Garlic and Chilli creamy pasta

20 minutes • feeds 2


  • 1 lime
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 small green chilli
  • 50–100ml white wine
  • Splash of heavy cream
  • A handful of coriander
  • Olive oil
  • Butter


  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan
  2. Boil a pan of water for the pasta and season until it tastes like the sea
  3. Finely dice the onion. Finely chop coriander, garlic and chilli
  4. When the oil is hot, place the onion in the pan and cook on a medium-low heat
  5. Add a small amount of butter
  6. While waiting for the onion to cook, add the pasta to the water
  7. When the onion is really soft and turning brown (not as in burning at the edges, but caramelising) add the white wine and bring to the boil
  8. Bring the heat back down to low and add the heavy cream, another bit of butter and the juice of the lime
  9. Season to taste and continue cooking on a low heat until the pasta is done
  10. Put two teaspoons of pasta water in the sauce and drain the pasta
  11. Combine pasta with the sauce
  12. Put ¾ of the coriander in the sauce as well and mix thoroughly
  13. Serve in pasta bowl, garnish with the remaining coriander


I made version while visiting Diani, Kenya where the cream is VERY heavy and sweet. Your milage may vary with cream from wherever you are, but as it's a spin on one of my go-to recipes, you should be able to make something equally delicious!

I usually use creme fresh instead of cream, lemon juice instead of lime, chives instead of coriander and onion, with the addition of prawns, but I made it for a pure-veggie friend so no prawns allowed.

We did try with mushrooms too, but make sure to cook them early on and do enough sauce. They can be quite greedy otherwise and leave you with something quite dry and overwhelmingly mushroom-flavoured.

Recipes I return to

Black beans and coriander rice

30 minutes • feeds 2


  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can black beans, do not drain
  • Fresh coriander
  • ½ Lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 120g rice
  • Feta cheese (optional)


  1. Pre heat pan over low/medium heat
  2. Dice onion, mince garlic
  3. Add onion and garlic to pan, cook until soft
  4. Boil 2x amount of water as rice (240ml), season with salt, fresh coriander and lime juice in a separate pot
  5. When boiling, add rice, turn down to very low heat and put a lid on it. Follow packet instructions for how long (~10-12 minutes for Basmati rice)
  6. Add beans, liquid all to the frying pan. Add coriander and salt. Turn heat down a little.
  7. When the 10-12 minutes has passed, take the rice off the heat and leave the lid on for another 10 minutes.
  8. If the liquid in the beans is near evaporated, turn the heat right down.
  9. When the time has passed, serve.

Bonus round: Crumble feta cheese over the top


This meal is SO simple, and very nice indeed. I'd probably spice it up a little, but we weren't feeling 100% so kept things simple.

It's a combination of Mexican Black Beans and Mexican rice from this helpful set of recipes.

Lot's of potential to go wild and tinker with these to make them extra tasty.

Pataniscas de bacalau (Portuguese Cod Fritters)

30-45 minutes

Archived recipe from Compadre Cooking School.


For the cod preparation

  • 250g of shredded pre boiled Codfish
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Virgin olive oil
  • parsley

For the batter

  • 75g flour
  • 100ml of cold sparkling water
  • 1 egg


  1. Dice onions, garlic and parsley until as small as possible (almost to a paste if your knife is good enough)
  2. Shred codfish
  3. Whisk together flour & egg, trying not to incorporate too much air.
  4. Slowly whisk in the sparkling water to make the batter (takes about a minute from first pour to final, we used a steady, unbroken stream throughout).
  5. Combine fish, veg, herbs in batter. Add a little bit of salt.
  6. Heat a good amount of oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat
  7. Add a tiny bit of batter to the pan and wait for it to sizzle. Sizzling means the oil is now up to temp.
  8. Add a large tablespoon of the batter to pan & flatten into a circle. Fry until golden
  9. Flip and fry second side until golden
  10. Serve with lemon juice and/or Piri Piri sauce


After leaving my job, my colleagues were kind enough to gift me a class at the Compadre Cooking School, where I was taught how to make Pastel de Natas and Pataniscas de bacalau. Cooking both at the same time was an experience to say the least, but they turned out pretty amazing for a first timer.

The cooking class itself is highly worth a go if you're in or around Lisbon, and the folks behind it were lovely.

I wanted to archive the Cod Fritter recipe to remind me to make it again in the future ☺️

One-pot prawn & lentil curry

1 hour 20 minutes • Little heat

Archived recipe from BBC Good Food's One-pot prawn & lentil curry


  • 100g dried red lentils
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped or grated
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder (we used Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste or lemon juice (optional)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes or passata
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp garam marsala
  • 200g raw or cooked prawns (we used tiger prawns)
  • green chillies, coriander and pickled red onions (see tips), to serve


  1. Rinse the lentils a few times, then tip into a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a shallow [casserole or sauté pan, and cook the onion with a pinch of salt for 10 mins until it starts to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin seeds and ground coriander, and cook for 3 mins until the mixture is sticky. Stir in the tomato purée and tamarind, if using, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 8-10 mins until you have a thick paste.
  2. Rinse the soaked lentils again until the water runs clear, then drain. Stir the lentils into the tomato base, then tip in 600ml water (use some to swill out the tomato can) and the stock cube. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 50 mins-1 hr, topping up with more water if needed, until the lentils are soft and have started to cook down into the sauce. Stir through the garam masala. Can now be left to cool completely, then chilled for up to three days or frozen for up to six months (see below).
  3. To cook the prawns, reheat the chilled or defrosted frozen sauce in a saucepan until simmering (see below), then tip in the prawns and cook for 5 mins. Season with salt to taste, then drizzle with the rest of the oil and stir briefly. Slice the green chillies and sprinkle these over with a few coriander leaves, then scatter with pickled onions (see recipe below) to serve.


