red pepper pasta

Roasted Red Pepper and Sun Dried Tomato Fettuccine

  • red pepper pasta

A quick Pasta dish, made in minutes. So simple and so good, I mean really, really good. The creaminess from the cashew nuts is so much better than any dairy cream I can think of and it’s also highly nutritious and actually good for you. So what’s not to love, it’s delicious, it’s quick, it’s nutritious, it’s pasta! And honestly, picky eaters are not even going to know they’re eating roasted peppers, win win if you ask me.

Ingredients;

  • 1 lb. Fettuccine, preferably fresh
  • ½ Cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 Cup cashew nuts
  • 4 whole roasted peppers from a jar
  • ½ Cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ Cup Parmesan cheese
  • More Parmesan cheese to serve (leave out for vegans)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of Basil
  • Handful of toasted pine nuts to serve
  • About 1 – 1 ½ cups of water to thin the sauce.

red pepper pasta

Instructions;

Soak the sun dried tomatoes in a cup of water for a couple of hours.
And also soak the cashew nuts in a cup of water for a couple of hours.
You can do this the night before or early in the morning.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile place in a blender; drained sun dried tomatoes, drained cashew nuts, the roasted peppers, the Parmesan cheese, the garlic, white wine, about ½ cup of water to begin with and salt and pepper to taste.
Blend until creamy. Adding just enough water to get it creamy.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and reserve a cup of the boiling water.
Return the pasta to the pan straight away and pour over the roasted red pepper sauce, adding enough of the water from the cooking to make it saucy.
Serve immediately with more Parmesan Cheese, toasted pine nuts and Basil.

Enjoy!

Myra Xo

red pepper pasta

Browned Sage Butter and Turkey Pasta with wild Mushrooms and Prosciutto.

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I can’t believe it’s already boxing day, and the count down to New Years has begun. I truly hope everyone had a great Christmas. Now we can sort of relax for a week or so, take a breath, relax, cook some simple meals and get ready for the end of the year.

This easy pasta dish is perfect for the “in between” days, make it with left over turkey, or use fresh turkey or chicken. And by all means throw in any left overs, like a little gravy, some vegetables or whatever you like.

This easy recipe is done in under half an hour.

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Serves 4

 

Ingredients;

2  to 3 medium chicken breasts,or 2 cups cooked leftover turkey, torn to pieces.

salt + pepper, to taste

4 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. butter, divided

4 slices prosciutto

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine

1 garlic clove peeled and grated

2 tbsp. flour

 

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup stock

1/4 cup fresh sage

pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 lb. Pasta, cooked

1  cup mixed wild mushrooms

1 small onion

1 clove garlic, minced or grated

freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

1/4 cup mascarpone or heavy cream

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

 

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Method;

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter and oil start to sizzle, add  chicken and sage leafs and cook for 15 minutes on medium low, turning occasionally. Place the sage leafs on top of the chicken.  I like to use a cast iron pan for this because it gives the chicken a perfect crust.  Remove and transfer to plate.

Add the prosciutto to the pan and brown on both sides, for about two minutes, remove and transfer to plate.

Add the onion to the pan and cook gently for 4 minutes, add the garlic. Stir around and add the flour, cook for one minute and add the wine and stock, stirring to create a smooth sauce.

Add the mascarpone or cream, mix thru. Add the shredded chicken and two slices of torn up prosciutto.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta until al dente.

Heat another large skillet over high heat, add the remaining olive oil. Once hot, toss in the mushrooms in a single layer. Without stirring cook them until golden brown, flip them over.Transfer half the mushroom to a plate.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain but DO NOT RINSE! add it to the pan with the mushrooms and toss well. Add the cream sauce with chicken heat thru. Scatter over the remaining wild mushrooms, some parsley and serve straight away. Top with some of the crispy prosciutto. And serve with Parmesan.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

 

Not quite what you were looking for? How about Garlic Herb Shrimp with Bacon over Angel Hair Pasta

Garlic Herb Shrimp with Bacon over Angel Hair Pasta

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This is one of those dinner you can have on the table in under 20 minutes, from start to finish. Great for week nights during the holiday season. And SO crazy delicious, you’re going to be licking your bowls!

And guess what??? You could use left over turkey or chicken instead of shrimp.

