This divine caprese spaghetti makes use of this summer's tomatoes and basil and pairs them with a burrata cheese. The cream filling oozes from the cheese when cut all over the rich tomato sauced spaghetti!
This my dearest darlingest readers is really summer on a plate. It's fresh and so seasonal. Make double or triple of the sauce and have it handy for when you need a quick pasta sauce. I set aside a couple of hours to make this and it was done in 45 minutes. It was on a particularly hot summer's day so I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen for too long.
This summer in Australia has been harrowing for many. Summer is a season we usually associate with being carefree, blissful and breezy but this summer has been fraught with real danger, trauma and lives lost with these awful bushfires.
A reader asked me to share some ways to reduce carbon emissions. Even though the government fails to act, we can do small things to reduce our own carbon footprint. I'm not perfect, far from it but I, perhaps like you, am trying to do what I can.
Some of these things are more challenging than others but you might be surprised at how easy some things are and you may also be surprised at what really impacts your carbon footprint. Here is a list of things to reduce your carbon footprint. Some of these I currently do but there are also things I really need to start doing too. Remember, nobody is perfect, just do what you can and even small changes over a few years or a lifetime make a difference.
Things we currently do to reduce carbon emissions:
- Refuse (packaging or bags)
- Avoid single use plastics (cling film, plates, cups, forks - I wash Mr NQN's plastic forks for his yogurt for lunch)
- Eat seasonally and locally
- Eat less meat
- Buy less fast fashion, go for pieces that you will wear for years
- Don't waste food you don't eat at a restaurant, take it home (as chronic over orderers we do this a lot)
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Use a front loader washing machine as they're more energy efficient and use less water (they're also more gentle on your clothes)
- Don't brush teeth with water running (treating water is energy intensive)
- Use a recyclable water bottle instead of buying water in plastic bottles
- Switch to metal or bamboo straws
- Use air conditioning less or change the temperature to 25- 27°C for cooling in summer and 18-20°C for heating in winter
- Stop gaps and seals that let the cold or heat in
- Switch television onto energy saving setting
- Drive an energy efficient car (we have a hybrid and love it!)
- Use google maps or waze to avoid traffic snarls and save fuel
- Switch to a green energy provider (see the list here. We are on the waitlist for Amber Electric where you pay for the wholesale cost of the power)
- Buy energy saving appliances-energy ratings are displayed clearly on appliances
- Dry your clothes on the clothesline rather than in the dryer
- Buy less things (experiences over possessions)
- Change to LED lightbulbs
- Change to a low flow showerhead (eg. Satinjet Kiri where the water flow actually feels amazing)
- Take shorter showers
Things that I need to work on to reduce carbon emissions:
- Buy carbon offsets for every flight (I didn't realise this but this is often the largest contributor to a carbon footprint)
- Buy more organic food (we buy some but not a lot)
- Eat less dairy (my problem: I absolutely LOVE cheese and cream)
- Wear more layers instead of using the heater
- Walk, bike or use public transport over driving
- Turn off devices when they're not in use
- Plant a garden (also will attract bees)
- Move money and superannuation to a bank that doesn't invest in the coal industry (despite committing to reducing investments in 2015 in line with the Paris Agreement, 3 of the big 4 banks have increased their investments in fossil fuels, some substantially from 2017-2018)
- Install solar panels (slightly dreading that conversation with Henry, the strata grinch)
And lastly, vote like life matters, because it does.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any other tips on reducing carbon emissions? What are the things that you do or things that you find challenging?
Caprese Spaghetti With Burrata!
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes concurrently
For Spaghetti Sauce
- 125ml/4flozs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 350ml/12.4flozs. tomato passata
- 100g/3.5ozs. tomato paste
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes (depending on heat level and taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- 500g/1.1lbs spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese
Step 1 - Gently simmer the onions and garlic in the oil and then add the tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off until thick and rich. Taste the sauce and add sugar if needed.
Step 2 - Grill the remaining 6 cherry tomato halves with oil and salt and pepper. While the sauce is cooking, boil the spaghetti in plenty of salted, boiling water. Reserve one cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce and use a bit of the pasta water if it is too dry. Serve with the grilled cherry tomatoes, burrata and basil.