Chris Wilmers

Pasta and Meatballs


This will serve up to four people, depending on appetites.


1 Pkt penne (29p, Lidls)

1 Pk Tomato Passata (35p, Lidls)

1 pt/500ml Boiling Water

1 Onion

2 Cloves garlic or/

1 heaped teasp Garlic Granules (£1, Sainsbury’s)

1 Carrot

1 Heaped teasp Dried Basil

2 Heaped teasp Dried Oregano

1 Beef Stock Cube

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Pack Meatballs (£3 Morrisons)

1-2 tablesp Oil

Finely chop the onion and fry gently in the oil.

Grate the carrot and garlic very finely and add to the onions, cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat.

Add the tomato passata, boiling water and the herbs and stock cube.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 45mins.

Add the meatballs and simmer for another 45-60 mins.

Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the penne, drain and serve with the meatballs and sauce


NB If you have rosemary and or thyme in your store cupboard, add a pinch of each, this does deepen the flavour but is not essential.

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Tom’s Celery Soup


This is so simple and cheap to make, and I would urge you to try it even if you don’t like celery (which I don’t).  It came as a great surprise when Tom told me what I was eating.  It will make 7-8 srevings.


1 Onion

2 Carrots

1 Head of Celery

1 Chicken Stock Cube in 1 litre boiling water

2 Medium Potatoes

1-2 Tablespoons oil (I use rapeseed oil, also called canola I think)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Crusty bread


Wash the celery stalks really well, there’s nothing worse than gritty soup!

Chop the onions and fry in the oil.

Chop and add the carrots then the celery.

Chop and add the potatoes, the stock cube, water and salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

Liquidise or use a stick wand to get a creamy consistensy – you may have to add a little more water as it’s sometimes quite thick.  If the celery is really stringy you may want to pass it through a sieve, but I don’t bother.



If you want to spend a bit more to jazz things up, you could use a little white wine and sometimes I add garlic granules but the soup tastes fine without either of these.  It freezes well if there are any leftovers, or can be added to something like bolognaise sauce for extra flavour

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