As you may (or may not) know, my family have abandoned me. Not Tom and the kids, thankfully, but the rest of my nearest and dearest. Over time, they’ve all left the UK permanently for sunnier climes.
It started with my dad who moved to Madrid 30+ years ago and is still there now. Then my auntie swapped English soil for LA followed by New Zealand, and the rest have quickly followed suit. My sister lives in the south of Spain, my brother in New Zealand, and my uncle in Switzerland where until recently he successfully sold British cheese to the Swiss (no, really!)
Now my mum is the next to join them… She is freshly retired and is living round the corner from my sister in Altea.
This ex-pat history is not a new thing. It goes back several generations. My sister and I were born in Spain; my mum and aunt spent half their childhoods in Kenya; and my grandfather (maternal side) spent some of his formative years in India.
Our family has been suffering from wanderlust for nearly a hundred years, and I’m worried that the gene’s been passed on to Daisy. She has a look in her eyes that I’ve seen before. It’s a sparkle that says, ‘I ain’t gonna be hanging round here for the rest of my life’.
I’ve begged her never to leave home, and I’ve even offered her a caravan at the bottom of the garden so she can have her own space, but she just rolls her eyes and says, “Mmmmuuummm!” I’d compromise with her being in London: I could get there in under two hours, but I’ve a feeling she’ll be going further afield than that.
So tonight’s dinner is really a homage to my family abroad, and to our strong links to the Mediterranean.
It’s a real standby for me and I eat it once a week, normally as lunch-for-one with the radio on in the background. The vegetables end up with a sweet caramelised flavour from the roasting, and I add olives, or artichokes (from a jar), or some cut up bacon to really finish it off, plus a sprinkling of mint leaves.
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Pasta.
Ingredients (serves 1)
- Half a pepper, cut into strips
- 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 4 mushrooms, quartered
- Half a red onion, thickly sliced
- Third of a courgette, thickly sliced
- Clove of garlic, thinly sliced.
- tbsp olive oil
- 80g Spaghetti
- Artichokes, sliced
- Sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Mint leaves, torn
- Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Put the vegetables in a bowl, apart from the garlic. Add the olive oil. Stir so all veg is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Put on a roasting tray and roast for 20-25 minutes.
After 10 minutes put on your spaghetti. Check the veg and turn if necessary. Add the garlic to the roasting tray.
Drain the pasta, put in a bowl, add the roasted veg and any of the optional extras. Mix through the spaghetti. Season and grate with cheese. Enjoy!
Tonight as I was eating it, I got a notification on my phone. It said this blog was being read in Spain, NZ, Australia, USA, Canada, Portugal, India, and more unusually, the Republic of Korea and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
This made me smile. So this post is very much dedicated to all the ex-pats out there. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll join you? X