Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio Cooking: Pasta with Pork & Greens

Pork and greens is a classic combo; the fatty sweetness of the pork and earthy bitterness of greens means all cultures are loving it.
This recipe is based around chorizo and courgette, but feel free to substitute any broccoli and ham that could be sitting around, or a couple of sausages and some greens. Remember, this is getting a good ratio of pasta, meat and veg, not seeing perfection, and using what’s in the fridge to be your relay race cooking inspiration.

Pasta with pork & greens

Ann Storr
Got a little meat, a little veg and not sure what to do? read on...
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Knife and chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Heat proof jug or just a mug
  • Colander/sieve
  • Optional: garlic crusher/microplane

Ingredients
  

  • around 100 grams cooking chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 grams pasta
  • salt & pepper
  • cheese to serve

Instructions
 

  • Dice the chorizo and courgette into 5mm cubes. Place the chorizo in the cold frying pan and leave the courgettes to one side. Turn the heat to medium, so that the chorizo cooks in its own, delicious, fat.
  • Once the chorizo is crispy, remove and put to one side. Add at least one tablespoon of oil (any will do, including any leftover pork fat you might have from a roast). Put the diced courgette into the pan and cook slowly.
  • With the courgettes in the pan, put your pasta on to cook. Put the timer on for 4 minutes fewer than the packet cooking time.
  • Before you strain the pasta, dip the jug or mug into the pot and save at least 50ml of pasta water. Then strain away.
  • When your courgettes are soft, chop/crush/grate your garlic. Turn the heat up a little, and stir the garlic through for a minute, until you can smell it. Return the chorizo to the pan, and then pour the pasta into the pan.
  • Stir everything round, and splash on a little pasta water to help to combine everything (this is why you undercooked the pasta). Taste, season, and add a drop more water if you like.
  • Serve.

Storage

  • Any leftover pasta can be kept in a lidded container for up to 5 days. If the meat has now been cooked twice, I would play safe and get it all eaten up with this dish.
  • You could freeze any leftovers, and make a simple pasta bake by pouring some white sauce over and baking from frozen.
Keyword cheap recipies, family recipies

Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

I love green beans but they are a problematic veggie. We’re so used to having them week in and out when, really, they need a lot of warmth to grow. We don’t have a lot of warmth in the UK. So, if you’re going to be buying a packet of green beans that have been flown in from Kenya, then for fuck’s sake do not waste a single one.

This is a riff on a classic late-spring Italian recipe; green beans with pasta, potatoes and pesto. That’s it. It’s real cucina-di-povera. Yes it’s double carb but just, you know, don’t be greedy. If you can be bothered, cut the potatoes and beans so that they are a similar length to the pasta.

If you have an errant salad pack or bag of baby leaf spinach sitting in your fridge, then make your own pesto! Okay it’s not a stunning jar of authentic basil/pine nut/parmesan pesto but, remember the roots of pesto: people making the most of what they have around them every day.

A handful of green beans can be the inspiration behind tonight’s supper, and I hope you enjoy making sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

 

Leftover Green Beans with Pasta and Pesto

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • leftover green beans
  • 200 grams short pasta, such as fusilli or penne you can use anything, it's just nice to have the food a similar size
  • 200 grams salad potatoes
  • few tablespoons pesto

Tools

  • Scales
  • Slotted spoon/tongs
  • Knife & chopping board
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Colander/sieve
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl

Instructions
 

Optional: make the pesto using this recipe

  • Rinse the potatoes and place in the pan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil
  • If your potatoes are lots of different sizes, or you just need to cook very quickly, you can cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Whilst the potatoes are cooking, cut the green beans to a similar length to the pasta.
  • Check for 'done-ness' - depending on the size they'll be ready in anything between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • When they are soft, remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon/tongs and place in the bowl. Do not drain the water. Stir pesto through the potatoes whilst warm.
  • Get the water boiling again and cook the pasta; check it 2 minutes before the packet suggests as sometimes they aren't quite accurate.
  • When the pasta is done, again remove with a slotted spoon and add to the pesto and potatoes.
  • Boil the beans in the potato pasta water. Remove when done, around 4 minutes.
  • Add more pesto if you wish (I like a lot) and serve.

Storage

  • This will keep in a lidded container, in your fridge, for up to 5 days, although it'll be better within a day or two of cooking.

Leftover bolognese

Leftover bolognese

Leftover Bolognese Sauce

Ragu, or Bolognese, was Monday night supper. After school mum or I would fry up a double pack of Sainsbury’s mince plus one bottle of Ragu sauce. Monday night meant spag bol because it was efficient. Parmesan or cheddar on top. Lots. It fitted in, we ate, it was simple. These days I slowly cook everything, and I learnt from one of my brothers to add a good slug of milk before the tomatoes. Simmer it for hours. Cover it in cheese.

If you’re a Ragu fan, a lentil demon or a slow cooked beef and pork mince cook, when there’s just a couple of spoonfuls leftover it’s tempting to scoop it into the bin/your mouth. Still both wasteful, still both

We’ve talked about this before but it’s worth remembering – carbs and veg have been used to pad out meat for generations. So, make a little extra tomato sauce, stir that little spoonful or two of Bolognese through it and you’re there. This isn’t the fanciest idea in the world, but it’s the price of a tin of tomatoes for dinner for two. And lots of parmesan, or ‘Italian hard cheese’ or cheddar. And never a leftover.

Salad pack pesto

Salad pack pesto

Salad packs are easy to grab in the supermarket and easy to forget about, honestly.

If you’re not keen on cooking up your greens, then how about making a waste-busting pesto?  My dearest friend Chloe has lived in Italy for 15 years, and I’m not sure how she’d feel about this recipe…

Pesto pasta is a simple tea for many families so having a jar in the fridge is quite normal for all of us.  I prefer home made pesto because I like mine a little chunky and funky.  I made mine with my hand held immersion blender, but if you have a food processor it’s quicker.

