It is July and there are ripe red cherry tomatoes being harvested on the farm, they are then packed and delivered across the country to your doorstep. My kids and I saw them growing first hand, in the tunnels, at the farm walk last Saturday and it truly made me appreciate how special they really are.
A simple dish like this really celebrates the cherry tomato. This recipe was shared by an Italian Nonna (granny) she said using the best ingredients is what matters most. I think she’s right. Like her I added some bicarbonate of soda to the sauce this balances the acidity in the tomatoes and really elavates the sweetness. Try it and tell us what you think!
This plant based ragu is delicious, nutritious and has a gorgeous texture. The earthy sweet beetroots, wholesome lentils and crunchy, nutty walnuts all mingle perfectly to make a really delicious, vibrant pasta sauce. It is wonderful in layers in a lasagne too. If you are not a fan of beetroot, simply swap it for mushrooms and carrots. We do have a lot of brilliant beetroots coming out of our own fields now though, so this recipe is a great way to enjoy this locally grown, seasonal vegetable. Beetroots are brimming with goodness – iron, potassium, antioxidants and more!
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
250g beetroot, finely diced
150g raw green/brown lentils, rinsed (or use two tins of cooked lentils)
100g walnuts, crushed/crumbled into lentil sized pieces
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 glass of red wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
500ml vegetable stock
In a wide, heavy bottomed pan, on a medium heat, cook the onion, celery and beetroot with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir often and after around 8 minutes, the vegetables should be softened.
Then add the lentils, walnuts and flavourings (the garlic, capers, fennel seeds, bay leaves, oregano, chilli and thyme). Stir and cook for a couple of minutes to wake up the flavours in the seasoning. Then add the glass of wine and let it bubble until it is nearly evaporated.
Pour in the tin of tomatoes, the tomato puree and the vegetable stock and pop the lid on the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the sauce is rich. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and keep an eye on the liquid levels, you may need to add a splash of water if it starts to look dry.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper and serve over freshly cooked pasta. Enjoy!
This beautiful budget meal saves you time, money, water and washing up! It’s a regular weeknight supper for us and is popular with the whole family. As the pasta cooks with all the ingredients and absorbs most of the water, it releases starch and creates a gorgeous, silky sauce. This recipe is fuss free too, all you need to do is give it stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t stick, it’s so simple and honestly, so delicious! We have a really nice delivery of organic tomatoes from Holland in at the moment as our Irish ones are out of season.
You’ll need a wide, deep pan with a lid. A big stock pot would work too or even a wok. Something that your pasta can lay flat in.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 medium/large tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 liter freshly boiled water
optional chilli flakes, cheese or capers to serve
Gather and prepare all your ingredients and put a kettle on to boil with 1 liter of water.
Place all the ingredients into the pan and pour over the freshly boiled water. Give the pan a stir with some tongs, then put the lid on and turn the heat up to high.
As soon as the water comes back to boiling, remove the lid and stir again to loosen any bits of pasta trying to stick to the bottom.
Replace the lid and after 2 minutes, stir again and replace the lid.
Repeat step 4, twice. Now you should have cooked your pasta for around 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the heat off but leave the lid on for 5 minutes to allow it to finish cooking in the residual heat and the sauce to thicken up.
Taste and add more salt or pepper if you need, I also like another drizzle of good olive oil. Serve in bowls with the topping of your choice. A sprinkle of chilli flakes, some salty capers or a generous grating of hard cheese perhaps? Enjoy!
Variations of this cozy Autumn dish are always popular in our house. Grab a warm bowl and a spoon and curl up on the sofa for dinner tonight. A warm bowl of orzo is just gorgeous, one of our ultimate comfort foods. Tell us about your variations in the comments, we love to get inspired.
Ingredients (serves 4 or 5)
1/2 a small kuri squash pumpkin, chopped into chunks
3 or 4 portobello mushrooms, halved or quartered
a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
a large knob of butter (we use dairy free Naturli)
1 leek, rinsed and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, diced
5 cloves of garlic, finely diced
400g orzo pasta
1 liter of vegetable stock
a small handful of fresh herbs eg rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper to taste
your favourite cheese to serve (we stock an amazing vegan blue cheese that you have to try!)
Turn your oven on to 200C. Spread the chopped mushrooms and pumpkin out into a tray and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss the tray to evenly coat the veg in the seasoning. Place in the oven to roast while you prepare the orzo.
In a large, heavy bottomed pan, sauté the leek, celery and garlic with the knob of butter and a little more olive oil. Season the vegetables with a little salt and pepper and cook on a medium-high temperature for 5 minutes or so until they are softened.
