The simplest pasta dishes are the most rewarding to cook and eat. This is definitely one of them.
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You will find tins of little Pachino tomatoes in any good Italian delicatessen. They take little or no cooking and when you cook them with anchovies which melt easily to make a sauce you have a meal in minutes.
Simple soups make easy starters and quick lunches. This also makes a quick and easy meal if you serve it with bread and a green salad. It’s what they call a hearty soup!
Adapted from Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio’s Complete Italian Food. They suggest that you eat this Sicilian vegetable stew cold as an antipasto or warm tossed through pasta or served with roast meat or chicken. We’ve included a recipe for Caponata Bruschetta.
You’ll be amazed at how one tin of tomatoes differs from another – and how easy it is to work out, once you open the tin, whether the producer has filled it with ripe tomatoes.
Make this when you have roast vegetables left over from the Sunday roast and you’ll have an impressive dish on the table with little or no work on a Monday.
Orzo is a pasta grain that takes about 9 minutes to cook. It’s the most comforting pasta to eat and soaks up any flavour you add to it. It’s very easy to digest.
Grappa is a clear distilled Italian alcoholic drink made from what is leftover after the wine-making process, that is the skins, pulp, seeds and sometimes, though not always, the stems. It is similar to the French Marc. It is a testimony to the resourcefulness of winemakers that they can turn what would otherwise be waste into something special.
You can get this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. It is very spicy so hold back on the chilli if you like it milder.
This recipe shows how a simple cooking technique married to a quality ingredient can make a home-cooked meal as good, if not better, than a restaurant. Buy your steaks from a butcher who cuts meat fresh from the carcass rather than buying meat ready-sealed in plastic.