Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pasta. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like mac n' cheese. And I reckon this one is healthy as it has a good helping of cauliflower ;)

serves 4
takes 30 mins
  • 1 cup dried macaroni or your favourite dried 'tube like' pasta
  • 50g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 - 1 cup coarsely grated aged cheddar, plus extra for scattering over the top
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme or parsely
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 1/4 cup coarse day-old sourdough breadcrumbs or Panko 
  • large handful hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve: green leaf salad...or not :)
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil then add dried macaroni and cook until al dente (5-6 minutes) 
  3. Adding cauliflower after 2 minutes
  4. Drain and pour into a large baking dish & set aside
  5. Combine breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, oil 1 tbsp thyme in a bowl & set aside
  6. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until golden (2-4 minutes)
  7. Gradually whisk in milk and stir until mixture is thick and comes to the boil (2-4 minutes)
  8. Stir in cheese, remaining 1 tbsp thyme, mustard & season to taste
  9. Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta & cauliflower, stir in and scatter with remaining cheese and grill until golden (3-4 minutes)
  10. Serve with green salad if you like ;)

source: Taste Magazine#112

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta

Pasta tends to be a bit heavy during summer so loving this light sauce that hides a bucketful of spinach but requires no cooking. Handy when you need some carbs for that run or cycle the next morning.

serves 2
takes 15 minutes
  • pasta of choice (I used about 250grams dried pappardelle but this works with any type of pasta including fresh)
  • 2 avocados, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • large bunch of baby spinach leaves
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper 
  • 1/4 cup starchy water (from the cooked pasta)
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve 

  1. Grab a large pot & fill with water, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta water then drain.
  2. Into a food processor add the rest of the ingredients with the pasta water. Save the parmesan cheese to serve. Blend everything until smooth. 
  3. Serve the sauce over the warm pasta sprinkled with parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy! 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Parsley Pesto Pasta and Roasted Tomatoes

My little garden has produced an abundance of flat leaf parsley over winter, so far it seems to be the only thing that has done well, and there are only so many things one can do with parsley right? Then I remembered the Broccoli Pesto the wonderful Sarah Wilson from iquitsugar produced and after a bit of googling came up with a parsley version which not only went well with pasta but also scrambled eggs and chicken. I've spent the last week cooking only with ingredients in the cupboards and fridge and this pesto has added so much flavour to otherwise boring dishes.

  • 2 cups packed flat leaf parsley, stems removed
  • 4-6 gloves of garlic, peeled (I love garlic in pesto so if you aren't a fan cut down to 2-3 gloves)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or you can use walnuts
  • Lemon - juiced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (we had just stocked up on some amazing sheep cheese from Matatoki Farm and I used something similar to a Parmesan)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (from Azzuro Groves - the best Olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • pasta - I just used dried
  • tomatoes - I used vine as they were on special
  • feta (optional)
  1. Throw all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and blend until a paste forms then gradually add in olive oil. Season and keep in fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Place tomatoes on an oven tray and splash some olive oil over them and season. Bake for around 20 minutes or until they are caramelised and starting to collapse.
  3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
  4. Mix the pesto into the drained pasta, crumble in some feta if using and serve with roasted tomatoes on top and a generous ground of fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Poor Man's Pesto

Traditional pesto calls for pine nuts & basil which can be expensive so I've swapped out a few ingredients. 

This recipe is great for using up those almost manky spinach leaves you have hanging around the bottom of the fridge or any type of green leaf vegetable such as kale, swiss chard or silverbeet. With the exception of baby spinach leaves I lightly steam my greens beforehand.

I've swapped out the pine nuts for walnuts but I've also used unsalted cashews with great success. I'm continuing experimenting with different types of nuts such as almonds, cashews, Macadamia, brazil & pecans. I always toast them slightly first as it helps to bring out the flavour, for example, walnuts can be bitter and toasting them brings out their sweet nutty flavour. I also try & buy nuts in their shells as they keep longer in the fridge plus you get the added bonus of cracking them open (I use a hammer!) for a bit of after work stress release.

makes enough for 3-4 people
takes 20 minutes
  • Packet of pasta, fresh or dried, cook following packet
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted. Depending on the type of nut used I sometimes increase the amount
  • Bunch of kale or leafy green, roughly chopped & steamed slightly, I normally end up with about 1 - 1 1/2 cups. Drain after steaming but you don't need to be too fussy about draining all the liquid, just add it into the blender. Sometimes, I blanch in cold water but I forgot to do this last night & didn't notice any difference. Just make sure you don't over cook the greens.
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil, start with less & add more if you want a smoother consistency
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (I love a garlicky pesto so add less if you aren't a fan)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • crack of sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain & set aside.
  2. Lightly steam the roughly chopped leafy greens, drain until most of the water is gone and throw into a food processor.
  3. Toast the nuts either on a oven tray at 180oC or in a pot over medium-high heat until golden brown. Keep an eye on them! 
  4. Place the nuts, cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon & seasoning into the processor & puree until smooth. Check to see if you need to add more parmesan, olive oil or seasoning.
  5. Into the drained pasta tip pesto in and mix until all the pasta is coated with the yummy pesto. Serve with some freshly cracked pepper & a bit more parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Penne Pasta with Tuna, Edamame & Parmesan

Here's a pasta concoction I threw together the night before we did a Trail Run at Shakespear Park. Sliding through mud and crawling up hills on a Sunday morning made me question my sanity but well worth it as the views were awesome (& I came 12 out of 41 in my age division). This dish helped us "carb" up.

serves 4
takes 40 minutes 
  • 2 cups dried pasta (I used wholemeal penne)
  • 2 cups edamame beans, mine were still frozen in their pods
  • 1 cup peas, frozen is ok
  • 1 large can tuna chunks in water, drained
  • bunch of garlic chives, chopped (or spring onions/onions)
  • 2 cups trim milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Cook pasta following packet instructions. Add in edamame beans & peas for last 2 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain pasta & vegetables. Cool slightly and then pop the edamame out of their pods. Place pasta & vegetables into a lightly oiled baking dish & stir in drained tuna.
  4. Meanwhile throw a little butter in a pot on a medium heat. Cook chives (or onions) until soft. Add flour and cook for a further minute before adding milk slowly, whisking together to create a smooth sauce. Cook until it thickens slightly.
  5. Pour over pasta & vegetables.
  6. Place tomatoes over the top & sprinkle with breadcrumbs & cheese and season with freshly cracked pepper.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown & cheese has melted. Plate up & enjoy!