How This Started and My Hope For This Experiment

My Husband and I are both big fans of Jamie Oliver. For Christmas I bought him Jamie's cookbook "Jamie's 30 Minute Meals: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast". As I read the preface of his cookbook I was inspired by his ideas. He felt that he was spending too much time cooking during the busy week and doing too much clean up. So he decided that for the week night meals there needed to be something quick and still healthy and yummy. He and his team did a lot of work and made the "30 Minute Meals". He has explicit directions for step by step getting the meal done in 30 min. He tells you what to do first, second, and third so that you have all dishes going at the same time, instead of making it dish by dish. Since we aren't doing once a month cooking right now I was captured by this idea and dying to start trying. I have been spending way too much time in the kitchen during the week and can't wait to be able to prepare good meals fast. My husband was all for it since he loves to eat great food and has a very particular palette. He will be making some of the meals on weekends when he isn't working because, this is after all, his cookbook :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca, Crunchy Salad, Garlic Bread, Silky Chocolate Ganache

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca, Crunchy Salad, Garlic Bread, Silky Chocolate Ganache p. 54

The garlic bread was really interesting. You take grease proof paper (wax paper) and scrunch it up under the tap and then you flatten it out and rub olive oil, garlic, and chopped parsley with salt and pepper on it. Then you put the loaf of bread on there and cut it in slices only 3/4 of the way down. You then use your hands to rub the oil mixture all over the inside and outside of the bread. And you bake it. Fantastic! It was so good. We used ciabatta bread as is called for by Jamie.

The paper starts to get brown on the outside and the bread crisps up and is lovely on the inside.

This is the finished product. The Italian parsley I got from the market Sat. morning was really good in this bread. Very aromatic.

Here is the whole meal. The salad on the side was delish. It was made with grated radishes and fennel bulb. The fennel is so strong it helps cover up the bitterness of the radish. The lemon you squeeze on top also helps. Even the kids liked it.
The spaghetti was just OK. The kids LOVED it but I have a thing about hot tuna fish and so I didn't really like if very much. It had Tuna and anchovy fillets, red chillies, parsley, olives, cinnamon, tinned tomatoes, lemon, and capers. Garrett thought it was just OK and I ate it only because it was dinner :) I wanted to just fill up on bread and salad and would have if I had thought it would have been healthy.

Here is the chocolate Ganache. 70% cocoa solids for the chocolate and then butter and cream. This of course couldn't go wrong. Who doesn't like fruit and chocolate right?

Served with nice biscuits and mandarins since we couldn't find clementines at the farmers market.

This was great but when I asked if they liked this or the ice cream balls Garrett and I said ice cream balls and the kids said this-split down the middle with the littlest one not big enough to vote.

We will be making the fennel and radish salad again but not the pasta. There are other pastas we like much much better. The bread will also be something we make again and even the ganache if the right occasions comes.
OK so this meal took me 35 min or so to make. It was fast and easy and would have been perfect if we had liked the pasta. Great for a quick meal when you have guests though if you can substitute a fast pasta that fits your tastes.


  1. Does all this really take 30 minutes ?

  2. This is one of the meals that really was fast for me. Some of the meals have taken me a lot longer but this was was done in 35 min and was super easy and simple. I highly reccomend it :)
    One of the big tricks with these meals is to stay focused on the meal and not get distracted. This isn't always possible but it does go faster when you can stay focused.