Tag: easy

Super Easy Pasta Puttanesca

When I first moved to London I studied with German former male model who vastly improved my appreciation of pasta by cooking me pasta with two of the most basic tomato based pasta sauces.

The first was just onions, garlic and tinned tomatoes. Finished with some basil and mozzarella.

Prostitutes pasta

The second was this here pasta puttanesca, which stirs people into fits and giggles because its name literally translates to ‘prostitutes pasta’. But let’s be fair. All the hard work sex workers do and the shit they get for it from the rest of us means they’ve got to eat good.

So live your best life and make this pasta. I promise the anchovies in this aren’t scary, think of them as super salt. No matter how many I’ve put in, my puttanesca never tastes overly fishy. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Once your belly is full, please donate to the Dutch Emergency Fund to help Dutch sex workers cover lost income from the Corona-crisis.

How do I eat pasta puttanesca?

Pasta puttanesca is a main and doesn’t need anything else. A nice helping of red wine and as much grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper as your plate can carry will do nicely however.

An overhead shot of a white enamel plate with a blue trim on top of a blue background. The plate is filled with spaghetti, red sauce and capers. To the left bottom of the plate is an empty tomato tin, scattered at the bottom right are some capers and anchovy filets. There is a fork at the side of the plate. At the top Dorothy Porker has written PUTA in spaghetti.

Super Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Dorothy Porker
Pasta puttanesca is a pungent umami laden affair that should be a go-to meal for anybody that loves quick and easy meals made from store cupboard items (and anchovies).
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • Big pot for cooking pasta
  • Heavy based pot to make the sauce
  • Sieve
  • Grater


  • salt
  • 5 oz - 140 gr pasta of choice, I'm a linguine girl myself
  • 1 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 14 oz - 400 gr tomatoes one tin - I prefer peeled plum tomatoes myself
  • 1 T - 20 gr tomato puree
  • 1/2 T - 7 ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t - 5 gr sugar
  • 2 T - 40 gr capers less or more to taste, roughly chopped olives also work
  • 1/2 c - 60 gr Parmesan grated
  • 1 pinch salt more or less to taste
  • black pepper as much as you like, freshly ground is best
  • 7 oz - 213 gr tinned salmon or tuna 1 tin drained, optional - please look for ASC- or MSC-certification


  • Bring some heavily salted water to the boil in a large pot.
  • Heat 1 T - 15 ml of olive oil in a heavy based pot and fry off the finely chopped 4 cloves of garlic and 3 shallots until they become translucent. Avoid burning by stirring constantly and lowering the heat if necessary.
  • Once the onions and garlic have started to become translucent, add 6 finely chopped anchovy filets and stir until they begin to break down.
  • Dump in your 14 oz - 400 gr tin of tomatoes and 1 T - 20 gr tomato paste and let sit at a soft bubble for until reduced by about half. This should take 15-30 minutes or so.
  • Now is the time to dump 5 oz - 140 gr of pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. I like to cook the pasta slightly under and reduce the cooking time by 1 minute to ensure a little bit of bite. Be sure to reduce the heat a little so it doesn't boil over.
  • After the sauce has been reduced down, add 1/2 T - 7 ml of balsamic vinegar and 1 t - 5 gr of sugar, stir and reduce down further, for a minute or 2.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. Because of the salt contents from the anchovies I generally find this doesn't need a lot of salt, if any.
  • Stir in 2 T - 40 gr of capers and drained 7 oz - 213 gr tin of tuna (if using).
  • Drain the pasta, mix with the sauce and serve with a good helping of freshly grated Parmesan and black pepper.


This sauce keeps for about 3 months in the freezer, double-up the recipe if you have the time and store some in the freezer so you always have a quick meal at the ready.
Keyword anchovies, easy pasta, Italian food, pasta

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor makkelijke pasta puttanesca

Caramelized Fennel with Feta

It’s been a while since I’ve added a new recipe on here because I have been dealing with Stuff. I have a deadline for the clarification of said Stuff now and will hopefully be able to start sharing recipes again on a regular basis in the second half of the year, but for now, you’ll have to deal with patchy updates.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes madness, cats and me growing my first tomatillos, or on Twitter where I passive aggressively like political tweets so they land in your feed without your being able to tell me you disagree with me.

There is also The Big Thing, which I don’t really want to talk about because everyone else is already talking about it. But I can share a simple recipe (and hopefully a few more) while we are all stuck indoors.

The cover of Yotam Ottolenghi's PlentyGoat cheese schmoat cheese

So here’s an old favorite of mine, adapted from a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, caramelized fennel with feta and pine nuts.

Ottolenghi makes his with goat quark or yogurt, but since I always have feta on hand I prefer to make it like this. I like to throw in some pine nuts for good measure, because pine nuts. Hazelnuts would probably also be very nice.

What do I eat with caramelized fennel with feta?

I eat this by myself for lunch or dinner as a main course with some pita or Turkish bread. You could probably also have it with some simply baked white fish or salmon but I don’t think it needs much more. If there are two of you you’ll probably went to get a bulb each or add another dish to ensure a satisfying meal.

