Red pepper & tomato lasagne

Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne

I tend to find myself crying a lot these days. Not about anything important – in fact, it’s the trivial things that really set me off. A slightly sentimental advert, a chick and a cat becoming friends or even just spilling coffee granules on the kitchen floor.
For example, today I’ve already cried twice, and both times were during the first half hour of Harry Potter film ‘The Goblet of Fire’. Bear in mind, nothing upsetting had actually happened yet. Thinking about it, the first cry was over Brendan Gleeson, until I realised he wasn’t actually dead in real life (thanks, Google). The second was the realisation I may never get to go to a glamorous wizarding ball.
So, to cheer myself up, I needed some serious comfort food and that came in the form of my mum’s red pepper and tomato lasagne – aka tomato and cheesy pasta realness. In fact, this recipe was one of the first-ever recipes I blogged about many moons ago, but I have to be honest, the picture was a bit shit and so was the recipe. So I spent the day rewriting, reshooting and re-eating it. It was so good it made me cry… Again.


Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Serves 6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total 2 hour 10 minutes / 
You’ll need: Rectangular oven-proof dish 22cm x 28cm and foil
9 dried lasagne sheets
24 tomatoes, cut into eighths
4 red peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs dried basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
300g mild/medium strength vegetarian cheddar, grated


TIP: This is an easy recipe but does take a couple of hours to cook so best make when you have plenty of time. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.


Method
1. Slice off the core and roughly chop each tomato into eighths and put in a large pot, over a medium heat with a tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, de-seed and finely chop the peppers and add them to the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the dried herbs, a tsp of salt and mix well.
2. Bring to the boil (you may have to dig down to the bottom to see the juices bubbling away). Put the lid on and cook the sauce down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile grate the cheese.
3. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Once the sauce has thickened, take off the heat and start assembling the lasagne.
4. Oil the oven dish and start layering. Begin with a layer of pasta sheets (feel free to break the pasta sheets to fit your dish if needs be). Cover the lasgane sheets with an even layer of sauce (3 ladles worth) and top with an even sprinkling of cheese. Continue to layer like this a couple more times before topping with the last layer of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and cover loosely with foil (ensure the foil isn’t touching the cheese – you don’t want the cheese to stick and peel the whole top layer of the lasagne off).
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes before removing the foil and cooking for a further 10 minutes to brown the cheese a little. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a simple green salad.

Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
– Suitable for home freezing before cooking. Wrap the lasagne well in 2 layers of cling film and 1 layer of foil. Defrost fully before baking.



Mozzarella & tomato tart

Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Tart
Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Tart

Smoked mozzarella is a wonderful thing and something I’m relatively new to. My friends Tom and Dan invited us round their new house for dinner (this by the way, literally never happens). I’ve been friends with Tom for 18 years (gadzooks) and not once has he ever cooked me dinner… He gave me a Smint once but I’m pretty sure he bought that. Anyway, we prefer to drink our calories when we’re together but on this occasion, I agreed to let him feed me. So I opened my mouth and let one of my oldest and dearest friends shove in a bruschetta topped with smoked mozzarella.
“Good lord, what sweet heaven is that?” I splutter ‘attractively’ as Jamie grimaces.
“Smoked mozzarella babe” Tom says before turning on his heel to go and help Dan in the kitchen.
“Yeah but where did you get it?… Some poncey Italian deli in St Albans I’ll bet” I say more to Jamie and catch him stuffing a few slices in his mouth, minus the bruschetta.
“Err no, just Waitrose” Tom yells from the kitchen…
Now, as luck would have it, we recently moved house and guess what our local supermarket is? Yep, you’ve guessed it, WAITROSE! So I scampered home and decided to build an entire recipe around an entire ball of smoked mozzarella and here it is! I really must make it for Tom and Dan, maybe in another 18 years when it’s my turn to cook.


