Tagliatelle Arrabiata

Mamma mia, itsa slightly spicy pasta…
Tagliatelle Arrabiata - The Cardiff Cwtch

I’ve said it before, but I tend to steer clear when it comes to cooking pasta at home (…and yet I’ve got a whole cupboard full of dried pasta…). Why? Because it’s TOO HARD, and I’m too fussy. Anyone who says that Italian Food is one of the easiest foods to make at home has never eaten great pasta. FACT. The truth is that I can never seem to replicate the simple perfection of really great pasta in my own kitchen. I’m convinced that it’s the culinary version of Natural Look Makeup; sure, it looks simple – but actually, it takes time and skill to pull off. So I don’t bother trying… much.

The problem is that I really love eating pasta (who the hell doesn’t? My husband, that’s who. Weirdo.); I really want to be able to eat it at home. So occasionally, I give it a go and sometimes – whaddya know – I get it right. Or as close to right as possible without having three generations of Italian passata pulsing through your veins. Slightly spicy, slightly sweet; the sneaky ingredient in this cupboard-ingredients friendly Tagliatelle Arrabiata is baby food. Not kidding. Turns out that puréed carrot does a really great job of balancing out the acidity of the chopped, tinned baby tomatoes. Clever huh? And so easy!

Tagliatelle Arrabiata - The Cardiff Cwtch
Tagliatelle Arrabiata (serves 2)


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste (no need to peel and chop garlic, yay!)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 100g roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 chilli peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 70g carrot purée
  • 250g chopped, tinned cherry tomatos
  • tagliatelle (fresh or dried, you decide)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly chopped basil to serve
Tagliatelle Arrabiata - The Cardiff Cwtch
  1. Pour the olive oil into a deep frying pan, and gently heat up on a medium heat. Add the garlic paste and then fry the diced onion until soft and translucent. Stir in the tomato paste.
  2. Throw in the chopped chilli peppers and the roasted red peppers (I like to use the pre-roasted ones that you get in a jar because they’re usually preserved in a mix of water, grape musk and red wine vinegar that’ll slightly sweeten the sauce – cool tip).
  3. Pour in the chopped tomatos and puréed carrot and stir. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for twenty minutes to reduce a little.
  4. While you’re waiting, cook up your tagliatelle.
  5. Toss the tagliatelle in the sauce, season and serve with fresh basil leaves.
Tagliatelle Arrabiata - The Cardiff Cwtch

Have a lovely week! 🍝


I’ve been drinking tea for a looooong time.  I mean, I can’t remember the first cup, but my Mum was definitely serving me up a mug every morning before I went off to Primary School.  One day however, and for whatever reason, my Dad was put in charge of making my morning of tea.  That was the morning I first tried coffee.  I didn’t like it then and I still don’t like now.  But I wish I did, because I absolutely love the smell of proper coffee – there’s something really warming about it.  These days Tiramisu is as close as I’ll ever get to ingesting coffee, and it’s really easy to make 🙂

All you need is: A pot of double cream and a tub of Mascarpone, 300 ml of strong coffee (whether you use granulated coffee or the leftovers from a pot of fresh coffee like I did is up to you, either will work fine), some lady fingers and amaretti (judge how many you’ll need based on the size of the tin you’re going to use to hold it all), some chopped/grated chocolate, and about 75ml of booze.

Traditionally I think you’re supposed to use Marsala, but I found this bottle of coffee flavoured Ouzo at the back of the cupboard.  A random souvenir from a trip to Rhodes a few years ago 😉  Tia Maria would work just as well I think.

Mix your double cream, mascarpone and chosen booze in a bowl until it’s all combined and looks as though it’s been whipped.  Then it’s just a case of layering everything up!  Dunk the lady fingers and amaretti into the coffee, then add a layer of the cream mix – repeat!  Once you reach the top scatter chopped chocolate pieces and crushed amaretti to finish. 🙂

Spicy Crayfish Linguine with Spinach and Ricotta

This is one of those really simple pasta recipes that looks like you’ve made a big effort, when actually you’ve just boiled some water and thrown a hodge-podge of ingredients into a pan.  All you need is some linguine, crayfish tails (I bought these pre-cooked ones from Lidl which worked a treat, though I’m sure there are better options out there), a handful of spinach and cherry tomatoes, some chilli flakes, garlic and ricotta.

Warm a large pan with some olive oil and butter and then gently heat the garlic.  Throw in the tomatoes and chilli until soft and saucy.  Next add a little Ricotta (too much and sauce will go a bit stodgy), then the crayfish tails and the spinach and keep it all on a low heat while you make up the pasta.

Once the pasta’s cooked, mix it in with the sauce and tada!  Easy peasy.