Garlic Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

This is a real tasty dish which is surprisingly good on the calories at approx 540 calories per person.  This may be because it’s not swimming in cream like I often find so many pasta dishes!  This recipe serves two adults.

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Ingredients:-

150g Wholewheat Spaghetti
1 tsp Fresh lemon zest plus half a lemon juice.
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
200g Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
4 Spring Onions sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic sliced
30g Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated
6 Sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
150g cooked chicken breast
Optional (2 tbsp) of single cream

Begin to cook your spaghetti as per the instructions.  In a large wok or frying pan place the olive oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic and cook for about 5 minutes on a low-medium heat.  Add in the cooked chicken breast, lemon zest and juice, 2/3rds of the Parmigiano cheese, a ladle full of water from the spaghetti which is cooking, and stir round to heat through and combine.  If using the cream add this now too.  Taste to see if you want to add any salt and pepper.

You can either add the spaghetti to the pan once it has cooked, or place the spaghetti in the dish and add the chicken and mushroom mixture on top.  I like to do the latter, as then you get more equal amounts of the chicken and mushroom mix.  I then combine the spaghetti and chicken and mushroom mix whilst in the bowl.  Then sprinkle over the remaining 1/3rd Parmigiano cheese over both bowls along with the flat leaf parsley.

 

 

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Pasta, Tomato & Sardines

I used to make this for myself as one of my healthy eating low-calorie foods, but it has fast become a favourite with others in my family.  You could swap sardines for tuna or mackerel if you want, although the tinned sardines in tomato sauce just make this dish taste even better.  The quality of ingredients should be top-notch, as they do all the hard work.  I love Parmentier sardines in tomato, they are just delicious!

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

2  Tins of sardines in tomato sauce
150g of Bucatini or Spaghetti
2 Cloves of garlic sliced
10 Cherry tomatoes in quarters
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 Red pepper sliced
Salt
Bag of rocket leaves
1 Lemon

Boil your bucatini/spaghetti as per the instructions in salted water.

In a large wok or non stick pan, place the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, chilli flakes and red peppers.  Cook and stir for around five minutes.

Once the bucatini/spaghetti has cooked, remove two ladle full of the water and place into the pan/wok.  Drain the bucatini/spaghetti and add it to the wok.  Add in the sardines and break into chunks, gently mixing it around.  Squeeze in half the lemon, take a handful of rocket and add it to the frying pan, season with salt and mix around again.

Cook for a further couple of minutes, so that the rocket begins to wilt slightly.  Place the spaghetti in bowls.  You will notice some of the ingredients are at the base of the pan, so pour equally onto the spaghetti.

Take the rest of the rocket, squeeze some lemon over, grind a little salt and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Mix to combine and coat the rocket, then add to the spaghetti bowls.

Delicious!

 

 

 

Quick Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

There are times when you want to cook something tasty, but don’t want to slave over the stove making sauces and the like.  This is a good dish that you can make up pretty quickly with the illusion you have been slaving away at it all day.  Just make sure you test for seasoning.  If of course you don’t want to cheat with the bechamel sauce then by all means make you own.  I made it this way, to help a lady who gets in a blind panic making sauces.  She also hates the frozen ready meal options of this dish that are often available.  I agree with her that the frozen ready made taste, is just not the same as a good homemade version!

spinach and ricotta cannelloni

 

Ingredients

500g ricotta cheese
150g spinach leaves, chopped
2tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼tsp nutmeg
6 sheets fresh (not dry) lasagne
500ml shop-bought béchamel sauce (or you can make your own)
50g freshly grated Parmesan – you can use vegetarian variation if you wish.

Heat the oven to 200ºC. Put the ricotta into a bowl and break it up with a fork. Add the spinach, basil and garlic and mix well. Sprinkle with nutmeg and season well with salt and ground black pepper.

Cut each fresh lasagne sheet in half (if the large sheets). Spread 2-3tbsp of the ricotta and spinach mixture down the centre of each then roll into a tube, ensure the edges overlap slightly.

Spread a layer of béchamel sauce over the base of an ovenproof dish Place the cannelloni tubes with the seam-side down, in a single layer on the dish. Pour over the rest of the béchamel sauce and then sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan over the top. Bake the cannelloni in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

I love to serve this with a crisp green salad.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Ham

After so much festive food, I fancied something a little different yet I still wanted to use some ingredients up that I had left over, such as a pile of mushrooms and ham.  A true test to whether or not a dish is successful, is if any is left over on the plate/bowl.  I can report not a scrap was left by my family, with requests from them to make it again.  It is simple to make, and perhaps that is what is nice.  Quick and easy is often the most pleasurable form of cookery!

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Ingredients

  • Spaghetti, weight according to how many are eating.
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion diced, or a bunch of spring onions chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove chopped
  • Half a punnet of mushrooms sliced
  • 250ml of Chicken stock
  • A good grating of parmesan
  • Chopped ham, according to how many are eating (a good handful per person)
  • Small pot of single cream.
  • Salt & pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil, ready to cook your spaghetti to pack instructions, or guidelines if (like myself) you make pasta fresh.

In a pan place the olive oil, then heat through the onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Stir for around 5 minutes until the onion has softened.  Then add the stock and cook for five minutes.  During this time if using dried pasta, you can place it in the boiling water.  Add the cream to the vegetable mix in the pan, along with the chopped ham. Then grate in the parmesan.  I add the parmesan bit by bit until I get the right level of cheese flavour.  Gently heat through for a few minutes and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the pan, tossing it in the cream mixture, evenly coating the strands of spaghetti.

Serve in bowls with a little extra parmesan over the top.

 

Spicy Sausage Pasta

This went down a storm in my house last week.  So much so, my eldest has begged me to make it again this week.  I have also had my lovely cousin ask for the recipe, so I have placed it here for you.  If you want to join my facebook group then please use this link.  Facebook group

I have used a spicy Italian sausage, but you could use a good Lincolnshire, Cumberland or any other that takes your fancy.  Just make sure you remove the sausage from any skin, using only the sausage meat.  I also add some extra fresh red chilli in from time to time too, which gives a lovely kick.

IMG_2270Ingredients:-

  • 8 Italian Spicy Sausage – skins removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 Stick of celery diced very small
  • 1 Carrot diced very small
  • 1 Onion diced very small
  • 1 Garlic Clove Crushed
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Puree
  • Splash of red wine (optional)
  • Pasta of your choice around 400g for four people
  • Fresh rosemary – about a tablespoon chopped fine
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese Grated

In a large heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil and then add the carrot, garlic, onion and celery.  Fry for five minutes.  Then if using, add a splash of red wine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.  Then add the sausage meat and cook for 7 minutes, making sure you stir gently.  Then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Get one of the empty tomato cans and half fill with water, then add this to the pan.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes.  If the sauce is looking too thick then just add a little hot water from the kettle.  Whilst the sauce and sausage is simmering, you can cook your pasta to the pack instructions.  If making fresh pasta then again, cook to instructions.

Drain the pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce and sausage.  Heat through for a minute, stirring gently to combine all the ingredients, ensuring the pasta is properly coated.  Check for seasoning and add some more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve in bowls and grate some parmesan over the top.

To get some Christmas inspiration download my latest book A Taste of Christmas