15-minute Lemony Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Kale

My writer-friend Chad made this for a working lunch for us one day, using homegrown kale from the garden at the lovely home she shares with her partner Kath, and I was immediately hooked by the strong and satisfying flavours. I demanded to know how she made it and then had it three times over the following two weeks – I couldn’t get enough of it. Since then it’s become one of my favourite ‘when your brain is still on the train’ meals. Getting off a commuter train from London is about as compatible with cooking a large meal as…er… duh…can’t think of anything smart cos my brain is still on the train.  (Geddit?)

Anyway. When your inspiration is as lame as that joke, this meal will fill the gaping void.

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Spaghetti Bolognaise

People from Italy look away now, but an everyday spag bol as we think of it these days is really just a tomato ragout with added beef. If you don’t have three days to cook down a real Bolognaise, this is a great substitute. If you have some tomato sauce in the freezer you can make an after-work dinner very fast. If you don’t have a butcher nearby and you buy a 500g packet from the supermarket, the other half will be happy in the freezer in its plastic tray, just put the whole thing in a plastic bag and remember to eat within a few weeks.

For two people you’ll need to make one load of tomato ragout with the quantities HERE. You’ll also need 250g of minced beef. 

It’s not a strict recipe, so I’ve not written it out like one. Here goes:

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Creamy Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese is cheaper to make at home, and it’s tastier and better for you – like most homemade food. This recipe works out at 54p per plate

Here is the evidence, as gleaned from extensive (ahem, we didn’t have to look far) research:

  • Weight Watchers:                               £6.85 per kilo. 
  • Tesco Finest:                                       £9.00 per kilo (!I know)
  • Tesco Everyday Value:                      £2.50 per kilo
  • Life Is Jam home cooked:                  £1.29 per kilo

The only one cheaper than home cooked was in a tin, at £1.09 per kil0. So you save a few pennies per plate but I mean, wait – macaroni cheese out of a…can…? 

Buy skimmed milk and low fat cheese if you’re watching your weight. Add some cream to the sauce if you’re not. It takes half an hour maximum, from start to finish, and feeds two people. This amount makes 840g of macaroni cheese for £1.09. Which is 54p per plate.

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