Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup

I’d spotted a recipe for hearty pasta soup on the BBC Good Food website and decided to give it a go as it had a lot of very high ratings and we had a pack of tortellini in fridge for which we had no plans. This is a really simple recipe that takes minimal preparation (chopping an onion and a couple of carrots). I used kidney beans instead of the green beans because we’ve had a bit of a green bean overload recently! The kidney beans were microwaved for a couple of minutes beforehand to ensure they’d be soft.

It was nice enough, but definitely seemed to be lacking something – perhaps some chilli. I think this is probably something that would appeal to kids whilst getting some vegetables into them. I doubt we’d make this again as it is, but I’d definitely try some kind of tortellini soup again.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Chicken arrabiata

We’re trying to use up things in the freezer at the moment and needed some way to use up a lone chicken breast. We reasoned that it would probably stretch furtherst in a pasta dish and decided upon making an arrabiata sauce to go with it.

A quick Google search tells me that our sauce wasn’t entirely authentic, but we just chose to make up a spicy tomato sauce and go with it!

Chicken Arrabiata
Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 chicken breast
160g pasta (we used conchiglie, but would have used penne if we’d had any!)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 green chilli, minced (red’ll do too!)
1tbsp tomato purée
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
salt & pepper
Grana Padano/Parmesan, to serve (optional)

1. Put the chicken breast in a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a slow boil and poach for 10-15 minutes or until cooked. When cooked, remove it from the pan and leave on a plate to rest.
2. Meanwhile, soften the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes before adding the crushed garlic and minced chilli. Cook for a further minute.
3. Add the herbs and then stir the tomato purée through. Leave it for 30 seconds or so before adding the chopped tomatoes. Season to taste and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the instructions.
5. When everything is ready, shred the chicken with your hands (or a couple of forks if it’s still too hot!), drain the pasta and then mix everything in together before serving with a sprinkling of Grana Padano/Parmesan.

This was the first time we’d poached chicken and it worked really well, cooking it through whilst keeping it soft and moist. The sauce had a pleasant warmth from the chilli (if you want more of a kick, you’ll want to add more) and was all in all a really nice, quick and easy meal.

Read Full Post »

Pan-fried salmon fillet, ratatouille and Jersey Royal potatoes

We had a couple of salmon fillets that we intended to simply pan-fry and serve with boiled Jersey Royals and vegetables – something along the lines of green beans or similar. Unfortunately, when we did our shopping on Monday evening, it was all a bit disasterous with low stocks of just about everything and frustration lead us to come home without everything we needed, including the veg. Luckily, we had a plan B! I’d bought some courgettes with the intention of cooking up some more summer vegetable soup last night, but I’d gone out for lunch so wasn’t feeling at all hungry. We also had a red pepper in the fridge for which we had no plans so ratatouille seemed like a good idea!

Ratatouille was one of my favourite meals as a child and has continued to be so; it’s great served with rice, a jacket potato, or even just a great hunk of crusty bread (it can also benefit from a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese, mmm!)

Ratatouille
Serves 3-4 as a side dish (1-2 as suggested above)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: as long as you can bear (at least 40 mins)

2 small onions
2 small courgettes
1 large pepper
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato purée
olive oil
herbs (we usually use dried Herbs des Provence, but tonight had fresh thyme, fresh oregano and a couple of dried bay leaves)
salt and pepper

1. Chop the onions, courgettes and pepper into chunks. Heat some olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the onions and peppers to soften for about 10 minutes.

2. Add the courgettes to the pan along with any dried herbs and leave for a further 5 minutes, then stir through the tomato purée before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes. Season to taste, bring to the boil and simmer gently without a lid for at least 25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Ratatouille is one of those dishes that only gets better with time, so if you can leave it for longer than do so (it also tastes amazing the following day).

3. Stir in any fresh herbs and serve.

 

You can pretty much adjust the quanities of vegetables in this as much as you like – we usually use more peppers and less courgette, but it’s all down to personal taste. I think ratatouille traditionally includes aubergine as well, but I used to really dislike aubergine and have never got round to changing my recipe!

Ratatouille is so versatile and easy to cook and it’ll keep for a good few days in the fridge. It’s also low calorie and low fat (until you add cheese) and contibutes well to your 5-a-day. If you haven’t before, then do give it a try!

Read Full Post »

tortellini, baby spinach and cherry tomato salad

We have a friend coming tomorrow to stay with us for a few days and the flat has been looking like a bit of a disaster recently. Rob was out this evening and I got home at about 7pm knowing that I had a good couple of hours of cleaning ahead of me. Two hours of tidying, vacuuming and scrubbing later and the last thing I wanted to do was cook a proper dinner!

Tortellini really does offer a remarkably quick and easy dinner option but, unlike the ready meals that may be an obvious choice, it also tastes fantastic and I’ve often chosen it even when I’ve all the time in the world!

Tonight’s dinner took no more than 5 minutes to prepare. While the kettle boiled, I chopped up some baby spinach and halved some cherry tomatoes. I then brought the water back to the boil in a pan and added a pack of spinach and ricotta tortellini (no matter what else I try, I always come back to spinach and ricotta, mmm!). A minute later, I drained the pasta and then drizzled it with olive oil. Half went into tupperware for tomorrow’s lunch and the other half was mixed up with the spinach and tomatoes. Once plated up, all it needed was a few grinds of pepper and it was ready to devour! Delicious!

I always used to make a tomato sauce to go with tortellini, but just using the olive oil really makes you appreciate the flavours of the filling so much more (plus it makes it that much quicker!).

Read Full Post »