It is a universally acknowledged fact that children behave differently when they are with their childminder. Jessica sleeps for hours when she’s at home, but not with V. And much to her amusement, V can’t keep Jessica in food, while we despair at how little she eats with us. Every evening I get a run down of the snacks and meals Jessica has consumed that day and have to remind myself of the universally acknowledged fact (and that Jessica still loves to cook, even if she only eats a couple of mouthfuls of her creations).
Last week’s menu included spaghetti bolognese. As I drove home in the rain I thought what a great comfort food. Except I was craving spice and bolognese just didn’t push my buttons. So I turned to another of my 2011 cookbooks – Gino’s Pasta – which has a great recipe for spicy pork with olives.
In my mind, the great thing about this recipe is that I can make it from store cupboard ingredients. Sliced olives, sun-dried tomatoes, crushed chillies, passata, pasta – we even keep minced pork in the freezer. Gino uses Kalamata olives and fresh chillis and I use them too when I have them, but if I’m honest I don’t notice much difference. The pork mix freezes well too.
- olive oil (I use the oil from the drained sun-dried tomatoes)
- a small onion, diced
- 80g sliced black olives (a small tin)
- 1-2 tsp crushed chilies (to taste)
- 80g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 300g pork mince
- 300g passata
- 4 cups dried pasta shells (1 cup per person)
- Fry the onion and olives in a couple of splashes of olive oil (in a pan large enough to hold the pork) until the onion is soft.
- Add the crushed chilies, sun-dried tomatoes and pork mince and fry until the pork is cooked.
- Chuck in the passata, mix well, and simmer gently for ten to fifteen minutes.
- While the pork is simmering, cook your pasta as per pasta instructions. When its ready, drain it, and stir into the pork mix.