• Pasta
  • 75g salted butter
  • 1 courgette
  • Frozen peas
  • 1 lemon
  • 300g smoked salmon
  • 50g parmesan
  • Black pepper

I left London 5 years ago and still I find it hard to go back. Like seeing an old flame who still slightly tugs at your heart strings, when I visit it hurts a bit. It was my choice to leave, but the love affair wasn’t really over when I did. I still need closure. Maybe we need to have a big argument?

Worst of all I feel like an imposter. I am slower and fatter now, my clothes are from big out of town supermarkets and my internal London A to Z is sketchy through the mists of time. I still stand on the right, but I don’t run up the escalator stairs in an inpatient rush to save time and get fit. I was the poster girl for Busy.

One habit I have lost since the big move Up North is scanning every food item before I throw it in my basket. (Basket? Who am I trying to kid? It’s trolley world up here with two small boys who hoover up a packet of cereal a week between them.) I used to religiously check for fat content, calories and carbs; I’m not sure what eating plan I thought I was following. The paranoid one perhaps? Here is a delicious dish that would have suited me right down to my busy London ground when I lived there, for it is ready in 20 minutes flat. I would never have eaten it though, too many carbs, too much butter, probably too many calories…

One year ago: Obviously good flapjack and Joyful banana, butterscotch and fig traybake

Two years ago: Light and sweet carrot cake and Rhubarb and ginger chutney

Lemony salmon, courgette and pea pasta

Enough for 2 or just increase pasta and veggie content to make enough for 4


  • Enough pasta for 2 – you know how much you eat. We eat lots
  • 75g salted butter
  • 1 courgette, sliced into rounds and then cut into semi circles
  • A handful of frozen peas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 x 300g pack of smoked salmon, torn into pieces
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • Black pepper

Right, before anyone forgets their manners and comments on this post that they need exact quantities and this is a waste of time of a recipe, my advice is… live a little on the wild side and use your hands to measure things. It’s liberating. Plus this was an experimental supper that went very well so I didn’t weigh stuff out. Sometimes I like to live my cooking life by the seat of my pants.

Call this Holly’s 2o minute meal pasta if you like… time yourself, it’s easy and moreish. Boil the kettle then pop the pasta on to boil in a large pan of just boiled water with a pinch of salt. Meanwhile melt the butter in a frying pan and add the courgette, peas and the zest and juice of the lemon. Fry on a lowish heat until the courgettes have sucked up all that buttery lemony goodness and the peas look soft and cooked through. About 5 minutes. Then add the salmon, stir and take off the heat. When the pasta has boiled drain it and throw into the frying pan of lemony goodness. Then stir well to coat the pasta and to let the residual heat cook through the smoked salmon. Pop in serving dishes, add the parmesan and black pepper and enjoy. DON’T think about the carbs or the butter. This way madness lies.

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