Fabulous easy pasta

This is seriously the concoction of what I had in the fridge that day! It is so fast, fresh and fabulous that I go out of my way to ensure I have the ingredients to cook it on purpose now! My kids go back for seconds, and it freezes really well, so this simple dish is a winner in my house!

Ingredients

1 small onion, sliced

2 tsp garlic paste or 3 cloves of garlic crushed

4 sprigs box basil

A handful of parsley

350ml tomato puree or passata

6 pieces of grilled red and yellow capsicum (from the deli or jar or maybe from leftovers)

250g zucchini spaghetti – as in the fresh curly zucchini strips

Dash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Heat a saucepan, splashing a dash of olive oil in. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add the herbs, passata and capsicum. Salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for ten minutes. Steam the zucchini curls, then add to your sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Fabulous easy pasta

Reef fish & pasta bake

So you BBQ’d your reef fish and you’ve got great leftovers. This is so scrumptious in Summer or Winter, it is the perfect homely dish to give you a big warm hug.

Ingredients

500 g reef fish

A handful of button mushrooms, sliced

500g orenchetti

500 ml cream

2 tbs butter

Handful of grated cheese

Handful of dill, chopped

Salt and pepper to your liking

 

Method

Boil the pasta to al dente as per packet instructions. In a separate saucepan combine the cream, butter, dill, mushrooms and fish. Season to your liking. Drain the pasta and add to the fish sauce. Toss around a bit and then slide into a deep dish, like a small ceramic lasagne plate. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake in the oven on 180 degrees Celsius for about 12 minutes until cheese is melted. Your kitchen will smell incredible! This dish will transport you to lazy days on the beach ending with a glass of vino as you wrap your cardigan around your shoulders, clutching your bowl of beautiful fresh baked reef fish pasta.

 

Reef fish & pasta bake

Nectarine and Haloumi salad

So whenever stone fruit is in season I think it is more than appropriate to use it every day! This means we eat them sliced on yoghurt or ice-cream for desert, whole in our lunches, and even in our salads at dinner! It is as simple as putting a pan on low heat, throwing in a teaspoon of caster sugar, a dash of water, and then the fruits halved. They really get an intense flavour with the heat, and just moving them around the pan a little allows them to absorb the sugar, making a beautiful coating.

Sometimes I like to fry a little haloumi and add it too. Here I have used nectarines. They were gorgeous!I like to go to this little extra effort with salads when I have vegetarian friends over, or just because! Who needs an excuse to eat beautiful nectarines?!

Give it a go, embrace stone fruit season!!

 

Nectarine and Haloumi salad

Butterfly lamb

Feeling a little Mediterranean I thought I’d throw some herbs from the balcony in a dish, add some tang of lemon and get a lamb going! Turns out that was a good decision and I will be serving this to the family again. It was beautiful, and the next day I used the leftover meat on a homemade pizza with some feta, herbs and tomato. I hope you like it!

Ingredients

Leg of lamb, bone off and butterflied

Salt and pepper

1 lemon, chopped into pieces

Handful of basil

A few sprigs of thyme

A few lengths of oregano

Drizzle of olive oil

 

Method

Lay the basil, thyme, oregano and lemon in the bottom of a roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt. Lay the lamb on top of the herbs to allow for infusion. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil, and dress with salt and pepper, rubbing it in. Pour ¼ cup water into the dish and place in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 1 hour. This is particularly lovely because when you eat the lamb, you honestly taste the herbs – they really go through the meat, and the lamb is moist and tender – don’t set the table with steak knives, butter knives will do! Enjoy!

The lamb placed on the herbs ready for infusion!

The end product! Delicious and moist!

Butterfly lamb

Turmeric chicken

We often need an immunity booster mid-week, especially with swimming lessons and other things going on, so I lean to turmeric. Here is a very simple way I get it in our diets without fuss or making the kids have some on a spoon with honey!

Ingredients

Chicken cut into tenderloins

2 tsp turmeric powder

A handful of oregano

Splash olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the chopped sprigs of oregano. Put a splash of olive oil and the turmeric powder in a small bowl, stirring until combined. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken into the pan on top of the oregano frying, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then turn and cook further until done. Serve with any veges or salad you like. See the capsicums on the plate above? I cut them and rubbed them with macadamia nuts all around the pan after I took the chicken out, to get all the scrumptious little bits coating them! This really is a lovely dish for your organs. Being simple and delicious it is a mid-week go to, and gives us the turmeric hit we need to keep us going!

Turmeric chicken

Mushroom risoni

Sometimes I read the backs of packets – and this recipe is similar to one I read on the back of a pasta packet. It is beautiful as it is not as heavy as a risotto, but very filling and the flavour of the mushrooms engulfs you! I hope you like it!

 

Ingredients

Dash of olive oil

2 tbs butter

2 handfuls of sliced mushrooms

500g risoni

½ cup white wine

1L chicken stock

A few sprigs of chopped parsley

A few shavings of romano cheese

 

Method

Add the olive oil, butter and mushrooms to a pan and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the risoni, dry and stir quickly around the pan. Add half a cup of white wine and allow to evaporate and soak. Pour in 150ml chicken stock, and then keeping pouring it in intermittently whilst stirring like you do with risotto. This will take about 20 minutes. Once the risoni is cooked and there is no more liquid left but the pasta is beautiful, add your herbs and serve! My family like this with a little romano cheese shaved on the top, but romano is quite potent, so don’t go too overboard! Enjoy!!

 

Mushroom risoni

Easy fried rice

This rice is good for a side dish but can stand alone as a meal itself. My family enjoy it both hot and cold, making it ideal for school lunches after having it for dinner (cheating but winning)! Have a go, it is easy, and oh so yummy!!

Ingredients

Splash of olive oil

1 diced onion

4 garlic cloves, chopped

6 bacon rashers, chopped

1 can baby corn kernels

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked long grain rice

3 eggs

2 tbs butter

A handful of parsley

Dash of apple cider vinegar

Dash of soy sauce

 

Method

Splash some olive oil in a heavy deep based pan and slosh it around. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the bacon and fry for about five minutes, until the bacon is cooked. Add the cooked rice, corn, peas, apple cider and soy sauce. Combine really well and leave on the stove top for about ten minutes to meld together. In another pan, melt the butter. Whilst the butter is melting whisk the eggs together. Add the eggs to the pan and stir with a fork. After one minute turn the heat off and stir the eggs with the fork once more. They should be almost done. Add the egg to the main pan and toss through the rice. Sprinkle with parsley and ta da! That’s as simple as it gets! I hope you enjoy this take on an old favourite!

Easy fried rice