Gallery

Sunday dinner – creamy leek and pancetta fettuccine

Last week was again a busy week, we did some renovation work at our studio, so I rather looked for a very chilled Sunday. Cooking something easy and maybe even repeating an old recipe would do the job.

I found this old recipe two years ago on my facebook memory, before I have my blog. I think it’s good to redo this, as my husband loves creamy pasta, this one must be his favourite once again! My old version was cooking this with falafel, I would live to do the same, but I could not manage to find falafel in the supermarket. I decided to give it up and go for fettuccine instead, which is also a good choice for creamy sauce.

To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil. Add garlic cloves and pancetta in the pan, fry them until the pancetta turn brown. Add some butter, then add chopped leek in the pan and fry them together with the pancetta, until they turn soft. Add cooking cream in the pan with fresh oregano, touch of thyme and ground paprika, lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce turn thick. Taste the sauce and season it with salt, add shredded parmesan cheese in the end. Switch off the heat and stir well.

When the fettuccine is cooked, add them in the sauce and stir well. If you feel it’s too dry, add some hot pasta water in. 

It’s creamy, and it’s really yummy~~~

Gallery

Fresh vegetarian dish for Summer – tri-colour vegetable pasta in pesto sauce

Tonight I really want to cook something light and vegetarian. Well, actually I have tried to eat less meat and would love to go for more vegetable dishes, not saying that I am turning into a vegetarian or even vegan, but I don’t mind to do that one day. No matter I am going to be a vegetarian or not, for sure I think I would love to cut down the amount of meat that I am going to consume. Maybe it’s good to have meat once or twice a week, the rest of the time is just vegetarian. Therefore, instead of Green Monday, I should do Meat Monday ūüėČ

Today I decided to cook a pasta dish, and I am thinking to make again our own pesto. I did it in the past, but it is really good if we just stop buying those ready made from the bottle and just doing our own ones. More fresh and healthy for sure! Well, definitely taste much better!!! To make our own pesto, you need a lot of green herbs, you can come up with your own combination, as long as you love the taste. If you would like to follow my version, here you go! I was using basil, two kind of parsley, the continental one and the curly one, coriander and garlic, I love spicy, so I would like to add red chilies, and I also love to add some parmesan cheese.  You can omit the chili and cheese if you prefer not spicy, but I think the cheese touch is great. Then, add around 100ml olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. That touch is more like a chimicurrri sauce, but I love the touch of acidity to keep it really fresh! Place everything in a food processor and blend everything together. Now you have your own pesto ready, you can store them in the fridge for a week if you could not finish it in one go.

For the pasta, this time I bought something organic, from this Italian brand Tarall’Oro. It is Torchietti, but you can also cook with fussili or penne. Cook the pasta with the cooking time according to the package, on the other hand, get the vegetable ready. Heat up the pan with olive oil, and then put the sliced garlic and chopped onion into the pan. Saut√© them until they start to turn soft, then add the chopped zucchini and yellow pepper into the pan, fry them until they turn brown. Place the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan one minute before the dish is done, fry quickly with the tomatoes, season with salt and switch off the fire I also love to add more chili but this is totally optional. You can choose other vegetable, but I think it is very nice to have three bright colours in the dish, and these three ingredients go well together.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water with the strainer and mix them well into the vegetables. Then add few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the pasta and keep mixing until you feel it’s enough. You can serve the pasta with some extra shredded cheese, and a touch more pesto. Garnish it with some parsley or basil.

I think this is really yummy and fresh for Summer time!

 

 

Gallery

Healthy Sunday dinner – vegetarian pasta

2017 seems not to be on my side, after getting laid off, I just got another piece of information that our landlord would like us to move out. Why everything have to come at the same time? Well, we always should look into the bright side, but sometimes it’s a bit too much and hard to stay positive all the time. I will try but it’s a bit tough these days.

I was busy with flat hunting this weekend and do not have much time to think about what to cook. So, I just come up with something very simple and healthy, in order to fit into our healthy theme lately. A vegetarian pasta – tri-colour fussili with asparagus and mushroom. 

The ingredients are very simple and of course based on vegetable, asparagus, mushroom and onion are the key ingredients and of course the tri-colour fussili. Bring a pot of hot water to boil and ready for the pasta. Heat up the pan with a touch of olive oil, then add sliced garlic and chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion start to turn brown. Then, add the chopped red chilli pepper and mushroom, fry them and squeeze some lemon juice in. When the mushroom turned soft, add some white wine and cook a bit. Finally, add the chopped asparagus in, cook them a bit and then add a bit of salt. The sauce is basically ready and you can just add the pasta when they are done, don’t forget to add some chopped parsley. Mix the fussili pasta well together with the sauce, and serve them with some roasted pine nuts on top to add a touch of nutty texture.

I found this pasta particularly light and healthy! You can also use this as a salad, chill them and then mix with some salad to eat as a pasta salad.

Gallery

My spicy version of Spaghetti Bolognese

I’m missing spaghetti bolognese, haven’t cooked that for quite some time, so would love to make it for tonight. Funny though my husband is also craving for this dish, he is happy that I am cooking this tonight!

I would like to make a spicy version tonight, both of us like how it tastes, a bit spicy! To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil, then add minced garlic. Add all the vegetables in, finely chopped onion, carrot, celery, and some red chilli pepper, cook them a bit, and then add the minced pork and beef. Cook it for a while, season it with thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper. Add some red wine and let it simmer for a while, then add plum tomatoes in. Let the sauce simmer and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes. Add water in between if you feel the sauce is too dry. Cook the spaghetti according to the package and mix them with the sauce when they are ready.

