Archives for posts with tag: pasta dishes

I started the week feeling like a character out of  The Wolf of Wall Street but  after seven days on my very own food waste challenge I ended the week feeling happy.

I’m excited thinking about this week’s cooking and I’m also feeling excited about the little germ of an idea I have growing sparked by Mazi Mas and A Girl Called Jack. I don’t have much time to pursue those thoughts right now – I’m too busy  juggling cooking and work.

So what did we cook last week?


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Baked – a loaf of ‘Rosies Brown Bread’ from one of my all time favourite recipe books, Pam Hirschson’s Treasury of Recipes.

Treasury of Recipes

  • Baked – a sponge cake to use a test batch of cream cheese icing make by my daughter for the wedding cake she is making for my niece next week. We served this with some of the left over roasted plums in the fridge.
  • Supper – left over green bean bredie with an added tin of cannellini beans. This was served with a grain salad made with bulgur wheat, a tin of chick peas, read rice. We added basil, mint and chopped red pepper out of the garden and dressed it with olive oil and lemon juice and garnished with fried onions(garden produce too).


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch a slice of ‘Rosies Brown Bread’ with scrambled eggs and rocket
  • Children’s school/university  lunch – left over grain salad
  • Supper – Lettuce and Lovage soup from the freezer. While defrosting the lovage soup I discovered that in fact one of the packets was not lovage soup but a lentil and cumin soup. The combination of the two soups ended up being delicious and inspired me to add a tin of coconut milk to the mix. I garnished the soup with fried onion, more cumin, slivered apricots (from the South African Food and Wine Blogger Indaba’s overflowing goody bag courtesy Cecilia’s Farm) and chopped almonds from my sisters perfect piece of land in McGregor. And served the soup with pappadums.


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch -pancakes with cinnamon sugar and lemon. It was a gloomy, rainy day and my daughter enticed me away from my desk to indulge her.
  • Supper – Pasta with freezer tomato sauce which on tasting was very hot(too many chillies) so I added two tins of cherry tomatoes from Super Sconto and a generous portion of ‘olive toffee’. The olive toffee was the result of a failed attempt to make olive jam. I think I’ve now hit on the perfect tomato sauce enhancer. I still have enough ‘olive toffee’ to enhance another 8 pasta and tomato sauce meals….


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch – scrambled egg made with four left-over egg yolks(from the wedding cake trial) and two whole eggs on ‘Rosie’s Bread’ served with rocket and balsamic glaze.
  • Cooked 500g of chick peas
  • Supper – Salad of garden watermelon,cubed, on a bed of rocket with roasted balsamic glazed beetroot, shredded beetroot leaves, ‘confettied’ beetroot leaf stalks, a handful of chickpeas and olives marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil. Potatoes roasted with bay leaves. Home-made hummus done the Nigella Lawson way from How to Eat. Chickpeas soaked and cooked according to her instructions too. There is no other way to do this!
  • Also made a quinoa and chick pea salad dressed with the left-over lemon, garlic and olive oil marinade made for olives.


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon. We should be sick of this by now but we’re not. Panicking a bit that we are going to run out of oats.
  • ‘Rosie’s Bread’  with hummus, rocket and cheese
  • Supper – pasta with the balance of the tomato sauce, thinly sliced fried salami and parmesan.
  • YA’s lunch for school and university – quinoa and chick pea salad
  • Also made another loaf of “Rosie’s Bread’


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon.
  • Lunch – bread, hummus, rocket, slivers of parmesan.
  • Supper – fritters made with the balance of the quinoa and chick pea salad mixed with two eggs, some chick pea flour and  – the first bought item of the week – a packet of bacon. These were served with a watermelon, rocket, basil, left-over roasted beetroot, olive, sesame seed, sunflower seed  and hummus salad.


Pasta with porcini mushrooms

Also made during the week

  • One jar of tree tomato, rose and vanilla jelly
  • Two jars of tree tomato jam
  • Two loaves of banana bread (one in the freezer)

Everything we ate came from either the garden or the store cupboard except for one packet of bacon. I call that a successful week. But what on earth did the rest of the family think?

Over supper on Friday night I asked the family what the favourite meal of the week was?

They all loved the soup from Monday night and voted the quinoa and chick pea fritters a close second. On Saturday night they seemed to think the pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil was the meal of the week.


Thank goodness we didn’t go on holiday this year. It would have been a disaster from a vegetable gardening, cooking and eating perspective.

There were a few moments when I wished I was at the beach or on narrow boat Patience but as I sit down to write this blog post I realise if we had been away for a month many of our carefully planted and nurtured vegetables would have rotted, grown old and unpalatable or been devoured by the birds, snails and slugs.

Instead we have delighted in the fact that all our meals for the last month and a half have been centred around the vegetables we’ve been picking every day. The only vegetables we have bought have been onions, potatoes and garlic.

IMG_1867So what have we produced with these earthly delights?

Some super fresh pasta dishes for a start.

Green Marinara Pasta

Combine seafood  – prawns, calamari and mussels  flash fried in butter – with barely steamed green beans, sautéed courgettes, raw mangetout peas, basil and mint and serve on a bed of fresh tagliatelle with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Double Courgette, Pea and Pesto Pasta

This pasta dish turned out to have quite a few components that came together very festively to create a dinner party of a dish.

  1. Creamy sauce: Bring to the boil about a cup of cream (I think I also threw in about a half a tub of crème fraîche) and the juice and rind of a lemon or two. Reduce until thick and stir in some grated parmesan and a few grindings of black pepper.
  2. Pasta component: Cook the pasta (spaghetti or tagliatelle) in a large pot. When the pasta is just about done throw in a couple of handfuls of julienned courgette. Drain immediately and toss with some mangetout peas and the lemony cream sauce.
  3. Shoestring courgette fries: If you have ever eaten at Tortellino d’Oro in Oaklands, Johannesburg you will surely have tried to replicate the crisp courgette shoestrings that adorn many of their plates. I’d unsuccessfully tried to make them a couple of times but it was not until I googled ‘zucchini shoestrings’ and serendipitously came upon this perfect recipe from Drizzle and Dip – also inspired by Tortellino d’Oro – that I actually succeeded.
  4. Minty pesto: Blend together olive oil, large handfuls of mint and basil, salt and black pepper with a clove or two of garlic. Stir in some grated parmesan or pecorino and a handful or two of ground almonds.
  5. To serve: Pour the hot creamy pasta mix onto a large serving platter. Swirl in a minty pesto and garnish with shoestring courgette fries.