New year is all about trying new things, and what better way to do that than by experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve never been one for a lot of spice as I was brought up without it, but, slowly but surely, I’m learning that a little bit of heat can add an enticing kick to otherwise less-than-inspiring dishes – without blowing your mouth off!
Spanish cooking (fyi I’m living in Palma, Mallorca) tends to give most chilli-related food a wide berth, so during Christmas – and with my new spicy plan of action in mind – I stocked up on Tesco’s crushed dried chillies and stuffed them into my vastly inadequate hand luggage (that explains why all my clothes smell kind of funny…)
I’ve also never been one for tomatoes either, but am starting to appreciate that almost any vegetable can taste pretty good if roasted in the oven with garlic and olive oil (although mushrooms that still doesn’t include you). For a more vibrant flavour this is where the dried chillies come in – they are mixed with the veggies, olive oil and garlic before it all goes into the oven to be roasted. Afterwards I mix it with pasta, a little green pesto and sprinkle crumbled feta over the top. It’s really, really tasty (if I say so myself), very simple and pretty cheap too. I actually used ‘salad cheese’ which is cheaper than proper feta.
Ingredients (serves two but can be easily increased):
- red pepper
- red onion
- cherry tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed dried chillies (or more if you prefer)
- farfalle pasta, enough to serve two
- green pesto
- feta or salad cheese cubes
- Preheat the oven to 220 C. Chop all the veg into medium size pieces – use as much as you want. In a roasting dish combine veg with garlic, a glug of olive oil, black pepper, crushed dried chillies and mix. Roast for 30 mins.
- When the timer is done keep the veg roasting but start preparing the pasta according to package instructions. Keep an eye on your veg and if it looks nearly done you can turn down the oven temperature.
- When pasta and veg are done combine with 1 teaspoon of pesto (I don’t like to use too much because otherwise it masks all the other lovely flavours). Crush a few cubes of salad cheese and serve with parmesan, to taste. Enjoy!
Happy new year!