Cookin' up a storm!

Hiya lovelies.

I'm no Gordon Ramsay but I like throwing a few things together in the kitchen to make sure I get lots of veg in my diet. I don't cook in this way every day - this requires energy I don't have more than a couple of times a week, but when I have a good mojo day I like to make the most of it!

When I was throwing my tea together yesterday I decided to document it. There'll be no fancy-schmance photos here, just messy action shots.

I used:

A couple of handfuls of wholewheat organic fusilli pasta (not pictured)
1 tin Tesco value chopped tomatoes
2 small red onions (not pictured)
3 stems celery
2 very ripe tomatoes
1 orange pepper
Fresh basil and parsley (dried will work in a pinch but fresh is so much nicer!)
2 frozen garlic chunks
1 frozen chili chunk
1 tablespoon of tomato puree (not pictured)
1 mozzarella cheese
Parmagiano reggiano cheese for grating
A sprinkle of sea salt to taste

I set a pan of salted water to boil, then plopped in the pasta to cook. While I was doing that I chopped the veg and herbs. When the pasta was cooked I emptied it into a sieve in the sink and reused the saucepan because I hate washing up and do whatever I can to minimise it. I put the chopped tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic and chilli in and let it boil merrily for a while to thicken the sauce. Then I put the veg in and let it cook for about 10 minutes, before adding the herbs in last so as not to diminish the flavour. I tipped the slightly cooled off pasta back into the pot with everything else to warm it up for a few minutes and threw a bit of salt in. While that was doing I cut up the mozzarella, laid it on the plate and drizzled it with olive oil.

Bellissimo! It was bloody delicious and I have leftover pasta for another meal. I'd never cooked with celery before. I had it laying around and thought 'Why not?' It softened but was still bitey and hadn't lost any taste. I'll try anything once.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy meat-free days because I'm a lapsed vegetarian/guilty meat eater. This was a really cheap meal and one I'll repeat with different veg combinations in the future. Other variations for next time might be having less pasta and a side of garlic bread and some rocket.

A tip about fresh herbs - if you buy them and know you won't use them all before they go rancid all is not lost! Chop them all up, grab an old ice cube tray, divide up your herbs into the holes and top them up with olive oil, then freeze them. Next time you need some herbs for sauce, voila! You might have to dig your cube out with a sharp knife (unless you have those funky silicon ice cube trays which pop out easily) but plop it in with whatever you're cooking. Easy peasy! This is a great tip for those of you who grow herbs in the summer too - reap the benefits all year round.

Do you enjoy cooking? 

I love pasta leftovers because the flavours intensify over night. 

Thanks for reading!

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