Add the orzo, herbs and vegetable stock to the pan and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir, then add a lid and gently cook until the pasta has absorbed all the stock and is soft. Stir every few minutes to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick. You may also need to add a splash more water. Taste a little pasta every now and then to see if it is done or if it is drying out and needs mor liquid.
After around 20-30 minutes, both the pasta and the roasted vegetables should be ready. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary then serve in warm bowls topped with the roasted vegetables and some cheese.
Fresh fennel and tomato are made for each other, and for pasta. Fresh fennel is absolutely delicious raw, thinly sliced in salads. Its crunchy and sweet with a aniseed flavour which pairs perfectly with a zingy lemon dressing and lots of black pepper. But when you roast fennel, its a completely different thing. The sweetness caramelises, the aniseed flavour is still there but it’s muted, and the texture is gorgeous, it softens in the best way, a little like roasted onion. Mix with the richness of roasted tomatoes, lots of garlic and olive oil and you’ll be in flavour-heaven! Fennel and tomato pasta is a simple, rustic classic, often served with sausages, but we love it with butterbeans.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin butterbeans, drained
a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
extra virgin olive oil – to taste, we recommend at least 6 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste
cooked pasta to serve
Turn your oven on to 200C. Chop up a fennel bulb and tumble into a wide roasting dish. Drizzle generously with 4 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or so until softened.
Remove the dish from the oven and add the tin of tomatoes, crushed garlic and the drained tin of butterbeans. Mix well.
Scatter over the fresh chopped tomatoes, drizzle with 2 more tbsp olive oil and season again with salt and pepper. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or so until rich and bubbling.
Meanwhile cook your pasta. Then drain the pasta, stir through the sauce and enjoy!
One pot pasta dishes are our favourites! Not just because of less washing up, but also because when you create a sauce in the pasta’s starchy cooking water, it is so luscious, silky and rich.
We have loads of amazing broccoli here on the farm now, we love it so much that we use half a head per person in this recipe (based on the traditional Italian broccoli orecchiette). The broccoli is deliberately cooked for longer than we would usually cook it, until it collapses into the sauce. We use a big dollop of miso (in place of anchovies) for complex depth of flavour and loads of gorgeous garlic and lemon to make this simple dish sing. Give this recipe a try for your next pasta night.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling on the bowls)
6 fat garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
2 heads of broccoli, finely chopped – stalks included
1 tbsp miso paste
the zest and 1/2 the juice of a lemon
400g pasta (any small shape you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes and grated cheese to serve
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the garlic and finely chopped broccoli stalks in the oil until very fragrant and starting to soften – about 5 minutes or so.
Season with salt, pepper, miso and lemon zest and then add the dried pasta and broccoli florets.
Just cover with water, give the pasta a stir and put the lid on the pot to help the water come quickly to a boil.
Once boiling, remove the lid and stir to ensure no pasta is sticking to the bottom. Cook until the pasta is soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with more salt and pepper and the lemon juice.
Let the pasta sit off the heat and rest a few minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to thicken into the perfect texture. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of cheese and chilli flakes. Enjoy!
This simple pasta is very fast, very easy and very delicious. The perfect weekday supper. Courgettes are coming in thick and fast now so do enjoy them and use the search bar in the blog to find lots more courgette inspiration. You can substitute the cashew nuts in this recipe for sunflower seeds or any nut/seed you prefer. No need to be too exact with the ingredients, this pasta recipe is very easy-going, as all weekday dinners should be. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 4)
200g cashews covered in just boiled water
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic granules
2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 courgettes, thinly sliced
4 portions of spaghetti, cooked in salted, boiling water
1 large mug of the starchy water that the pasta was boiled in
a large handful of chopped herbs eg dill, parsley and mint
Soak your cashews and get a large pot of water on to boil. Thinly slice the courgette and find a wide pan.
When the water is boiling, generously salt it and tip in your spaghetti. While it cooks make the creamy courgette sauce.
Put a large pan onto a medium heat and add the olive oil and sliced courgettes. Season well with salt and pepper then sauté gently to soften and wilt the courgettes.
Blend the soaked cashews in their soaking water with the mustard, garlic granules, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape the cashew cream into the pan of courgettes and steal a mug of starchy pasta water from the pot. Add it to the courgettes and cashew cream to loosen and simmer into a gently bubbling sauce.
