The weekly lunch


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Readers, I have a confession to make, I'm not much of a lunch person. The idea of eating at midday is a nice one but I often lack inspiration. Sandwiches have always filled me with dread; at school it was a choice between them or a cantine lunch and despite my love of good bread I'm not really in the mood for that and an exotic filling every day of the week. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to be able to come home for lunch, sitting down with a plateful of something nice while the church bells are chiming but I always opt for small portions to avoid that heavy weight in my stomach that tires me out in the afternoon. Large, hot meals are for dinnertime. Other days I pack cold leftovers to be eaten in the teachers' room which always excites my colleagues' curiosity and makes them label me exotic. I've decided to post a series of recipes that you can make quickly if you have a spare hour midday or take in a lunchbox. Please feel free to add your own ideas for tasty lunchtime bites in the comments section so that I can hopefully try some of them out and make lunch an event to look forward to. It will also give me a chance to share some of the backlog of photos that I've yet to post.

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By the Spree, early one Sunday last month

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This first recipe is one that I used to feel a little ashamed of because it doesn't really involve fresh ingredients but simply tinned tuna and tomatoes over pasta. Then a friend of mine confessed to loving tinned tuna as well and I felt much better. It may still be possible to get the odd good fresh tomato at the market but the season is all about pumpkins, kale, apples and quinces and in winter, tinned ones have more flavour. This recipe is a mainstay of my kitchen, one that I can whip up in around 20 minutes, feeling glad to have the ingredients in my cupboard so that I don't have to go out in the rain.

Tuna spaghetti (from the Moomins cookbook)

1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin tuna in oil, drained
1 leek, washed and with the tough green ends discarded
a little oil for frying

Heat a little oil in a medium sized saucepan and fry the leeks until soft. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and drained tuna and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes.
When the sauce is almost ready bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a generous pinch of salt and cook the spaghetti for the specified time. Wholewheat pasta blends excellently with this sauce and it's so rich and filling that you don't need any cheese.

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If you've time the night before or early in the morning, a wholewheat apple muffin would be the perfect dessert. Moist, spicy and with a crunch of brown sugar on top. You can find the recipe from Smitten Kitchen here.

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