Three cheese Ravioli with tomato sauce

chicken and mushroom ravioli

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for  ravioli using three cheeses which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course. Continue reading “Three cheese Ravioli with tomato sauce”

Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts

Pasta and mackerel work well together, try and get very fresh fish.  The Marsala adds a bit of sweetness and the pine nuts add texture. Continue reading “Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts”

Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce

chicken and mushroom ravioli

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for chicken and mushroom ravioli which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course.  First make the pasta  by adding the flour to a large bowl, or just tip onto a large dry surface.  Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil. Continue reading “Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce”

Tagliatelle with parsley and walnut pesto

Tagliatelle with parsley and walnut pesto

Method:

A Tagliatelle twist on the traditional basil/pine nut pesto. So easy but so tasty!

Put the parsley, hazelnuts, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz to a semi-smooth paste. Add the parmesan and then, with the food processor going, drizzle in the olive oil gradually until everything is emulsified. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan with the reserved cooking water and mix through the pesto.

Serve immediately with more grated parmesan.

Lamb and sweet pepper sauce

Lamb and pasta sauce

Method:

Cook the lamb into 1 cm cubes before frying on a high heat in olive oil for 10 mins with some salt and pepper, stirring often, until browned on all sides.  Sprinkle in garlic and fry for a further minute or two before adding the bay leaves, then pour in wine and let it bubble until reduced slightly.

Next add tomatoes and peppers, stir well. Check the seasoning, cover and simmer over low heat for 45-55 mins or until lamb is very tender. Stir occasionally and moisten with water if sauce becomes too dry. Remove bay leaves before serving with short pasta and parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognese

spaghetti bolognese

Method:

Add the onion, carrot and celery to a pan with a good splash of olive oil and soften on a medium heat for about ten mintutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another couple of minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.  Crank up the heat and add both sets of mince and the pancetta, you want to brown the mince and break it up while it cooks so that it doesn’t clump together.

This normally takes about 5-10 mins, once this is complete add the vegetable mixture back to the pan, keep the heat high and add the wine.  Continue cooking on a high heat until the wine has almost disappeared befre adding the milk (or cream), tomatoes, puree, a couple of teaspoons of salt and herbs.

Reduce to a low heat and leave to cook with the lid on for as long as possible, ideally 2-4 hours.  Check for seasoning when cooked, the sauce shouldnt be too wet so if it is cook with the lid off for a bit, you can’t overcook this really.

Boil the spaghetti or pasta of choice until al dente, before serving.  Personally I belive the sauce should be mixed through the pasta so that’s what I would recommend, although i have seen it with the sauce “plonked” on top of the pasta.  Add paremsan chees to serve.

If you have an alternative recipe and there are many then feel free to send it in.

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Method:

Cook pasta until al dente.  Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan, add tomatoes. Bring to boil and cook for 4-6 mins, stirring and crushing until slightly reduced.
In another pan, gently fry the chilli, anchovies and garlic in the remaining oil and butter (if using) for 1-2 mins, mashing the anchovies.
Add the tomatoes, olives and capers to the chilli, anchovies and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins, stirring.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Add the parsley, season and stir well to mix.

Pasta with broccoli, anchovy and chilli

Pasta with broccoli, anchovy and chilli

Method:

Perfect for lunch or a quick weeknight tea.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Pour a good amount (1-2 tbsp) olive oil into a small frying pan. Keep the heat low. Add the anchovy and, using a wooden spoon, mash it up as it starts to heat. When it just starts to sizzle, add the garlic and chilli flakes. Keep the heat low and fry gently for a minute or two. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Turn the heat up a little and add the broccoli. Mix everything well together and then add the tomato. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just al dente. If it starts to dry out, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water.

When the broccoli is tender, squeeze in the lemon juice and add the parsley and a good grinding of black pepper. You won’t need salt as the anchovies are very salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Mix everything well together and serve immediately. Parmesan optional. I like it just drizzled with some really nice extra virgin olive oil and more black pepper.

 

 

 

Pasta with garlicky greens

pasta with garlicky greens

Method:

This is a quick and easy tea and very tasty too.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and fry gently for about 15 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t catch.

