Italian Veggie Cottage Pie

A nice and easy vegetarian dinner here, and an interesting take on cottage pie from BBC Good Food.

Pretty simple to throw together – cook the diced aubergine first, then add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and some of their oil plus some oregano. Cook for a little bit then add the spinach and let it wilt down.

Add some flour and stir it in, then add some milk and grated cheese and bring to the boil. Let it bubble and reduce so that the sauce thickens, then transfer it all to a pie dish and cover with mashed potato and a bit more cheese. Warming, filling and tasty – plus a good wodge of vegetables!

Tuna and Vegetable Pasta Bake with Greek Yoghurt

Continuing the theme of “Little Twists” from the Sainsbury’s Homemade By You website, we’ve given it another go with this vegetable loaded pasta bake with Greek yoghurt.

It’s also a great way to get your five a day – there are a lot of vegetables in this, to which you add chopped tomatoes, greek yoghurt, herbs and tinned tuna. The whole thing goes in the oven with a topping of cheese so that it goes nice and brown on top.

The end result was a great big bowl of very satisfying food. There’s nothing too exciting here – it’s basically just a pasta bake with tuna, but the combination of lots of vegetables, cheese and tuna makes for something very tasty and satisfying. The addition of yoghurt makes for something a bit creamier and richer, but to be honest I don’t think that it really added all that much – it would have been a great meal even without it.

Tomato and Bacon Quiche

I’d love to post the recipe for this, but it mostly comes from one of those recipe cards you can pick up in supermarkets (it was Waitress for this one).

The recipe calls for a pack of shortcrust pastry, but we followed the techniques picked up from John Whaite and made our own.

The filling was chopped cherry tomatoes and some slivers of streaky bacon which had been fried. Once the pastry had been blind baked, these were added to the tart case. I then mixed 4 large eggs, 150ml of double cream and about 100ml of milk and poured this into the tart case over the other ingredients.

Into the oven at 190ºC for about 35 minutes and it came out looking beautifully brown on top with a little bit of a wobble. We had to hefty slices for dinner and there’s more left over to reheat tomorrow.

Years ago, before I really started cooking, supermarket bought quiche was my go to “I can’t think of anything to make” dinner. Not any more!

Mexican Lasagne

It’s like lasagne, but with a twist. I’d been thinking of making this for quite some time but was always put off by the fact the recipe is for eight people… but I decided to give it and go and reheat the leftovers for lunches later in the week. This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen.

It’s pretty simply to make. Onions, pepper, chilli and chopped tomatoes make the sauce (plus a good glob of ketchup), and these are interspersed with a mixture of sweetcorn, black beans and cheese. You build up layers of sauce, beans and tortilla and then bake the whole thing in the oven.

It’s surprisingly tasty – helped in no small part by the vast quantities of cheese. Not sure how well it will reheat – the end result was wetter than expected, but still very tasty.

Spanish Omelette

We’ve had quite a few recipes from Simply Nigella over the last couple of weeks, but this one comes from one of her much earlier books – Nigella Express – and it’s one I used to cook quite regularly but haven’t made in quite some time.

It’s a really tasty one this one – first cook the potatoes, and then add to a mixture of eggs, chopped spring onions, chargrilled peppers and cheddar cheese.

It gets cooked in the pan over the hob first,and once it’s cooked on one side you transfer it to the grill and cook the other. I always have a problem though and it never seems to cook all the way through, so I end up cutting it in half and popping it under the hob for a few more minutes.

Technically I believe this is supposed to be a lunch for four, but it makes a satisfying supper for two – especially for bonfire night.

Vegetable Pasta Bake with a Yoghurt Twist

We continue our exploration of the “Homemade By You” site with this healthy recipe for a vegetarian pasta bake with a Greek yoghurt ‘twist’.

The recipe involves a whole load vegetables making it pretty healthy even when you consider the yoghurt and cheese. We used wholemeal penne pasta for a bit of extra fibre.

Technique wise, it’s very simple. Roast the chopped vegetables in the over, then mix with cooked pasta, chopped tomatoes and herbs and some Greek yoghurt. Sprinkle with some grated cheese and then bake in the oven.

Easy and healthy – and pretty cheap to make, too.

Quesadilla

Something nice and easy tonight. the recipe for quesadillas comes from Nigella Express and really is very easy – it’s basically just a pan fried sandwich.

Ham and cheese go inside a tortilla along with chopped spring onion, jalapeño and coriander. Fry it in a griddle pan and you’re done. Serve with some salsa (we also put a pot of hummus on the side).

Mushroom and Herb Polenta

A second recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and again it’s a mushroom one, this time from his book Plenty.

We weren’t quite sure what we were aiming for with the polenta. The idea is to cook it, then spread it out thin and grill it, before adding the topping and placing back under the grill.

The end result was similar in appearance to a mushroom pizza, but the polenta still retained a slight creaminess inside which was delicious (though made it a little hard to serve). If made again we’d probably allow the polenta to cool and set a little before grilling.

The Humble Baked Potato

Having been out for an excellent Chicken Massaman and Phad Mee Phuket at lunchtime, supper had to be nice and light. And so we had baked potatoes.

A light supper of baked potato tonight for two #hungry boys. We'll still have dessert, of course!

A photo posted by Two Hungry Boys (@twohungryboys) on

To dress them up a little and make more of a meal of them, we baked them for the final 10 minutes with a topping of grated cheddar, chopped sundried tomatoes, and parma ham.

Baked potato with Parma ham, sundries tomato and cheddar. Now for dessert.

A photo posted by Two Hungry Boys (@twohungryboys) on

Accompany with a dollop of mayonnaise on the side.