Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta

Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta
Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta

Okay so this is pretty embarrassing and very shameful to admit but I didn’t know Sicily was a country until Jamie told me yesterday. I’d always assumed it was just another Italian city like Rome or Venice. Although I don’t blame myself entirely for this lack of knowledge, I blame my school. For some reason it was compulsory to study German geography if you studied German. To this day, I still don’t know if we were studying the geography of Germany taught in German or simply geography taught in German. Either way, I couldn’t and still can’t speak German so it made no difference. Thanks for nothing Edwin Gruber.
Anyway enough about Germany, lets talk about Sicily. By chance I wondered into a small Sicilian deli on my lunch hour last week called Casanova & Daughters. It was marvellous, a beautiful shop with shelves laden with imported pasta, jars of sun-dried tomatoes, handsome bottles of olive oil and neat rows of dried basil flowers wrapped in brown paper. I didn’t even know basil plants had flowers? Anyhoo, if you ever find yourself in Covent Garden I urge you to pop in, if only to say hello to the nicest man in London.
Feeling a little tired and uninspired of late, I asked the smiley shop owner to recommend a vegetarian Sicilian dish to make this weekend. He practically jumped out from behind the counter and started sweeping the shop for ingredients. He returned with a bag of capers, sun-dried tomatoes, white fennel seeds, capers and almonds in their actual shells! I’ve only ever seen almonds de-shelled so was shocked when the deli owner crushed one on the counter with his palm and revealed the biggest almond I had ever seen. Why were the almonds in Sainsbury’s so small?
Getting increasingly carried away, I bought everything he put in front of me, including some beautiful pecorino cheese and some pasta called Busiate that look like big dried up mealworms. They tasted delicious. Best £15 I ever spent, although my combat trousers from Tammy Girl I bought in the 90’s came a close second.

Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta
Serves 4 / Takes 25 minutes
Make it vegan: Don’t sprinkle with cheese 
(you’ll need some kind of food processor)
70g of pasta per person
15-20 sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbs capers
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
16 large almonds (or 30 small)
Pinch of fennel seeds
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pecorino cheese to serve (optional)
You can use parmesan if you like but don’t use too much as the capers make the pesto very salty

1. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes for a minute in a bowl of boiling water. Fish them out and pop them straight into the food processor (keep the water). Add the almonds, capers, fennel seeds, garlic and the extra virgin olive oil. Don’t season with salt, the capers are so salty that you don’t need to add any extra seasoning.
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2. Add 6 – 8 tablespoons of the tomato water and blitz until you get a thick pesto. Meanwhile start to cook your pasta and follow the cooking instructions on the packet, 8 minutes should do it though.
3. Finally drain your pasta and pop back in the pan off the heat. Stir in the pesto and serve immediately topped with grated pecorino and a good drizzle of olive oil.



Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta
Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta

If you’ve had a go at making my Sicilian Sun-dried Tomato & Caper Pasta or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale


Meet the Foodie Corrie Heale

Ever wondered what I spend my days doing over at heat magazine? Well wonder no more, Rich Leigh & Company recently interviewed be about what it’s like to be a food editor of heat magazine. Enjoy!

Corrie Heale
Corrie Heale

Meet the Foodie – Corrie Heale, Food Editor of Heat
by Emily Urban-Smith | May 3, 2016 | PR blog | 0 comments
It’s 6 months since we began our ‘Meet the Foodie’ Q&A and we’re mega chuffed with the journos who have taken part in the feature so far.Picture 15380
This month, we’re pleased to introduce Corrie Heale, Food Editor of Heat magazine (@ch_rabbitfood)
If you’re not familiar with the blog, Meet the Foodie is a monthly Q&A with food journalists and bloggers – a nod to the fact our Northern office specialises in food and drink PR. To date, we’ve interviewed:
Sheena Horton (Eat In) here
Fae Gilfillan (Veggie) here
Karen Barnes (Delicious) here) and
Lucy Blackwell (Bella, That’s Life, Take a Break) here
Jenny Tregoning (Stylist ) here
Before becoming food editor of Heat, Corrie was researching the possibility of starting her own vegetarian cafe or wine and cheese shop – and whilst she hasn’t given up on her dream, she’s enjoying her job at Heat too much to give it up just yet.
The food pages at Heat (or ‘your drunk best friend’ as she sums the magazine up as!) are full of fun, affordable and occasionally ridiculous things, so Corrie spends her working day planning, designing and writing the food page with content that suits their readership. Outside of work, Corrie’s life is all about hobbies that make her happy – jogging, knitting and singing opera to name a few 🙂
Read on to find out more….Enjoy 🙂

1. How did you get into your role at Heat?
I never expected Heat to ask me to be their Food Editor, for starters I’m the Art Editor, so I’m more used to designing pages than writing them but my interest in food clearly hadn’t gone unnoticed. 
It was common knowledge I’d done a nutritional diploma for fun and had just started my own food blog I was also regularly signing up to cookery and food photography courses so it was clear to everyone that met me I had a keen interest in food. Meanwhile the food page in the magazine was looking tired and unloved, not helped by the fact there was very little food on it. So when the magazine went through a redesign I was asked to be co editor along with the Deputy Online Editor Anna. We both had food blogs so it made sense for the two foodies in the office to do it.
Between us we selected and cooked the recipes we featured as well as came up with new and exciting content. Five months later however, Anna found another job leaving me soul food editor, which was scary but exciting. Another redesign later my new page and I are now in full swing and I love every second of it.
2. Did you always know you wanted to work in a food-based role? What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I didn’t actually, I studied design at university so came out wanting to design magazines and although I love and still love being a designer my interest in cooking gradually became more than just a hobby. Over the years food took over my passion for design. Before I became food editor I was already researching starting my own business so like to think I’d be on the road to having my own vegetarian café or wine and cheese shop by now. I haven’t given up on this dream though; I’m just enjoying my job at heat so much at the moment that I’m not ready to give it up yet.
3. Please sum up your magazine in one sentence
Your best drunk friend.
4. Can you give us a bit of an insight into your ‘typical’ working day?
I struggle to get out of bed everyday, so I always miss my bus and roll into work around 9.45am. I scoff cereal at my desk and scroll through hundreds of emails about exciting new yogurts and toasters until conference at 10.30am. 
Conference is the big meeting heat has everyday where we go through the latest celebrity gossip and decide what to put in the magazine. It’s pretty long so get out around midday and design a couple of pages before lunchtime. At 1pm I heat up last night’s dinner and spend most of my lunch hour planning, designing and writing the food page. Once the editor has approved it, I then go about sourcing the recipes and imagery alongside designing other pages in the magazine.
My day finishes around 6pm but once a week I’ll pick a recipe from one of my collection of cookbooks and on my way home stop off at Sainsbury’s to source the ingredients. I get home around 7pm and cook whatever I’ve chosen for my boyfriend and I or if I’m too tired he’ll kindly offer to cook it for me. If it’s tasty I’ll schedule the recipe to be featured in the magazine.
5. What do you most like hearing from PR’s about?
I like to feature fun, affordable and occasionally ridiculous things so I anything a bit different.
6. What is the most exciting thing about your job – and the most uninteresting?
I find cookbooks very exciting so I’m lucky that I get sent so many beautiful ones to review. I also get thrilled about trying new products, whether it’s a new crisp flavor or a coffee machine. I can’t say I find any part of my job uninteresting, but I guess being repeatedly contacted about a product I’ve previously said no to featuring is annoying but not uninteresting.
7. What would you say the perks of the job are?
I love cooking but it’s not exactly a cheap past time so I’m lucky I get to select and cook exciting recipes for the magazine that perhaps I couldn’t ordinarily afford to cook at home. Similarly dining out at new, exciting restaurants and then going home to my little Camden flat makes me feel like a modern day Cinderella.
8. What are your favourite hobbies outside of work?
My life is all about hobbies and doing things that make me happy, so I have LOADS! I like jogging, knitting, writing my blog and singing Opera (perhaps not all that well but I give it a good go). I also like to give Thai massages although since qualifying as a therapist I prefer to receive them rather than give them these days (obviously).
9. What’s your favourite restaurant?
I’m a greedy girl so prefer simple, hearty food, not keen on micro plates 
of pea purée and Parmesan foam. I don’t really have a favourite restaurant because I like to try new places if I can but you can’t go wrong with good old-fashioned pub grub… That being said though if I could pick anywhere to eat tonight I’d go to Wahacca with a couple of girl friends.
10. You’re throwing a dinner party and anyone dead or alive can attend – who are the first 3 people on your guest list? And what 3 courses would you cook?
David Attenborough, JK Rowling and my dad Graham who tragically died 6 years ago. I think they’d all have a good laugh together and wouldn’t mind eating my entirely vegetarian menu. 
To start I’d make feta, mint and courgette fritters with a cucumber pickle and homemade zatziki. Then for mains I’d do my leek and mushroom breton served on a bed of chickpea and garlic mash. And finally for dessert I’d bake my dad’s favourite, spiced apple cake served with cinnamon Crème fraîche… God I’m hungry!

Starlight Blogger Award

Thanks sophiasramblings for nominating me for the Starlight Blogger award! I don’t really know what this means but it sounds very exciting!

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.
This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.

Rules for the STARLIGHT Blogger Award:
Thank the giver and link their Blog to your post.
Answer the 3 original questions then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.
Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you and add 3 new questions for your nominees.
Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions and never change the Award rules.

Please don’t delete this note: the design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.
Copyright 2015 © – Design by Carolina Russo

3 Original questions for everyone to answer:

1. If you could describe or picture your inner soul how will you describe it?
Haha, that is the stupidest question I’ve ever been asked! Erm, I dunno, I guess it would look like me, being my soul and all.

2. What are you working on right now?
Halloween! Making and writing about all things pumpkin. This weekend I’ve set myself the task of making calavera skull head cupcakes with my mate Anne Marie. I except them to go horribly wrong, it’s going to be very fun.

3. What is your creative dream project?
To write, design, photograph and publish my own cook book. Oh and to knit a house for me and my boyfriend to live in.

The questions sophiasramblings asked me…
1. What are the main things you blog about, and why?
I mainly blog about food because I love to cook and myself because I… love… myself? Well that sounded weird. I do write about myself a lot though to give my blog a bit of personality, no one wants just a bunch of boring old recipes right? Also, I got sick and tired of all these perfect food blogs, written by perfect girls, with perfect lives and perfect hair and PERFECT DOGS AND PERFECT BODY’S AND PERFECT EVERYTHING!… Sorry, not sure where that came from, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wanted a food blog that was written by a normal person who doesn’t decant everything into Kilner jars. I couldn’t find one though, so I decided to write one, for busy people like me that like to cook vegetarian food but don’t like quinoa.

2: Would you rather be a democratically elected leader or a one party state dictator?
Well, there’s obviously a right answer to this question but just to be unpopular I’m going to say Dictator.

3: Do you believe world peace is possible?
Sadly not, maybe when we all become robots it might be.

I would like to nominate the following lovely bloggers for this award, please check them out!

And my questions for you are:
1: If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
2: If you had a celebrity fragrance what would you call it?
3: What do you hope to achieve from writing your blog?

Thanks for again for my nomination! I love writing my blog and it makes me very happy that someone liked it enough to nominate me.

Big Brunch Bruschetta

When I was 16 I got sacked from McDonald’s. It was a rather unceremonious sacking, but remarkably landed me my next job making a coffee in the local coffee shop. I say it was a coffee shop but it was more of an American Diner, we used to make the best real American milkshakes, imported the best Oreo and Reese’s Pieces cheesecakes and created the paninis and sandwiches in all of Letchworth. Admittedly that wasn’t that hard – Letchworth was, and still is, where people go to die. That’s why ‘Caffeine’ was a breath of fresh air in that stale, powdery old town. The council got rid of Caffeine eventually, of course, Kev the owner pissed them off one time too many, but I still miss that place. I haven’t managed to find anywhere like it again… Still looking.

Anyway, we used to make this incredible Bruschetta, which to be fair wasn’t anything like any Italian bruschetta I’ve ever tried. It’s the American version, so naturally it’s three times the size and covered in cheese, but it’s SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! This wasn’t just my favourite but my dad’s favourite too, he used to come in and order it alongside a small cappuccino that he would then nurse for hours. Good times… Feel a bit sad now.

Big Brunch Bruschetta
Serves 2 / Takes 20 minutes
Make it vegan: Leave off the mozzarella and don’t grill
6 large ripe tomatoes, de-seeded and sliced
1 peeled garlic clove
pack of fresh basil
2 ripe avocados
2 150g packs of mozzarella or 1 long 250g pack
2 thick slices of farmhouse white (you can use any bread you like really, sourdough works nicely)
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C /200°C fan.
2. Half the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and chop into strips. Pop them in a bowl with the copped basil and season well with salt and pepper. Cover in a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and splash of olive. Put to one side.
3. Cut two slices of bread and top with slices of avocado. Sprinkle with salt and top with sliced mozzarella. Pop on a baking tray and put in the oven until the cheese melts (around 10 – 15 minutes).

4. Slide each slice onto a plate and pour half the tomato mixture over each slice. splash with an extra bit of balsamic, extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve. YUM!
If you’ve had a go at making my bruschetta or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale