Eating Alone

April 18, 2013

Peppery Pecorino, Parsley and Pistachio Pasta

I’m a lazy cook when it comes to cooking for one.

I’ll go to great lengths to cook a meal when I have company, and even take a three hour drive to break bread with friends – but when it comes to fixing myself a meal, I’ll look for as easy way out.

I usually shop for groceries and produce a few times a week, and don’t really stock up my refrigerator. If you peek inside, you’ll usually find jars of jams and mustards, cheese, butter, cans of coconut water and Elderflower syrup and what ever Indian household can never be without: ginger and fresh green chillies (garlic as well, but that sits on the counter-top).

On an average day at home, I try to ignore my hunger pangs until the tummy growls are too loud to disregard. Then, I’ll loiter about my apartment and grab an apple and a glass of cold milk to keep me satiated for a little while. If I’m lucky I’ll find leftover rice that I’ll fry with kimchi from a jar and a fried egg on top.

Peppery Pecorino, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto

And then there are days like these when I feel a bit more inspired to cook for myself and rustle up something delicious from what’s lying around. Like this chunky sauce that came together so beautifully, I felt proud: garlic infused olive oil with chopped up toasted (imperative) pistachio, a fistful of parsley, hand pounded black pepper – so it’s not as fine as from a pepper mill – and lots of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Oh, my.

I tossed it together with some tagliatelle pasta, but I imagine it’ll be so good spread on toast or in a sandwich with some meat and cheese.

Super easy. Super everything.

What do you eat when you are alone?

Peppery Pecorino, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto

Here’s how to make pesto ‘sauce’ at home.

Peppery Pecorino, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto

Makes: About 1 cup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
40g pistachios, toasted and chopped
A handful of parsley, chopped
50g Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Add the oil and garlic together into a pan and heat it gently until fragrant. Turn off the heat, then add the rest of the ingredients in the given order. Easy!

There you have it. Your home made pesto recipe.


  • Reply Rutvika April 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    That looks super easy. I can see you made it in that copper pot.
    My favourite eat-alone food is Wheat roti chivda (left-over rotis shredded and sauteed with some onions, garlic and green chillies). Wholesome and tasty.

  • Reply dixya@food, pleasure, and health April 18, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    simple and wholesome – this is my idea of dinner

  • Reply Ann April 19, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Yum! I especially love the addition of pistachio nuts! I have to admit, my favorite meal for one is toast. It can take so many forms!

  • Reply isabella April 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Simple, gorgeous and delicious…can’t wait to try it out!!!

  • Reply chandra fernandes April 19, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    hey, that’s a quick one, but I have to have a quick malvani curry, rice and some fried fish even when I am alone

  • Reply sam April 20, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Hi Shaheen
    What is the alternative for the cheese that u mentioned
    This recipe must be crunchy n super easy
    Will try soon

    • Reply Shaheen April 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Parmesan or Grana Padano will work too! Or any hard cheese.

  • Reply Riddhi April 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Looks delicious! And isn’t that your newly acquired copper pot that you made it in?! :)

  • Reply Recipes and Travelogues | The Purple Foodie April 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    […] Walnut and Honey Cheese Hummus Garlicky Hummus Marinated Sweet Peppers Pickled Jalapeños Peppery Pecorino, Pistachio and Parsley Pesto Pesto Sauce Raw Mango Relish Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam Spicy Mango Chutney Tomato Basil […]

  • Reply Maria April 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Order in from Chung Wah :-P I wouldn’t even boil water if I’m alone.

  • Reply Nik@ABrownTable April 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I’m in the same boat as you, I rarely cook fancy meals for myself when alone. You had me at the pecorino and pistachio on this delicious dish!

  • Reply leticia April 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    to make a difference with all the above comments, I must admit and declare that I get great pleasure cooking for myself and that is really great because – since I live on my own, in the company of wild birds and a family of owls close by – it would be a pain in the neck to face that need without enthusiasm or desire. make all sort of delicious meals whether I am on my own or when I have guests. and it also a good practice in order to improve the quality of the prepration and thus be able to present my guests with a perfect dish, perfect combination of tastes, spices, different textures………..selling prepared dishes at the local market and the feedback I receive from my customers is a big stimulus to meet always what I call the point P, the point of perfection…………….the last couple of weeks I’ve been totally focused in papillots, wonderful!!!!!!! mixing products coming directly from my vegetable garden: bell peppers, and eggplant, and many diferent kinds of tomatoes, all sizes and colours, onions, green beans, patison and butternut squash, including basmati rice as a sponge to recive all the juices of the vegetables, it is so easy to prepare them and yet so elegant and delicious!!! anybody wanting recipe, please say so…………………………….shaheen; I worship your space, I believe I am ready to be-come the president of your fan club at least for the south american area…….your space run parallel to another space which I also worship, created by an indian person where he presents short videos of a beauty I can not express in its total dimension, I do not have the words for such an enterprise…thus, I invite you to discover that wide, luminous, bright, deep, profound…space by simple cliking http://www.filmkaar.com filled with the joy of life, my friendly greetings from the southern autoumm

    • Reply Shaheen April 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Leticia – you flatter me! Thank you. :) I so want to visit your little vegetable garden. Thank you so much for sharing the lovely website – I really enjoyed the video on Calcutta. Wish you a wonderful week!

  • Reply thisgoodink April 28, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Ha! Your cooking & eating habits mirror mine…down to the apple/milk and kimchi/rice:) Egg bhujia is an alone favorite of mine. Scrambled eggs with red onions & hot green chilies…piled on a slice of wheat toast. What could be better on a lazy day?

  • Reply anushka May 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Made this last night Shaheen and it turned out fabulous! Replaced it with Parmesan and it was so good! We polished the entire dish off in less than 20 minutes. Thank you for this one!! P.S – Do you think it is okay if i can replace it with almonds?

    • Reply Shaheen July 1, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      Of course! Any nuts :)

  • Reply Wonderlusting June 29, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I use myself as guinea pig for dishes i cook for other people. My go to meal though is always some kind of quick noodle soup affair or omelette with whatever contents are left in the fridge! This pistachio sauce sounds delicious.

  • Reply ResidentGeek August 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I always keep a few cans of Chickpeas, Butterbeans and so on in the cupboard, a regular stock of Dehydrated Veg (done at home in my £30 Dehydrator from whatever I can find cheap in the end of day specials at the local market). More often than not I’ll have some cured meat or possibly some fish in the fridge which needs using. Throw all that in a deep frying pan (no oil) with some veggie stock and herbs and I always have something truly delicious and slightly Mediterranean in a few minutes.

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