Recipe: udon noodles with spinach and poached egg

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This simple and very comforting dish (funny how foods not involving melted cheese can be comforting, but they can!) I found in Vogue of all places, i.e. not where I usually get my food inspiration from, but it’s nice they write about food as well as fashion.

The only slightly daunting part of this meal is poaching eggs, but if you have the freshest of eggs and a slotted spoon you’re halfway there. Further instructions here.

Udon noodles with spinach and poached egg, serves 1

1 portion udon noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the packet 

2 handfuls fresh spinach

200-300 ml vegetable or chicken stock

1 poached egg 

Heat up the stock. Blanch the spinach in boiling water and squeeze it dry. Pour the stock into a bowl. Add noodles and spinach and lastly the poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes or Aleppo pepper. 

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Orzo pasta with wild garlic pesto, courgette and feta

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I snapped this picture as I was throwing this pasta together for lunch the next day, but I must say it exceeded my expectations so much I wish I had allowed myself time to take a nicer picture.

This is another dish where the sum is (much) greater than the individual parts; it’s just a simple dish that works. I love every bite of the slightly al dente pasta coated in fresh wild garlic pesto, the crunch from the raw thinly sliced baby courgettes, the bigger bits of tender-but-not-too-tender broccoli and the slightly melted pieces of tangy feta. I urge you to try it for your next picnic, barbecue or quick weekday supper.

Orzo pasta with wild garlic pesto, courgettes and feta, serves 2

200 ml orzo 

2-3 tbsp wild garlic pesto

1 baby courgette, thinly sliced

4 stems tenderstem broccoli 

100 g feta

a little olive oil if needed 

salt & pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Put the broccoli in boiling salted water and cook until a little tender but still al dente and cut each stem into four. Drain the pasta in a sieve and pour it back into the empty saucepan. Stir in the pesto and add a little olive oil if needed. Add the courgette slices and the broccoli. Mix together and season to taste. Add the crumbled feta and stir once more before serving. 

Pasta with lemon ricotta and roasted vegetables

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I had some leftover ricotta in the fridge one day and rather than repeating what I used it for, I tried to come up with a new (and simple) dish.

This is a perfect warming (and rather healthy) meal for a regular weekday when you’re lacking energy. The ricotta is mixed with parmesan for more flavour, and lemon zest for a fresh kick. The roasted vegetables are kept quite plain but because they’re roasted they have a deep sweet flavour.

Pasta with lemon ricotta and roasted vegetables, serves 2

 250 g pasta of your choice

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 courgette, in half circles

1 yellow pepper, diced 

olive oil

120 g ricotta

1 tbsp grated parmesan (more to serve)

the zest from 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

Mix the diced vegetabled in a roasting tray and toss with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast in a 200C oven for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet. 

Mix ricotta with lemon zest and parmesan, salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are done, mix the drained pasta with a spoonful ricotta in a bowl. Top with vegetables and another dollop of ricotta. Sprinkle over parmesan.