One pan goats cheese and bacon pasta

I think once you can cook a few one pot meals eating midweek becomes so much easier. This pasta dish is hearty and healthy. The chicken stock actually makes this dish super comforting – perfect for a wet day. I think the best type of comfort food always contains chicken stock.

To make your own 1 pan pasta you will need (per portion):

3/4 a mug of pasta shapes

1/2 a courgette

A large handful cherry tomatoes

20g hard goats cheese

1 1/2 rashers bacon

For the sauce base

1 onion

1 large clove garlic

A large handful of basil

Oil

Salt and pepper

Chicken stock

 

Peel and slice the onion and cut the bacon into slices. Fry in a large frying pan with high sides until the onion is soft and the bacon is cooked.

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Add the pasta and pour over enough chicken stock so that all the pasta is covered plus a bit more. Add the tomatoes and the vine if you have one (Ed told me that adding the vine while cooking adds a bit of extra flavour). Add the salt and pepper at this point.

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While the pasta is cooking use a potato peeler to make thin slices of courgette and add this to the sauce you are making.

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Once the pasta is cooked “al dente”  reduce the heat and stir in your basil and goats cheese until the cheese has melted.

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Serve with a bit of extra basil, wine is entirely optional but always advised if you’re making this on a Friday night.

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Have you got any one pot wonders you want to share?

A few things to love

You may have noticed I have been slightly quieter than usual lately (apparently I’m no quieter in the flesh!). I seem to be arriving home from work later and then, full of good blogging intentions, parking myself on the sofa all evening. Anyway, here are a few things that have been putting a smile on my face.

1. Cadbury with Ritz and Lu. I was lucky enough to be sent a few samples of these and being the chocoholic that I am I got wildly excited. In actual fact these are the perfect size to have as a post run snack (I basically only run to justify chocolate). I particularly love the Ritz bars, salt and chocolate always work amazingly together in my opinion.

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2. Taylors new range of fruit tea.

I am particularly loving the sweet rhubarb tea after Miss B gave me a cup when we were both working late. I am one of those tea lovers who feels her troubles melt away as she drinks her tea. These are quite simply perfect. Plus, since moving to Harrogate I drink so much Taylors and Yorkshire Tea (just trying to blend in the locals).

3. Growing herbs. Making all my pasta, chicken and salads just a little bit more tasty this week. Plus they brighten up my kitchen and I can kid myself that I have green fingers while I keep them alive.

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4. The BBC Good Food Show which is on in Harrogate this weekend. I get far too excited about food shows. It’s the equivalent of the Toy R Us trips my mother used to take my brother and I on as a child.

Finally a non music related love:

5. New music. So I have a new boyfriend who happens to do a bit of music journalism. Perk for me as I get to see lots of new bands. Current favourites are Natives and the Summer Set. Perfect music to dance around the kitchen while I bake cakes (I categorically deny that I do this).

 

 

Tomato, feta and filo tart

I don’t know why filo pastry makes pastry based goodies look so much prettier; but I think it does. It also works well in this recipe as it is light and an excellent carrier of the different flavours of tomatoes and feta. My mother used to make a similar tart from her French cookery book (which I will blog about at some point as its wonderful) but in this case as with most of my recipes I decided what I fancied and went with it. This is the result.

To make your very own tart you will need

4 sheets filo pastry (you may need more)

Assorted tomatoes of your choice

2 shallots

Approx 150g Feta cheese cut into cubes

Wholegrain mustard

Melted butter

Balsamic vingar

Olive oil

Dried chives

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a lose bottomedtin arrange your sheets of pastry into a base shape brushing the melted butter on the pastry sheets between layers.

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Spread the wholegrain mustard into the base of your tart.

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Chop the tomatoes and shallot and arrange over your pastry base with the Feta cheese.

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Top with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried chives and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

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Remove from the tin and serve while still warm with salad or green vegetables. A perfect midweek meal.

Hot cross buns

I have a confession to make. I don’t actually particularly like hot cross buns. I want to like them, I think they smell amazing, but mixed peel is seriously not for me. However, as with anything homemade, these hot cross buns are a horse of a different colour so to speak. The apricot glaze and the addition of a couple of apples add to the fruity decadence of this. I only regret not trying to finish these at 9.30 after half a bottle of wine (quality time with the family, naturally).

To make your own hot cross buns just in time for Good Friday you will need:

500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

75g caster sugar

1 sachet instant yeast

40g softened butter

2 beaten eggs

120ml warm milk

120ml cool water

230g mixed dried fruit

The zest of 2 lemons

2 eating apples (peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

To glaze

Apricot jam

For the crosses

75g plain flour

75g water

 

Put your flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and eggs to a large mixing bowl. Add half of your water and begin to mix the dough by hand. Gradually add more of the water until the flour comes away from the side of the bowl (you might not need to add all the dough). Keep mixing until a rough dough has formed. The dough should be soft but not too wet.

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Knead for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Put into a large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for at least an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

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Knock back your dough on a floured surface. Add your dried fruit, apple, orange zest and cinnamon and knead into the dough until all the mixture is incorporated. Cover and leave to rise for another hour.

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Knock back the dough again. Divide your dough into approximately 14 equal buns (just make your desired hot cross bun size) and place on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Put your trays into clean plastic bags and allow to rise for a further hour.

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Preheat your oven to 220°C. Make a paste with the plain flour and water. Use a piping bag to pipe crosses onto the buns. Sadly, my piping bag was in Harrogate and I was at home so I tried to improvise and disastrously spilled flour pasted onto one of the trays. Hey ho!

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Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. My buns are slightly overdone (I was pretty drowsy by this point!). Heat your jam up and use a pastry brush to glaze the still warm hot cross buns. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Serve warm with your favourite butter and jam.