Category Archives: Pasta

Saturday Night Pasta with Olives, Tomato and Chili

image

Staying in this Saturday night? Lucky you: it is the perfect time to cook yourself some delicious, easy pasta, open a nice bottle of wine, and catch up on Ray Donovan or whatever else you are into at the moment. Don’t worry about the washing up, either: you only need 2 pans!

Have a lovely weekend!

You will need (for 2):

4 tbsp olive oil
2 anchovies in olive oil, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers in brine, drained
About 10-12 mixed green and black olives, halved
250 g cherry tomatoes
250 g wholewheat fusilli

salt, pepper

Method:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil over a medium heat, and add the anchovies and chili. Cook for 2 min, stirring, then add the garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 8 min, then add the olives and capers and leave to cook until the pasta is ready. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, tip the sauce into the pan and combine. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Mains, Pasta, Vegetables

Quick Sausage Pasta for Two

image

Last night, Mr GreedyFrog was away, so I was cooking dinner just for me and my Little Greedy Tadpole.

Like a lot of toddlers, she adores pasta, so this sort of dish is always a winner with her. And it is also pretty popular with adults: it is full of flavour, healthy, and will be on the table in about 20 min.

You will need:

300 g wholewheat pasta (I used penne)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 good quality sausages
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper

Method:

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a medium size pan. Gently fry the onion for about 2 min.

With a sharp knife, cut open the sausage casings, and squeeze out the sausages. Break up the sausagemeat into small balls, and add to the onion along with the garlic. Cook until brown on all sides.
image

Add the lemon zest and the tomatoes, stir and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, season and simmer for about 10 min. Add the chopped parsley, and serve with the drained pasta.

12 Comments

Filed under Mains, Meat dishes, Pasta

Pasta Bake With Goat’s Cheese and Turkey Meatballs

image

I do not run for anyone. Not only do most of my shoes not allow it, but if I am totally honest I also find it rather tedious, and let’s face it, exhausting.

I am always happy however, to support friends running for charity in any way I can. Which is why this weekend I was delighted to welcome at Greedy Frog Towers two dear friends brave (and fit) enough to tackle the Great North Run.

The night before the race, I prepared this dish for them, with pasta for energy, plenty of vegetable goodness and lean protein in the form of turkey meatballs. It went down a treat!

They both finished the race and did amazingly well, raising a lot of money for Cancer Research in the process, and I am very proud of them.

You will need (for 6):

For the meatballs:
400 g turkey mince
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp dried sage
salt, pepper

For the sauce:
olive oil
2 large peppers
a handful mushrooms, chopped
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic

To finish:
500g pack pasta
1 small log goat’s cheese
1 tsp dried sage

Method:

Preheat your grill to medium-high. Grill the peppers on all sides until black and blistered, then place inside a plastic bag. Wrap this plastic bag into another one, then reserve until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, mix all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, and form into golf-ball size meatballs.
image

Heat up the olive oil in a large, deep pan. Gently fry the meatballs until golden on all sides. While the meatballs are cooking, peel, de-seed and dice the peppers. When the meatballs are well coloured, add the peppers and mushrooms to the pan, stir gently (taking care not to break the meatballs), and cook for 2 min more.

Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 min.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ Gas 6. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain. Butter a large ceramic or glass baking dish.

Spread a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish, and top with a layer of pasta. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. Slice the goat’s cheese, and distribute evenly on the dish. Sprinkle the sage, then bake for 15 to 20 min, or until the cheese slices start to take colour.image

Serve with some fresh crusty bread.

2 Comments

Filed under Mains, Meat dishes, Pasta

Rabbit Stifado

image

One of the things I like the most about being on holiday in the Greek Islands, is going out for dinner.

At the end of a long, hot day, and after a refreshing shower, it is a real pleasure to take a leisurely stroll along the sea front, enjoying the evening breeze, and taking your time to choose a restaurant.

The waiters often stand outside their establishments, and do their best to lure you in with enticing tales of fresh fish, traditional food, and chilled wine.

You will give in to one of them; it is impossible not to. Because you know that whichever restaurant you choose, the fish will indeed be fresh, the food traditional, and the wine oh-so-chilled.

On one such evening, a lovely restaurant owner in Kefalonia once convinced me to try Veal Stifado instead of the grilled fish I wanted. The way he talked about the dish simply made it impossible to refuse.

Boy, was I glad I had listened to him. To this day, it remains one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Sadly, veal is very much out of favour in the UK (although it is making a timid comeback), but thankfully rabbit is plentiful and would work equally well in this recipe.

Ask your butcher to separate the rabbit into 6 pieces, but make sure he/she twists the legs off, rather than chopping them off with a cleaver (this would produce very sharp bone shards).

You will need (for 4):

1 rabbit, divided into 6 pieces (see above)
2 lemons
A few spoonfuls of flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme (preferably fresh)
150g walnuts, chopped
250 ml white wine
200 ml chicken stock
150 g stoned black olives
Salt
Pepper

Method:

Put the rabbit pieces in a bowl, and squeeze the lemons over the meat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3h.
image

Heat up the olive oil in a large, heavy pan with a lid. Pat the rabbit dry, season, flour and fry gently with the thyme until lightly browned. Add the walnuts, then the wine and a third of the stock.

Cover, and leave to simmer for about an hour. Top up the cooking liquid with a little meat stock from time to time.

About 20 min before serving, add the olives.

I serve this with wholewheat pasta, simply dressed with the cooking juices and some fried mushrooms.
image

1 Comment

Filed under Mains, Meat dishes, Pasta

Lunchbox chili pasta

I call it lunchbox pasta because it is an easy way to use up any leftover pasta you might have after an evening meal. I usually make this with leftover cooked lasagne sheets (see Open Lasagne),cut into ribbons, but any pasta shape will work.

Rinse the pasta in some cold water to avoid it sticking together, then refrigerate in a microwaveable container.

In the morning, add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of chili flakes, and some pitted, roughly chopped black olives. Grate a bit of parmesan on top.image

At lunchtime, microwave on full power for 2 to 3 min depending on wattage. Tuck in, and don’t forget to put your best smug face on in front of your colleagues with their shop-bought lunches!

Leave a comment

Filed under Mains, Pasta, Vegetarian

Open lasagne with creamy mushroom and spinach filling

You can use any type of lasagne sheet for this recipe: you can buy them fresh or dry from most shops, or you can make your own (watch this space for a recipe and step by step guide, coming up sometime soon).

You will need (for 2 portions):

2 large lasagne sheets (or 3 small ones)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions
250g chestnut mushrooms
Pinch of thyme
150g spinach (about 2 large handfuls)
3 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
Parmesan (from a block)
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the lasagne sheets according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the spring onions and mushrooms. Wash the spinach and drain thoroughly.

Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan, or sauté pan with a lid. Add the spring onions and mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme, stir then cover for 2 to 3 min until the mushrooms are cooked.

image

Add the spinach and leave to wilt for a few seconds, then add the crème fraîche. Warm through, check the seasoning and take off the heat.

Drain the pasta and cut the lasagne sheets in half so you end up with square-ish pieces.

Lay one piece in each serving bowl, top with some of the filling and some grated parmesan. Repeat until you have used up the pasta and filling, then finish with some parmesan shavings and chopped parsley.

image

2 Comments

Filed under Mains, Pasta, Vegetarian