Chorizo, Garlic & Chilli Pasta

Chorizo Garlic & Chili Pasta

Im very much into pasta’s lately. Easy to make with so many options and endless amounts of flavours to add. This pasta is inspired by a pizza we had in Australia. Quick, easy and delicious. This recipe serves 4 people.

Ingredients

4 pork chorizo sausages
1/2 green chilli, sliced very thinly
16 garlic cloves, pealed and kept whole
1 cup fresh basil leaves
250g dried pasta of your choice
olive oil
salt and pepper
shaved parmesan cheese to serve

Method

Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Place the garlic cloves in a small oven proof dish. Pour oil over the garlic cloves to cover them completely and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Heat a large pot of salted water and boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.

While the pasta is boiling, squeeze the meat out of the chorizo sausages and break up in to small pieces before frying in a pan with 1/4 cup of oil. Once cooked turn off the heat and add the cooked garlic cloves and sliced chilli. Stir together.

Drain the pasta once cooked and add to the pan with the chorizo mixture. Add most of your basil leaving some for garnish. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the shaved parmesan cheese and enjoy.

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Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Every Monday its time to bring out the thinking cap for a meatless Monday dinner. I remembered a pasta I used to have when I was still young and living in South Africa with my now husband and we used to frequent this great restaurant called Cappuccino’s. This would be about 12 years ago! They had this yummy vegetarian pasta and this is my attempt at recreating it. Enjoy

Ingredients

6 medium sized soft tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano
1/4 cup flat leave parsley
3/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper for seasoning
200ml thickened cream
1 green pepper, sliced
1 large yellow zucchini, sliced
1 large green zucchini, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes

Method

Heat oil in a pot and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, herbs tomato puree and water and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 1.5 hours stirring occasionally. Once the tomatoes are soft use a stick blender and blend the mixture in the pot or pan until smooth and add the cream and cherry tomatoes. Allow to simmer while the.

While this is simmering away, fry the sliced vegetables in a pan with a bit of oil. Fry until it starts to brown a bit. Add the tomato sauce to the vegetables and simmer while cooking the pasta of your choice as per packet instructions. Serve with parmesan and enjoy.

Butternut & Maple Bacon Risotto

Butternut & Maple Bacon Risotto

I love risotto and to keep it interesting its always good to experiment with some new flavours. I think a beetroot risotto will be my next mission but for now I present to you this yummy dish… enjoy

Ingredients – Butternut

800g butternut, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl mix the oil and butternut together and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until its soft. (Leave oven on for bacon) Remove from oven and process with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside.

Ingredients – Maple Bacon

8 strips of streaky bacon
3 table spoons of maple syrup

Method

Mix the bacon and maple syrup together and arrange on a lined baking tray. Cook in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. Break into smaller pieces.

Ingredients

2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1.5 cups risotto rice
2L of vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
40 g butter

Method

Bring the stock to boil in a large pot. Fry the shallots and rosemary in a pan with a bit of oil until the onion is soft. Add the rice, stir and fry for another 2 minutes. Next add the white wine and scrape bottom of pan cooking until the wine has been absorbed. Now the stirring begins. Adding 2 ladles of stock at a time, stir until that stock has been absorbed and then add the next 2 ladles of stock. Cook until the rice is soft but still has a bit of a chewy centre. Turn off the heat, add the parmesan, butter and butternut. Mix well. Serve with the maple bacon and some grated parmesan. Enjoy

Fresh Tomato & Basil Pasta

Fresh Tomato & Basil Pasta

My garden has been producing the most beautiful produce so I decided to use the tomatoes and basil in a simple dish but keep it fresh to highlight these wonderful flavours. This is quick and easy to make and very yummy.

Ingredients

your choice of dried pasta
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan to serve
1/4 cup olive oil

Method

Boil the pasta as per packet instructions and drain. While pasta is cooking heat oil in a pan and fry the garlic and onion. I p-refer to burn mine a bit as it adds some nice sweet flavours to the pasta. Once fried, add in the cooked pasta, chopped tomatoes and basil, mix together and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the grated parmesan and there you go. As simple as that.

Cheddar & Balsamic Onion Toasties

Balsamic Onion & Cheddar Toasties

Toasties, the absolute pleasure food with so many options. Pick anything you like to eat and smack it between two slices of good bread and you have heaven on a plate. Remember… lots of cheese!

Ingredients

4 slices of fresh bread of your choice
1 cup grated aged white cheddar
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
butter for bread

Method

Fry the onion with the salt in a non stick pan with a bit of oil until soft. Add the sugar until dissolved and then add the balsamic vinegar. Allow to simmer until the onions are nice and sticky and the balsamic has become a thick sauce. Butter the outside of the bread and top with the cheese and onions. Fry on a griddle pan until the cheese has melted and the bread has nice grill marks on the outside. Enjoy with a nice cold beer.

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Baby Fried Onions

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and fried baby Onions

Chimichurri sauce is an amazing accompaniment to steak. It really works well with rich steak that has quite a bit of fat. Easy to make, yummy to eat. The onions were fantastic too. I found a bunch of different baby onions in the shop and had to buy them. This is one of the ways I decided to use them.

Ingredients

Chimichurri Sauce

1/3 cup fresh oregano
1/3 cup fresh chives
1 cup fresh coriander
1 cup fresh flat leave parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1 red chilli
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

Combine the herbs (with their stalks)), chili, lemon juice and half of the olive oil in a food processor. Process until it becomes finer and then add half the vinegar, salt and pepper. while processing this slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Don’t add all the oil if not needed. Taste and if more acidity is required add the remaining vinegar. Adjust seasoning as per your preference. Set aside until ready to serve.

Ingredients

Fried Baby Onions

20 baby onions
500 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp smoked jalapeno sauce
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oil for deep frying
2 ziplog bags

Method

Place the oil in a pot for deep-frying. Try and use a smaller pot so that the oil is high enough to cover the onions completely when being fried. Mix the buttermilk and tabasco together in a ziplog bag and set aside. Peel and slice the onions into quarters from the top making sure not to cut all the way through. This will give them a nice shape after being fried while still holding together. Place them in the ziplog bag with the buttermilk and tabasco and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place the flour in the other ziplog bag and once the onions have marinated transfer them into the flour. Shake around so that they are well coated in the flour. They are not ready for deep frying.

Heat the oil for about 5 minutes before starting to fry. Once golden remove from oil and place on kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. Season with flaky seas salt as soon as it has been removed from the oil.

Steak

2 x 1.5cm sirloin steaks
flake sea salt
olive oil

Method

While the onions are frying season both sides of the steak with the seas salt. Heat oil in a cast iron pan and once the pan is very hot add the steak. Fry for 3 minutes a side for medium. Once cooked, rest for 4 minutes before serving with the onions and sauce. Enjoy

Beetroot & Bocconcini Salad

Beetroot & Bocconcini Salad

Yes, more beetroot. If you have it, why not use it right. Super yummy salad inspired by a starter we had a a wedding a few weeks ago. Enjoy

Ingredients

2 medium cooked and peeled beetroots
1/2 cup bocconcini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh rocket leaves
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic glaze
salt & pepper to taste

Method

Slice the beetroot as desired. I decided to cut mine into different shapes… cubes, slices and quarters. Roast the pine nuts in a dry non stick pan for 3 – 4 minutes until you can smell the smoky flavour. Roasting the pine nuts gives it an amazing flavour. Arrange the rocket, beetroot, bocconcini and pine nuts on a plate. Drizzle with oil, balsamic and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy