Sim­plic­ity un­lim­ited

It’s done in a flash and any num­ber of veg­eta­bles can be used

NewsMail - - TASTE - THE WEEK­END COOK with Mag­gie Cooper with Si­mon Ir­win myshout@news­re­gional­me­

AN­OTHER light and easy veg­etable dish this week. I can’t think about cook­ing or eat­ing heavy food in this warm, dry weather, so a quick pasta dish with­out a creamy sauce or loads of meat ticks all the boxes.

This sim­ple recipe re­lies on the fresh­ness of the in­gre­di­ents for its flavour; hav­ing said that, frozen peas are a great time-saver and I find it dif­fi­cult to tell the dif­fer­ence between them and fresh peas th­ese days.

Don’t be lim­ited by the in­gre­di­ents I have used; just about any spring veg­etable is suit­able. I’ve also used dou­ble-shelled broad beans, as­para­gus and broc­coli with great suc­cess. If you need some pro­tein you can also stir through a lit­tle smoked salmon or pro­sciutto just be­fore serv­ing.

There are few dishes not im­proved by lemon zest, in my hum­ble opin­ion. I have a rel­a­tively new Eu­reka lemon tree in my gar­den. It’s cur­rently cov­ered with flow­ers and I have great hopes of a good crop later in the year.

I add a good squeeze of juice to most savoury dishes, while the grated zest adds zing with­out heat. Try to avoid the white pith when zest­ing a lemon.

Light and easy veg­etable pasta IN­GRE­DI­ENTS:

◗ 250g un­cooked spi­ral pasta ◗ 2 tbs olive oil ◗ hand­ful of green beans, topped and tailed ◗ pun­net cherry toma­toes, halved ◗ cup frozen peas, thawed ◗ 1 clove gar­lic, crushed ◗ cup white wine ◗ grated zest of half a lemon

◗ hand­ful of fresh basil leaves ◗ salt and pep­per, to taste

◗ fresh parme­san, to gar­nish.

Cook pasta in plenty of boil­ing salted water ac­cord­ing to packet di­rec­tions and drain.

While pasta is cook­ing, heat olive oil in a large heavy fry­pan over medium heat. Saute beans, toma­toes and peas for two min­utes.

Add gar­lic and cook for a fur­ther minute; do not al­low gar­lic to brown as it will be­come bit­ter.

Add wine and bring to the boil; deglaze pan and re­duce by half.

Toss through pasta, along with the lemon zest and basil leaves. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per. Serve im­me­di­ately with grated parme­san.

Vari­a­tion: Any spring veg­eta­bles can be used in this dish. Try dou­ble-shelled broad beans, broc­coli flo­rets, as­para­gus, cap­sicum or corn ker­nels.

Add smoked salmon or pro­sciutto if de­sired. Serves 2.


Con­tact Mag­gie at mag­gies.col­umn@big­

REG­U­LAR read­ers of this col­umn will have seen Hugh the Neighbour and I re­fer to Goldilocks beers, those all too rare bev­er­ages that are “just right”.

As al­ways, what con­sti­tutes “just right” is en­tirely de­pen­dent on the palate and tastes of the per­son do­ing the tast­ing, but usu­ally what works for HTN also ap­peals to me. We had an­other Goldilocks mo­ment last week­end only this was the other end of the spec­trum, with one beer be­ing too bland, and the other so fruity it tasted like juice rather than ale.

First up was the low-carb Tooheys Ex­tra Dry, TED.

As the first beer af­ter a day of do­mes­tic toil The Ted was most def­i­nitely wel­come, but af­ter the drink cut a trail down the gul­let, and some thought was ap­plied, it came up short for HTN and me.

You could get a faint hint of malti­ness and hops, but re­ally, there was not a lot there.

Pos­si­bly a beer for those who don’t like the taste of beer. The sec­ond beer was the lat­est invention from the usu­ally on point team at James Squire.

Tall Tale Trop­i­cana Spring Ale is touted by Hay­den Mor­gan, the head brewer at Squire, as “a uniquely re­fresh­ing brew en­hanced with trop­i­cal fruit and hops”.

“En­hanced” may be the un­der­state­ment of the year. This beer reeks of passionfruit and guava, the hops cer­tainly adding an­other layer of com­plex­ity to, for mine, an al­ready over­crowded palate.

I know fruit beers have been around for a long time and re­mem­ber with some fond­ness a Bel­gian cherry dessert beer.

But for Hugh and I the fruit com­pletely over­pow­ered the ex­pe­ri­ence, which meant it was a beer to try as a nov­elty rather than set­tle in for a ses­sion.

The facts Tooheys Ex­tra Dry:

4.4% ABV, 10 IBU, 345ml bot­tles, $18.50 a six pack, $43 a car­ton of 24. Avail­able: al­most any­where. 4.5% ABV, 23 IBU, 345ml bot­tles, $15 a six pack, $53 a car­ton of 24. Avail­able: Squire Brew­houses or through

Tall Tale Trop­i­cana Spring Ale:


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