This is a very easy and quick recipe, made with ingredients you have in your cupboard. It is perfect for when you don’t have much time, but makes for a very exciting meal!

For this recipe we’ve used a combination of our capers, kalamata olives with lemon and herbs and sun-dried tomatoes, but you can adjust it of course, using whatever you have available.

When it comes to pasta, we’ve selected our trichromo organic penne. Trichromo means having three colours, which is exactly what this pasta is. It comes from a small producer in Grevena, in the northern part of Greece. It is made with organic durum wheat semolina. The red pepper from Florina region in northern Greece gives this penne its red colour and peppery taste. Organic spinach turns it green and vibrant. Similar to fresh pasta, penne trichromo cooks in a few minutes! We told you it is a quick and easy recipe!

 

Serves four
200g penne trichromo
2tbsp olive oil plus more to serve
30g capers
75g kalamata olives with lemon and herbs
30g sun-dried tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh parsley

Boil the pasta for 5-8 min, or until al dente. Drain and place it in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and stir. Add the capers, olives and sun dried tomatoes, fresh parsley and toss until well mixed.

Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzling some more olive oil.


This week we are feeling very autumn-y. The weather here in London? Not so much yet. It is sunny and smells like spring. But as we really love autumn, this week we’ve prepared a recipe that will make you feel warm and cozy inside. And it also goes with the lovely weather.

What could we be making that feels both like spring and autumn? Wholemeal pasta with roasted butternut squash! What’s very interesting about this recipe is that this dish is equally enjoyable served both hot or at room temperature. So you can enjoy it on a sunny day too!

When we cook, we always love trying out new types of pasta. Remember our zea penne pasta salad?  What about our zea spaghetti with asparagus?  This week we are trying our new wholemeal spaghetti. It is nutty, cooks in no time and somehow makes us feel healthier. And we’ve paired the butternut squash with our smoked paprika and smoked salt! Yum!

 

Serves 4

1 medium squash, approx. 750g
3 tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika
smoked salt
a few pinches of cinnamon
a few pinches of grated nutmeg
1 large chilli, finely chopped

320g wholemeal spaghetti

To serve
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime
salt (to taste)

Preheat your oven at 180C

Wash and cut the squash in large, bite-sized pieces. You can peel it if you want, but we prefer not to.

Place the squash in a large baking tray, along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, smoked salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli. Mix everything together so that each piece of squash is nicely coated with olive oil and spices.

Bake at 180C for 40min, stirring the pieces half way through. Squash should be tender and slightly crispy on the edges.

In the meantime boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for 5-10min, until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and add the cooked squash, chilli. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze some lime on top of the pasta before eating.


The question of what to have for lunch is always present. Often you can’t be bothered with turning on the stove. You only crave for something cold you can have straight from the fridge, or at least something that you can eat at room temperature.

However, the all mighty green salad, no matter how you dress it up, well…it is still a green salad. Something that, let’s be honest, might fill your belly but sometimes not your soul.

Here is where pasta salads come in. We are still not sure if the word salad is ideal for these types of dishes. Maybe the word salad is used because pasta salads are consumed cold. Maybe it’s used because pasta salads are the lighter cousins of pasta. No one knows really. But one thing is certain. Pasta salads are the way to kick off the series of foods we have for lunch. Yes, pasta salads lie between pasta and salad. The recipe below it is not a warm bowl of penne with tomato sauce. It is not a gem lettuce and avocado salad. It’s something in between. And this is exactly what makes it even more interesting. This recipe is inspired by the Greek chef Chrysanthos Karamolegos, who originally created this combination of flavours.

And we’re making our own mayonnaise for this one, give it a try!

Feeds 4 for lunch

2 spring onions
5 tbsp red wine vinegar
1tbsp sugar
½ cucumber
½ pack zea penne (read more on zea pasta here)
1 gem lettuce
1 avocado
5 leaves basil
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper

Finely chop the spring onions. In a bowl mix the red wine vinegar with the sugar, until sugar resolves. Add the spring onions and let them marinate until you prepare everything else. This will give them a soft sweetness and acidity.

Boil your pasta in salted water. Once al dente, strain and rinse under cold water. Cut the cucumber in small pieces (you can choose between half moons, cubes, whatever you prefer really). Cut the avocado in cubes. Finely shred the lettuce and basil leaves.

Mix the mayonnaise and olive oil, adding water to dilute the mixture until you have a liquidy sauce.

