Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Pasta salad with olives and roast garlic

I started out making pasta when I moved out of home, at age 17, featuring a crisper worth of vegetables plus some pesto from a jar. (Wry smile thinking about the strange tiles of pumpkin I used to cut, and the undercooked eggplant. But I was doing a good job of eating vegetables at least!) Continue reading Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Italian chickpea soup

Italian chickpea soup with vegetables and short pasta

I’m not one for splashing chicken stock around in the kitchen. I think it has its place in broth-style soups or in dishes that actually feature chicken, but I’ve always found its presence in vegetable risottos or vegetable soups (and in so, so many other recipes you read) just a little bit insulting! Like the poor old vegetables can’t stand up on their own. There are other ways of creating flavour and depth that are much more fresh and vibrant, whether that be for a paella, pumpkin risotto or cauliflower soup. Continue reading Italian chickpea soup

Eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

The vegie garden is looking decidedly bare and wintery now that I’ve finally pulled out the tomato bushes and collected the very last ripening tomatoes. It’s the end of a process of watching the garden build up and up in a frenzy over summer – the plants growing taller as the weather gets hotter – then watching things come down again piece by piece as the sun slips back in the sky and it starts getting chilly. Continue reading Eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

Proper egg carbonara

Proper egg carbonara

In my uni days I used to stay at my boyfriend’s share house almost often enough to chip in to the rent – it was a house of four guys, where the dishes only got washed once they started to turn the corner of the long u-shaped bench; where the figs on the big tree in the backyard were used to play cricket (no-one knew what to do with a fig, even me); and where someone’s basket of dirty clothes stood in the laundry unchanged for two years. Carbonara was a feature on the menu, involving pieces of bacon not fried for long enough and still with its chewy rind on; onion or spring onion; and a 600 ml tub of cream.

Continue reading Proper egg carbonara