Spaghetti & Meatballs

On 17th May 2016, This was Dinner

I suppose there is a thousand and one recipes for spaghetti and meatballs and I probably have about 150 of them. IS there a rule like  ‘it’s only proper spaghetti and meatballs if’?

Get set…

  • Chop an onion and finely chop another
  • Chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get spaghetti, beef mince, tomato purée, tin of chopped tomatoes, dried thyme, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)

Throw it together…

Mix the finely chopped onion with the thyme and mince. Form into balls and pop in the fridge.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add some purée and stir through then add the tinned tomatoes and some seasoning and leave to cook gently.

Pop the meatball on a baking tray and stick in the oven, they should take around 20 minutes to cook.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Dish it up…

On the bed of spaghetti, topped with the sauce and served with a sprinkle of parmesan of course.


Not a jar of the dreaded Dolmio in sight.

Pasta, Tomato & Blue Cheese

Well it has been a while! I feel a little like I have lost my cooking mojo at the minute. No matter how much I plan, I’m not really sticking to it. So this is one factor in my lack of blogging. Then there is the fact that I’ve had my busiest period at work and I’m still playing catch up there. Then weekends are taken up by dogs and helping Mr S with the admin side of his business. Yes, it has definitely taken a back seat.

As I was so far behind I was going to ditch this post. Look at it! It doesn’t look like much does it? I decided to post it because it SHOULD have been good. I just made a poor choice on the pasta. So here we are:

On 14th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Crumble some blue cheese
  • Get pasta, chilli flakes, good oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…


Mix the tomatoes with the garlic and oil. Add the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper then give it another stir and leave to one side for about half an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions then mix with the tomatoes and add the blue cheese.

Dish it up…

Finish with a pinch of pepper and a little more cheese if you have it.


Ha, I couldn’t even remember how I posted the blog!

This recipe can be found in Hugh’s Three Good Things, where he uses a lovely penne pasta.

Greek Lamb & Macaroni Bake

On 18th April 2016, This was Dinner

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know I love a pasta bake. This BBC Good Food recipe has a suggestion to serve with garlic bread! All those carbs? I don’t think I could manage it! Oh and there was plenty of leftovers for lunch at work the next day, always a winner.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Prepare a small amount of beef stock
  • Get lamb mince, macaroni, ricotta, tin of chopped tomatoes, ground cinnamon, milk, dried oregano, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion. Cooking until softened then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking it up as you cook.

Add the cinnamon and stir. Add the stock and allow it to reduce. Sprinkle in the oregano then add the tomatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and season then cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Cook the pasta then drain.

Mix the ricotta with most of the parmesan and some seasoning and stir in the pasta.

Pour the mince into a large oven proof dish then top with the pasta. Scatter over the remaining parmesan. Bake for around 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

Get a great scoop into a bowl and feel the comfort of the pasta bake.


Three Cheese Macaroni Bake with Chorizo & Bacon

On 6th April 2016, This was Dinner

Can you tell I had a bit of a ‘use it all up’ moment by the name of the recipe? Well I did and it turns out it was a great dinner too.

Get set…

  • Finely slice some leeks
  • Cut some brie into pieces
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Cut some cooking chorizo into bite sized pieces
  • Tear up some basil
  • Get streaky bacon, macaroni, frozen peas, soft cheese, English mustard, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Heat a frying pan and cook the strips of bacon. Remove and set aside. Cook the chorizo until it releases it’s oil and remove and set aside.

Heat some oil in the pan and cook the leeks until softened. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and refresh reserving a little of the cooking water.

Add the peas to the leeks and cook for a couple more minutes.

Snip the bacon into bits and then mix everything together along with the soft cheese and the brie. Add some of the pasta water if required. Season well and then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Dish it up…

Sprinkle with basil and serve.


As you can see, there was a side of chicken wings too!

Kale & Parma Ham Canelloni

On 29th March 2016, This was Dinner

I can honestly say that although I expected this to be nice, I didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was. The bonus was that Mr S had done all of the hard work and I just helped to assemble it.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Peel & finely chop 6 garlic cloves
  • Peel & slice a red onion
  • Chop up some kale
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Tear up some mozzarella
  • Get parma ham, a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, fresh lasagne sheetscrème fraîche, chilli flakes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the lasagne sheets in boiling water with a little all, just for a couple of minutes, dry with kitchen paper and set aside.

Cook the kale for a couple of minutes in the same water and drain and refresh.

Cook the ham in a dry frying pan then remove and tear into small pieces.

Add a little oil to the pan and cook the onion and ¼ or the garlic for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.

Mix the crème fraîche with another ¼ of the garlic and half of the parmesan.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the remaining garlic gently for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and some chilli flakes and season. Leave to cook for around 10 minutes.

Mix the onions with the kale, parma ham, mozzarella and some seasoning.

Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish then divide the filling between the pasta sheets, roll up and place on the sauce. We didn’t over-fill ours and there was extra mixture to scatter around. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture over the top then sprinkle with the cheddar and the remaining parmesan.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Dish it up...

No added extra’s here, just serve.

As Mr S said to me, don’t eat this if you are doing something special, it’s loaded with garlic! Another thing to note is that this did make a large amount of sauce so freeze what you don’t use, it’s a perfect pasta sauce or pizza base.


This recipe was inspired by an old Morrison’s Mag recipe. The photo isn’t the best, you’ll just have to take my word for how good this is.

Chorizo & Savoy Cabbage Spaghetti

On 21st March 2016, This was Dinner...

Chorizo and cabbage has to be one of the matches made in heaven for me. I usually make a rice dish but decided to use spaghetti this time. I used savoy but to be honest, any is good.

Get set…

  • Slice half a savoy cabbage
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Cut up a chorizo
  • Get spaghetti, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together...

Cook the chorizo in a hot pan then remove and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.

Heat some oil in the pan you cooked the chorizo in and cook the onion until softened.

Add the cabbage to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Throw in a little of the pasta water then pop the lid on for a minute whilst you drain the spaghetti (reserve a little water in case you need it).

Mix everything together and season well.

Dish it up…

If you have some parmesan, sprinkle some on. If you don’t, it’s good all the same.


I have come to love spaghetti as a pasta, I always thought it was a bit of a waste but have changed my mind in recent years.

Seafood & Olive Pasta

On 10th March 2016, This was Dinner

This ended up being a meal for one as Mr S didn’t fancy it at all. Oh well, his loss. I used frozen seafood.

Get set…

  • Defrost some mixed seafood
  • Chop an onion
  • Slice a red chilli
  • Get pasta, olives, tin of chopped tomatoes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened.

Add the chilli and stir then add the chopped tomatoes and seasoning. Bring to the boil then leave to cook.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Add the seafood to the sauce to warm through.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.

Dish it up…

Scatter with your olives of choice.


It was really nice, Mr S missed out.