Posts Tagged ‘sage’

It is simple to make.

The results are so tasty some people find it hard to believe there’s so little to it.

“It’s just raw  ginger and boiling water?”

Put a thumbnail piece of raw ginger root, peeled and chopped, in your favorite mug, top it up with boiling water and leave it for a couple of minutes to infuse–the magic word–and  sip it and see!

It works equally well with a sprig of thyme from the pot outside the kitchen door or a single mint leaf from the patch in the garden.

Sage and rosemary too work well though the taste is stronger and may not be to everyone’s liking.

If you have easy access to the herbs it’s fun to ring the changes–seasonally especially.

Our mint patch at the back shows signs of the new growth as early as March and I pounce on the first little bud that peaks out–impatient for a hint of Spring.

As the mint begins to fade in October I start looking for ginger on the stalls eager for a change of season and taste.

Enthusing about infusing is easy once you’ve tried it!

It’s good for you too!*–

(Meredith tells me our doctor Michel recommended she drink thyme tea for her sore throat.)

And in my view it’s so much nicer than a bag!

*more on the possible benefits from drinking– thyme tea

and ginger tea.

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The green “gold” that won 2nd prize at the Fiera dell’Olio in Cavriglia, Tuscany last Sunday.

Our friend Keith has emailed to say their new season olive oil from his Podere [farm]Boggioli won second prize at the local fair this week. A good enough reason, if I needed one, to cook one of Helen’s signature dishes for lunch today.

Helen cooked this delicious pasta after the last olive was in the basket and the picking was done for another year.

Two of the team stayed to eat it with us–Lucio and Ivan. Both still had  their own trees to harvest.

I like to think they’d had the dish before and knew it was irresistible.

for 2  [for 4–double up on the beans and their liquid and add 4 oz/100 gms more pasta]

200 gms/8 oz wholewheat penne

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 cloves of garlic–peeled but kept whole

a handful of fresh sage

2 small red (hot) chilies–chopped

1 tin  [about 200 gms drained] of white beans–drained, but their liquid retained

4/5 tablespoons of stock–I dissolved half an organic vegetable stock cube in a mug of hot water


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  • Add the garlic and let it colour a little.

  • Add the sage and chilis and let them cook on for a few moments.
  • Add the beans and cook gently for about fifteen minutes–adding the bean liquid little by little to make a thick runny sauce.
  • I continued cooking the mix a little longer, adding the tablespoons of stock–a couple at a time–to keep the mixture loose without losing the thick viscous quality of the sauce.

  • Some of the beans will melt into the sauce.
  • Season with salt and taste.
  • Cook the penne in plenty of salted water until just tender.
  • Drain the pasta.

  • Add the sauce to the pasta and let it meld in.
  • Helen doesn’t serve grated parmesan with this pasta–but it’s up to you, of course.
  • I poured over a little of the new olive oil–naturally!

  • Meredith added a little parmesan–that’s marriage for you!
  • We ate it “al fresco” in the late autumn sunshine.

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