Prawn and chilli linguine

The last pasta dish was very popular with a few of my regular readers and I really don’t do many pasta recipes, so here’s another one!  This really is an easy, healthy option for when you get home from work and fancy something tasty without too much effort - a general crowd pleaser with prawns and chillies just going so naturally together.

Ingredients

  • 600g of Tesco cooked and peeled prawns (£4)
  • 500g of linguine (75p)
  • 1 lemon (25p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (25p)
  • 2 green chillies (20p)
  • 1 red onion (15p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, butter and parmesan

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco where it came to £5.60 - that's £1.40 per head!

Instructions

  • Start by getting all the ingredients ready and the pasta cooking. So finely chop 4 cloves of garlic, the chillies and red onion and get the pasta going in a large pan of salted water.
  • Now get a heavy deep bottomed frying pan on a medium high heat, add some olive oil and start by frying off the red onion until translucent. Then add the prawns and fry until they have some colour on them (around 2 minutes) and then add the garlic and chillies and fry for a further minute.
  • Once the garlic and chillies have cooked and you get the wonderful frying garlic/chilli smell turn the heat right down and add the juice of one lemon, a pinch of salt, a good few twists of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of butter.
  • By now the linguine should be ready. Drain and add to the prawn mixture, mixing well with a good handful of grated parmesan.
  • Happy eating!

Homemade Cornish pasties

Ok, slightly off piste this week as this isn’t really a main meal. Of course it could become a main meal if you serve it with some vegetables or salad. I digress. I’m off to the cricket this weekend and I’ll be baking these pasties this evening in preparation for a full day’s play (and a full day’s drinking) tomorrow. I bet quite a few of you have never made pasties before and probably because they are deemed as a difficult to make.
They really aren’t as you’re about to find out.

Ingredients

  • 440g of British braising steak (£3.49)
  • 250g of Sainsbury’s basic salted butter (98p)
  • 1 medium sized Swede (73p)
  • 1 large onion (14p)
  • 1 large potato (35p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, flour (400grams) and milk (only a little for brushing the pasties).

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.69 - that's £1.42 per head!

Instructions

  • Best to make the pastry first as it will need 30 minutes chilling in the fridge before use. Put 400 grams of flour in a bowl along with 200 grams of the cubed butter and run between your fingers to a breadcrumb consistency. Then stir in (use a knife) a little cold water (probably about 6 tablespoons) until the mixture becomes dough. Finally incorporate into a ball, clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Now for the pasty filling. Finely chop the beef, onion, potato and swede and mix together in a bowl along with a good pinch of salt and a very generous helping of black pepper (about 20 twists of the pepper mill).
  • Preheat the oven to 220C (Gas mark 7 or 425F).
  • Now roll the pastry out on a floured surface to about the depth of a one pound coin and shape into four circular pieces (using a side plate to trim the edges). Then take some mixture and place in the middle of each circular pastry piece, brush one half of the pastry with milk and fold over. Once folded over go back and crimp or roll the edges to create a nice snug fit.
  • Place on to a tray with some greased baking paper, brush the pasties with a little milk and place in the oven for 50 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the oven down to 175C (Gas mark 4 or 350F).
  • Let the pasties cool on a rack for 5 minutes before eating.
  • Happy eating!

Teriyaki chicken legs with coriander and lime noodles

This is an amazingly comforting dish and the sticky legs are perfect against the zing and freshness of the noodles. When cooking always try and contrast the ingredients. It’s the bedrock of good cookery. I’m definitely cooking this one this weekend!

Ingredients

  • 2 packs (2 legs per pack) of freedom food chicken legs (£1.84)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (25p)
  • 1 lime (30p)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger (22p)
  • 30g of fresh coriander (79p)
  • 410g of fresh egg noodles (£1)
  • 150ml of Amoy dark soy sauce (89p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, sunflower oil, sesame oil and honey

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.29 - that's £1.32 per head!

Instructions

  • The teriyaki marinade needs to be made first. The legs need to marinate for at least 4 hours (overnight would be even better). In a bowl, combine 8 tablespoons of soy, 4 tablespoons of honey, 3 minced cloves of garlic, the minced ginger (best to do the garlic and ginger on a grater), 2 tablespoons of water and a twist of black pepper.
  • Now take the chicken legs and make three shallow slashes along each leg, place in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Try and turn the legs a few times whilst they marinade.
  • The noodles take no more than 5 minutes to prepare so just sit back, relax and let the marinade do its work. 
  • When you’re ready to cook the chicken legs pre heat the oven to 220C (Gas mark 7 or 425F). Then place the chicken legs in an oven proof dish and cook for 30 minutes, remove any excess marinade. After around 20 minutes in the oven brush the legs with more marinade.
  • Around 5 minutes before the chicken legs are ready start cooking the noodles. Stir fry the noodles in a hot wok with a little sunflower oil for around 2 minutes and then combine in a bowl with a little salt, black pepper, finely chopped coriander, the juice of one lime and a drizzle of sesame oil.
  • Happy eating!

Turkey, mozzarella and sage meatballs with fettuccine and tomato sauce

I know Italian meatballs are traditionally made with beef, but this series of recipes is all about sourcing cheap and great tasting meals. This falls firmly in the family category as well. A great one for the kids and the stringy mozzarella and sage works wonders with the turkey. Who needs tradition?

Ingredients

  • 500g of fettuccine (68p)
  • 700g of Italian passata sauce (90p)
  • 500g of taste the difference free range turkey mince (£2.39)
  • 1 ball, 125g of fresh Sainsbury’s basics mozzarella (47p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (25p)
  • 20g of fresh sage (68p)
  • 1 red onion (18p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, sugar, 1 egg yolk and balsamic vinegar

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.55 - that's £1.38 per head!

Instructions

  • It’s definitely best to make the meatballs first so you can refrigerate before cooking to firm them up.
  • Start by slowly cooking down the finely chopped red onion in a saucepan with a little olive oil for about 3 minutes. Then take off the heat and set to one side to cool down before adding to the mixture.
  • Now grab a mixing bowl and add the turkey mince, 1 egg yolk, the finely chopped sage, the finely chopped mozzarella, salt, lots of black pepper and two cloves of minced garlic. Mix together well and then add the onions once cooled down. Mix well again and shape into 16 balls – place in the fridge to rest and firm up. They’ll keep for a couple of days in the fridge if need be.
  • Next up the tomato sauce. Add a few teaspoons of olive oil to a saucepan and gently cook 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic – watch carefully to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Now add the passata, salt, black pepper, a good pinch of sugar, half a cup of water and a really good dash of balsamic vinegar. Reduce the sauce down by around a third.
  • The meatballs will take around 10 to 12 minutes to cook, so get the fettuccine in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook as instructed.
  • Take a large frying pan and add a few dessert spoons of olive oil and cook the meatballs until they’re nicely browned all over. Keep turning them to make sure they don’t burn. They will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook right through. If the meatballs look like they’re catching, just turn the heat right down and cook gently for a few minutes.
  • Serve with the fettuccine and tomato sauce over the top of the meatballs. Happy eating!