Moroccan mushrooms with couscous

This is based on a recipe I found on the BBC GoodFood website. Enough for 2:


  • Oil
  • 150g mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped/crushed)
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • ½ 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • ½ 410g tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 90g couscous
  • ½ tsp harissa
  • 3 soft dried apricots (diced)
  • 20 raisins
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 130ml boiling water
  • Flat parsley (roughly chopped)

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and stir constantly over a high heat until they start to soften. Set aside.

Heat a 1 tbsp oil in another saucepan. Gently cook the onion 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin and chilli flakes, and cook for 1 min. Then stir in the tomatoes, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix ½ tbsp. of oil and the harissa and stir into the couscous (in a bowl). Stir in the dried apricots, raisins and pin nuts. Pour over the boiling water, stir and then cover. Leave to stand for 7 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

When the tomato mixture has simmered for 15 minutes, stir in the mushrooms, the chickpeas and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

To serve, fluff up the couscous with a fork, and serve with the mushroom mixture, scattered with parsley.

I served this with some green beans.



Penne with spinach and gorgonzola


A quick supper for two:
3 handfuls of dried penne (or other ‘chunky’ pasta)
2 tbsp pine nuts
100g gorgonzola (or dolcelatte, stilton or other blue cheese)
150ml double cream
200g fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the penne in accordance with the instructions on the packet.
Toast the pine nuts (until they are golden) on a backing sheet under a grill (do not allow to burn – they will brown quite fast). Cut the gorgonzola into small pieces.
Wash the spinach and drain (if you have a ‘salad spinner’ use that to remove any excess water).
Once the penne is cooked, drain it.
Into the same saucepan (over a lower heat) put the cream and the gorgonzola. Stir to break up the gorgonzola (a balloon whisk is useful here).
When the cream mixture has boiled, add the penne and the pine nuts and stir to coat with the cream mixture.
Turn up the heat and add the spinach, stirring constantly (the spinach will cook in a few minutes – it is useful to use a very large saucepan as it is easier to stir in all the spinach at once).
Add black pepper to taste and serve immediately.