Spaghetti with Pesto, Bacon and Broccoli
What do you want to eat? Maybe the question should be what do you want to cook? At this time of year with the seasons changing and a chill sometimes seeping in through any gap it can find, you may be looking for comfort in a bowl. This particular bowl of comfort also has the added benefits of being quick, simple and cheap. The latter of course depending on how in-season broccoli is for you, whether your pesto and parmesan are gourmet or own-brand and yes the humble rasher of bacon too could veer towards expensive if you are wont to artisanal produce. Well each to their own on that front, only a food snob would judge you by your choice of ingredients and boy do they exist. Regardless of provenance I guarantee that the end result will be delicious.
(Perfect for any students of any age in your life.)
Spaghetti with Pesto, Bacon and Broccoli
You will need: (serves 4–5)
400g broccoli (1 small head)
2 garlic cloves
300g cherry tomatoes
400g dried spaghetti
10 rashers (approximately 300g)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp basil pesto (see next page for home-made recipe)
Grated Parmesan cheese to garnish
Fill up a large saucepan with boiling water and bring it back to the boil.
Prepare the broccoli by giving it a quick rinse and breaking it up into florets and set aside.
Peel and crush the garlic and set aside.
Rinse and slice the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for 6* minutes, while gently frying the rashers in a frying pan in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Occasionally stir the spaghetti so that it does not stick together.
After 6* minutes, add the broccoli florets to the spaghetti and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the rashers and add in the crushed garlic and halved cherry tomatoes.
After a total cooking time of 8* minutes drain the spaghetti and broccoli, retaining about a half a cup of the cooking water.
Roughly chop the rashers in the pan and then stir the rashers, garlic and cherry tomato mix into the spaghetti and broccoli.
Stir in the pesto and enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten.
Serve hot with some extra pesto and grated Parmesan.
*you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on cooking time of your spaghetti so check the pack
‘What’s for Dinner Mom?’ a refrain that at times has me muffling expletives under my breath. Crazy days of exams & sports & socks, of unwashed floors & grimey bathrooms, sodden towels and mounting ironing piles not to mention the pile of admin on my office desk.
Crazy, crazy days and at the end of it all the request for dinner. Left to my own devices on days like this I’d be quite happy with a toasted sandwich poshed up with cranberry sauce and accompanied by a mug of piping hot tea, that would just be heavenly. But for the kids alas that wouldn’t be awarded the ‘dinner’ badge and I would be reminded that even though they’re not actually being starved by their mother they didn’t get a dinner.
This chorizo pasta supper is perfect for the overwhelming days and can be whipped up in 10 minutes.
You will need:
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Cook up a large pot of pasta.
While the pasta cooks cut the red pepper into small cubes and the chorizo into chunky slices.
Drain the pasta reserving a little pasta cooking water.
Mix though the pepper and chorizo and stir through some sundried tomato pesto with a little of the reserved cooking water to moisten,
Mix well and serve.
Voila – dinner in 10 minutes.
You could healthy it up by mixing through some rocket leaves.
‘Till next time, Sheila.
Quick and filling yet fresh and light for a pasta dish this is perfect summer dining. Just accompany with something chilled, crisp and white for the grown ups.
What made this dish quick was the use of pre-cooked chicken fillets that had been left over from the previous night’s dinner but as that’s a somewhat unusual occurrence you could use some chopped up cooked ham or crisp up some bacon instead.
The pesto used was rather special being an experiment in using rampant lettuce from the garden rather than shop bought basil. (Recipe for lettuce pesto will be posted next week). In the meantime I hope you’re making the most of the summer wherever you are. While the weather is against us here in Ireland there is the salvation of wonderful restaurants and coffee shops dotted everywhere that may lighten your wallet but will brighten up your day. Personal favourites this week have been Paradise Crepe Restaurant, Newman’s West & L’Escale, all in Schull, West Cork. Today we’ll be checking out fair-day in Bantry so I may have to accidentally trip over something on the pavement and fall in the door of the The Stuffed Olive. It will have to be done in such a way that I lose the kids first though but the fair should be good for that.
Fusilli Summer Chicken
You will need:
350g fusilli pasta
200g frozen garden peas
3 cooked breasts of chicken (alternatively use sliced up cooked ham or cook up some rashers)
1 spring onion
5 tbsp pesto
parmesan to garnish
Boil a large saucepan of water and put the pasta on to cook according to pack.
Boil a small saucepan of water and put the peas on to cook.
Slice up the cooked chicken and add to the pasta about a minute from the end of cooking time to heat it up.
Drain the cooked pasta & chicken. Drain the peas.
Combine together in a serving bowl and stir through chopped spring onion and the pesto to lightly coat everything.
Serve with shavings of parmesan and extra pesto on the side.
‘Til next time, Sheila.