Fettuccine with pesto, potato & green beans

pesto

The start of summer means the start of homemade basil pesto. Homemade pesto is a million times better than anything you will buy in the stores and is not very hard. I always make pesto with a mortar and pestle. It allows me to control the consistency and I like being able to see it all come together right in front of your eyes rather than whizzing everything in a blender. This recipe, like many others, is straight Italian Food Safari (Lucio Galletto) and adding potatoes and green beans is a nice variation to traditional basil pesto dishes.

Garlic Prawn Pasta

garlicprawnpasta
This pasta dish is a Donna Hay recipe and is super quick and simple. The best part is you cook with spaghetti and the prawns cook whilst the spaghetti cooks so it’s basically ready in about 10 minutes. The worst part is peeling the prawns but hopefully you have somebody to delegate that too. I’ve made this a couple of times and it can be dry if you cook too much spaghetti so have extra olive oil or lemon juice at the ready.

Minestrone

The classic Italian soup and perfect for the winter months. I like to fry some pancetta first with an onion and garlic before adding the diced vegetables. Mix up your vegetables for variations. I always add cabbage towards the end for a few minutes along with a little bit of pasta. Be careful and don’t add too much pasta as it will expand and ruin the soup. If you have some parmesan cheese rind, throw that in whilst cooking. Italian’s don’t like to waste anything.

IMG_4148

Cannelloni with braised meat

This dish was inspired by an Italian cooking show, Made in Italy, I came across the other day.

cannelloni

The photo doesn’t really show the dish however behind the crusted layer of sauce are rows of homemade cannelloni filled with mozzarella and veal mince. Making the pasta from scratch is time consuming but well worth the time. Practice makes perfect. Putting the cannelloni together was a lot harder than on the show! (funny that). Anyway, still delicious, and I am still amazed at how only a few simple ingredients make such incredible meals.

Pasta with chicken & pesto

IMG_3547

This dish combines 3 of my favourites… pasta, chicken and basil pesto (homemade of course). There is something therapeutic about making pesto in a mortar & pestle. It takes longer than a blender but you have better control over the outcome. Cook the pasta till al dente, add the warm chicken then coat with plenty of pesto and top with parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. I love parmesan cheese so find myself always going back for extra toppings mid-way through!

Fettucini…

This dish was inspired from a boscaiola dish my mum used to make when I was a kid. Tonight’s version is a simple combination of garlic, spring onions, mushrooms and pancetta and of a little bit of cream. Top with parsley, fresh parmesan and serve with red wine of course. An easy pasta dish to enjoy with close friends. Buon Appetito!

Image

Lentil bolognese

Yes this doesn’t sound right but it tastes delicious! You could use pre-soaked lentils to reduce the cooking time or just slow cook them for an hour or so. Either way, a nice variation of one of Italy’s most famous dish… and you can keep the vegetarians happy too.

Image

Boscaiola

Growing up my mum made this dish all the time. It’s pretty straight forward using a basic recipe of garlic, spring onion, any type of ham/bacon, mushrooms and cream. For me, it’s best served with fettucini or as my mum used too, a type of tortellini. This one has a mix of penne and rigatoni for something different.

Image

Rigatoni e Melanzane

Happy New Year!
It’s the 1/1/2014 and my first dish for the year is also one of my favourites. I added roasted capsicum and re-cooked the passata (homemade, although stocks are running low) for about half an hour with an onion/garlic/chilli/basil before adding the capsicum & eggplant. The longer you simmer the sauce, the better it will taste. Add water as needed so it doesn’t dry out. This time was for an hour or so and the flavours were incredible. Add a glass of red wine and life can’t be better.Image

Image