Serves: 4

Ingredients;

1 lb. fresh Angel Hair Pasta or any thin pasta

1 lb. shelled and deveined shrimp, fresh or frozen (thawed)

4 oz. chopped bacon

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated

1/2 tsp. smoked Sweet paprika

1/4 tsp. of Red Crushed Pepper flakes

3 tbsp. fresh basil, torn

black ground Pepper

generous seasoning of Himalayan Salt

a handful of freshly chopped parsley

1 C. dry white wine

1 egg yolk

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method;

In a large pan with boiling water cook the angel hair pasta according to package instructions. Fresh pasta only takes about 4 minutes, so if you get everything ready for the sauce. It should take about the same time.

In a large frying pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil and add the bacon. Cook for two minutes or so, then add the garlic and chili. Add in the shrimp and toss, cook on high for a minute or two until they begin to color. Add the paprika, chili, pepper, salt and white wine. Cook for another minute. Add the basil and the drained pasta. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk making sure to cover all the strands of pasta. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Tomato sauce

Eating seasonal is one of the best ways to cook and enjoy food at its peak moment of flavor. It only makes sense to draw from what’s fresh and put in on your table. Now at the market we have all sorts of Tomatoes, and I love to combine them in this sauce. You can make this throughout the entire season and store it in the freezer. It can be used for so many dishes and is like a good foundation for many recipes. Keep it on hand and you will always be able to make a quick dinner.

Roasting tomatoes is the secret to a sweet and fresh tasting sauce, even after it’s been jarred or frozen. And it’s beyond easy to do.

Ingredients;

4 lbs. Tomatoes, washed and stems removed. Use different types!

4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled, squash them a little bit with the side of a knife

2 large Onions, peeled and quartered

1 tsp. Finely chopped fresh Rosemary

1/4 C.  extra virgin olive oil

1 small tin (2.5 oz.) Tomato puree

2 tbsp. Honey

½ cup fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt

5 or 6 twist of the Pepper mill

Method;

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large oven tray with baking parchment. Sprinkle the Basil leafs over the tray.

Cut large tomatoes in quarters, smaller ones in half. Mix in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients.

Place the tomato mix on the  baking sheet covering all the Basil leafs so they don’t burn.

Bake for 1 hour.

Allow to cool. Remove the skins from the garlic before blending the sauce in batches. Pulse 2-3 times then blend. Pour into quart jars or pour into freezer bags to freeze flat.

Will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or 4 months in the freezer.

Spaghetti alle Vongole

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This is a really fast dish that you can have on the table in no time. It looks impressive and it taste pretty impressive too. You need to get very fresh Clams. Although this dish is very easy to make you do need to take care of your clams making sure they are properly cleaned, nobody wants to bite on sand.

Just soak them in cold water as soon as you get home and leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

This dish can be easily multiplied or divided to suit the amount of eaters you’re feeding.

Some people use butter in their Spaghetti alle Vongole because it forms an emulsion, but I think it makes the dish too heavy and it takes the freshness away.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:IMG_7455
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 to 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lbs. littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Noilly Prat or dry white wine
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon cut into four to serve alongside the Pasta.

Soak the clams in water.

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Method:

Soak the clams in water as soon as you come home from buying them. Leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook. This is to remove any sand.

In a large pot bring water to the boil and add salt. Add pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook al dente, for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the clams and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until  all clams have opened. Discard any clams that haven’t opened.Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water!

Add the pasta into the clam saute pan and mix thoroughly. Check seasoning.
Pour pasta into large serving bowl.Garnish with remaining parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Eat straight away.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Epic Lasagna

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Serves 6.

Preparation: 1 hrs.

Cooking time 35-40 min.

Oh no, not another Lasagna recipe. Well, yes. But a different one. This recipe is actually from my mother, who still lives in Spain. She came about the idea, more out of need to finish of large amounts of Eggplants. She is always buying Eggplant and red bell peppers in bulk,  amounts enough to feed an entire army. She will eat a slice of toast with a whole grilled pepper on top. I mean I like them too, but Jeez. As a child I was never a fan of Eggplant, but I learned to appreciate them thru this dish. They get a lovely soft texture but are still firm enough to be recognized with every bite.

