Pasta, Tomatoes and Mozerella

Dear Laura,

The strange thing about being from a large family is that we all share things (not actual things, we still fight tooth and nail over actual things). For instance for a while my mum would give us all the same mug for christmas and so when we visit each other it confuses our other halves when they are presented with tea in the very same Monet mug sitting in their cupboards at home. The same happens with our recipes. I am going to attribute this recipe to my oldest sister but to be fair I can't remember who made it for me first. The best thing about it is that it includes dashings and dashings of balsamic vinegar. We don't normally make our own pasta, normally it comes from the fresh pasta aisle in the supermarket but I am going to include making the fresh pasta.

For a long time I have been dreaming of making my own pasta, I always thought it would be really difficult but in fact it is easy peasy. I am experimenting with quantities at the moment so we are eating a lot of pasta every weekend.

Fresh Pasta (for 2-3 people):
3 eggs 
2 1/2 cups of flour
a pinch of salt
a teaspoon of olive oil

Put the flour on a board and make a hole in the middle, add the eggs, the salt and the oil, mix them up slowly adding the flour from the inner edges. Once all the flour is mixed in knead it with the bottom of your palm for a few minutes. Let the pasta rest for 15 minutes. Cut the dough in half and roll out the pasta in a rectangular shape. Pass the pasta through the pasta machine 2 or 3 times. For this recipe we use tagliatelle and so pass the flattened and stretched dough through the tagliatelle part of the machine and voila lovely fresh pasta. Boil some salted water and cook the pasta for about 5 minutes taste to see when it is done.

Pasta Tomatos and Mozzarella
Fresh Pasta see above (feeds 2 - 3)
Cherry tomatoes (approximately 10 for each person)
100g Mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar

Put the tomatoes and chopped up mozzarella (about 1cm cubes) in a heated pan for 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta, basil and a tablespoon (or three depending on your predilection for the nectar) of balsamic vinegar, cook for another few minutes and serve.

Easy and totally delicious!


Watermelon Salad

Dear Laura,

There are some very special things about living on the other side of the pond, one of them of course being that we actually have a summer, along with that we get to eat a ton of watermelon. Delicious on its own but even better in a salad.

Watermelon Salad Recipe:
One slice of Watermelon
100g Feta Cheese
Red Onion
1 lime

Chop the onion into small pieces and put into a small bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the bowl add a little salt (a pinch) and leave to marinate. Chop the watermelon into cubes about 1cm x 1cm x 1cm,  and the feta into small pieces. Add to the mixture and stir. Dice up the mint and add season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to mingle and serve.


Starting a Garden

Dear Laura,

The summer came in blazing and dazzling rushing after the long cold winter, and then, in a flash, rain poured from the sky, lakes falling to the ground breaking the intense heat and spring was back for a week. Cold wet drizzle embraced me everyday as I walked to work transporting me immediately back to my childhood in Devon. As I type this, with relief, I am seeing the first hint of the sunshine back in the garden. The rain was a great starter for my parched lawn which I am trying to grow from seed, but was so heavy it took down some branches and floored my flowers. They are reviving themselves now as the sun pulls them up again.

I feel like every year I try to start my garden and boom something comes up and everything dies or comes to a halt. This year is different (I think I say that every year), this year I bought plants and dug a lawn and watch everyday to see if things need watering or care. Some of my plants have died and my lawn is patchy but I am starting to get the gardening bug. Tending the plants, watching them settle in, and even bloom, is very therapeutic. I enjoy sitting out every evening after work seeing what is new and planning for what is to come next.

I created a pinterest board when I was planning my garden of all the plants, animals and type of garden I want. 

          Follow Annie's board Garden on Pinterest.
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