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Oliver’s Twist

A celebrity chef takes to the supermarket

 

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver originally made a name for himself as The Naked Chef, a moniker inspired by his belief that cooking didn’t have to be complicated.


His message was easy: With a basic know-how and quality ingredients, preparing a delicious meal can be quite simple.


Over the years, his reach and reputation has grown to include a range of celebrated cookbooks, successful television programs, critically acclaimed restaurants and admirable charitable deeds. A new range of signature products sees the British star expand his empire with a lineup of staples, such as dried pasta, sauces and olive oil inspired by his ongoing infatuation with Italian cuisine.

“I love Italy and everything it stands for: the wonderful ingredients, the beautiful places, the lovely people and the never-ending passion they have for their families,” says Oliver.


Jamie Oliver’s Italian foods are distributed in Canada by Shalit Foods Inc. shalitfoods.com

Perfect Pesto Pasta
Serves 4

500 g tagliatelle
190 g green pesto (one jar)
extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for shaving
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil, leaves picked


Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. ADD the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. When it’s al dente, SCOOP out and reserve a cupful of cooking water, then DRAIN in a colander.

Return the pasta to the warm pan and ADD the jar of green pesto. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. If the sauce is a bit thick, add a little of the cooking water to loosen it. DIVIDE between your plates, DRIZZLE with a little extra virgin olive oil and use a speed peeler to shave a bit of Parmesan cheese over each portion. SCATTER over a few basil leaves and serve.

Spicy Tomato Soup
Serves 4 to 6

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped bunch  fresh coriander, leaves  picked, stalks finely chopped
750 g ripe tomatoes
1 L chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
350 g tomato and chilli pasta sauce (one jar)
4 TBsp crème fraîche
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1   fresh red chilli, finely sliced, to serve (optional)

 Put a large pan on medium-low heat and ADD a couple lugs of olive oil. ADD the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and coriander stalks, pop the lid on and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft but not coloured.

Meanwhile, DROP the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute or two. Take them out, run them under the cold tap and PINCH the skins off. Discard the skins and roughly CHOP the flesh. ADD the tomato flesh to the pan with the stock and the jar of tomato and chilli pasta sauce. SIMMER for another 20 minutes with the lid on.

When the time’s up, WHIZ your soup in a blender until lovely and smooth, then POUR it back into the pan. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. DIVIDE between your bowls and SWIRL a tablespoon of crème fraîche through each portion. SCATTER over a few coriander leaves and some sliced chilli, if you dare, then serve.

 



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