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Chicken and pea pasta bake

June 17, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate

1 tablespoon butter
350 g pasta
olive oil
2 leeks, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
100 ml chicken stock
100 ml white wine
150 g frozen peas
200 g cooked chicken, diced
225 ml milk
250 g ricotta
60 g Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a 30 x 25cm baking dish. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water, for slightly less time than given on the packet so it’s just undercooked and coat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for 10 minutes or until they’re soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and wine, then cook for 8–10 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
To the drained pasta, add the leek mixture, chicken, milk and two-thirds of the ricotta. Mix gently to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the Parmesan, remaining ricotta and drizzle with olive oil, if you like. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot and starting to crisp up on top.

Sunday Spaghetti and Meatballs

November 29, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate

For the meatballs:
4 slices stale peasant bread, trimmed of crust and coarsely chopped in food processor
Milk, to moisten bread
2 pounds beef, pork and veal mix
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
A fat handful each of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons ground sage
2 garlic cloves, grated or pasted
3-4 tablespoons onion, grated
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large egg
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or veal stock
3 cans San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces each)
10-12 basil leaves, torn
1 parmesan cheese rind
For serving:
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
For the meatballs, in a small bowl, soak the bread in milk. Squeeze out the excess milk and add to the meat in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and roll 2 1/2-inch balls and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake to partially cook and lightly brown, 15 minutes.
For the sauce, add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add the butter and melt. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and partially cover. Sweat until very tender, 20 minutes, stirring frequently – lower the heat if the onion browns. Add the wine and reduce by half; add the stock and the tomatoes and break up the tomatoes a bit. Bring to a bubble; reduce the heat and simmer. Add the basil and cheese rind, cook gently 30 minutes to thicken, then add the meatballs and keep at low simmer while you cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Add a mug of the starchy cooking water to the sauce before draining the pasta. Toss the pasta with the butter and half of the sauce.
Serve in shallow bowls and top with more sauce and meatballs. Pass extra cheese at the table.

Pasta with vegetable sauce

November 11, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Fruits & Vegetables, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Easy

sa_1415700601Summer Vegetables with Bowtie Pasta
600 g pasta
150 mg olive oil
1 cup Parsley, basil, cilantro, chopped
50 g walnut
1cup tomatoes, choppes
50 g Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
cook pasta as directes on package. Blend vegetables and tomatoes with olive oil and cook until tender. Add walnut, salt and pepper. After all ingredients cook add cheddar and Throw over pasta and design with sauce.

Cheese and Macaroni

October 11, 2014 in Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Easy

sa_1413029532mac and cheese
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
½ cup chopped yellow onion (about ½ small onion)
1½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sweet paprika
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
1 pound elbow macaroni, uncooked
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into pieces or sliced
4 ounces packaged whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into pieces or sliced
12 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into pieces or sliced
1 cup Panko Crumb Topping (recipe follows), plus more for garnish if desired
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and paprika and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute longer. Whisk in the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat. Combine the macaroni with the fresh mozzarella, packaged mozzarella, and twothirds of the cheddar in a multi-cooker. Add the milk mixture and stir to combine.
Close the lid and set the machine to the “slow cook” program for 3 hours. Stir the mixture midway through. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, top the macaroni and cheese with the remaining cheddar and the Panko Crumb Topping and replace the lid. Serve the macaroni and cheese with additional Panko Crumb Topping if desired.
Panko Crumb Topping:
Melt the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the panko crumbs and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Crab rigatoni

October 7, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate



olive oil

2 large fennel bulbs

4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, stalks finely chopped

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

2 lemons

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

250 g cherry tomatoes, on the vine

500 g rigatoni, dried or fresh

250 g undressed brown crabmeat, from sustainable sources

250 g white crabmeat, from sustainable sources


This recipe celebrates all that is delicious about crab, and if you use picked crabmeat then making it will be super speedy. The combined sweetness of the crab and tomatoes is a great flavour match for the fresh, aniseedy kick of the fennel.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Peel and finely chop the outer layers of the fennel. Set the leafy tops and inner hearts aside to make a salad later. Add the chopped fennel and garlic to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until soft.

Add the parsley stalks, chilli flakes, cinnamon and fennel seeds to the pan and fry for 2–3 minutes. Finely grate in the zest from your 2 lemons (reserve the lemons) and add the tinned tomatoes. Sit the cherry tomatoes, vines and all, on top to poach. Cover, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

While the pasta and sauce are cooking away, crack on with the salad. Push the reserved fennel hearts and one of the zested lemons through the thinnest slicing attachment on your food processor – or use a mandolin (or a knife). Tip into a bowl and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the reserved fennel tops and gently toss with your fingers. Put aside until you’re ready to serve.

Check the tomato sauce – it should look rich and glossy and the tomatoes should be soft and squashy. Carefully pick out and discard the vine, leaving the tomatoes in the pan. Gently stir in the brown crabmeat and let it heat up.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of cooking water, then gently fold it through the ragù with the white crabmeat, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Serve the pasta on a lovely big platter with the fennel salad bang on top so you can mix and toss the two together as you serve. Chop the remaining lemon into wedges and serve on the side for squeezing over. The mix of flavours is a knockout!


Straw and Hay Pasta

September 7, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Easy


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely minced onion
4 ounces prosciutto, julienne
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh peas
6 ounces fresh egg fettuccine
6 ounces fresh spinach fettuccine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a large stockpot, bring salted water to a rapid boil.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions and saute until translucent, but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the prosciutto and cook 1 more minute, stirring. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is just thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Add the peas and remove from the heat.
Cook the pasta to al dente. Return the sauce to the heat. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Finish with parmesan and more cracked black pepper.


Pork meatloaf, spaghetti sauce

August 25, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate


3 carrots
olive oil
100 g stale bread
500 g higher-welfare minced pork
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
30 g feta cheese
1 large free-range egg
3 fresh red chillies
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 700 ml jar of passata
30 g Cheddar cheese
480 g dried spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Peel the carrots, quarter lengthways, then place in a roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then use your hands to mix in a bowl with the pork, half the oregano, the crumbled feta (it’s a small amount, but it makes all the difference!), the egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf (roughly 20cm long), then, when the time’s up on the carrots, make a space in the middle of the tray and add the meatloaf. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, halve the chillies lengthways and deseed, then put them into a medium pan on a low heat with a lug of oil for 2 minutes while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Scoop out and reserve the chillies, then put the onion and garlic into the pan with the remaining oregano and fry for about 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Pour in the passata, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour into the pan, season to perfection, then simmer until the time’s up on the meatloaf.
Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the sauce around the meatloaf. Pull the carrots to the top of the sauce and arrange around the meatloaf with the chillies, then grate the Cheddar on top of it (I like to sprinkle over a few fresh woody herb leaves like rosemary at this point, if I’ve got it). Pop the meatloaf back into the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and delicious, and the sauce is bubbling. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain. Serve everything in the middle of the table with a salad, then slice up the meatloaf, mashing the chillies into the sauce for added heat, if you like.


Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese

August 25, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Skill Level: Moderate


Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.


Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

August 21, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Cuisine: Sea food, Skill Level: Easy


1 pound linguini
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Avatar of Richard

by Richard

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

July 24, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Pasta, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Easy


1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Toss to coat evenly.

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