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5 May 2017


i certainly wouldn't say that i "love" cooking. i "love" eating tasty food that won't make me sick or totally uncomfortable and super socially awkward, and for that reason, i am forced to cook. because of food intolerances, and ibs, and whatever else is fashionable to say when you get an upset tummy a lot from eating certain foods, i learnt quite early on in my "adulthood" how to cook fresh and fast food that both tasted good, and satisfied the belly - as far as happiness and fullness were concerned.

but, over the years my arsenal of quick after-work recipes has dwindled down to a variety of stir-frys and thai curries, and not a lot else. there's not a lot of variety. so, when the opportunity came along to give gousto a whirl with no pressure to subscribe, i was not going to say no. because if nothing else, it would give me an opportunity to try at least one new dish, and hopefully, something i'd want to make again. like: bacon and courgette one-pot pasta.

ingredients (serves two)

10g fresh basil, chopped
1 onion (no thanks)
125g cherry tomatoes
half a tablespoon of dried oregano
1 garlic clove, grated
30 pitted black olives
40g mature cheddar
1 chicken stock cube
1 courgette, sliced
135g dry cured smoked streaky bacon
200g linguine (or: pasta of choice)
olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper

how to make 

1. boil the kettle. finely chop the bacon, and dice the onion (no thanks). peel and finely grate the garlic. slice the courgette into rounds.

2. heat a large, dry pan with a matching lid over a medium heat. once hot, add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. add the onion, courgette, and garlic to the pan for another 2-3 minutes (or until soft and lightly coloured).

3. add 700ml boiled water to the bacon, and crumble in the chicken stock cube. whisk to disolve the stock, and bring to the boil.

4. once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta (break it in half if it doesn't fit in whole). add the cherry tomatoes, dried oregano, chilli flakes, two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of sugar, and cracked pepper (to taste) to the pot.

5. cover with the lid and cook for five minutes. remove the lid and stir continuously until the pasta is cooked and a sauce has formed (add more water if it looks too dry. mine seemed too wet, to be honest).

6. meanwhile, chop the basil finely - including the stalks. grate the cheddar cheese, and slice the olives finely (or, not. i halved mine).

7. once the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in half of the chopped basil, the grated cheddar, and the sliced black olives. then serve! sprinkle the rest of the chopped basil and season with a good grind of pepper. enjoy!

the thing i prefer about gousto over the other food-delivery services in london at the minute, is that you get to choose your meals, meaning most dietary requirements can be catered for. i've tried other ones where it's quite literally a surprise what will turn up on your doorstop, and that's not for me. i need to know that the money i'm shelling out on this convenient service is actually going to deliver something i both like, and can eat without consequences. the only problem is they use dpd to deliver, who are notorious for leaving parcels on doorsteps without alerting the owners to their delivery. my box was stumbled upon three hours after it was delivered, despite being home and waiting for it. 

thankfully, the food boxes come overly packaged (think: amazon, but more) and raw meats etc are covered and iced within an inch of themselves, so nothing remotely bad could possibly happen to it while it sits waiting for you to claim it. full disclosure: this was my second time using gousto, after going across to *one of the others* (who are minutely cheaper but who have terrible customer service and where you can't pick your recipes, so no thanks) mainly to utilise all the free boxes i could before my luck ran out, but i'm happily going to stick with gousto now. not every week, because i can't afford that, but i think once a month i will "splurge" (it legit works out to about a fiver per meal, and i take the leftovers for lunch because clever) on a box, and keep my cooking skills fresh.

so there's my two cents, and my new favourite pasta dish! if you fancy trying a box yourself, grab £25 off your first order with the code ERICA241818, you're welcome!

*my box was complementary, and i will score referral points if you sign up, etc.

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