Add the broccoli (or other greens) and the wine. Let it bubble for a minute before covering so that the broccoli cooks in its own winey steam.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Once the broccoli is tender, add the creme fraiche. Heat through then melt the cheeses into the sauce. Add the black pepper and parsley. Taste the sauce to check the seasoning – it may not need salt as the cheeses are quite salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Mix well and serve straight away with more parmesan and a glass of white wine.

Pasta with chickpeas, greens and tomatoes

Pasta with chickpeas, greens and tomato

Method:

This recipe uses mafalda corta, a short, flat, ribbony pasta with a wavy edge from the Campania region of Italy. If you can’t find that, any other short pasta (such as penne or gemelli) with ridges to hold the sauce will work just as well.

Put the pasta on to cook.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil in to a cold frying pan and add the garlic and rosemary. Put the pan on a low heat and let the garlic gently sizzle for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the cooked greens along with some salt and pepper and allow the tomatoes to cook down for a few minutes.

Next add the chickepeas. Once they have warmed through, take a fork and roughly mash most of the chickpeas down (I like to leave some whole). Add some of the pasta cooking water a tablespoonful at a time and mix in with mashed chickpeas to make a sauce.

Add the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce.

Serve straight away with grated parmesan and a drizzle of your very best extra virgin olive oil.

 

Winter minestrone

winter minestrone

Method:

A great lunch for the winter months – warming, filling and healthy. Kale, an under-appreciated member of the cabbage family, is packed with bet-carotene, folate and vitamin C so should keep the sniffles at bay!

Heat some olive oil in a large soup pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry over a low heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes until soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for a few minutes before adding the carrot and pepper. Mix well and cover. Leave to sweat for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Check and stir occasionally.

Next, add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes or so before adding the pasta with another pinch of salt. Stir well and leave to simmer with the lid off until the pasta is nearly done. Add the kale and the beans and simmer until the kale is tender – about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and more salt if needed. Garnish with the parsley.

Tagliatelle with prawns and brandy

tagliatelle with prawns, brandy and cream

Method:

Normally, I would only advise drinking brandy but here it’s used in this very tasty pasta dish!

Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of salted water until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, fry the shallots and walnuts in olive oil in a large frying pan for a few minutes.

Add the garlic and prawns with a pinch of salt. When the prawns have changed colour, turn the heat up and add the brandy. Allow to bubble for a minute or two then add the tomatoes.

Cook over a medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down a bit. Then add the cream and allow to bubble away for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the drained tagliatelle to the frying pan and mix through with the sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pasta with tomatoes, butter beans and ricotta

pasta-with-tomato-and-ricot

Method:

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente.

Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the pancetta. Fry over a medium heat, stirring until crispy. Add the garlic and chilli and fry gently for a few minutes. Next, add the butter beans and fry, stirring before adding the chopped tomato and sun-dried tomato. Allow to bubble for a minute or two to let the flavours combine. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce with the herbs. Mix well then drop in little nuggets of ricotta and add the parmesan. Mix gently so as not to break up the ricotta. Serve immediately.

Smoked salmon and creme fraiche pasta

Cook pasta until al dente in plenty salted water.  While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan and melt the butter and add the smoked salmon. Fry over a medium heat for a few minutes then add the peas. Stir through then add the creme fraiche. Heat through quite gently until peas are cooked and salmon is warmed through. Check seasoning and add salt if required. Add plently black pepper and herbs if using.

When pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add salmon and sauce to pasta and mix well. Serve immediately.

Penne with tomato, courgette and peppers

Cook the pasta in a large pan of well salted boiling water until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan and add a couple of tbsp olive oil. Add the pancetta and fry over a fairly high heat until slightly crispy and most of the fat has been rendered. Remove the pancetta pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Turn the heat up and add the courgette and peppers to the pan. Fry on a high heat until the vegetables start to brown and caramelise. Keep moving them around the pan so they brown evenly. Add the garlic, chilli and thyme to the pan then add the vinegar to de-glaze. Return the pancetta to the pan. Add the tomatoes and break them down with a wooden spoon. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce to quite a thick consistency. Season, remembering the pancetta is quite salty.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well. Serve in bowls with the grated parmesan sprinkled over.