fast food



Homemade pasta and homemade pesto, fast food? Is she smoking sandalwood, damn hippy homesteader? Obviously has too much time to poke around in gardens and lacto ferment pickles and handmake every last piece of family clothing including handstitched underwear?

Actually no. I don't have pots of time. But I do poke around in gardens and I'm playing with lacto fermentation while shouting at my sourdough starter and hoping that one day I might get back to my sewing machine. (If I can find it, I think it's under the twenty piles of unfolded washing dumped in the corner on their way off the line and into cupboards. In my dreams.)
But for a fast dinner, you can make pasta from scratch. 
Start with the sauce. Any rocket on hand? My Mum grows wild rocket, and it really is wild. Grows like mental. I've usually got a few nuts on hand (edible as opposed to immediate family members, also handy), and if you happen to have a scraping of parmesan, a bit of lemon left over from tea, garlic and some olive oil, you're all good. It's ideal to not have to shop for this meal.



I don't have a recipe for my pesto. I will formulate one some day and re-blog it here when I do. But it's pretty much a couple of big handfuls of greens, this time it was rocket, some toasted nuts, this time pine nuts, some lemon juice, minced garlic and salt and a good stream of olive oil. Whiz up. Lovely. Taste it. You're done. 

Right. Pasta.
I use Jamie Oliver's principle which I must have watched him make on a show about ten years ago: 100gms strong flour plus one egg per person. The recipe is here
Engage child labour only if you have an extra ten minutes. Do not be deceived by willingness and enthusiasm. Small hands will slow you down and frustrate the bejaysus out of you if you're in a hurry.



Ah, she's worth the extra ten minutes. 


And the extra mess. 


I rolled this out with a borrowed pasta maker (mine is in storage) and sliced it nice and thick with a knife. 

It cooks in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and that's not some mad make-it-from-scratch lunatic exaggeration. 2-3 minutes. If you can mix up flour and eggs and get it rolled out quick smart, you've got fresh pasta in the same time it took to open a bag and boil it for 12 minutes. And it's not only tastier, and you wear that earnest glow of someone who just cooked pasta from scratch dammit, it's much more nutritious. The fresher the flour the better, ideally unbleached, that's some good carbohydrate.


Fast food. And you didn't have to drive to get it, no animal lived in misery to supply it and no kid worked for some compromised multinational to serve it. It'll fill them up and hopefully someone else will clean up the kitchen.
Particularly if you had a Tilly helping at all.

15 Comments on “fast food

Sue Caissy
October 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

what a wonderful post…I smiled all the way through

October 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I haven’t made fresh pasta since Leo (my third) was born but I do love it…and always have a pot of home made pesto on the go – it’s so verstile…I love it on toast with tomato!

October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Love love love how you wrote this post! And that’s my idea of good fast food. Yum!

Leah King
October 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Yum Fi – love it! If you need an excuse to buy the latest edition of Gourmet Traveller, there is a DIVINE recipe in there for green pasta (made in food processor with spinach, flour, egg). Could this be another way to use some of that yummy home grown rocket…?

October 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Couldn’t agree more. I’ve made this before myself with the mountains of basil we had growing. Yum! 🙂

October 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm

We made this for dinner yesterday, and I can see that it could be a quick and easy dinner…but I had helpers, two of them, and a baby that kept finding small and dangerous things on the floor, so it was more of a whole day activity (if you include the walk to the shop to buy eggs). But there were empty bowls and it was so delicious. Yum! xK

October 11, 2012 at 5:39 am

Hooray for homemade pasta! That actually sounds like a super fun meal to cook with a little kid–pummeling dough together is one of my favorite things. 🙂

October 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

I have more than an earnest glow when I do this. I fully expect someone to leap out and award me an impressive gold statue of some type with great fanfare. Especially if it is a week night. Although I admit it is as easy as you say. Except when I get overly keen and do extra to dry. Then I really regret it. Great Post.

Darren (Green Change)
October 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

Yum. I sometimes make pasta when Megan makes pavlova and we have leftover yolks. Use about 3 (sometimes 4) yolks to replace 1 whole egg in Jamie’s pasta recipe. It makes a lovely, yellow, rich pasta.

Pesto rocks in the quick-and-easy stakes! Another really quick pasta topping I love is a simple burnt butter sauce – heat butter in a pan, drop in chopped or whole sage leaves, and as it goes brown squeeze half a lemon in. Then toss the pasta into the pan to coat it and serve. Mmmmmmm.

October 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Yum!!! I should make some GF fresh pasta.

October 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Looks delicious.

When a Tilly gets to 13 1/2 they are really very helpful cooking tea (sometimes they offer to do it for you, which is lovely), particularly if there are gadgets like processors and pasta makers involved. But a Tilly will still use every bowl you own (and some you thought you didn’t) and will ‘clear up’ by piling things into an enormous tower in the sink.
She will speed up rather than hinder the actual pasta making until her younger brother and sister come to help and they all argue about who’s turned the pasta machine handle the most.

October 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Oh, you’ve totally inspired me. I finally caved in and bought a pasta maker a couple of months ago, but alas it languishes still in the box. And I have all these yummy fresh eggs to use with it too! I have to give it a go, and soon! Love your little helper there 🙂

October 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm


October 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

We all love homemade pasta. I don’t make it so much anymore because I have issues with wheat. My family like mushrooms, bacon, garlic and cream on theirs.

October 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm



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