Category Archives: Pasta

Tuna Mornay

The weather is beginning to turn autumnal here in Western Australia and with that comes the return of comfort food.

There is something very soothing about tuna mornay, memories back in the seventies and eighties of this being a bit of a go to dish in my childhood home, minus the capsicum/bell pepper and certainly not gluten free. 

Now that I make it for my boys it has become gluten free, has the corn  and capsicum in it and a few good dollops of whole grain mustard to give it some kick.

This makes 12 serves, now that may seem excessive but it freezes really well so I use the make one freeze one mantra for an easy meal possibly through the coming school hols?

Ingredients

150g butter

1 large onion, peeled and diced

250g capsicum/bell pepper, diced

3 large ears of corn, kernels removed

120g gluten free plain flour

1 litre milk

3 level or heaped tablespoons whole grain mustard

200g cheddar, grated

Salt and pepper

2 x 425g tins of tuna, drained and loosened to form chunks.

340g gluten free penne pasta, cooked as per the label

TOPPING

50g cheddar, grated

65g gluten free bread made into breadcrumbs

Method

Cook the pasta as per the label. Drain and cover.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade.

In a large pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the onion, capsicum and corn kernels and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Pour the milk into the pan, still stirring. Bring the sauce up to the boil gently, stirring all of the time.

Take it off the heat as soon as it has come to the boil and thickened.

Now stir the mustard and cheese through and season with salt and pepper.

Add the drained pasta to the pan and the tuna, stir briefly.

Spoon into your oven proof serving dish or dishes if you are making a spare one for the freezer.

Combine the cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top.

Pop the pasta dish into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Advertisements

Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes And Salmon

image

Fish is expensive compared to other meats here in Western Australia so I love a recipe that allows for the fish to go a bit further! By popping the cooked salmon on top of the pasta it doesn’t disintegrate and disappear and I think looks rather pretty with the smoked paprika covering.

I buy salmon with the skin on, it tends to be cheaper and as it is baked first it’s easy to remove the skin and scrape off the fatty brown meat. The skin also protects the surface of the salmon while it bakes.

The salmon can be cooked ahead of time which is what I do when the weather is so hot!

Serves 6. Use gluten free pasta if needed.

Ingredients

500g dried pasta

400g salmon, 2 fillets, skin on, bones removed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper

30ml oil

1 red onion, sliced

6 anchovies, drained

a pinch of chilli flakes

350mls passata/sieved tomatoes

300g cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Take a large piece of foil and top it with a sheet of baking parchment.

Place the salmon on the parchment, season the salmon with salt and pepper and then sprinkle over the smoked paprika.

First wrap the fish in the paper and then the foil so that it’s completely sealed in the paper.

Pop this package onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave the parcel sealed for 10 minutes.

Once you are ready to cook dinner…..,,

Bring a large pan of water up to the boil and cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.

In a large, I use a 32cm deep frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, anchovies and garlic, cook until the onion is soft, stir in the chilli flakes.

Pour in the passata and cherry tomatoes and stir over a high heat until the tomatoes are beginning to go squishy, around three minutes.

Pour the cooked pasta into the tomato mix, stir well.

Break the salmon up over the pasta and sprinkle with parsley.

 

 

Mega Macaroni Cheese With Pancetta

image

This recipe is a life saver if you need to plan ahead or feed in bulk!

The quantities are LARGE, I use an 8 litre stock pot for the final mix through but you end up with truckloads of yummy mac cheese, perfect for during the holidays when you might want a night off as it freezes really well. I also freeze it in a variety of sized trays, family, three portions or teenage boy portions!

The mac cheese in the foreground has just been baked, all the rest are heading into my freezer.

Serves 14-18 depending on your portions.

Ingredients

500g pancetta, speck or smoked bacon, rind removed and finely diced

1 kg macaroni

300g butter

200g plain flour

2 litres milk

1kg cheddar, grated

salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta over a high heat until the fat renders and it is crispy, set aside.

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions in a very large pan, that’s the 8 litre one I use!

In another large pan, I use a 6 litre pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir while bubbling for one minute.

Pour in the milk and use a whisk to combine well.

Continue whisking the milk until it just comes up to the boil and thickens.

Take off the heat and add 750g of cheese, stir well until melted.

Drain the pasta and return it to the enormous pan! Add the pancetta and rendered fat if you like.

Pour the cheese sauce over and stir well to combine.

Spoon the macaroni into your oven proof dishes, I tend to use foil dishes for in the freezer.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

If freezing, allow to cool, cover with lids or foil and freeze.

If cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden.

Chicken Meatballs with Hidden Veggies

image

A great way to use fresh tomatoes, spinach and sweetcorn!

I really like the idea of minimal washing up so do consider cooking the onion and the reusing the pan for the meatballs, think of it as added flavour!

For my gluten free option, I bake a potato while the meatballs are cooking and have a potato topped with the sauce and meatballs.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons oil

4 onions , diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander

2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

500g minced chicken

250g sweetcorn kernels, fresh or frozen

salt and pepper

SAUCE

5 anchovies in oil, drained

pepper, freshly ground

5 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced

50g baby spinach leaves

100g mozzarella, grated

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the onions, cook until soft and beginning to colour, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Spoon 1/4 of the onion mix into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Add the anchovies to the remaining onions and cook for 1 minute, add the tomatoes.

Spoon the mix into an oven proof dish. Keep the pan on the stove to cook the meatballs.

Once the onions in the bowl have cooled, add the fresh coriander and dill, chilli flakes, chicken, sweetcorn and seasoning, mix well.

Heat the pan to medium high.

Form the meat into meatballs and quickly fry them on all sides to colour them.

Sprinkle the spinach over the tomato mixture and spoon over the meatballs.

Top with the grated cheese and bake, covered, in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked and then bake, uncovered for 10-15mins to allow the cheese to brown.

To serve, top some hot cooked pasta with a handful of baby spinach, the sauce from the meatballs and then the meatballs themselves.

 

Continue reading Chicken Meatballs with Hidden Veggies

Sundried Tomato Pasta Sauce

image

This sauce has a real tomatoey kick to it!

It is also my pantry go to sauce when I need a quick dinner, it is seriously tasty, just adjust the sugar, salt and pepper to your own taste.

To make this gluten free just use gluten free pasta, to make it dairy free and  vegan just omit the mozzarella.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil from the sun dried tomatoes

1 onion, diced finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

a pinch of chilli flakes

150g sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

750mls passata/sieved tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

caster sugar

salt and pepper

100g fresh mozzarella, drained, dried and torn

Method

Heat a large frying pan over a medium flame.

Add the oil and once hot add the onions and cook until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped sundried tomatoes, oregano and chilli flakes followed by the passata and tomato paste.

Season well and bring up to a simmer.

Simmer gently until thickened, check seasoning and add a little sugar if needed.

Cook your pasta as per instructions, drain and tip into the frying pan, stir well and tear some fresh mozzarella, if using, over the top.

 

Creamy Smoked Salmon and Pea Sauce for Pasta or Baked Potatoes

image

Creamy sauce, smoked salmon and peas go so well together!

The boys have theirs over pasta but for the gluten free option I allow the sauce to thicken before adding the salmon and peas and then spoon it over a baked potato, utter decadence!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

30g butter

1 large onion, sliced

250g cream cheese

700mls milk

200g smoked salmon, cut into strips

400g frozen peas, defrosted

salt and pepper

500g dried pasta

Method

In a large frying pan over a medium to low heat, melt the butter and add the onion slices.

Cook gently until soft but not coloured, around 10mins.

Beat the cheese and 250mls of milk in a bowl until you have a creamy consistency.

Pour the cheese mix and the rest of the milk in with the onions and bring up to a gentle simmer.

Add the peas and salmon, cook until the salmon has only just lost its opaqueness.

Serve over pasta or allow to thicken a little in the pan and spoon over baked potatoes.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

image

This is a great way to use up fresh tomatoes and is an easy sauce if you don’t have tinned tomatoes or sieved tomatoes to hand.

The idea of processing the tomatoes, garlic and onion makes a smooth sauce but you need to cook it through, I use a large frying pan to speed up the evaporation process to help thicken it up. If making in bulk, I use a big stock pot and it does take longer to thicken.

To freeze, I allow it to cool and then bag in ziplock bags without the extra basil.

To make this vegetarian, omit the anchovies and add a few drops of mushroom ketchup.

Ingredients

12 large Roma tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1/2 red onion

100mls water

bunch of fresh basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 anchovies in oil, drained

2 teaspoons maple syrup

salt and pepper

Method

Process the tomatoes, garlic, onion, water and half of the basil leaves.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan pour in the tomato sauce and bring up to a gentle simmer.

Add the anchovies and simmer gently for 30mins, until the sauce has thickened and darkened.

Add the maple syrup and season well.

Check seasoning again.

Shred the remaining basil leaves.

Pour the sauce over your cooked pasta and sprinkle over the remaining basil.