Simple Tomato, Mozzarella & Olive Pasta

This quick and simple pasta dish using just a handful of ingredients is great after a busy day or when you just can’t be bothered to go to too much effort but still want something delicious. 

Ingredients

150g spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
1 tbsp olive oil (plus an extra drizzle)
6-8 vine tomatoes (halved or quartered)
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
100g Kasbah olives (halved) 
Handful fresh basil (torn plus few leaves to serve)
Ball of mozzarella (torn) 
Salt and pepper to taste. 

Method

Firstly bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti to cook as per the instructions on the packet. 

While the spaghetti boils, put the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat. 

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add the cooked tomatoes to the pasta pan. Stir through and then add the olives, mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and gently stir ingredients through evenly. 

Serve with a few basil leaves sprinkled on the top. 

Tomato, Mozzarella & Olive Savoury Rice

A super simple Mediterranean-style rice dish that you can just pop in the oven and leave to do its thing.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to drizzle)
2 large onions (roughly chopped)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
225g paella/Arborio rice
185ml dry white wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g vegetable stock
1 tsp fresh oregano
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
1-2 tsp hot smoked paprika
175g Wild Garlic & Basil olives (halved)
125g mozzarella (torn into pieces)
3 handfuls rocket
Squeeze lemon juice to serve

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4. 

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole over a low-medium heat. Pop in the onions and cook covered for about 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Make sure you given them an occasional stir. 

Add the garlic and the rice and stir to coat the grains. Then add the wine and allow to bubble for 3 minutes until reduced and there is no smell of alcohol.

Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the oregano and thyme, paprika and half the olives. Season and place the lid on the casserole dish. 

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the rice is just tender. Check the rice during cooking to make sure it doesn’t dry out. If it’s looking a little dry, add a little water to it.

After 20 minutes, scatter over the torn mozzarella and drizzle with a little oil. Bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and started to brown. 

Remove the dish from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

To serve top the dish with the rocket, remaining olives, a little more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.