An overhead shot of a small green plate with caramelized fennel topped with roast pine nuts and crumbled feta and fennel fronds scattered across with a bamboo fork sticking out at the top, next to it is a small tan bowl filled with crumbled feta on top of a light green backdrop.

Caramelized Fennel with Feta and Pine Nuts

Dorothy Porker
A vegetarian recipe for caramelized with feta and pine nuts, inspired by Ottolenghi. Perfect at all temperatures for spring, summer, fall and winter.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 1 -2 people


  • Large frying pan or skillet
  • Large plate


  • 1 large bulb fennel cut into 1 cm/ 5 inch slices, fronds set aside
  • 2 x 2 T - 20 gr butter
  • 3 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 T - 25 gr sugar
  • 1 t - 5 gr fennel seeds ground works too in a pinch, but not as nicely
  • 4 oz - 120 gr feta crumbled, you can do this by stabbing it with a fork and then twisting the fork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c - 33 gr pine nuts dry roasted in a skillet or non-stick frying pan to bring out the flavor


  • Melt 1 T - 20 gr of butter and 3 T - 45 ml of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan.
  • Once the butter stops bubbling, place as many slices of fennel into the pan as it will comfortably hold (usually about half of the fennel) and roast for 3-6 minutes on each side to get a decent amount of color on them. This will go a lot quicker if you resist the urge to move them around.
  • When the first batch of fennel has browned nicely, set it aside on a large plate or in a bowl, add 1 T - 20 gr butter again and fry the second batch as before.
  • Remove the remainder of the fennel when ready, leave the pan on the heat and add 2 T - 30 gr sugar, 1 T - 15 gr fennel seeds and a good helping of salt and pepper. Shake the pan vigorously for 30 seconds or so to help the butter, oil, fennel seeds and sugar divide evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  • Now place all the pre-cooked fennel back into the pan and let sit on each side for 2-4 minutes until you get some REALLY good caramelisation going on.
  • Remove from the pan and back into your large bowl or plate and mix with the finely chopped clove of garlic while still hot.
  • Depending on the weather and the season, serve immediately or leave until cooled covered in a healthy dose of the crumbled feta, dry roasted pine nuts, chopped fennel fronds and more seasoning to taste.
Keyword fennel, feta, ottelenghi, pine nuts, pinenuts, Salad

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Easy as American Smores Pie

As you might be able to tell from the number of sweet vs savory recipes, I’m more a salty than sweet person. That said, the sweets I do enjoy tend to be a 100% sugar. I can never say no to meringue or cotton candy.

A close-up of a smores pie on a yellow background

Shoddy bakers unite!

It doesn’t help that I am a notoriously poor baker. The world seems to be divided up into people who can cook and people who can bake (and people who can do neither).

I am firmly in the first group. Cooking is easy and a lot more slap dash (to probably quote Keith Floyd). Dinner doesn’t taste quite right? Usually there’s something you can add to fix it. With baking? Not so much. This is how I’ve ended up serving many a ‘deconstructed’ cake to friends. Art saves.

A close-up of a smores pie on a yellow background

I promised myself to do more baking this year and have found American bakes lend themselves a lot better for shoddy bakers like me.

I’ve baked a glorious peach cobbler, some wonderful Christina Tosi creations and an amazing first tarte tatin (which is French, and its success was probably more related to a month of binging Bake Off , though I guess Netflix is American so it kind of works).

Easy as Smores Pie

I also made this ridiculously good smores pie for a friend’s birthday.

I’ve always been obsessed with smores, due to the marshmallow (i.e. 100% sugar) situ. But I could never figure out what an equivalent for Graham Crackers are until an American friend was so friendly to Google it for me.

This isn’t so much baking as it is throwing shit together. Which is great.

A close-up of a smores pie on a yellow background

An overhead shot of a pie covered in toasted marshmallows, with the edges of a brown crust peeking out and a glass of milk at the right hand bottom corner of the image on a bright yellow background. Both the pie dish and the glass of milk leave harsh shadows on the backdrop.

Easy as Smores Pie

Dorothy Porker
One of the simplest and most satisfying recipes you can ever make. This smores pie is great for parties, as a spectacular dessert or just because. You could make it more complex if you wanted to, but who has the time?
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Birthdays, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • Food processor
  • Oven
  • Pie dish or cake tin, 22 cm or 8.5 inches in diameter
  • Saucepan
  • Torch, optional


For the crust

  • 2 c - 250 gr graham crackers or local equivalent, ground down to a course pulp
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml butter melted

For the filling

  • 10 oz - 275 gr dark chocolate broken into more manageable pieces to aid melting
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 ml vanilla extract you can also use the seeds of 1 proper vanilla pod
  • 1 shot rum optional, but definitely not if kids or people who don't drink alcohol are involved
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs

For the topping

  • large marshmallows as many as you can fit


To make the crust

  • Preheat your oven to 160° C - 325° F.
  • Mix together 2 c - 250 gr of graham cracker crumbs or local equivalent in a bowl with the 1/2 c - 115 gr of melted butter.
  • Press the crumb and butter mixture evenly into a pie dish. You want to press quite firmly so it'll hold together once it's baked. If you don't have a pie dish you can use a regular cake tin, I would just fill the bottom in this instance and not bother with an edge.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keeping a keen eye out because the edges can burn really quickly if you're not mindful. Leave the oven on so the filled pie can go back in.

