Roasted Orange Pepper Pesto Pasta

Is there anything more fulfilling than a simple mid-week pasta dish?

This recipe was suggested by Oddbox in their weekly newsletter and is adapted from the original recipe from Table for Two. I adapted the recipe to include almonds which I already had in stock and made additional portions for leftovers (the below quantities will serve 4). I also lazily toasted the nuts in the oven with the peppers as opposed to frying separately in a pan because hey, it’s OK to take short-cuts.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 x peppers deseeded & chopped into large chunks (red, yellow or orange will work best)
  • 2 x tbsps Pine Nuts
  • 2 x tsps flaked almonds
  • 2 x handfuls of fresh basil
  • 2 x garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 x handful of parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • 200g pasta

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180c

Place peppers, garlic & nuts into roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20-25 mins.

Once cooked, place cooked ingredients into a bowl and add the basil, a handful of parmesan and a generoug glug of olive oil then blend with a hand blender.

Cook pasta according to instructions then drain, saving a couple of tbsps of the cooking water.

Mix in the pesto with the pasta and reserved water and heat for a couple of minutes before serving with the remaining parmesan.

Such a simple recipe, the pesto can be kept in the fridge to be served as leftovers or as a paste with something completely different, I think it would be delicious on a bruschetta topped with tomatoes. You can also freeze any leftover pesto in ice cube trays, which is what I have done to save a few portions for my son who is pasta obsessed.

Celeriac & Potato Gratin (3 Ways)

I’ve received quite a bit of celeriac in my veg. box delivery from Oddbox recently. My go to recipes with celeriac are normally soup & mash but I do like to vary my meals as often as possible and this week my partner suggested a gratin. As I already had potatoes and onions in the cupboard, it seemed like the perfect accompaniment to serve with Pork for a Sunday Dinner. There’s loads of recipes for celeriac gratin on-line, but here is my attempt. Feel free to adjust the quantities of celeriac & potato if you have different amounts to use up.

INGREDIENTS

  • Half a celeriac (approx 500g.) chopped in similar size pieces to the potato. (I peel with a knife post boiling as find it easier)
  • 600g potatoes halved or quartered depending on size. (I didn’t bother peeling but this is completely up to you)
  • 2 x small onions, finely sliced
  • 150ml cream
  • 150ml milk
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 1 x sprig of rosemary

METHOD

Parboil the celeriac & potato for 10 mins (I start with cold water & start the 10 mins when the water starts to boil)

Melt knob of butter in pan and slowly cook the onions over very low heat for 10 mins, or until they start to brown.

Add cream, garlic, rosemary and enough milk to cover the onions, bring to a simmer and then simmer very gently for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is up, remove the garlic cloves & rosemary sprig.

Slice the potatoes & celeriac thinly (I use a mandolin) & roughly layer in an ovenproof bowl pouring over some of the cream & onion mixture after each layer.

Top the final layer with any remaining onion mixture, and bake in the oven at 180c for approx 1 hour or until golden brown.

This dish is such a rich, hearty and alternative side to a Sunday roast and it makes for incredible leftovers. I think gratin is one of those dishes that almost tastes better second time around. On this occasion, I completely mixed up the leftovers and served with fried pancetta and fried egg for a incredibly tasty and wholesome mid-week dinner.

My 20 month old son also enjoyed a portion of the gratin, he’s had celeriac a few times and I think originally found the taste maybe a bit too strong, but this time coupled with the cream, he ate every single last bite. Remember that celeriac is an allergen to if your child hasn’t tried it before, start with small quantities. My tactic with my son is to continue to expose him to as many tastes as possible and offer again and again even if he has refused the item on one occasion. It can be hit or miss but he’s generally a pretty good eater and the things he does enjoy often amazes me.