A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend bought a pasta machine. It was really inexpensive – around £20 – and of surprisingly good quality. So, since the machine itself was rather economical and pasta making is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, I decided to write an entry on the process. Firstly, it must be said that although the process can get a little fiddly, it is relatively easy. Strangely, it feels more like an activity than any other type of cooking in which I’ve ever partaken. As such, though it takes a little time and ample dedication, it never really feels like a chore. In fact, you almost forget that any end product will come of your efforts.

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Pasta dishes always sound far better, and rather more enticing, when described in Italian. This clearly has something to do with the word ‘pasta’ being virtually synonymous with its country of origin. However, let us not kid ourselves; describing a dish in another language, especially a rather romantic one, does give one a sense of expertise and an air of authority. Having said that, I jolly well hope that my Italian is, at least on this occasion, correct.

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Quiche, which is essentially a savoury tart, has been a staple in my diet for the majority of the past two decades. Almost all of these tarts have included onion, cheese, bacon and mushroom and have been made by my mother. Whilst this variety of quiche is by no means a disappointment, the time has come for a change. So, this week when it was announced that the much cooked quiche would once again feature on the weekly menu, I made the dramatic move of insisting on the injection of a little variety. It was a massive success, though if you prefer an entirely healthy lifestyle it may not be one for you. You may blame BBC GoodFood for this, since that’s where the recipe was discovered.

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Rocket and Egg Salad

Recently I’ve had relatively little time to dedicate to blogging or cooking – I’ve been working and writing my CV. In fact all I’ve managed to prepare in the past couple of days has been an extremely simple yet fantastically tasty egg and rocket salad. I think simple food is sometimes the best – meals which really show off individual flavours well. The important thing to remember is that you want to showcase the taste of every individual ingredient, so you don’t want to use a flavour which is going to overpower the others. So when making this salad it’s probably best only to use a small squeeze of lemon juice because otherwise you’ll find that it’ll dominate the dish rather than improve it. From a cooking perspective make sure the poached egg is runny inside as it forms an integral part of the salad dressing.

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Baked Eggs

In an attempt to cover all bases I bring with me today a rather delightful and fairly frugal recipe. I’ve been trying recently, with more or less success, to break out of the lunchtime monotony which became either a bacon sandwich or Marmite and Dairylea on toast. I guess it’s testament to the deliciousness of the aforementioned “meals” that they became monotonous; nevertheless the fact remains the same – boring they became. It also struck me that indulging in these delights was possibly rather unhealthy, particularly in light of the amount of butter slathered onto each chunk of white bread. I’m not sure if this recipe is technically any healthier than the others, but it is certainly more fresh and rather less salty and processed. After all, spinach has health benefits that are numerous and varied!

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