Love your leftovers!

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Sausage and Spud Chilli

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Lent is here – so something fishy will be going on tonight – last few days have been about decluttering cupboards and fridges – trying to use up left overs in all ways possible. I love making meals from odds and sods – this one almost made itself.

I had 4 sausages left – so skinned them, pan fried them lightly in  little olive oil, crumbling them as they went, with the one red chilli I had lingering in the larder, plus a little cumin and a dash of sea salt and black pepper. I had a bowl of boiled new potatoes left over from a day or two before so they all got diced and thrown in, along with the last of the shallots finely chopped and a small bunch of coriander, chopped, that had been hiding on the window sill.

A good stir – I left it for 15 minutes on a medium heat stirring now and then – then I added 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a little smidgen of tomato sauce and stirred it once more. I then left it on a low heat for about 30 minutes. 

I had a baguette left over from the day before, so that got sliced – I put a splash of olive oil in a frying pan with some crushed garlic and pan fried the slices until golden – drained them on kitchen paper – served the chilli in bowls with the croutons on top.

Simple, cheap, tremendously tasty….and no more leftovers!

Risi e bisi…. it’s easy peasy!

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Venetian Rice Dish with Pancetta and Peas

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This is one of those dishes that I have been meaning to get around to cooking for a while….I should have made it before – it is delicious!

Simplicity itself and considering the basic ingredients the result is remarkable. It satisfies the soul and calms the beast. It is awash with flavours.

For 4

60gm butter

3 tbsps olive oil

1 onion peeled and finely chopped

150 gm pancetta or smoky bacon

500gm frozen peas

A handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1.5 L of hot chicken or vegetable stock

400 gm arborio rice

50 gm parmesan grated

Good extra virgin oil for drizzling

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 40 gm of the butter with the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the onion and pancetta for 5 minutes, stirring now and then, Add the peas with the parsley, and 2 ladlefuls of the hot stock. Simmer for 15 minutes – no lid – until the stock has evaporated.

Add the rice and stir gently on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour in 500 ml of the stock and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. As soon as the water has been absorbed add more stock, a ladleful at a time. Cook for 20 more minutes until the risotto looks a little like soup and the rice is cooked but still has a bite to it.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and parmesan. Cover with a lid and leave to rest for 3 minutes. Serve in warmed bowls and drizzle on a little olive oil at the table.

Autumnal bliss in a bowl.

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Fabulous Courgette Pasta Recipe

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Courgette & chorizo pasta a la crema...

Courgette and Chorizo Pasta A La Crema…

This was a swift store cupboard special supper and one of the tastiest of the last week. I wanted to adapt my usual lardon and courgette pasta…and the simple answer was replace the lardons with cubed chorizo. The result was a sublime cocktail of flavours that slipped down and satisfied.

Do this. It is going to make your week.

100 gm of cubed chorizo
One courgette cubed
50ml single cream
Small bunch of coriander chopped
Pasta
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

In a splash of olive oil heated for a minute, add the courgette and pan fry until starting to just brown, then add the chorizo and continue frying gently whilst you cook the pasta.

Just before you drain the pasta, add the cream and a grind of sea salt and black pepper. Then add the chopped coriander.

Serve on the hot pasta.

Quick, sensuous and delectable. It’s what suppers should be.

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For another exciting twist on the courgette recipe try this one from Nigel Slater