The October issue of Delicious was packed to the gunwales with look-at-me deliciousness.  The cover featured an Ottolenghi delight, a Potato and Spinach Pie, which is crying out to be made.  There were Ricotta, Ginger & Pineapple Tarts; a Chicken, Tomato & Coconut Soup; Tamarind Prawns and Spiced Lamb Kebabs, both from Christine Manfield; Grilled Eggplant with Labneh and Tabbouleh Dressing; and, hitting new heights of scrumptiousness, a recipe for a Flourless Almond-Hazelnut Chocolate Cake which seems perfect for the upcoming birthday of a librarycook offspring.

All of which will emerge from the librarycook’s kitchen in the very near future. But the librarycook’s initial focus was on two recipes, both of which claimed to be perfect for weeknight meals – the first, a Chicken & Chorizo Paella, and the second, nailing its claims to the mast, a Weeknight Burrata Pasta.

The paella was indeed a speedy make. A mere 35 minutes from the first ingredient hitting the chopping board to the setting down of dinner plates before Mr librarycook AND a guest, a sub-species of human the librarycook had almost forgotten existed.  Certainly a quicker-than-usual method of paella production, and it even allowed for a few minutes of reading time – devoted to the early pages of Anthony Doerr’s new tome, Cloud Cuckoo Land, an extremely ambitious book which took the librarycook a few chapters to appreciate, but which is now holding her enthralled.


A few days later it was the turn of the Weeknight Burrata Pasta.  Again, a fairly quick make, with about half an hour of reading time. In a first for the librarycook, the food processor had to be hauled out to shred the salami – whilst this was relatively entertaining, it did result in more washing up, and  less reading time, with little or no advantage over using a traditional knife.  The librarycook is all about innovation when it’s useful, but not when it’s innovation for the sake of innovation.

The dish itself, however, was everything the librarycook expected – the salty, spicy flavours of the salami, onion, parsley and chilli oil, enhanced with the decadence of burrata – which the librarycook is pleased to discover was invented as a way of reducing food waste*.  Win/win – deliciousness + environmentalism – buonissimo!

Now, turning our attention to the “weeknight recipe” claim, can the librarycook, hand on heart, really confirm that both recipes are weeknight-friendly?  Both took a less than an hour to produce.  Both were relatively simple.  So, yes, in the librarycook empty nest household, both work for a weeknight meal – those whose nestlings are yet to depart the nest may disagree.




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