Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach
Short cut for this recipe is to purchased the spinach & ricotta fresh Agnolotti from the cold section of your supermarket... looks hard and awful but if cooked for longer than they recommend it comes up wonderful. That said I have made my own pesto because it is so simple I can't bring myself to buy this...make the pesto prior to commencing the cooking process. 
  • To create your pesto place into your whiz machine fresh basil, pine nuts, finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and enough olive oil to create the desired consistency.
Three things at once should keep everyone busy making this dish but worth the small amount of juggling...  
  1. Boil your pasta until soft and wonderful...probably closer to 12 minutes than the recommended 6 and in the last 3 minutes pop in your asparagus spears. 
  2. Gently pan fry your fresh lightly seasoned salmon until just cooked as this will continue to cook in the hot pasta. Please take care not to over cook the delectable portion of melt in your mouth heaven...dry salmon is yuk!
  3. In another large fry pan soft fry lots of thinly sliced spring onions and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Then add 2 large spoons of pesto and 1/2 tub of thickened cream. Bring it all together by adding the cooked drained pasta (reserve a little water), asparagus, broken up cooked salmon and two large handful of fresh baby spinach. Cover and allow to wilt. Finally just before serving add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese

Nothing beats home made Macaroni Cheese. Takes a little longer but is so much nice than anything out of a packet. 
  • Pre cook about 300 grams of a macaroni. 
  • While this is happening melt about 80 grams of butter in a pan and gently fry off until softened a finely diced onion... then add 3 tablespoons of plain flour and cook for a minute (make sure you do this step or the end product will taste floury)... gradually add two cups of milk stirring all the time so you don't get lumps and then bring this up to the boil and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until thickened and then remove it from the heat.
  • Stir into the thickened sauce about 200 grams of your favourite grated tasty cheese and a couple of teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, salt & pepper to taste.
  • Finally add your cooked pasta pop it in a casserole dish, sprinkle the top with some freshly made bread wholegrain bread crumbs and a little more grated cheese and  then bake it in a 180 oven until bubbly, golden and delicious.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms (chicken liver meat addition)


Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms (Right)
Mini Penne Rigate with Mushrooms & Sage Butter Chicken Livers (Left) 
I don't often get the opportunity to purchase offal  here in my town so when I get the selection I jump at it. A special "treat" (in my opinion) meat addition to my serve only for tea tonight. Simply by adding one extra step I hope to show you how simple it is to adapt most vegetarian meals into meat meals and vice versa. Try not to be limited by any preconceived ideas of having to follow a recipe exactly.
  • In a large pan fry off in butter and olive oil a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and the white section of a half dozen thinly sliced spring onions. 
  • When softened toss into the flavoured butter about 4-500 grams of sliced mushrooms of your choice. Stir until softened and a little golden in colour. Then add 1/2 small tub of cream or sour cream and a glass of white wine. Bring up to the boil and then simmer gently until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
  • While doing this cook separately about 200 gms of pasta (again this is your choice I have used a mini penne rigate). 
  • To serve toss the cooked pasta, along with a handful of fresh herbs lightly chopped... today I have used coriander, rosemary (which loves mushroom) and roughly torn basil through the mushroom and sauce mix, the remainder green sliced spring onions and finally stir in about a half cup of freshly grated parmesan and heaps of black cracked pepper to taste.

  • For the meat alternative... Melt a little butter add some sage leaves and gently fry to instil the delicate sage flavour into the butter and then very quickly stir fry a hand full of chicken livers until golden on the outside but still pink on the inside. Toss these as an extra through only into the servings requiring them.