Occasional recipes: Farfalle with artichoke hearts and olives

You might think that much of our eating revolves around easy to make pasta-based recipes. And you might be correct, Mind you, I say might. Not every night. Not even every time I cook.

But in this case – well, yes.

But we’re not fussy. I mean, for this one we didn’t even use farfalle. We had rigatoni to use up. The ricotta is technically cheese, but doesn’t make it taste cheesy, and manages to make it feel creamy without actually being creamy too. Which is quite a feat. Just about all the preparation and cooking of the other ingredients can be done in the time it takes the pasta to cook; once it’s all done, spoon the pasta in so that you add a large dash of pasta water to the mix for that subtle background flavour, and leave it all to meld together while you have your G&T.

Occasional recipes: conchiglie with chickpeas

As promised last week, here is what you do with the other half of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. And, now you’ve used the whole jar, you can use the marinating oil (topped with the fresh olive variety) to fry the onions and garlic to start with.

You also, as the eagle-eyed among you will note, don’t have to use conchiglie if you don’t have any. Just do get a kind that is vaguely enclosed and therefore retains bits of the sauce as you transport them to your mouth.

As before; cook the pasta and the sauce ingredients at the same time; don’t forget to spoon the pasta with liberal amounts of pasta water into the sauce; and leave them all to blend, bubbling and glooping gently, while you enjoy a preliminary G&T. Or two.

Occasional recipes: sun-dried tomato sauce and tagliatelle

I’ll be honest, most of my favourite pasta dishes you could probably just buy the non-pasta elements in a pre-made sauce, heat them up and mix them in with the pasta. But it’s more fun to chop them and fry them and at least pretend like you’re doing high cuisine.

Thus, this one. I pretty well go with what it says in the recipe. You can start cooking the pasta at the same time as you start cooking the ingredients; both will be ready at pretty much the same time. A personal taste touch is to spoon the pasta into the sauce (thus transferring random amounts of pasta sauce into the mix, always helpful for an extra delicacy to the flavour) and then leave them all to blend together while  you have your G&T.

This also uses only about half the contents of a standard jar of sun-dried tomatoes. What you do with the other half – well, that’s next week.