Crab Linguine

IMG_1599Summer, and in England at least crab comes into its own. I have used it elsewhere on this blog but sometimes with the heat of some chili and silky smooth pasta it can make a lovely, but light dish. If you want to serve it as a starter then add some cream, which makes the whole thing very rich – I think too rich for a main course. Victoria Moore in her terrific book on wine suggests a Burgundian chardonnay or Chablis goes well with this – as ever she is spot on.

Serves 4

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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Each year, around the time of my birthday, I wander up the road to the gates of Greenwich Park. From that vantage point I can watch thousands of not so lonely long distance runners set off on the London Marathon. It is fun, for a while. Then I can stroll back home and watch the rest on the television, or sit down with the newspaper. What has this to do with food? Well, the night before a marathon pasta meals are usually the thing. It is so called ‘carb-loading’. This is fine, but a long distance runner (over 90 minutes) also needs to add the protein in order to feed the muscles. Far more important, however, is that the other people eating with you need to enjoy the meal too.  So here it is, a classic carbonara – balancing carbohydrates and protein. There are two ways of cooking this, the one that follows is the ‘in the pan method’. I will put the other one on here (Zabaione method) for those who like a bit more of a challenge.

This serves two – so you may want to add more if there is a house full.

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Red Mullet and Pasta

Red Mullet and Pasta

Red Mullet and Pasta

It has been a while since I posted any new cooking, but when something new comes along and tastes as good as this does and is easy to make it has to be shared. Fish in the autumn, usually something with potatoes and cream. However, this light dish is really filling and on the darker nights (at least in England) this bit of colour lightens a mood. This serves two as a large main course, but you could cut back a little and serve four as a delicious starter. It is also quick and easy to make. (Serves 4) Continue reading

Linguine with Scallops and Pesto

This was a bit of a tester to see if it worked, usually the sauce is saffron with fish stock and

Linguine with Scallops and Basil Pesto

cream. But not today – today is a cheat’s meal. The linguine is straightforward, unless you make your own which I have done before and will only do again when the mood takes; pesto you can also make yourself or use it from a jar (well why not provided it’s good quality). The only real cooking in this are the scallops, and if you do it right they can taste sweet, caramelised and full of intense flavours of the sea. Added with the pesto there is a sort of earthiness that works well, even if it is not as light a saffron sauce. If you would like garlic bread to go with this you will find it here.

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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttenesca

Spaghetti alla Puttenesca

When it is cold outside and you really need the feel of something Mediterranean, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making sauces, then Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is the thing to make.
Ok, so this is something that is made only during the summer in Italy, but I love the saltiness of the anchovies and tang of the olives and you can have those most times of the year. The heat that comes through from the peppery flakes of chillies warms me on the coldest of afternoons. What’s more, it is made from things in the cupboard, takes little time at all, and is fantastically low GI (if that’s your thing). Continue reading

Cooking At Zero Degrees

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This is a blog about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here.  Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it;  but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners  and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in.  Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument.  Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour –  and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone.  Most of all, have fun making a meal of it!  Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.