We didn't have enough tomato passata, so we added a few extra chopped tomatoes. We passed on adding the fresh chilli and pickled onions, mostly because we didn't have any at the time.

We managed to find Deggi Mirch in a Punjab shop not too far from where we're staying so opted for that instead any old chilli powder, as we know and love it.

We skipped step three entirely too as we had fresh, pre-cooked prawns already so served the curry over rice & the prawns bowled up neatly.

Sausage potato bake

1 hour 20 minutes • Little heat


  • 6 Sausages
  • 2 medium/large potatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 12 Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp MDH Deggi Mirch
  • 1 tbps cream
  • Garlic powder to preference
  • Lime juice
  • Tomato passata


  1. Add to a frying pan olive oil, salt and garlic powder over a medium heat
  2. Put the oven on to pre-heat, between 180 - 200
  3. Finely dice the onion and tomatoes
  4. Cut the potatoes really thin, if you have a mandolin - dreamy
  5. Pop the chopped onion and tomatoes in the frying pan and fry until see through/almost disintegrated - remember to add salt!
  6. In a separate pan fry brown off the sausages
  7. Once the onions and tomatoes are looking great, pop in the Deggi Mirch and leave for a few mins
  8. Then add the lime juice, cream and tomato passata to the frying pan with the onions and tomatoes
  9. Once the sausages and sauce looks ready pop them in a tray
  10. Lay the potatoes on top, almost in a potato dauphinoise style
  11. Drizzle olive oil and salt on top
  12. Whack in the oven for 1hr - 1hr 40, depending on how crispy you want it
  13. Voila — eat up


Inspired by Jamie Oliver's Comforting sausage bake, You can't go wrong with a bit of Jamie and he's always got room for you to go off and add your own flair! We used Portuguese sausages which were banging and I was chuffed. Shame we didn't have any leftovers. Would make again.

Mild Spiced Mango Sauce

5 minutes • Little heat


  • ¼ Fresh mango
  • 1 Padrón chilli pepper
  • ½ Lime
  • Big spoonful of mayo
  • Olive oil
  • Coriander (optional)


  1. Add olive oil to frying pan over medium heaat
  2. Finely dice the chilli and mango
  3. When the pan's hot, add the chilli and cook until fragrant (few mins, no more)
  4. Add mango to pan & cook a little longer
  5. Add lime juice* and continue cooking
  6. At about the five minute mark, mix mayo, mixture from the pan & coriander

And you're done 💪


Makes a lovely little sauce which we served with a rotisserie chicken & steamed rice. A pretty plain meal, save the sauce and juiciness of the chicken. We were super hungover when making it so didn't want to faff too much, or have anything too exotic. Helps that here in Portugal the mangos are consistently ripe, and padrón peppers are easy to come by!

You could definitely sub in a different kind of chilli for more spice if you're feeling it.


HelloFresh Hack: Halloumi, Pepper and Sweetcorn Tacos

HelloFresh say

Halloumi, Pepper and Sweetcorn Tacos with Chipotle Mayo.

20 minutes • Little heat • 1 of your 5 a day • Veggie


  • Echalion Shallot
  • Sweetcorn
  • Green Pepper
  • Halloumi
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chipotle Paste
  • Spring Onion
  • Soft Shell Taco


We've had plenty of meals that sound great on paper but one glance at the instructions and... Put it this way. You can start to tell when the meal is destined to be quite bland.

When HelloFresh leave all the flavour to combining some mayonnaise with chipotle paste, it doesn't tend to bode well.

The hack? Additional chilli sauce (of some description).

For our first sitting, it's a homemade chilli sauce we made with some dry chillies we had left over from a curry many moons ago. We used this chipotle paste recipe, skipping the cooking steps and optional ingredients.

Homemade chilli sauce


  • 14 random dried chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Hot water


  1. Fry the dried chillis for a few minutes on a medium heat
  2. Scissor the stalks off
  3. Boil some water (but turn off the kettle before it finishes boiling, so it's not crazy hot)
  4. Soak the chillies for ~20 minutes
  5. Pestle and mortar all the other ingredients (except the lime juice) together while you're waiting
  6. Roughly drain the chillis into the pestle and mortar (bring along some of the water, but not too much)
  7. Finish grinding it up
  8. Add some lime juice to taste

And you're done 💪

Now, depending on the chillies you've used, this sauce might be quite hot. Give it a try. Our's was perfect at the first time of asking.

Continue to make your HelloFresh meal per the instructions*, and add a small amount of the sauce as the last piece to each taco. :chefskiss:

* Speed up the cooking by adding the shallot at the same time as the other veg. Make it even tastier by putting it to work by cooking it first.

Store bought sauce

We happened to pick up Peckham Sauce Co's Batch One the morning we decided to have the tacos. We always have the same meal for lunch the next day as the night before.

Halloumi tacos two days in a row isn't a bad life 🥰

We'd ran out of the homemade chilli sauce (too delicious, and we'd used all the dry chillies so couldn't make more), so had to improvise AGAIN.

The Batch One sauce isn't the greatest on its own. But like all hot sauces I've known, add a little melted butter and make that baby sing.

There's no science to the quantities, just whack a pan on, melt some butter, add sauce and taste. Too buttery? (no such thing) add more hot sauce. Too hot or similar to the sauce straight out of the bottle? More butter.

Same deal with the homemade sauce: drizzle a little bit over each taco as your last port of call.

Bon Appétit!