Sometimes simple meals are the best – in terms of time, preparation, ingredients and flavour. It’s good to be able to come home from a long day at work and quickly create something tasty, healthy and nourishing. Fast food doesn’t have to come from McDonald’s, Burger King, the local chippie. It can be found in the kitchen at home. It can be satisfying to check what’s in store and use up leftovers. It’s wonderful to think about what your taste buds fancy, and respond to that.
This is what I call ‘throw-together-food’ – not really a recipe, but listening to your body’s desires and needs and throwing some food together to meet those needs. Use the quantities of ingredients which suit your level of hunger. Add a little of this and a bit of that…taste as you go along to get the flavours just right.
For a change I had purchased some big, fat, vine tomatoes rather than the cherry tomatoes I usually opt for. They had ripened on the worktop for a few days and the smell of fresh tomatoes was powerful – really strong, so that when you twist the tomatoes from the vine your fingers smell of fresh tomato for a long time afterwards. The pungent aroma of tomato greens. Nature is all about our senses.
I fancied the fresh flavour with some pasta and extra virgin olive oil, and a background kick of fresh ground black peppercorns. Simple flavours which complement each other so well. Spaghetti is what I fancied but there was none in the cupboard, so I used tagliatelle instead. Here’s roughly what I did.
Boil a kettle of water. Add your desired amount of pasta to a pan, pour over the boiling water, add salt and cook as per packet instructions. Meanwhile chop two fat tomatoes into chunks. Grate a little cheese if desired – Cheddar or Parmesan. Once the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander. Gently heat approx 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in your pasta pan, and tip in the tomatoes. Stir well, add a twist of salt and lots of fresh black pepper. Mix well, add the drained pasta back to the pan and stir to cover with the tomatoes, oil and juices. Tip into a bowl to serve, add more fresh black pepper, sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!
I had this avocado in the fridge – it was perfectly ripe! No brown bits, no soggy bits. I dumped some scoops on top of the pasta for extra nutrition and freshness. It was creamy and fresh and heavenly. And colourful.
I like to cook my pasta al dente – undercooked – I prefer the texture, and I’m convinced my body deals with it better that way. Some fresh basil would have been fantastic with this – alas, any basil I attempt to grow does not thrive. And I had none in the kitchen.