A few years ago, my friend, Emily, gave me a cookbook, Celebrity secrets from around the world: Recipes for Life by Vera Weisfeld. The book is, essentially, a celebrity cookbook, the proceeds of which were to go to charity. The book has recipes in it from royalty, politicians, actors, authors, sports stars and from famous hotels and restaurants. The book was published in 1995 so the celebrities are a little bit dated.
Emily found the book in a discount bin for $2.00 so she bought several copies to hand out to her friends. Emily tells me that Princess Diana’s Watercress Soup is a winner but given my inclinations, I was attracted to Tony Blair’s Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes. I made the recipe. It was a bit bland but I liked the idea of the main ingredient being sun-dried tomatoes. I have made it several times since, changing it slightly each time until we had a hit.
These quantities serve 2.
- 250g egg tagliatelle
- 2 tbs olive oil (don’t forget, these are 20ml tbs)
- 2 – 4 cloves of garlic (2 large ones or 4 small) finely chopped
- ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tbs capers
- 3 tbs olives, stoned and roughly chopped
- 2 tbs preserved capsicum
- 3 tbs salami, chopped (optional but nice unless you are a vegetarian)
- ½ bunch parsley
(The Grana Padano is to sprinkle on top and the wine is for later on.)
This is a recipe where all, or nearly all, of the ingredients can be your own produce. This year, I only have capers, olives and olive oil but in other years I have also had tomatoes and capsicum. That only leaves parsley and garlic and, of course, the pasta which, if you had your own eggs, would be a breeze. When I develop my vegie patch, I will certainly give parsely and garlic a spin.
Alternatively, if you are a busy working person, this is a simple meal to make on a week night. You could have every thing in the pantry except the garlic and parsley, which you could buy on the way home from work.
- Cook the pasta as usual.
- Heat the oil and gently fry the garlic in a large pan until slightly golden.
- Add the cooked, drained pasta and coat with the oil.
- Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, capsicum and salami (if using) – stir to combine and heat through.
- Stir through parsley and serve with lots of parmesan cheese and a glass of red.