Express: spaghetti with tomato sauce

When in doubt, have some spaghetti with tomato sauce!

It’s quick and easy and delicious!

A lot of people do not realize how easy it is to make your own tomato sauce. It always beats buying ready-made sauce with a million additives that you really don’t want. I’ve always added this recipe, if you even want to call it a recipe, in a e-booklet I prepare for family and friends when they travel.

To serve 2 people all you need is:

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your choice of pasta (penne or spaghetti works best)

In a small sauce heat the olive oil and then add the garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add then tomatoes and cook until it bubbles. Reduce to low heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

The tomatoes will turn into a thick sweet sauce. Add the salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta as instructed and save a ladle-full of the pasta water. In the same pot that you cooked the pasta in, return the drained pasta, the tomato sauce and the pasta water and mix under very low heat.

And enjoy!

Weekend dinners and best sweet potato wedges recipe!

With beautiful weather, I can’t help but always be in the mood to bake, cook and eat outdoors! Last night (Saturday), we decided to stay in and make dinner.

I just received a copy of Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and it’s just moutwatering. I decided to use 2 recipes from the book, the sweet potato wedges and the surprise tatin, which is a savory tarte tatin made with potatoes, onions, goat cheese and oven-roasted tomatoes instead of the traditional apples.

We all fell in love with the sweet pumpkin wedges!

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Recreating Milan: marocchino

I discovered a coffee drink in Milan. On our last morning there, I ordered it twice because I didn’t want to let go but I had to.

The next morning, back in Kuwait, I recreated this drink. The moracchino. You see I thought I took a picture of it in Milan and whatsapped it to my cousin but I think that was all in my head?

So what do you need to create this wonderful concoction:
  • an espresso machine. I use my trusty Nespresso
  • good quality cocoa powder
  • cold fresh milk
  • a frother
  • glass cups
  • First, you need to prepare your glass cups
    Fill the cups with espresso
    Meanwhile, froth your milk…
    Dust some cocoa powder on the coffee
    Pour the hot milk to fill up the glasses…
    And voila… Ok it’s not like Milan but close enough.

    Baked apple pouches

    I got the idea of this simple and easy dessert while my mother was describing another apple dessert she saw on Food Network. My mind completely blocked what she was saying and wandered off.

    The night before Ramadan I already knew I was going to experiment with this idea.

    With the help of my mother and her suggestions, this is the result…

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    Experiment 6: Oats and dates whole-wheat cookies

    So you know how I am obsessed with my new cookbook and how I have different kinds of flour stacked in my fridge? Well about two weeks ago I saw a chocolate chip cookie recipe in the whole wheat flour section of the book. I still had plenty of whole wheat flour but I had no chocolate.

    I went down to the kitchen determined to make a plain cookie but then I saw a bowl of dates leftover from lunch earlier and remembered that I still have a large container of oats. And this is when I decided  to make oats and dates whole wheat cookies. I didn’t change much in the recipe except for reducing the amounts of sugars (brown and white) as the dates are sweet enough.

    I made my first batch, just added a handful of oats and chopped whatever dates I saw in front of me. I made them thick and when they baked, they were almost cake-like and the baking powder after-taste was overpowering.

    For the second batch, I measured everything correctly, reduced the amount of baking powder and made them smaller and thinner.

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    Express: ricotta goat cheese, bread and greens

    I recently impulse-bought a new cookbook on baking with whole grain flours, Good to the Grain, and so I decided to go to Al Raha Stone Mill in Qadsiya Co-Op to stock my cupboard with some oats and different kinds of flours.

    I am big fan of this shop and I love how knowledgeable their staff are. It’s very rare in Kuwait to go into a shop and find the shopkeeper actually know what they’re talking about. I mentioned them here and here.

    Of course I couldn’t stop after getting what I went for. I saw a selection of different kinds of goat cheese, which are made locally at their goat farm, and saw ricotta goat cheese. I had to get it!

    I also grabbed a bag of 4 grains flat bread and went back home.

    In a bowl, I spooned some of the ricotta cheese, added barbeer, mint, cucumber slices, walnuts, green olives, a drizzle of olive oil and a few flakes of sea salt.

    And what I had was one of the most satisfying simple meals ever! The bread was on the sour side which I love and the cheese was so smooth and creamy.

    *picture taken from my iPhone using the ShakeItPhoto, an application that gives a Polaroid effect.

    Homemade marrons glacés

    Marron glacé. This is a treat I had to accustom my palate to.  All my life up until 3 years ago I assumed I did not like marron glacé! Why? Because as a child I tried it and hated it and so I grew up thinking I didn’t like it.

    My mother, on the other hand, loves it and always has. Three mother’s days ago, I decided to change the routine and make her marrons glacés instead.

    When I had my BDesserts business I got some of my supplies from a local company that imports French products called FAMECO and they sent out recipes on a monthly basis and one of them was how to make marrons glacés. It seemed fairly easy and it was. This is when I had my first bite as an adult and fell in love with it.

    I made it again yesterday and this what you need: Continue reading