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Very Garlicky Chilli Pasta

And so the dam has been breached! The extension to the pond in our meadow that I mentioned last week has involved the creation of a second pond adjacent to the original one, and at the crucial moment the JCB would break through the narrow spit of land and the waters would meet (right) – if the snow didn’t arrive first.It didn’t, I’m glad to say, and we now look out on a resplendent lake (is it still a pond or has it graduated to a lake – I don’t know, but it does have two small islands in it!). Naturally it is somewhat devoid of water, but our bore hole is working overtime and in a few days it will be full. Not a moment too soon for the ducks who have been waiting, rather impatiently, to reclaim their territory.Otherwise the week has been somewhat overshadowed by football. A tense Cup replay on Tuesday saw Norwich win with a late goal in extra time and countless fingernails chewed. The reward is a meeting with Chelsea – all £250 million worth of players – and we keep trying to tell ourselves anything can happen in the Cup! This week’s recipe is another simple, short-cut offering – like most of the recipes emerging from our kitchen while the book is in progress. The key to its simplicity is the mini-chopper, which if I haven’t already urged you to buy, I do so now wholeheartedly (they’re not expensive).



First of all fill a large pan with warm water, add some salt and put it on the heat to bring it up to the boil. While that’s happening put the onion into a mini-chopper and pulse till it is chopped small but not too finely. Now heat the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes to soften.

Meanwhile add the garlic and jalapeno pieces to the mini-chopper and give them a few bursts before adding the roasted peppers to chop them with four to six more pulses (be careful not to get them too fine). Now add the pasta to the boiling water and put the timer on for 10 minutes. Add the chopped peppers, garlic and jalapeno to the onions in the pan, and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.

When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander then return it to the pan and stir in the onion mixture to get everything evenly distributed. Divide the pasta between two warmed serving bowls, and serve it absolutely immediately with the basil scattered over and lots of grated pecorino to sprinkle on.


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