I have been struggling to think of a topic to get my blog off the ground, I have lots of interests that you’ll find mentioned in my About page and therefore feel my blog won’t be dedicated to any one particular subject.
My inspiration today actually came from my favourite room in the house, the kitchen. Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an incredible appetite that has been supported by a real interest in cooking. Although my mum was no slouch in the kitchen, my Dad was the main chef in our house growing up, like me he loves cooking and he serves up brilliant curries, pâté, beef bourguignon and loves cooking game, such as rabbit, pheasant and guinea fowl. However, it was my mum that taught me how to cook my first ever meal, Beef Risotto; It is such a lovely filling dish, I always used to ask for it if I had the choice, with the exception being when I was ill, I’d ask for smoked haddock, poached in butter and milk served on a bed of mash potato. That dish always makes me feel better and reminds me of home.
Cooking is a real opportunity to have some “me” time, I love the process of preparing and combining the ingredients to make something tasty. I do pretty much 99.9% of the cooking in our house and although my wife can cook, I can’t stay out of the kitchen and tend to interfere whenever she is cooking and I can’t help myself from trying to “help out”, getting involved, stirring, chopping, seasoning and usually passing comment which obviously infuriates her…
Tonight I came home and had a quick look in the cupboards for inspiration, this weekend I didn’t get to the supermarket for a “big shop”, so there wasn’t a great selection of ingredients to hand. As I often do, I have my own “Ready, Steady, Cook” moments and use whatever is available. Tonight was one of those nights and therefore, I’d like to share my recipe for this evenings dinner.
Penne with Homemade Sweet Tomato and Chilli Sauce
Ingredients20 Baby Piccolo Tomatoes 1 Red Pepper (chopped into quarters) 1 Red Onion (chopped into quarters) 2 Garlic Cloves 1 chopped chilli (choose chilli strength to personal taste) 5 Sun Dried Tomatoes 1 tin of chopped tomatoes Oregano, Basil, Parsley Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to season Penne Pasta (dried or fresh)
Start by placing the chopped onion, red pepper, garlic cloves and piccolo tomatoes into a roasting dish, add a few glugs of olive oil, sprinkle with the herbs and a little salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200 C.
Once they are a little charred and have softened, add all the vegetables, garlic, chopped and sun-dried tomatoes to a saucepan and blend using a hand blender until smooth(ish)
Cook the pasta to taste in a separate pan whilst slowly warming through the sauce.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce (it’s important to always add the pasta to the sauce and not the other way round, don’t ask me why, it just is ok)
Serve immediately in a pasta bowl, you can pick some fresh basil leaves if you have some and sprinkle over the top and maybe serve with some garlic bread.