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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
I am literally addicted to any kind of citrus curd. Its pretty simple to make… A little elbow grease and separating eggs and your golden. Tasty, looks beautiful and a great finish to a dinner party. Most of all, make it in advance and let it sit in the fridge and do its thing.
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup castor sugar
juice and zest of 4 limes
80g unsalted butter
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a small pot. once whisked turn on the stove to a low heat. Add the butter and lime zest and juice, turn heat up slightly and continue whisking until the mixture turns thick. Strain through a sieve and put in the fridge to cool down.
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
300ml thickened cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter, melted
Place the crackers in a ziplog bag and crush with your hands. They break up very easily. Once broken up add the melted butter and mix well by squashing it all together in the ziplog bag. Whip the cream in a large bowl. I used a hand held mixer. Once whipped add the vanilla, sugar and cream cheese and beat until well combined.
Assembly time! Place some of your biscuit mixture at the bottom of a glass followed by the cheesecake mixture, top with some lime curd and more biscuit mix. Allow to set in the fridge for 4 hours. Enjoy
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.
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
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.
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
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.
2 x 1.5cm sirloin steaks
flake sea salt
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
I have made these before (the bigger pepper version) and forgot to post on my blog and when I saw these cute little peppers in the shop, of course I had to buy it and add to my recipe collection. It might sound silly to get excited about baby peppers but since everything in Singapore is imported you have to grab it when you can. And believe it or not, its the first time I saw these! This is a very easy meal to make. It is vegetarian and its is packed with loads of flavour. Hope you enjoy.
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 corn, kernels removed
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup of kidney beans, drained
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
12 – 15 small peppers or 4 big peppers
extra cheese to top the peppers
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celcuis. Cut the tops off your peppers and remove the core and seeds without cutting through the flesh. If the pepper aren’t able to stand up by themselves, cut a little bit off the top to stabilise them. Drizzle and rub therewith olive oil. Set aside.
Cook you rice as per the packet instructions and set aside. I cooked my brown rice in chicken stock with a little bit of butter. Once the rice is cooked allow to sit for 10 minutes and mix together with all the other ingredients. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Using a spoon get a good amount of stuffing in each pepper and cover with a little bit of cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes if using small peppers or 35 minutes when using the big peppers. Make sure that the peppers are soft but still holds their shape. Serve hot and enjoy
Gnocchi no. 2… The kale is a great edition as it adds a beautiful crunch and the flavour helps to balance out the richness of the sundried tomato pesto. Hope you enjoy
Ingredients – Gnocchi
1 kg russet potatoes
1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp sea salt
Heat a large pot of salted water and boil your potatoes until they are fork tender. Do not peel them before cooking. Once cooked drain and allow to cool a bit before peeling off the skin as they get pretty hot and will burn your fingers.
Once peeled push through a potato ricer and place on a floured surface. Mix in the egg, salt and corn starch and start with half of the flour. Incorporate more flour until you get a dough consistency. If you don’t use all the flour its fine. Do not overwork your dough. Once a dough is formed roll out into snakes and cut your gnocchi about 1.5 cm long each and 1 cm thick. Make sure to pack the cut gnocchi on floured baking tray leaving spaces in-between.
Heat some fresh salted water in a large pot and bring to boil. Once boiling add the gnocchi. Once they float to the surface they are cooked. Strain and set aside.
Ingredients – Kale
200g fresh kale
olive oil to drizzle
salt for seasoning
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Tear and place kale leaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes or until the kale is nice and crispy. Set aside
Ingredients – Sundried Tomato Pesto
1 cup sundried tomatoes drained from the oil
1/3 cup pecan nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 red chilli
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor and process until find chopped. Now slowly add the olive oil while processing and continue to process until you get your desired consistency. Mix the gnocchi and sundries tomato pesto together until all the gnocchi is coated in the sauce. Serve with shaved parmesan and crispy kale.