Mozzarella & tomato tart 
Serves 4 or 6 as a starter / Hands on time 15 / Total time 50 – 55 mins /
You’ll need: A 10 inch non-stick loose bottomed tart tin or a large baking tray
1 tsp olive oil
Baking paper
300g mixed tomatoes, sliced
250g vegetarian mozzarella or *smoked mozzarella, sliced
320g ready roll puff pastry
Handful black olives
Handful fresh basil leaves
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs Pomora extra virgin olive oil


Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6. Spray your baking tray/tart tin with spray oil and top with a layer of baking paper. Spray again with oil and put to one side.
2. Slice the tomatoes (halve the cherry tomatoes) and slice the cheese. Roll out your puff pastry and roughly stretch it over your tart case (you don’t need to be very neat about this, this tart isn’t supposed to look perfect). Layer the bottom of the tart with the mozzarella, leaving a good inch around it for the crust. Top evenly with the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Pull the edges of the tart in on itself, creating a kind of crust. Top with a handful of black olives and scattering of fresh basil leaves.
3. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins until golden brown. Leave the tart to cool for 10-15 minutes before topping with more fresh basil and a good drizzle basil oil. Serve with dressed salad leaves.

Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Tart

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


*Smoked mozzarella tends to be made with animal rennet, so if you’re vegetarian, swap for vegetarian mozzarella.
– Freeze before baking. Freeze unwrapped on the baking tray for a couple of hours to allow the tart to harden before removing and wrapping well in a few layers of clingfilm. Return to the freezer and consume within 3 months. To cook from frozen, place on a an non-stick baking tray and cook for 45-50 mins.



Tomato penne with greens & butter beans

Tomato Penne with Greens & Beans
Tomato Penne with Greens & Beans
Tomato Penne with Greens & Beans

I really should stop buying horrible cheap tomatoes, I mean they aren’t even red for starters, tomatoes should be red right? These were more of an orange colour. I’ve tried several times to ripen them in a fruit bowl but they stubbornly just stay the same – the little shits. I refuse to be out-smarted by a tomato.
Tasting literally of nothing and with a firm almost furry texture, these ghastly toms are franky not worth the 70p I paid for them… But that’s such a reasonable price I remember thinking, staring down at them on the supermarket shelf. Whatever, I’m sure they’ll taste fine so I chuck them in my basket. NOOOOOOOO! Why do I always make the same mistake?!
Well that’s an easy question, I’m always skint, so spending £2 on Taste The Difference tomatoes (even though they look devine and juicy) makes me wince ever so slightly, especially when I know I could buy at least 4 Snickers bars for the same price. But as I chomp down on my sad, flavourless, sandwich, I realise my 70p tomatoes are duds. Perhaps tomatoes are just one of those foods you should spend the money on? I guess it wouldn’t kill me to eat a few less Snickers bars – cue sad face.
Anyway, so now I’m left with five, unripe, tomatoes so it’s either ruin my sandwiches for the rest of the week, or turn them into pasta sauce. Not only is this a great way to use up unwanted tomatoes but it makes enough sauce to jazz up your pasta dishes for the rest of the week. It’s easy, healthy and turns those rock hard tasteless toms into something rather splendid. Good times.


Tomato penne with greens & butter beans
Makes 1 jar of sauce / Serves 2 / Takes 30-40 minutes /
V
You’ll need: Food processor or a hand blender
Pasta Sauce
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 tomatoes
2 tbs tomato puree
4 tbs vegetarian red wine
1 can plum tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp olive oil
To serve
140g wholewheat penne
3 handfuls kale
½ can butterbeans, rinsed and drained
Handful mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
Pomora extra virgin olive oil


Method
1. Roughly chop the onion and pop it in a large pot or saucepan with a tsp of olive oil, on a medium heat. Cook for about 5 mins until it starts to soften. Once soft, add the chopped garlic and cook for a further 2 mins (add a dash of water to help them steam if they start to sizzle).
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan along with the tomato puree. Give it a good stir and cook for a further 5 mins, until the tomatoes start to break down a bit. Add the wine and the can of plum tomatoes. Break the plum tomatoes up with a spoon and give it another good stir. Up the heat until the sauce begins to boil, then reduce down to a simmer. Add the dried herbs and season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 mins, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile rinse and drain your butterbeans and put to one side (you’ll steam/boil them 5 minutes before you serving).
4. Weigh out your pasta and bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. When you’re sauce is 10 mins away from being cooked, add your pasta to the boiling water and season with salt (follow packet instructions). This is also a good time to get a smaller saucepan ready to steam/boil your kale and butter beans together  (I tend to steam mine but it’s up to you, just remember to season them).
5. Whilst the pasta is boiling and your veg steaming take the tomato sauce off the heat and blitz with a hand blender or pop into a regular blender. Be careful not to over blend the sauce, you still want a bit of texture.
6. Finally drain your pasta and portion onto plates. Top with grated cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the steamed butterbeans and kale. Good times.

Tomato Penne with Greens & Beans
Tomato Penne with Greens & Beans

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
– The pasta sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.


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Smokey Tomato & Chickpea Soup

IMG_5602

I couldn’t be bothered to leave the house yesterday so decided to invent a soup out of the bits I already had in the fridge. This is what happened…

“Oh, I only have half an onion… Why do I have so many cans of butter beans? I don’t even like butter beans!… Oh wait, I have chick peas, yes! I swear I had some cumin?! No? REALLY?! Shit!… Oh wait, smoked paprika, that could be interesting… Maybe with some sweet potato?… No wait, they’re Isabelle’s… Half a bag of spinach could work though with some tinned tomatoes maybe? Yes, a smokey tomato chickpea broth… Hope I have some parmesan… YES I DO! Right, sorted, lets do it…

Smokey Tomato & Chickpea Soup
Serves 2 / Takes 30 minutes
Make it vegan: Leave off the grated parmesan 
Ingredients:
Half an onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbs tomato purée
Can chopped tomatoes
Can chick peas 
Half tsp smoked paprika
500ml stock (1 knorr vegetable stock pot)
100g spinach
Grated parmesan to serve (optional)
Sat & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. Soften the onions and garlic in a tsp of oil on a medium heat.
2. Add the tomato puree, smoked paprika, can of tomatoes and give it at good stir. Add the stock, chickpeas, season and bring the boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Pop into bowls, sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. DONE!

IMG_5601

If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

 

Mum’s Red Pepper Lasagne

My Mums Red Pepper Lasagne
My Mums Red Pepper Lasagne

Big news everyone… I HAVE A MAN COMING TO DINNER! Yes mum, an actual man, with a pulse and a head and everything. Although, if he has a weeping abscess on his leg, lets hope he keeps that information to himself, unlike my last date.
Was it a mistake to mention I had a food blog? Probably. Presumably his exceptions will be sky high, so that’s good. AGGHHH! What the hell am I going to cook him and what if it goes horribly wrong?! I’ll forever be known as ‘the food blogger who can’t cook and can’t kiss’… Not that I’m a bad cook or a bad kisser, in fact I’m an excellent kisser so not sure why I said that.
Anyway, I need to cook something safe, something I know and something I can prepare in advance to stop me getting frazzled like Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire. I don’t want to burn my tits.
Lets bring out the big guns, my mum’s tomato and red pepper lasagne. Now then, this aint no a regular lasagne, there’s no béchamel or mince, just a simple sauce of cooked down tomatoes and peppers. This was a week night staple in the Heale household throughout my childhood, until my mum had to give up dairy (selfish woman). Luckily my dad heroically stepped up and managed to cobble it together occasionally for my brother and I, thank god. In fact, it was the only thing my dad could cook apart from a jacket potato.
Over the years I’ve managed to cook it entirely from memory for all kinds of people, all of which have loved it. The sauce is easy to make but quite time consuming, so I recommend you make it the day before. Wish me luck! :S


Mum’s red pepper & tomato lasagne
Serves 6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total 2 hour 10 minutes / 
You’ll need: Rectangular oven-proof dish 22cm x 28cm and foil
9 dried lasagne sheets
24 tomatoes, cut into eighths
4 red peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs dried basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
300g mild/medium strength vegetarian cheddar, grated


Method
1. Slice off the core and roughly chop each tomato into eighths and put in a large pot, over a medium heat with a tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, de-seed and finely chop the peppers and add them to the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the dried herbs, a tsp of salt and mix well.
2. Bring to the boil (you may have to dig down to the bottom to see the juices bubbling away). Put the lid on and cook the sauce down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile grate the cheese.
3. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Once the sauce has thickened, take off the heat and start assembling the lasagne.
4. Oil the oven dish and start layering. Begin with a layer of pasta sheets (feel free to break the pasta sheets to fit your dish if needs be). Cover the lasgane sheets with an even layer of sauce (3 ladles worth) and top with an even sprinkling of cheese. Continue to layer like this a couple more times before topping with the last layer of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and cover loosely with foil (ensure the foil isn’t touching the cheese – you don’t want the cheese to stick and peel the whole top layer of the lasagne off).
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes before removing the foil and cooking for a further 10 minutes to brown the cheese a little. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a simple green salad.

My Mums Red Pepper Lasagne
My Mums Red Pepper Lasagne

If you’ve had a go at making my lasagne or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian


 

HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel

HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel
HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel

Okay so this is pretty basic but we have a lot of old houmous hanging around in our house and that shit needs to get eaten (even if what I really want for breakfast is avocado’s on toast). Anyway, I actually made this for a guy after a successful date in the morning (wink wink, nudge nudge), he loved it so much he said he wanted to marry me… He didn’t. In fact he never called me again but I don’t think that had anything to do with the food.


Tomato & Houmous Bagel
Serves 1 / Takes 5-10 minutes / V Vn Df
1 tomato, sliced
2 Tbs of hummus bagel (I like a multi-seed from the bakery at Sainsbury’s)
1 garlic clove
Fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Tip: Most bagels come in packs of four so what I tend to do is slice them all in half, put the ones I’m not eating, back in the bag and freeze them. By slicing them in half before freezing them you can pop them straight in the toaster from frozen.

Method:
1. I’m not going to tell you how to toast a bagel, I’m going to assume you know how to do that. However, I do scoop out my bagel, not because I’m carb conscious but because I find bagels very dense (and I want to fill the ‘moat’ I dig with delicious houmous. IMG_3986
2. Anyway, so hollow out your bagel and pop it in the toaster. Peel your garlic clove and quickly chop your basil. Actually I used parsley because I didn’t have any basil so go freestyle if you’re feeling frisky. (Can you tell I’m writing this post a bit pissed?)… FYI, I’m writing this post in the evening, calm down officer. Anyway… IMG_3989
3. Slice your tomato and cover in salt and pepper, I always salt and pepper my tomatoes separately no matter what recipe I’m doing. My brother loves it. Anyway, chuck on your chopped basil and fish your molten hot bagel out the toaster. (Why are bagels always hotter than any other baked good? Must be one of natures mysteries).
4. Remember the garlic you peeled? No? Me neither, so quickly peel it and rub it all over your hot bagel like a mad man/woman (I ain’t no sexist)… Okay now I’m starting to sound a bit pissed.  Fill that lovely hole with houmous (that’s what she said)… Oh dear, I sincerely apologise. IMG_3990
5.  Place your tomatoes on top, and drizzle with salt and pepper. DONE!… Let me know if your ‘love bagel’ was more successful than mine. IMG_3992

If you’ve had a go at making my bagel or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com