Look Sharp

Picture of kitchen knives

Besides your hands, knives are the most commonly used tools in the kitchen.

As a chef, I’ve had many an altercation with knives, they have been both my greatest ally and most dangerous foe.

Simply put, knives and hands don’t always get along. Knives can be hazardous.

To prevent unnecessary kitchen bloodshed, always remember:

– Never test the sharpness of a knife by running your finger along or across the edge. It’s safer to test it on tomato skin etc.

– Never leave a knife in a sink full of water, as other people can’t see it below the soapsuds. wash up your dirty knives immediately and store them away.

– When not in use, store knives in a knife block, on a magnetic strip or in sheaths, not loosely in a draw, and keep out of reach from young children.

– Don’t use a knife with a greasy handle; clean the handle or the knife may slip out of your hand.

– Don’t run with a knife, walk calmly with the knife down by your side and not waving around.

– A sharp knife is safer than a blunt one as you apply less pressure when cutting and are less likely to slip. Also, an injury from a sharp knife is cleaner and likely to heal quicker. I remember a Japanese sushi chef cutting his thumb to the bone, filleting tuna. He always kept his knives razor sharp and the wound healed without stitches in a matter of days. (Don’t try it at home kids).

Easy tomato and basil pasta sauce

This recipe may be simple, but it’s a great way to practice your knife skills. Take you time, work at your own pace and watch your fingers.

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tspn brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 250g pasta, freshly cooked
  1. In a fry pan, heat olive oil and gently cook the garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes and brown sugar.
  3. Gently simmer for approximately 30 minutes (stirring frequently) until thickened.
  4. Add  finely chopped fresh basil; then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss the tomato basil sauce with some freshly cooked pasta.
  6. It could also be topped with pieces feta or grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 2.

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