When I was working in London I would regularly get home from the office well past 9pm and still fancy a proper meal but one that took no time at all to prepare and used food that was easy to come by when passing the local corner shop! I have had countless conversations with my friends who work in the corporate world about the fact they just never cook at home, partly because they don’t have any time or simply because they have no food in their fridge. I know that many professional chefs sell cookery books with amazing suggestions for meals that “take no time at all to prepare”. However so many of them contain ingredients that I have either never heard of or are just too hard to find unless you live near a good deli.
I used to survive on pitta bread and hummus when I was working, the reason being it was a no brainer in terms of supper – just put the pitta in the toaster and a minute later you could eat it with a dollop of hummus. From time to time I would jazz up the hummus by adding a touch of olive oil and paprika to make me feel as if I’d actually done something creative, but quite honestly more often than not I would be just too tired to care.
When I was last back in London I was chatting to a friend who has just recently entered the corporate world and is facing the same issues. Subsequently I have decided I am going to give this issue some thought over the next couple of months. I will try and come up with some simple, quick meals that make you feel like you’ve achieved something if you’ve had a rubbish day at work, only using ingredients that you can get without any hassle. So first up we have…
Smoked Salmon Pasta
The time it takes to make this recipe is directly linked to how long your pasta takes to cook. The quantities for the sauce in this recipe makes enough for 2-4 people depending on how hungry they are. I quite often throw a handful of frozen peas into the pasta whilst it is cooking to give the dish a bit of colour.
- Fusilli pasta (75-100g per person)
- 200g smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 heaped tbsp crème fraiche or cream (whichever you can get easier)
- 3 sprigs of parsley, chopped (optional) [Note: dill or chives would be a good alternative to the parsley]
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¼ zest of a lemon (optional)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper, for seasoning
- Cook the pasta according to the packet.
- In a small pan heat the oil, add the onion and leave it to sweat until soft.
- Add the salmon and cook for roughly a minute.
- Then add the parsley, lemon zest and crème fraiche.
- Season the sauce well with black pepper.
- Once your pasta is cooked, drain it. Then stir in the sauce and serve whilst it is hot.