summer pasta in the garden

Oh my God it’s too bloody hot. Gatsby hot. Requiring much lolling around and chilled drinks – if you know the book/movie you’ll know what I mean. So last evening darling Hoob came over for chess and dinner. Normally we are homemade pizza fiends, usually having either zucchini with chilli, lemon zest, mozzarella and parmesan, or salmon with lemon zest, chilli, the cheeses and capers. But last night we were in a pasta mood and Hoob being predominantly vego, I quickly threw together one of our high summer favourites. This is the simplest of recipes, ready in a flash, but packed with flavour. Add more chilli if that’s your gig, and if you fancy, some prawns or pancetta (cooked with the onion) would be good – but it is delicious just as it is. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a roasted red capsicum lying around – I happened to have one left over from Christmas, but definitely not essential. The burrata on top melts into the hot pasta and is super-luscious – and that creamy goodness means you can amp up the chilli in the recipe if you fancy. Buffalo mozzarella or a spoonful of ricotta would also do the trick.

I lost the chess games, as always…but it’s taking longer each time. Must work on my end game. Anyhoo – over and out, more recipes coming soon!


2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
sea salt and ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 cup tomato passata or pasta sauce
300 grams small cherry and/or vine tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp caster sugar
1 roasted red capsicum, skinned and sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
250 grams spaghetti
125g ball burrata
3 tbsp toasted pinenuts

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Add the passata, fresh tomatoes (roughly chopped if big), tomato paste, cream and sugar and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the capsicum and basil, and heat through for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta following the packet instructions, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.

Drain the spaghetti and add to the sauce with the reserved cooking water and toss to combine. Divide between two plates and top with drained, torn burrata and pine nuts to serve.


Serves 2



  1. So glad you’re posting again – this looks great and is on the ‘to do’ list for next week!!!!


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