Toss together the pasta, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, spring onions (removed from sugar/vinegar mixture), basil, dressing. You can use the leftover sugar/vinegar mixture if you feel more acidity is needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold if you prefer.

by Nafsika


St George’s day here in the UK marks the beginning of the asparagus season. Don’t you just love it when a season for an ingredient “officially” begins? We love seasonal food as you know. And we also love asparagus. They are after all what makes us feel like we are properly into spring.

Obviously there are many things one can do with this green spring vegetable.

But it so happens that we just received from Greece the most amazing ingredient to pair with asparagus.

Spaghetti made with emmer wheat, or as we call it in Greece, zea. The naming of zea links to the idea of “giving life”. So that should tell you something. It is also one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. This ancient grain is high in fiber and has a low GI. But besides being good for your body, it is also very tasty. Think beyond what you would expect from your average pasta. Long strings of delicate pasta with a nutty, warm flavour. Is there anything better? Well yes! A zingy pairing with asparagus.

By the way, this pasta will go beautifully with a mushroom sauce or a ragu. But that’s for another blog post.

Serves four

1 pack of Emmer wheat spaghetti
1 large bunch of asparagus
1 large lemon, both juice and zest
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Grated graviera  or parmesan cheese (optional)

Place your pasta in a large pot with boiling salted water. As the pasta is boiling, place a small colander on top of your pot and steam your asparagus. If you prefer, you can steam them separately or blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. Set asparagus aside and once you are able to handle them, cut in bite size pieces. Or leave whole if you prefer.

When the pasta is al dente drain. Beware, artisan pasta cooks much faster than store-bought.

In a large bowl, place your pasta, asparagus, lemon juice and zest and drizzle with plenty of olive oil. Add some grated graviera cheese (or parmesan) if using. Season with salt and pepper and stir until everything is well combined. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed.

Serve warm. But this specific pasta dish is actually delicious served cold. Leftovers for lunch anyone?

 

 


Fish and shellfish are foods that many of us associate with healthy eating, not to mention they are delicious! But it’s important to choose them wisely. We always go for fish that is suitable; line caught or harvested by sustainable methods; and we avoid endangered species.

You can begin by finding a good fishmonger (Sussex Fish or ShellSeekers). They tell us what’s in season, where fish and shellfish come from, how they’ve been caught. Not to mention they will recommend new things for us to try!

And of course, buy local. Buy in season. It’s usually cheaper, with a smaller carbon footprint. And it tastes so much better!

As we enter into November, our fishmonger recommends shellfish such as cockles or clams. They are now in season and hand gathered. Do avoid eating them during breeding season from March to July.

These lovely heart shaped shells go perfectly with, what else, fresh pasta. Here’s how!

For a meal for 2 you will need:

Two cloves of garlic, minced
One leek, finely chopped
Two glasses of white wine
Two handfuls of cockles or clams
Two tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
250gr fresh pasta
Smoked dried chilli (to taste)
Capers (to taste)

In a large pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the garlic and the finely chopped leek. Season and cook until tender. Add two glasses of white wine. Once reduced, add the cockles and clams, but discard any that are open already. Cover with a lid and let them steam until they have opened. Discard any closed ones.

Meanwhile, boil some fresh pasta. When the pasta is ready serve on two plates and scatter the cockles, clams and juices from the pan. Sprinkle some dried red chilli (we used smoked), and capers.  The salty and sour flavour of these dark green flower buds, goes perfectly with this pasta. Drizzle some olive oil. Enjoy with a glass of white wine.


We think that life is too short for one type of pesto. So why don’t you “Greek up” your pesto pasta by replacing basil with oregano and pine nuts with almonds?

Ingredients:

500g pasta –we recommend linguini or whole wheat penne

For the pesto

200g feta crumbled
1/2 teacup Kalamata olives –without their pits
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (and 1/4 cup for serving)
2 garlic cloves
25g almonds –toasted, if desired for enhanced flavour
Bunch of parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
Mizithra or graviera for serving
Freshly ground pepper
Sesame and parsley (if desired) for serving

Method:

Tip the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water.

In the meantime, place the parsley, almonds, cloves and oregano in the bowl of a food processor (or blender) fitted with a steel blade and blend to a puree. Add the olives, feta and pasta water and blend again. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoons to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.

Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding pesto, sesame, freshly ground pepper, parsley (if desired) and cheese as you continue to toss, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! Store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.