Pasta, a not really a recipe, recipe

I do this a lot, take photos of food I make. I'm passionate about good food. Real food.

Meals should be tasty, nutritious, and  a pleasure for the senses. From the tantilizing smell, to the array of colours, and a variety of textures and tastes to delight the palate. It's really not too difficult. Is it?  

Start with the very best ingredients, organic or 'free-from' ingredients, a few herbs, a bit of heat applied at the right time and in the right way, and there you go. Good food, made simply, and rather quickly. 

So why is good food so hard to find these days? When eating out, that is. What should be a treat is more often than not, a disappointment that one has to pay for.



Take this vegetable pasta dish. It's vegetarian but can easily be made vegan by foregoing the bit of freshly grated romano cheese on top before serving. If you're making or buying ravioli, choose the appropriate filling for your dietary needs or concerns. Regular pasta is just as good here.

The hard part is sharing the recipes. I'm a bit of a true European that way. I cook by feel. Intuition. So my 'not really a recipe' goes like this:

Olive oil - organic, cold pressed- a generous glog, about 3 tbsp.

Garlic cloves, many (3-6), sliced or chopped

Onions, two or three - red, yellow, or a mix of both

One Hot banana pepper, seeded and sliced (add a few seeds if you want some heat!) 

One large sweet red, yellow or orange pepper seeded and chopped 

A generous handful or two of brown (Cremini) mushrooms, sliced

One larger or two smaller carrots sliced thinly

2 or 3 diced tomatoes (skin and all) 

Fresh chopped Kale or Rapini or peas (fresh or frozen) 

Tomato paste (optional) 

Cooked and drained romano or cannelini beans (tinned is fine) 


Italian herb mixture

Sea Salt (I like Maldon)

Freshly ground black pepper

Chili flakes (optional) 

Fresh or Dried Pasta - ravioli, spaghetti, penne, whole wheat, greens, etc. 

Basil pesto 

How to:

Set a large pot of water on to boil. 

In a heavy skillet heat the olive oil, add the garlic, onions, peppers and cook over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, mushrooms & carrots. Continue to cook, stiring regularly. 

Add the herbs, salt & pepper, reduce heat to medium. 

When the water boils, add salt and the pasta - cook until al dente. 

While the pasta is cooking, finish the sauce: 

Add the tomatoes, green vegetables (kale, peas or rapini), a spoonful of tomato paste (if desired).  You can add a tiny bit of water or red wine to help steam the greens. Ajust the seasongings, adding more olive oil if you like. 

Drain the pasta. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir gently. Add a generous spoon of basil pesto if you like. 

Serve with freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. Offer chili oil  or crushed chili peppers for those who like a bit more bite. 

One of my (apparently many) food rules is that pasta should be served with a glass of red wine.  This is completely optional. 

Play with the ingredients. I use a variety of vegetables depending on what is in season, and what is in my pantry and fridge at the time. Just don't leave out the onions & garlic!