I love mixing my pesto in a salad, and because it’s full of nuts and cheese, I find it really filling and a great work lunch.  Enjoy making your leftover loving salad pack pesto!

Salad pack pesto

Ingredients

around 50 grams leftover salad pack, any sort
around 50 grams nuts – whole or ground almonds if they need eating up
150 ml oil (any)
75 grams hard cheese – Italian hard cheese or a hard goat cheese
2 cloves of garlic
Salt

Tools

Scales
Immersion blender or food processor
Jar for storing

Time

About 10 minutes with a food processor, 20 minutes without

Method

Processor method

Pulverise leaves until they are chopped but not goo-ey
Remove and then chop the nuts until they are ground down

Immersion blender method

Squash up the leaves, going up and down and clearing the leaves as and when you need to
Remove and next it’s the nuts; again jiggle it up and down (or use ground almonds)

Both methods

Add to the leaves
Grate the cheese and garlic in the bowl, sprinkle over the salt, and pour over the oil
Mix and taste, adding in more garlic/salt/cheese until you are happy

Storage/further meals

If your leaves are a little old, then I’d get that pesto eaten toot suite
If you can’t get that pesto stirred through pasta or salad soon and the leaves were old, SCRAPE that shit straight into some silicone ice cube trays.]
If your leaves weren’t terribly old your pesto will keep for a while but is best eaten within a couple of days

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

Leftover roast parsnips can be tricky to use up, I think, because the texture can be off-putting.  I know I hate leftover roast potatoes and have to really disguise the flavour. Roast parsnips are similar, because they are high in starch.

This genius idea was inspired by the amazing Jack Monroe.  Her latest book (well, not including the almost-published tin-can lovely) provided the inspo for this recipe.  Mashing up your leftover roast parsnips well … it uses them.  You can’t really taste them.  And sometimes, especially if you feed picky eater (young AND old), this is A Good Thing.

If you have a lot of people to feed on a budget, then this is a cracker of a recipe.  It freezes well, too – so if you’ve got parsnips to use up, but no time to eat them, this dish is for you.

Not got cheddar?  Just use 100 grams of whatever you’ve got and you like.  Emmental and stilton?  Cheddar and Lancashire?  Talleggio and Pecorino?  Use around 100g and enjoy.

Making a white sauce is too much for some people, so use a ready made one; if you can be arsed to try to learn then all power to you.  You’ll save money, so much money.  Just don’t walk away from the pan half way through cooking. Ahem.  Burnt on white-sauce is the devil’s own job to clean off.  That is when you need a wallpaper scraper and wire wool.  I once got huge kudos/horror from a writer for walking away from a bubbling white sauce; he was right.

Adding sweetcorn or peas is totally optional but I like the bite and texture against the creamy sauce and soft pasta.  And use any pasta, esp if you have 4 bags of a few random shapes. Random pasta, random veg and random cheese: this is thrifty, leftover busting cooking at its finest.

(Roasted too many) Parsnip Macaroni Cheese

Adapted from Jack Monroe, ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’ p112
Serves 3-4

Ingredients

50 grams leftover roasted parsnips
90 grams plain flour
50 grams butter/oil
350 ml milk/milk mixed with veg stock and leftover gravy from your roast
Salt & pepper
100 grams strong cheese, grated – this can be plain old lovely cheddar, or a mix of cheeses from the depths of your fridge
160 grams of pasta
100 grams sweetcorn (optional)

Tools

Colander
Saucepan with lid
Saucepan
Balloon whisk
Scales
Immersion blender and bowl
Serving bowl
Heatproof jug

Time

About half an hour

Prep

Place the parsnips into the bowl of your immersion blender and pulse until smooth
You’re likely to need around 50ml of the milk/milk & stock mixture to make it into mash
If you’re using frozen sweetcorn, leave it out to defrost, or drain if using tinned *

Method

Place a saucepan on the hob and, if you’re using butter, melt it
Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix it in
Splash in about 50ml of the milk and make a thick paste
Keep on adding around 50ml of milk, whisking until all the flour/butter mixture is combined
Season like Jeremy Lee on MasterChef
Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes

Meanwhile…

Put your pasta water on
When the water is boiling add salt and then the pasta
Put the pinger on for 5 minutes fewer than the packet directs
After the 5 minutes popping on the cheese sauce are up, add the cheese and mashed parsnips

Finishing it off…

When the pasta pinger goes off, save a a small jug of pasta water (around 50-80 millilitres) in your heatproof jug/little bowl
Try the pasta – you want it a little underdone because it’s going to cook with the cheese sauce
When it’s ready (that is, with quite a bit of bite/still raw in the middle), strain the pasta in the waiting colander
While the pasta is draining, take the sweetcorn and stir it into the sauce
Stir the pasta into the pan with the sauce
If the cheese sauce looks too thick, pour in about a tablespoon (15ml) of pasta water and some salt and pepper; if the sauce is still too thick you can add some more. Discard the pasta water when you’re happy with the consistency

Serve alone or as a side dish

Storage/further meals

Allow to cool to room temperature then cover
Parsnips can keep to up to 5 days in your fridge
If your parsnips were 1 day old when you made this, you can keep this macaroni cheese for up to 4 days
If they were more like 4 days old, either eat straight away, or freeze when room temperature
Eat within 3 months of freezing

  • You can freeze sweetcorn: take a baking tray and line it with greaseproof paper
  • place the sweetcorn in one layer
  • cover the tray and place it in the freezer
  • when it’s frozen, tip the sweetcorn into a bag and use it as you would use ‘normal’ frozen sweetcorn

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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