Serve the pasta with shredded parmesan cheese and a bit of basil. We love the spicy version and it tastes better than the non-spicy one.

Gallery

No Cheese with Seafood!!! Calamari night – stuffed calamari and calamari pasta with cheese

I went to bed very late on Saturday night, it so happened that I caught this TV show about David Rocco. I like to watch his show, as the way he cook is very simple, simple Italian food, just like home cooking. As he always says that he is an Italian, not a chef. All the dishes he made are very down to earth, and simply just about food.

That episode of this show is about seafood, and he would like to break the rule of putting cheese in the seafood dish. I still remember back then, I used to work with Italian crew in New York. When we go out for dinner, I ordered a seafood dish and asking the waiter for some cheese, they all looked at me like, WHAAAAAATTTTT? “You NEVER put cheese with seafood, you will be killing the dish!!!!!” And I remember there is a poster on the wall at Da Silvano Restaurant in NYC, with a big bubble saying “WHAT??? Cheese with Seafood???” something like that. So, I became very careful on putting cheese with seafood since then.

David Rocco in the show was cooking two dishes with calamari and pecorino cheese, he said why not putting them together, as they taste good! I know seafood and cheese together is not tasting bad, but it’s more about what the Italian said somehow. Hearing that from an Italian, and said that they do that quite a lot especially around the South, I am happy to try it out.

Stuffed Calamari –

The stuffed calamari is actually very rich, make sure you have few people to share, otherwise will be tough to finish it by yourself. For the stuffing, mix breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, spicy salami cubes, pecorino cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then add one egg to bind them together. Get a calamari tube ready, and stuff everything inside the tube, close both ends with a toothpick. Heat up the pan, put some olive oil, fry the garlic and parsley for a minute and then place the stuffed calamari in the pan. Fry each side for few minutes until it’s done, do not overcook the calamari, otherwise will become too chewy.

Calamari and Pepperoni Alfredo Spaghetti –

I used spaghetti for this dish and boil a pot of water for getting the spaghetti ready. On the other hand, get a sauce pan and heat it up, add olive oil, garlic and parsley in the pan and fry for a minute. You can add some red chili flakes if you like spicy, then add the calamari strips. Now add some salt, white wine or procescco in the pan, let it boil a bit, make sure there is enough sauce or otherwise might need to add olive oil. Meantime, crack two eggs in a bowl, add some black pepper, beat the egg and then add pecorino into the egg. When the pasta is ready, drain the water and then pour all the spaghetti into the sauce, and add the eggs into the pasta and the sauce, mix them well and ready to serve. Add some pasta water if you feel it’s too dry.
 

Gallery

Instead of salad, how about a pasta dish with Salmon and Avocado? Try this salmon fusilli pasta with avocado pesto

I was not meant to cook this for dinner last Sunday, but I found one pack of smoked salmon is going to be expired the next day, and the avocado is almost overripe. Let’s think of something to cook for the night with salmon and avocado. So, besides making a salad with salmon and avocado, what else can I do?¬†How about making a pasta dish…… Why not?

The thing about avocado is, it will turn into brown colour after exposing to air. So, try to use the right amount for this dish and finish it up in one go. If you have leftover, you will ended up eating a brown colour pasta the next day.¬†You would not get sick, it’s just not looking pretty. I’ve heard that if you put a cut onion next to an avocado, will help the avocado to keep green. Not sure if that works if I include onion as part of the ingredients, maybe I will try it out next time.

The Best Way to Keep Cut Avocado Fresh

It doesn’t take too long to prepare the pesto, it is¬†better to¬†get the water boiling for the pasta to start with. Now, you can start preparing the pesto and put everything into a food processor and let it do the chop work. Put some parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, avocado, half lemon juice, good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper into the food processor and blend them into a pesto sauce. Super quick and easy!

When the hot water is ready,¬†add a pinch of salt and¬†cook the pasta according to the cooking time on the package. When the pasta is ready,¬†drain them but save a bit of pasta water in case you need it later. Mix the pesto with the pasta and add some pasta water if you feel it’s too dry, then cut the smoked salmon into strips and mix them together with the pasta. Add the other half of lemon juice, and you can garnish it with some extra parsley and parmesan cheese on top.

 

Gallery

Sunday simple dinner – Chicken and Asparagus Penne

I was planning to cook this simple pasta on Saturday night, and was thinking to cook something more complicated on Sunday night. But then, I ended up with something else on Saturday night, so I have to save the ingredients for Sunday dinner. Not bad, so I get more time to do other things, like shower my two dogs.

What we need for this dish is chicken fillet, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chili if you prefer spicy, parsley and penne pasta. I do prefer to get the bigger version of asparagus, but I could not find it and I have to go for the smaller / thinner version.

Boil a pot of hot water for cooking the pasta, get a sauce pan ready on the other hand by heating it up with some olive oil. Start it off with the mined garlic, and then add the asparagus, cook them for a while until they started to turn soft. Add the chicken into the pan, let them fry a bit to get the surface cooked first. Then, stir fry them and add red chili, season them with salt, pepper, rosemary and ground paprika. Cook until the chicken is done, add the cherry tomatoes and more olive oil for the pasta later on.

When the penne pasta is done, drain the water and mix the pasta into the sauce pan. Add parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, then mix everything well together. You can serve the pasta with some more parmesan cheese and parsley on top as garnish and extra flavour.