Sunday night fast food

I'm not a big fan of Sundays. Never have been. When I was small, they were all about having my hair washed and detangled, which trust me, hurts a lot when you're a little girl with long hair. When I was at uni, Sundays were for recovering from Saturday night, followed by a mad sprint to get work done for Monday classes. For a while there, Sunday was brunch day, which I have to admit, is the way things ought to be. Whenever there was no brunch, there were lazy afternoons spent at a bar at the beach listening to jazz. Sadly, I don't live near that beach or bar any more, and family arrangements mean there's no time for brunch unless it starts at quarter to lunch. Now, Sunday is all about Bunnings and outdoor stores and feeling restless.

Anyway, the last thing I want after a hard day of fidgeting and buying hardware is to make an elaborate meal. A fast meal is an absolute must on a Sunday night. This dish is quick, simple and pretty yummy. As always, using the best olive oil you can afford will give the best results.

Pasta with smoked salmon, preserved lemon and capers


2 serves fettuccine, linguine or penne
1-2 cups broccoli florets
1 tbspn olive oil
4 tbspn capers in vinegar, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tspn fresh dill, chopped
1/4 preserved lemon
150g smoked salmon
olive oil to serve

Method

Cook pasta until al dente. Add broccoli during last four minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Saute capers until slightly crisp. Add garlic and continue to saute until aromatic. Remove from heat and add dill. Remove flesh and pith from preserved lemon. Rinse well and chop finely. Add to caper mix. Drain pasta and broccoli. Tear the salmon into small pieces. Toss through caper mix and shredded smoked salmon. Drizzle with extra oil and serve with black pepper.

Creamy pumpkin pasta sauce

It's been a long time between posts; most of my cooking time is spent whipping up culinary masterpieces for a ten month old. Tonight, however, dinner was yummy enough that I don't want to forget how to make it. Once again, there was no time for photography. I really need to get back on top of that!

Creamy pumpkin pasta


1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and seeded
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tspn dried Italian herb blend
2 tbspn garlic infused olive oil
1 tspn minced chilli
1 tspn minced garlic
250 - 300 ml cream
1/4 cup pine nuts
pasta to serve 4

Method


Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius. Chop the pumpkin into small, roughly equal cubes. Put around half the olive oil in the base of a large roasting pan. SPrinkle with herbs, onion and remaining oil. Roast until the pumpkin is soft - anywhere from 25 - 45 minutes. Cook the pasta until al dente and set aside to keep warm. Heat the cream slightly, then add half of the cooked pumpkin and onion. Add the chilli and garlic, then puree until smooth. Stir through the remaining pumpkin and onion chunks. Place the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and toast until golden. Serve pasta and sauce sprinkled with pine nuts. Garnish with parmesan and season with black pepper to taste.
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