Summer evening drinks...

The Simple Things magazine (issues 1-13)

The last few days have been lovely… I know, I know… it’s not as hot as it was a few weeks ago, but the sun is still shining and that’s good enough for me.

There is still a busy-ness to our lives but it’s a different kind of busy-ness. Catching up with friends. Going to the pub. Catching up with back issues of The Simple Things. Drinking white wine (such a rarity!). That sort of thing. This weekend, I’ve made a list of all the exhibitions we want to see between now and October. Unsurprisingly, we have a few busy arty months ahead of us. Oh and I recently attended my first hen night… ever (I’m happy to report that it was a nice civilised affair). I don’t know how this was my first hen night. I remember avoiding a few… but still, this is quite a achievement! Well, another first for the year if anything.

At home, I’ve started a mini decluttering. Or, we’re just tidying the house, after what feels like months away. Of course, talking about decluttering makes it sound like we’re doing something much grander. So… we’re decluttering. We’re watching Australia with Simon, catching up with recordings. Still doesn’t do it for me Australia. Don’t know why. But I love Simon’s way of bringing issues to the forefront and people. His shows are always about people, as much as the countries he visits, which brings the places and issues to life. We’ve also finished watching all the extras for The Wire. I don’t know that we’ve learnt an awful lot by watching these but anyway, it’s done.

We have had some lovely summer food. We made pasta with pea pesto from a recipe we found in the Waitrose magazine. We’ve made this a few times now, it’s so yummy. After all these years, I have finally found a recipe that makes peas taste nice! We’re also eating lots of salads with tomatoes, grilled halloumi and beluga lentils. All very fresh fresh and tasty.

I don’t want summer to end…



Pasta with Pea Pesto (Waitrose magazine, July 2013)

  • 350g spaghetti
  • 400g frozen garden peas (we used fresh ones)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 50g parmigiano reggiano, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 25g pack basil, leaves only
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions, drain, reserving a cupful of the cooking water. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the peas for 2 mins; drain and refresh under cold water.
  2. In the small bowl of a food processor, blitz the garlic, cheese, 2 tbsp oil, 1/2 lemon juice and 3/4 of the basil to a coarse paste. Add the peas and pulse until just combined; season and set aside.
  3. Return the spaghetti to the pan with 6 tbsp of the cooking water, the pea pesto and the remaining oil. Divide between 4 plates (the recipe serves four) and squeeze over the remaining lemon juice. Shred the remaining basil leaves and scatter over to serve, along with a drizzle more oil, if liked.

Three easy steps to pea pesto happiness. Make it. And serve with a light fruity Italian white!

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