How hungry are you? Can you wait 12 minutes, because that’s exactly how long it takes to make this simple and delicious meal.
You will need:
400g of your favourite pasta, I used linguine
2 ripe avocados
A few basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
A 200g tin of sweetcorn
A few cherry tomatoes
Some kind of food processor
Right, fill a large pan with boiling water, stick your pasta in it and cook it however it says on the packet.
Whilst that’s doing its thing we can make the sauce, halve your avocados, peel them and get rid of the seed, stick them in the food processor along with the basil leaves, peeled garlic and a twist of salt & pepper to taste.
Process it all together until smooth.
With the processor running drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the sauce emulsifies, you’ll see the sauce change in consistency and thicken. You might not have to put all of the oil in so see how you get on.
Drain your sweetcorn and quarter your cherry tomatoes.
Your pasta should be done by now (see it’s that quick), drain it and return it to the pan, stir in your avocado sauce, sweetcorn, tomatoes and serve!
This is fairly quick to knock up and makes enough for 4 portions, it’s also easy to make vegan by replacing the halloumi cheese with sliced tofu.
Ingredients – Makes 4 portions
220g uncooked couscous
Freshly ground black pepper
1 vegetable stock cube (I use a Knorr stock pot)
330ml boiling water
1 large or 2 medium red onions
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large aubergine
2 sweet red peppers
1 250g block of halloumi or 1 block of tofu
1 can of cooked green lentils (Lentilles Vertes)
A drop of truffle oil – Optional
Right, heat your oven to 200C, I’ve got a fan oven.
De-seed your peppers, chop them into pieces, make them however big you want.
Chop the aubergine into slices and then into pieces, again, any size you want but bear in mind you want all this to roast fairly quickly.
Throw the pepper and aubergine on baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add a twist of black pepper and mix it all together.
Put that in the oven to roast and grab the onion(s).
Peel and chop the onions, put them in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of black pepper, cook over a medium heat until they’re turning soft and almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes but don’t over cook the garlic.
Once the veg has been roasting in the oven for 10 minutes take it out, give it a shake and a turn and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Slice the halloumi cheese into 8 slices, add a little olive oil to a frying pan and get it on a medium heat. Add the slices of halloumi and cook until golden brown, keep an eye on them, they can brown quickly. When both sides are done remove from the pan, cut into pieces and set aside.
Your roast veg should have had about 20 minutes now, check to see if it’s done, I like it slightly crispy and almost burnt, each to their own. If it’s done, turn the oven off and get started on the cous cous.
Dissolve the stock pot in 330ml of boiling water, add the couscous to the pan with the onions and garlic and place on a very low heat. Add the stock to the pan, stir to cover the couscous and put a lid on the pan.
After 2-3 minutes give the couscous a stir, it should have swollen up and taken on all the water, if it hasn’t, put the lid back on and give it another minute but keep checking.
Once it’s done, drain the lentils and add them to the pan along with the roasted veg and halloumi cheese.
Add the totally optional drop of truffle oil and give it all a good stir, I know it sounds really pretentious but I think it really makes a difference. If you’ve not got truffle oil and you’re tempted to get some make sure it’s a good quality oil with some real truffle, I’ve got some of the Truffle Hunter oils.
It’s almost ratatouille but not quite but it tastes really nice and smothered over a lovely soft baked aubergine it makes for an easy meal. It goes down equally well over some roasted butternut squash wedges or topped off with some paneer pieces and a light grilling.
1 aubergine, washed and cut in half lengthways
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 orange pepper, washed and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of sugar
A sprinkle of dried oregano
A sprinkle of dried sage
Freshly ground black pepper
A little olive oil
Preheat your oven to 200C (I’ve got a fan oven).
Place the halved aubergine on a baking tray, score the flesh, rub with a little olive oil and add a little ground black pepper.
Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes but keep an eye on them!
Meanwhile in a large pan add a little olive oil and sauté the onion and orange pepper for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, sugar and a little black pepper, stir until combined.
Add as much of the herbs as you like, I probably added a teaspoon of each.
Give it all a good stir, have a taste, if it’s good let’s rock and roll.
When the aubergine flesh has turned golden brown and the edges catching move them to plates and spoon over the almost ratatouille.