Sunday, August 26, 2012


I spent a very wet Saturday stomping around Broadway market, sheltering under green-striped tarpaulins, standing nose to nose with the marketeers. I scooped up two old cushions, a greedy burger form Lucky Chip, two corn on the cob and a couple of peculiarly shaped courgettes. Despite the sodden shoes and soggy mop, it was quite a perfect day. 

This sausage dish is a great cheerer on a wet day and needs very few ingredients to give a great supper. Get bonne saucisse, a bunch o' cherry tomatoes, strange courgettes and an onion. And that's pretty much it. I love it. 


serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
8 pork sausages
1 large echalion shallot, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed 
20 cherry tomatoes
2 courgettes (custard white are fun)
1 tbsp passata
50ml water
salt and pepper
handful sweet basil, torn

Heat up the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the sausages and cook for 10 minutes with a lid on, turning occasionally to brown evenly.

Chop the sausages with a wooden spoon and add the onion and garlic. When the onion has softened, throw in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes and add the courgettes. Season and stir.

Now add the passata and the water and simmer for 5 minutes. When the sauce has reduced, tear up the basil and stir through. Serve with a well-dressed salad and a hunk of bread for mopping. Dead cosy like.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Emily picked this recipe up from her days as a nipper in Naples, one of those 'gran segreti dalla nonna' that no-one who'd tried it would dare forget. We ate the sauce - fat ripe tomatoes simmered down into a rich, sticky, and oily passata - tossed through beautifully formed Umbrian pasta and mopped up the remainder with hunks of bread.

with flat pasta

serves 8

250ml extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
15 very ripe, fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and left whole
handful basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper to taste
large jug water 
700g good quality pasta - this sauce works particularly well with flat or tubed pasta.
Parmesan to serve

Gently warm the oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic to infuse. Leave it to soak up the flavour for 3 minutes, without burning the garlic. Add the peeled tomatoes and basil to the pan, season, and leave to simmer over a low heat with the lid on. After about an hour the juice of the tomatoes will have thickened. Add a generous splash of water and leave to reduce for another 45 minutes. You want to cook down the tomatoes for a total of three hours to get the maximum flavour, so every time the sauce thickens add a little more water - you may only need to do this once more but keep an eye. As you reach serving time, make sure the sauce is thick enough to coat the pasta and is not watery. If in doubt, simmer a bit longer without adding more water. Taste for seasoning.

Bring an extra large pan or two medium sized pans of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook as the packet suggests, and drain when al dente. 

Transfer the pasta into the tomato pan and mix through evenly adding a little sprinkling of salt. Pour the pasta into a big serving dish and take to the table. Divide into smaller bowls and scatter with Parmesan.

Friday, August 3, 2012



serves 8 bowls


1kg ripe plum, beef, and cherry tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large red peppers, cored and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
200g white breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
500ml iced water
150ml white wine vinegar
150ml olive oil
salt and pepper

for garnish
3 pink echalion onions, very finely sliced
handful basil leaves
2 small dried red chillies, crushed

24 ice cubes

Place the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, breadcrumbs and garlic into a food processor and blitz until smooth, adding the water a little at a time. You may have to do this in batches. Once smooth, add the vinegar and olive oil and season to taste. You want the soup to taste fresh, a little sharp from the vinegar, and rich with flavour. 

Leave the soup to chill in the fridge for an hour and serve ice cold with a scattering of the onions, basil and chilli. Season with salt, drizzle with olive oil and a few ice cubes.