I have been a fan of Ottolenghi’s food for such a long time, and my love for his recipes have been documented here on the blog many times. For some of my favourite go-to Ottolenghi recipes click here, here or here.
Anyway, so when his latest cookbook SIMPLE launched last year, I, of course, was one of those keen beans that placed a pre-order straight away. I then finally got my hot little hands on it in September last year and I was bursting with excitement. I mean, Ottolenghi’s food but a simpler version of it? Yes, please!
The tag line for SIMPLE is “Everything you love about Ottolenghi, made simple.” The dishes in the cookbook are all SIMPLE in at least one (but very often more than one) way:
S – short on time: less than 30 minutes
I – 10 ingredients or less
M – make ahead
P – pantry
L – lazy
E – easier than you think
Now, I have to admit that initially I was a bit disappointed and it took me months to actually cook something from SIMPLE. I think I had envisaged simple weeknight meals Ottolenghi style – but no that wasn’t quite the vibe of the book. Yes, it’s simpler (and fewer ingredients) than his previous books but I’d say it’s still not a 1-2-3 and voila dinner is on the table kind of book. So, I had it sitting on my bookshelf (getting a bit dusty) and it was a friend of mine who actually inspired me to pick it up again and try some of the recipes. And once I tried one recipe, oh boy was I sold! I am now slowly making my way through the book and am loving all the recipes so much.
And now that I’ve tried a few, I have realised they were a bit easier than I originally thought but still (for me) more dinner party or sunday night kind of cooking – just so I have the time to prepare properly and treat myself to some of these delicious dishes. One of the recipes I wanted to share with you all was the ‘Pappardelle with rose harissa, black olives, and capers’.
It’s not your usual kind of Italian pasta because it’s a spicy, rich and a middle eastern twist on pasta but it’s so good. Oh, and you definitely need the yoghurt with it to balance all the flavours perfectly. I highly recommend making this and I’d love to know your thoughts once you’ve made it!