WEEKNIGHT DINNER RECIPE IDEAS

While we wait for our favourite restaurants and cafés to reopen, we’re trying to keep things interesting in our own kitchens by trying out new recipes and adding our favourites to our weeknight dinner repertoire. We’ve asked Alice Potts from @pottspantry to share some simple (but delicious) recipe ideas to make your at-home dinners special – tag us on Instagram if you do try them out!

CACIO E PEPE PASTA

SERVES 4

  • 100g Pecorino cheese
  • 100g Grana Padano cheese
  • 400-600g of Bucatini or Spaghetti pasta
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  1. Cook pasta in a pot of salted water for 8 minutes until al dente (check your package as the cooking time may vary) – make sure you reserve some of the pasta water!
  2. Meanwhile, grate both the cheeses into a separate bowl. Using a ladle, add some of your hot pasta water to the grated cheese and mix to create a thick paste.
  3. Crack some black pepper into a hot saucepan and add a ladle of pasta water until it starts to sizzle.
  4. Transfer the cooked pasta into the saucepan with a splash more of the starchy water and your cheese mixture and mix well. Grate more pecorino on top and take off the heat, mixing until a smooth, thick consistency forms.
  5. Serve immediately with extra cracked pepper and cheese on top to finish.

SPICY THAI BEEF SALAD

SERVES 4

  • 2 x 200g sirloin steaks or 1 medium-sized beef loin
  • 25 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 g non-salted peanuts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and ribboned
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 bunch Thai basil, chopped
  • Small handful mint, chopped
  • 6 spring onions, ends removed, finely sliced on an angle
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut horizontally, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 75 ml fish sauce
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 5 tsp. caster sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 20 g coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 stick lemongrass, outer peeled and finely chopped
  1. To make the dressing, combine all your ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add a little more lime juice or sugar if too sharp. It should be a balance of salty, spicy, sour and sweet. Put to one side.
  2. Heat a heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Add peanuts and toast until lightly browned. Allow to cool and then roughly chop.
  3. Add 25ml of vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat until hot. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes each side for medium rare. When cooked to your liking remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest. If using a beef loin (as I have), roast for 20 minutes on 180C for rare, or 25 minutes for medium rare. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then finely slice.
  4. While the meat is cooking/resting, add all salad ingredients to a bowl. Add dressing and mix well to combine.
  5. Once ready, scatter the slices of beef on top of your salad and sprinkle over the peanuts to garnish. Top with spring onion and chopped chilli. Serve immediately!

ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GOAT’S CHEESE TART

SERVES 4

  • 100g goats’ cheese
  • 400g butternut squash
  • 80g walnuts
  • Pre-rolled puff pasty
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 egg to wash pastry
  • Jar of pesto
  1. Cut up your squash into large pieces and roast at 200C for 15 minutes or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, roll the sheet of pastry out and score a rectangle crust 1cm inside the edge.
  3. Prick the base with a fork in lines and spread the pesto inside the crust.
  4. Once the squash has cooked, lay the chunky pieces evenly on the pastry, then add a generous portion of goat’s cheese, the walnuts and finally the sprigs of rosemary scattered on top.
  5. Wash with a whole egg on the crust and bake for 20 minutes at 180C.
  6. Cut into chunky squares to serve – can be enjoyed both warm or at room temperature!