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.


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


  • 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, Facebook and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK  for ideas and ways to make your food go further.


Simple Rustic Tomato Sauce


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!


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


  • 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 and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK as well as our Facebook and Mumsnet links.

Pappardelle Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes


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!


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.


  • 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. 

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