General Commentary, lifestyle

Week3-Eat for £50 a month-Recipes 1-5

My introduction to Italy was a trip from Napoli to Amalfi where the food made me sing.  The ingredients are often humble but with the most amazing flavours, my love story with Italy didn’t begin with a cute guy called Giovanni (even though he was nice) but with a brioche and an amazing plate of lemon spaghetti .  This week quite a few of the dishes on the menu will have Italian influences but will not break the bank.  Have you ever tried a pasta omelette? you don’t know what you’re missing 😉


Day 1 Lunch – Mozzarella & Chicken Sarnie

Tomato Sauce

  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp soya sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp balsamic (optional)
  • Basil (optional)
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Fry the garlic and onion in the oil
  2. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, soya sauce, sugar, basil, balsamic and water
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15minutes
  4. Set aside
  5. The rest of the sauce can be used to  create a tasty spaghetti dish or just as a relish


  • 50g mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 Chicken Breast
  • Basil
  • 2 slices 2 day old white bread (crusts removed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • 2 slices of white 2 day old bread (crusts cut off)
  1. Slice breast into strips
  2. Fry gently in a pan on both sides
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Sprinkle with basil and set aside
  5. Cut the mozzarella into thick slices
  6. Take the two slices of bread
  7. Lightly butter the bread
  8. Take the mozzarella place a slice on the bread then some basil then strips of chicken and top with another slice of mozzarella
  9. Place the other slice of bread on top
  10. Press the sides of the bread together
  11. Lightly beat the egg with the milk and season with salt and pepper
  12. Dip the sandwich in the egg until well coated all over
  13. Leave to soak for a few minutes
  14. Heat oil in the pan and try the sandwich until golden on both sides
  15. Drain on paper towel
  16. Serve with tomato sauce
  17. Sprinkle with parsley


Day 1 Dinner – Spaghetti with Tuna & Anchovy Dressing

  • Olives
  • 500g Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 knobs of butter


  • Can tuna drained
  • Can anchovies (use oil for olive oil below)
  • 250ml Olive oil
  • 60g Parsley
  • 100ml Creme fraiche
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions
  2. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a blender or with a fork until smooth season to taste
  3. Heat the sauce gently until warmed through
  4. Mix the sauce into the spaghetti and serve with the olives

The leftovers can be used with a béchamel sauce and baked in an oven like a lasagna (Pasta Bake) and some used for lunch in a pasta Omelette


Day 2 Lunch – Pasta Omelette

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 onion
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • 90g cooked pasta
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Grated cheese
  1. Fry the onion in some oil with the garlic
  2. Add the peas to the pan
  3. Mix the eggs with the milk in a bowl
  4. Add half of the eggs to the onion mixture and cook gently for 1 minute
  5. Add the pasta to the pan and pour over the rest of the egg mixture
  6. Add the parsley and cheese and fry for 2 minutes until bubbling
  7. Pop under a hot grill for 3 minutes until puffed up


Day 2 – Dinner – Italian Rice & Veg (2 portions)

  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Chopped veg
  • handful of frozen peas
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • use the leftover tomato sauce from the sarnie
  • 1/2 litre of stock
  1. Fry the onion, garlic and mushroom gently in the oil using a decent sized pot with a lid for 5 minutes
  2. Add the rice and coat with the oil and put the lid on for 2 mins
  3. Add the oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir through so it’s well combined
  4. Add the tomato sauce and stir through
  5. Add the 2/3litre of stock and stir once and pop the lid on for approximately 20 minutes, stir occasionally and make sure to add some more stock if it is too dry or if you have the heat too high.
  6. Serve with a poached or fried egg and some Fresh Basil.



Day 3 Lunch – Leftover Pasta Omelette

Day 3 Dinner – Pasta Bake

  • 4 Mushrooms
  • 1tsp oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 300ml milk
  • tsp cornflour
  1. Fry the onion, thyme and sliced mushrooms for 5 minutes
  2. Add the milk and heat until boiling
  3. Mix a teaspoon of cornflour in 3 tsp of milk until smooth
  4. Add the cornflour mixture to the milk and simmer for a few minutes until thickened
  5. Place the previous evenings leftover Spaghetti in an oven proof bowl
  6. Pour over the thickened sauce and mix, sprinkle with grated cheese
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade


Day 4 Lunch – Leftover Pasta Bake from Yesterday
Day 4 Dinner – Milanese Risotto

  • 1 good pinch of saffron thread
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 90g butter
  • 350g of arborio or short grained rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.25litres of miso/veg/chick/beef stock
  • 90g parmesan/pecorino grated
  1. Place the saffron in 4 tbsp of boiling water and leave to soak
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in 60g of butter until soft
  3. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes until all of the grains are coated
  4. Add the wine to the rice and simmer, stir occasionally until all is absorbed
  5. Add the boiling stock bit by bit , stirring frequently until all is absorbed
  6. Stir in the saffron, cheese and remaining butter, season as required
  7. Take off the heat and cover with the lid on for 5 minutes

You will have leftovers for lunch or dinner the following day or just freeze and have another day

Day 5 Lunch – Leftover Risotto

Day 5 Dinner – Flatbreads with Garlic Mushrooms, Caramelised Onions

  • 250g of gram flour
  • 2 pinches of salt and plenty of ground black pepper
  • 400ml of cold water
  • I added in chopped chilli and some cumin seeds to some (but you can leave plain)


  1. Mix well and leave to rest overnight at room temp or make in the morning and use when you get home from work.
  2. Fry like you would a pancake at a decent medium to hot heat with a little oil rubbed into the pan, approx 2 mins on either side
  3. If you prefer crispy raise the heat and reduce the quantity of batter a little or if you like it more bread like then medium heat and little bit more batter.
  4. Once you have made a couple you will find your perfect combination.
    Makes approx 7 to 8 (see pic), I used a ladle measure for each ( straight into the middle and swirl out with pan)


Caramelised Topping

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 3 mushrooms
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Fry the garlic gently in the oil, add the chilli and onion and sprinkle the thyme
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and sprinkle with a little salt
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes next add the sugar and mix and fry for 30 seconds
  4. Add the balsamic and mix well leave for 2 minutes until you have a nice syrup in the pan and then remove for the heat and serve on a freshly made flatbread
  5. If you have any parmesan sprinkle on top and place under the grill for 2 minutes

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