To make the filling

  • Whisk together 3/4 c - 180 ml cream and 1/4 c - 60 ml milk and warm gently over a low heat on a saucepan.
  • Melt in 10 oz - 275 gr broken down chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate has completely melted, take off the heat. Leave to cool a little so the eggs won't curdle and then whisk in 1/2 t - 2.5 ml vanilla extact, 2 large beaten eggs, a pinch of salt and a shot of rum (if using) before whisking until smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the baked crust and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Make a little tent out of tinfoil to protect your pie crust from burning if that happens before the chocolate is set.

For the topping

  • Cut your marshmallows in half (I found scissors are easiest for this) and squish as many on top of your baked pie, cut side down, as many as you can until the filling is completely covered.
  • If you have a blow torch, light 'm up and burn those fuckers until they're puffed and brown.
  • Otherwise set your oven to grill and place your rack in the second slot from the top.
  • Place your pie in the oven and sit there like a Bake Off contestant, hunched in front of your oven, until the marshmallows start to puff up and brown. You may want to turn your pie round every so often to ensure an even coloring. Be sure to take your pie out of the oven BEFORE the marshmallows start to burn (shocking I know).
  • Feel a slight tinge of sadness when you take the pie out and the marshmallows start to slump. Leave to cool for 2 hours before tucking in.
    You can make this with a proper meringue topping, but that's on you.


You can keep this pie in the fridge in an airtight container for roughly 3 days once cooled and set. 
Keyword american pie, chocolate, chocolate pie, marshmallows, pie, smores, smores pie

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Portuguese Mussels with Coriander

Unlike my brother, I was lucky enough to try mussels before we dissected one in high school. So I never developed any qualms about eating them.

Even when I found out that (at least if you don’t clean them properly) you’re going to end up eating their bowels, poo and all. I still love them. My brother never got into them, and is vegan now, so good for him.

Sustainable and fine for vegans

Supposedly, clams like mussels and oysters are sustainable and (according to some) even okay for vegans to eat as they aren’t sentient and don’t have a central nervous system.

Either way, since I had my first mussels (bread crumbed and deep fried, during a bike ride through the country side) and then my second in class after that dissection nonsense, I’ve loved mussels. They’re an easy, albeit pricey, dinner party favorite that can be on the table in under 10 minutes without breaking a sweat.

What do I have with Portuguese mussels?

A few dips, like garlic and whiskey cocktail sauce and a French style tangy mayo never hurt. Garlic bread or French bread and (garlic) butter are necessary on the side, to mop up any liquids and left-over sauce from the plate. You can have the remainder of the wine with it as well of course.

Mussel juice

Once you’re done eating, be sure to strain the left-over liquid to remove any grit, coriander, garlic and shallots and freeze this to use for seafood risotto or soup.

A stack of mussels in a white bowl on a blue background. The mussels have been cooked and are partially open, they have googly eyes stuck on their top shells.

Portuguese Mussels with Coriander

Dorothy Porker
This is a very quick and easy recipe to prepare mussels at home, with coriander, white wine, garlic and shallots.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Inactive cleaning time 2 hrs
Course Main course
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 4


  • Colander
  • Large pot with a lid
  • Slotted spoon


  • 4.5 lbs - 2 kg mussels
  • 1/4 c - 30 gr all purpose or white flour corn flour also works
  • butter
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed and finely chopped
  • 4 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 1/2 c - 125 ml white wine


Roughly 2 hours before you want to eat

  • Rinse off 4.5 lbs - 2 kg's mussels in a colander under a cold running tap. Scrub off any debris.
  • Fill up your sink with cold water and stir in the 1/4 c - 30 gr flour.
  • Add the mussels and leave them to sit in the cold water and flour mixture for 2 hours or so. The mussels will absorb the flour and filter out any grit that is stuck in their bodies.

When you're ready to eat

  • Get the biggest pot (with a lid!) you can, place it on a medium heat and melt some butter in it.
  • Once the butter has melted glaze off the finely chopped 4 garlic cloves and 4 shallots until they become translucent.
  • Now chuck in the mussels, with 1/2 c - 125 ml white wine and bunch of coriander. Turn up the heat and put on the lid.
  • Your mussels should be cooked in 5 to 10 minutes. Shake the pan vigorously every couple of minutes or so. Using a slotted spoon to move any mussels that haven't opened yet to the bottom of the pan every so often.
  • Once all (or most) of the mussels have opened you are ready to eat. Use the first shell you empty as a little clamp to pick out the other mussels.
    DO NOT eat the mussels that haven't opened, they will make you very very ill.


Strain the left-over liquid to remove any grit, coriander, garlic and shallots and freeze this to use for risotto or soup. It will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Keyword clams, mussels, portuguese recipe, seafood

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