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.

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.

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Veal osso buco

Osso buco is one of my favourite slow cooked dishes. This time I used veal shanks instead of beef. This is slow cooked in diced tomaotes and chicken stock for about 2 hours. The base of the sauce is onion, garlic, anchovies, celery, carrots and white wine. The longer you simmer the dish the better it will be. Don’t be impatient.

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Served with mash potatoes, garnished with chives.

Roast Chicken

It has taken a while but I finally got round to roasting a chicken and why hadn’t I done this earlier!? This is a Jamie Oliver inspired recipe. The chicken sits on a combination of potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, onion and garlic, cooking the entire time with the chicken. The beauty of this dish is it’s pretty simple. No fancy marinades, just olive oil and seasoning. Add water to the bottom of the dish to stop the vegetables from burning too much (I didn’t really add enough but they still tasted great!).

chicken

Gnocchi

I’ll be honest, homemade gnocchi is a little time consuming and messy, however, making your own will always be better than packaged gnocchi from a supermarket. There isn’t much to gnocchi, potatoes, flour and an egg. Simple. This dish is served with homemade passata with mozzarella melted into the sauce for extra flavour. Serve with parmesan and enjoy!

gnocchi

Frittata

There is something therapeutic about cooking a frittata. Once I have fried my base ingredients, on this occasion chorizo and mushrooms, I add the whisked eggs and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The slower the simmer, the better. IMG_2861

This frittata also has silverbeet and dollops of fresh ricotta. When the frittata is almost cooked, place it under a hot grill to give it a nice golden finish.
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Mix up frittatas with a variety of ingredients. This one has roasted potatoes, pumpkin, italian sausage and feta.

Mussels from Brussels

Change of scenery when Belgian flavours took over my kitchen and palate thanks to a special guest appearance from a wonderful Belgian chef. The beauty of this dish is that you have two meals in one. The mussels were delicious as always, however, they were cooked in a vegetable broth that compliments them very well. We simmered the broth for 45 minutes with a mixture of shallots, onions, celery, leeks and carrots. Use your imagination to create your own flavours.

mussels from brussels!

Belgium’s best kept secret is best served with “frites”. Homemade of course. Use different types of potatoes to mix things up.

Bon appetit!