Spaghetti alla trapanese & Insalata caprese

When it comes to midweek suppers I find that convenience, ease and simplicity motivate my cooking choices rather than my usual greedy hunger and appetite.  There are times when I need the food to be fast, easy and no fuss however still remain delicious!  And just because I am short on time and energy doesn’t mean I am short on my need for supper satisfaction.  So when nights like this arrive I call upon my simple yet delicious Spaghetti all trapanese recipe.

Spaghetti alla trapanese has to be one of the most flavour packed, delicious and simple to prepare dinners in my repertoire.   The sauce is very similar to a pesto, but even tastier.  And what makes me feel quite smug about this supper is that I know the sauce requires NO cooking whatsoever.  Meaning I can have supper on the table in the time it takes for spaghetti to cook, usually around 10 minutes.  Bliss.

The ingredients used for the spaghetti alla trapanese sauce consist of almonds, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.  You combine these ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the sauce is formed.  When you lift the lid of the processor to inspect the sauce you are instantly hit with the amazing aromas of fresh basil, salty parmesan, zesty olive oil with a hint of garlic.  The texture of the sauce is also incredible; the almonds are left quite chunky in the sauce providing a gorgeous and interesting crunch factor to the spaghetti.  Once the spaghetti is cooked, you simply drain, add to the sauce and stir until combined, meaning dinner is ready!  How easy is that!  If you do want to embellish the spaghetti a little further feel very free to top the spaghetti with extra parmesan, a good slug of extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves, I even went as far as adding some fresh cherry tomatoes just for a little something extra.  I really do love this recipe, it’s so easy to prepare without sacrificing any flavour resulting in the perfect answer to your mid week time troubles.

I couldn’t write a post regarding simple and easy suppers without mentioning my other must have for those crazy midweek evenings, Insalata Caprese!  When I first came across this salad I fell instantly in love, not only because it transported me back to my childhood growing up on a tomato farm but because it teamed my beloved tomatoes with my now favourite ingredients (the ones I have grown to adore now that I am a ‘grown up’) basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella.  This salad is a true celebration of simplicity.  It has absolutely no cooking involved whatsoever and simply lets the fresh ingredients speak for themselves; there are no disguises or distractions with this dish, just great ingredients as themselves tasting amazing.  The pure simplicity of this supper is what truly excites me about eating. 

This salad consists of tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella, red onion, olive oil and a little of the sauce from the spaghetti alla trapanese.  You arrange the ingredients on a plate and you’re done.  That’s it.  Dinner is served.  My only suggestion for serving this salad is to accompany it with a big chunk of fresh italian bread, the perfect tool for mopping up all of the delicious tomato juices.  Gorgeous. 
So there you have it....my suggestions for a simple and easy midweek supper with satisfaction guaranteed.  Enjoy, K X

Spaghetti alla trapanese
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
500g dried spaghetti
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g almonds, skins on or off, toasted
1 clove garlic
4 large handfuls fresh basil, leaves picked
125g freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water according to packet instructions.
Place the almonds, basil, garlic, parmesan, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a processor and blitz until combined resembling coarse crumbs.  With the motor running add enough olive oil to form a sauce consistency (so that you’re able to mix through the spaghetti with ease).
Drain spaghetti and add sauce, mix to combine.  Loosen with a little extra virgin olive oil if required.  Serve with extra parmesan, olive oil and basil leaves.
Insalata Caprese
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
3 ripe
tomatoes, sliced
½ punnet cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced thinly
Extra virgin olive oil
Handful of basil leaves
2 tablespoons basil sauce from spaghetti alla trapanese
Place tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red onion and mozzarella on to a large serving plate.  Drizzle with basil sauce, extra virgin olive oil and top with extra basil leaves.  Serve with crusty bread.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!  Yeah, I could see that tasting absolutely delicious. Ticks all the boxes for me. ☑