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This post was created in partnership with Sacla’. For us writers of the world, November does not just mean fireworks, massive roasting tins full of toad in the hole and all things pumpkin spice. November also means the start of NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Book where everyone taking the challenge tried to write a novel in a month by completing at least 1,500 words every day. I’ve taken the challenge twice (completed it once and miserably failed the second time!) and while I’m working on other fiction related endeavours at the moment, when my favourite pesto brand Sacla’ got in touch to see if I wanted to team up on another recipe, this time to showcase their perfect little pesto pots, I thought it was about time I shared my favourite at-home version of my favourite NaNoWriMo snack: the pesto, tomato and mozzarella cheese toastie.
I’ve never been one for pre-made sandwiches, but on the afternoons after hockey practice when I met up with the other Canterbury NaNo participants in Costa Coffee on the High Street that one year I did manage to complete the challenge I always ordered either an Innocent Smoothie or a cup of peppermint tea, and a pesto, tomato and mozzarella toastie.
God I loved those toasties, but what I love even more is that it is so simple to make even better versions at home. The key to these is Sacla’s little pesto pots, which come in packs of two 90g pesto portions (in their classic and sundried tomato flavours) which are great for those times when you don’t want to open a whole jar. As a student I got through pesto on my rice and to jazz up bowls of pasta like it was going out of fashion, but now I find I’m always throwing out the bottom 1/4 of the jar in the fridge as I don’t reach for it every single day (and, to be honest my fridge has so many different jars of things in there the pesto jar usually gets lost!) There is just the perfect amount of two toasties in one of these pots, as well as actually the right amount to make my Mussels with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Kale, my Roasted Tomato & Mushroom Pesto Rice, and if you’re the sort who likes to bookmark recipes to make later when the weather is right, my Barbecue Pesto Prawns.
A few more ingredient notes here: the key to the perfect toastie that is not too soggy is to use semi-dried tomatoes instead of fresh, or full on sun dried which can be a little tough – I buy the ones in the jar from Waitrose’s ‘Ingredients’ like or the ones from the deli counter in Whole Foods. The panini bread really does not matter, and while I get fancy buffalo mozzarella because it is kinder on my tummy, the cheaper the better here as it will melt how you want it to ion nice stringy ribbons!
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*