Panzanella

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We have said before that the Southern Italians can make what they have go a long way, and this dish is ideal for using up stale bread and slightly soft tomatoes.

Dawn: Just as we have the kitchen back up and running, here we have a no cook recipe.

Andrew: It is just ideal for the warmer weather, quite filling on its own, but excellent in a large bowl with a barbecue.

Dawn: And the longer you leave it before serving, the more the flavour develops.

Ingredients

Serves 4

100-200g day old bread, unsliced

300-400g tomatoes (any size or variety)

One red onion

2 tsp of capers

A handful of black olives

One tin of anchovies (optional)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper to season

Method

  • Roughly tear the bread into bite size pieces. No need for ceremony here, as this is a rustic dish where presentation isn’t the key issue.
  • Chop the tomatoes into different sized pieces. We have made this with a large beefsteak variety, some plum and vine tomatoes and a few cherry ones, for variety in colour and texture.
  • Place the bread and tomatoes in a salad bowl and mix well.
  • Add the capers, olives and anchovies to the bowl, then sprinkle on the vinegar and drizzle over the olive oil.
  • Mix well to allow the oil and vinegar to coat everything. They will moisten the bread, as will the juices from the tomatoes.
  • Season well, and serve when ready.

Andrew: There are no limits to this dish. A few cloves of roasted garlic, slices of roasted pepper and courgette can be added too.

Dawn: A few basil leaves, and a crumbly white cheese like feta might add to the colour and flavour too.

Andrew: Fantastic!

For more tips and recipes keep following our blog forfoodlovers.wordpress.com, Facebook and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK  for ideas and ways to make your food go further.

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Simple Rustic Tomato Sauce

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This is one of the easiest and most economical dishes we know. It can be produced using store cupboard ingredients, and is incredibly flexible, served as a pasta sauce, on top of rice, as a pizza topping or as an alternative to ketchup with fish or steak.

Dawn: Is this another of your student specials?

Andrew: It is! By seeking out the discount ranges, a meal for four can be produced for about a pound! 

Dawn: A bargain!

Ingredients

Serves 2 as a pasta sauce

1 red or white onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

Olive oil for frying

Method

  • Over a medium heat and in a little olive oil, cook the onion for 5 minutes until it turns translucent.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and basil and cook for a further minute.
  • Now pour in the tin of tomatoes and turn the heat to a low simmer.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow the sauce to thicken over half an hour or so. This will allow the flavours to develop and the sauce to turn a deep shade of red.
  • When cooked it can be served as warm with pasta, or allowed to cool it can be used as an accompaniment.

Dawn: Can we be flexible with the herbs and spices, too?

Andrew: We can. Whatever is to hand can be used. If we were Italian of course we would be using fresh ripe tomatoes!

Fabulous ideas abound at https://forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK as well as our Facebook and Mumsnet links.

Pappardelle Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes

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Fresh tuna steak is so much more readily available these days. Low in fat, high in protein and versatile, here we accompany it with fresh pappardelle pasta.

Dawn: Pappadelle? I don’t think I have used that before.

Andrew: It is a wider and slightly thicker version of tagliatelle, basically. It also looks good in the ‘verde’ version, which is coloured with spinach.

Dawn: One to make with my pasta machine then!

Ingredients

Serves 2

2 tuna steaks

2 large spring onions, sliced finely

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely sliced

1 chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)

8-10 baby plum tomatoes

100g fresh papardelle per person

Andrew: Chilli is a great option here for a winter evening.

Dawn: Ginger is also an optional ingredient for those who like a Thai taste to their cooking, with a little lime juice, too.

Method

  • While the fish and vegetables cook, put a pan of salted water on to boil and cook pasta as per the packet instructions.
  • Fry the tuna steak in a pan in a little olive oil.
  • Turn after about 3 minutes and cook through.
  • As you turn the tuna, add the onions, garlic and chilli to the same pan, around the tuna.
  • After a further 3 minutes, when the tuna is cooked, gently break it up with a fork.
  • Add the plum tomatoes, a splash of water (or if feeling a little decadent, a splash of white wine).
  • Cover and steam for a minute, allowing the tomatoes to ‘pop’.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir gently so there is an even spread of tuna and tomatoes.
  • Serve with a green salad.

Andrew: A super supper, wouldn’t you agree, Dawn?

Dawn: I would, especially as there are so many potential variations on this too. 

For more great ideas keep following https://forfoodlovers.wordpress.com, our Twitter account @Love_Food_UK and don’t forget we can be found on Facebook and Mumsnet, too.