Drain the pasta and toss it through the sauce. Serve with extra black pepper and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
This is our new favourite way to eat spinach. Spinach is coming thick and fast out of our polytunnels now and we can’t get enough of this spring leafy green. Make your own easy pasta dough and marvel at the verdant green wriggly worms. It’s a fun recipe to make with kids over the Easter holidays too and if you have a fussy eater on your hands, this is a great way to get some greens into them. Serve with any pasta sauce you like – we love this with a simple buttery black pepper sauce, details below.
Put the flour, salt and spinach in a food processor with the S blade attachment. Blend into a green powder. Once it is evenly blended, keep the machine running and drizzle in the olive oil then a small splash of water. After a minute of blending the dough should form into a ball, if it is too dry and doesn’t ball up, add another small splash of water and keep blending.
Tip the ball of bright, green dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for a few minutes. If your dough is accidentally too wet, add another sprinkle of flour and keep kneading until you have a smooth, soft green dough.
Cut the dough in half and roll out to around 4mm or so thick. Cut the dough into thin strips then roll each strip into wriggly worms. You can cut them to whatever size you prefer. As you go, place them on a floured plate or tray and lightly dust with more flour to prevent them from clumping.
Get a large pot of salted water on to boil then drop into the pici pasta and boil for just 4 minutes or so until tender. Drain through a colander then make the sauce in the pot.
Place the butter, oil, cheese, lemon juice and black pepper in the pot and allow it to melt over a medium heat. Then give it a quick stir and tip the pasta back into the pot. Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce and serve with extra black pepper and whatever sides you like eg protein, salads etc.
Leeks are one of our favourite vegetables. They are so delicious, I like to make them the star of the show when I cook with them. This simple, one-pot, spring dish is all about those luscious, soft and sweet leeks offset by toasty, crunchy hazelnuts (we stock organic hazelnuts in compostable bags here) and tangy caramelised lemon. Orzo is just rice shaped pasta which I love to cook like risotto rice, we stock an organic bag from Irish company, Bunalun. We love their store cupboard staples so much. Top quality, organic and affordable. Add some Bunalun groceries to your next fruit and veg order with us here. We deliver nationwide.
Find a large, deep, frying pan or pot. Start by toasting the hazelnuts in the dry pan. Just turn the heat to medium-high, tumble the hazelnuts into the pan and keep them moving around until they smell amazing and are deliciously toasty. Tip them into a bowl to cool a little then chop or crush into smaller pieces and save for finishing your dish at the end.
Then, in the same pan, add the butter and oil. Place the lemons, cut side down, into the melted fat and let them cook until caramelised. Remove them to a bowl to finish your dish with later too. Caramelised lemon is so delicious. It makes the lemon softer, juicier and sweeter…and it looks pretty too.
Tip the chopped leeks and garlic into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until the leeks are starting to soften.
Add the orzo and stock to the pan and simmer and stir until the pasta has absorbed the liquid and is cooked through. Taste and tweak the seasoning if needed with more salt and pepper.
Stir the chopped parsley through, then serve in four bowls, each topped with a caramelised lemon half and a handful of chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy!
Wouldn’t this pretty pasta be perfect for Mother’s Day? It takes a little more effort than our usual recipes but the ingredients are few, simple and affordable (using our ingredients at the time of writing this blog, this cost €5.64 to make 30 pieces).
Ingredients (makes around 30)
~ pasta • 300g fine flour • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp salt • 150ml water • parsley leaves
~ beetroot tofu-ricotta • 200g extra firm tofu • 1 small cooked beetroot • 1 clove of garlic • the juice of 1/2 a lemon • 1 tsp salt • 5 tbsp olive oil
~ 1/2 jar of pesto to serve
Mix the pasta ingredients (except the parsley) into a shaggy, quite dry dough then knead it very well into a firm, smooth dough. This should take around 10 minutes of kneading. If your dough is too dry, wet your hands occasionally whilst kneading to incorporate just a little extra water. Rest the ball of dough in a bowl covered tightly with a damp tea towel.
Blend all the beetroot ricotta ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or lemon.
Roll your pasta dough out on a lightly floured surface. Once you have a large oval/rectangle, arrange some parsley leaves on one half and fold the pasta over. Now roll again into a very long strip, just over double the width of the size you want your ravioli. Get it as thin as you can – you should be able to read a paper through it.
Space teaspoons of the pink ricotta along one side, wet the other side to help it stick, then carefully fold the pasta over the ricotta blobs and use your fingers to seal around each one. Use a knife or pasta wheel to cut the ravioli and save any off-cuts, they are just as delicious!
Drop the fresh ravioli and off-cuts into boiling water, cook until soft but still with bite (around 3 minutes or so – test an off-cut) then scoop out with a slotted spoon, dress with pesto and serve!