Tag Archives: olives

Saturday Night Pasta with Olives, Tomato and Chili

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Staying in this Saturday night? Lucky you: it is the perfect time to cook yourself some delicious, easy┬ápasta, open a nice bottle of wine, and catch up on Ray Donovan or whatever else you are into at the moment. Don’t worry about the washing up, either: you only need 2 pans!

Have a lovely weekend!

You will need (for 2):

4 tbsp olive oil
2 anchovies in olive oil, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers in brine, drained
About 10-12 mixed green and black olives, halved
250 g cherry tomatoes
250 g wholewheat fusilli

salt, pepper

Method:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil over a medium heat, and add the anchovies and chili. Cook for 2 min, stirring, then add the garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 8 min, then add the olives and capers and leave to cook until the pasta is ready. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, tip the sauce into the pan and combine. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like.

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Filed under Mains, Pasta, Vegetables

Rabbit Stifado

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One of the things I like the most about being on holiday in the Greek Islands, is going out for dinner.

At the end of a long, hot day, and after a refreshing shower, it is a real pleasure to take a leisurely stroll along the sea front, enjoying the evening breeze, and taking your time to choose a restaurant.

The waiters often stand outside their establishments, and do their best to lure you in with enticing tales of fresh fish, traditional food, and chilled wine.

You will give in to one of them; it is impossible not to. Because you know that whichever restaurant you choose, the fish will indeed be fresh, the food traditional, and the wine oh-so-chilled.

On one such evening, a lovely restaurant owner in Kefalonia once convinced me to try Veal Stifado instead of the grilled fish I wanted. The way he talked about the dish simply made it impossible to refuse.

Boy, was I glad I had listened to him. To this day, it remains one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Sadly, veal is very much out of favour in the UK (although it is making a timid comeback), but thankfully rabbit is plentiful and would work equally well in this recipe.

Ask your butcher to separate the rabbit into 6 pieces, but make sure he/she twists the legs off, rather than chopping them off with a cleaver (this would produce very sharp bone shards).

You will need (for 4):

1 rabbit, divided into 6 pieces (see above)
2 lemons
A few spoonfuls of flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme (preferably fresh)
150g walnuts, chopped
250 ml white wine
200 ml chicken stock
150 g stoned black olives
Salt
Pepper

Method:

Put the rabbit pieces in a bowl, and squeeze the lemons over the meat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3h.
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Heat up the olive oil in a large, heavy pan with a lid. Pat the rabbit dry, season, flour and fry gently with the thyme until lightly browned. Add the walnuts, then the wine and a third of the stock.

Cover, and leave to simmer for about an hour. Top up the cooking liquid with a little meat stock from time to time.

About 20 min before serving, add the olives.

I serve this with wholewheat pasta, simply dressed with the cooking juices and some fried mushrooms.
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Filed under Mains, Meat dishes, Pasta

Lunchbox chili pasta

I call it lunchbox pasta because it is an easy way to use up any leftover pasta you might have after an evening meal. I usually make this with leftover cooked lasagne sheets (see Open Lasagne),cut into ribbons, but any pasta shape will work.

Rinse the pasta in some cold water to avoid it sticking together, then refrigerate in a microwaveable container.

In the morning, add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of chili flakes, and some pitted, roughly chopped black olives. Grate a bit of parmesan on top.image

At lunchtime, microwave on full power for 2 to 3 min depending on wattage. Tuck in, and don’t forget to put your best smug face on in front of your colleagues with their shop-bought lunches!

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Filed under Mains, Pasta, Vegetarian