Two of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever eaten were also the simplest – a handful of fresh ingredients and very little preparation as well.
The much-missed Mad Hatters restaurant in Nailsworth prided itself on using vegetables straight from the garden. Their linguine served with cherry tomatoes (very very slightly cooked until they just start to soften) and basil was divine.
The other recipe comes courtesy of my former colleague Angela. She’s the kind of person who opens her larder, thinks for a moment, then effortlessly conjures up a meal for a dozen people. I remember eating peppers and pasta sitting in her Birmingham garden one summer to the accompaniment of pan pipes (a South American musician lived over the fence).
Again, this is a very simple dish, but it needs good ingredients. So this isn’t the place for the low-calorie spray. If you’re doing Slimminng Word, syn the olive oil.
Ingredients (serves two)
One red and one yellow pepper
Two tablespoons of tinned tomatoes.
Heat three or four tablespoons of olive oil over the lowest heat you can manage – I use one of those diffuser things and turn the gas down to two. Cut the peppers into thin slices. Cook them very gently until they are meltingly soft – don’t let them disintegrate into mush, though. Add the tomatoes and warm through. You need just enough tomato to loosen the mix, but not so much that you swamp the peppers (they’re the stars of the dish!) Season well with sea salt. Serve with vegetarian parmesan, or omit if you’re vegan. Erm, that’s it …