This delightful sauce is simmered for hours to fully develop the flavours, the sauce includes bacon and red wine but you can sub the red wine for stock if you prefer. Best even if you make the ragú (the red meat sauce) the day before. The Eggplant or Aubergine, is thinly sliced and grilled with some olive oil. This adds a nice smokey flavour and is then layered between the pasta and sauces. Much like Moussaka, hence the name.

It is some where in between a Moussaka and a Lasagna.

My mother adds All spice to the sauce, which works really well and is not at all overpowering. This recipe is for 6 people, but you can easily double the recipe, make two dishes and freeze one before the oven cooking step. You will need to cover it very well with foil and cling wrap, then it will keep for 3 months in the freezer. When you want to bake it, take it out the evening before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove all the wrapping and bake as stated in the recipe.

You will need :

An 8″ x 11″ x 3″ Casserole dish

12 sheets of dried Spelt (or regular) Lasagna sheets

Ingredients for the Ragú;

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 oz. smoked bacon, diced

1 medium onion, peeled and diced small

1 celery stalk, chopped fine

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or crushed

2 bay leaves

1 lb. minced beef

1 15 oz. can tomatoes

1 15 oz. Passata

2 organic stock cubes, beef or chicken

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

1 tbsp. Coconut sugar

1 glass of red wine

2 tsp. dried Basil

2 tsp. dried Oregano

1/2 tsp. Sage

1/2 tsp. Thyme

1/4 tsp. All Spice

2 Bay Leaves

1/4 C. chopped Parsley

1  can of water.

For the Eggplant;

2 Eggplants, washed and sliced 1/4 ” thick

cooking oil spray

For the Bechamel; 

3 tbsp. olive oil (or butter)

3 tbsp. Spelt flour

3 1/2 C. Soy milk unsweetened, or a milk of your choice

a good grating of Nutmeg

1 organic stock cube, beef or chicken

1 C. grated cheese, a mix of Parmesan and Mozzarella

Method:

Ragú:

Put a large frying pan on high heat with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the ground beef and the bacon and cook for 7 minutes until brown. Add all the chopped vegetables. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the stock cubes ( I always crumble them up between my fingers), the coconut sugar and the nutritional yeast. Give it a stir. Add the tomato paste and fry for one minute before adding the glass of red wine. Now add both cans of tomato plus one can of water. Add all the dried herbs and the Parsley. Cover half with a lid and simmer on low heat for about two hours. Check once in a while to see if you need to add more water. Alternatively you can transfer the sauce to a slow cooker. Set on high for about one hour until it bubbles then reduce to low and cook for four hours. When the sauce is done, check for seasoning, add a grinding of pepper and add some salt if necessary. Remove the bay leaves. You should end up with 4 cups of sauce. Add liquid if necessary.

Bechamel:

You need to use a pan with a very thick bottom so the sauce doesn;t stick or burn easily. Heat the olive oil and add the flour all at once. Stir in the milk, very little at a time so you do not get any lumps. Stir constantly. Adding milk bit by bit.

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You should end up with a silky smooth sauce like this.

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Add Nutmeg and the  stock cube (crumbled up) and let simmer for about ten minutes to cook the flour. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Eggplant:

Wash the Eggplants and cut of the crown. Cut in 1/4″slices. Heat a large Griddle pan and spray the pan. Put in enough slices to cover the pan with just one layer of Eggplant. When ready to turn spray the top and turn over the slices. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate when done. Repeat with all the slices.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

To assemble:

Oil the Casserole dish generously. Start with a thin layer of sauce, then layer the rest like this;

  • lasagna sheets
  • sauce
  • Eggplant
  • Bechamel
  • Grated cheese

The last layer should just be Lasagna sheets, bechamel and cheese.

Put in to the preheated oven and bake until brown and bubbling, for about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least ten minutes before cutting.

Buon Appetito.

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Spelt Spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and bacon,

At first I was reluctant to share this recipe with you because it was so simple and made in about 15 minutes tops. But after devouring a plate of it (a bit too much perhaps),  I felt it would be very selfish to keep this from you. It’s utter comfort food made in minutes.

Ingredients:

1 lbs. Spelt pasta, one pack

1/2 C. organic bacon, diced

2 cloves of garlic, grated (or thru your garlic crusher)

a punnet of cherry tomatoet, washed and cut in half

a handfull of green olives sliced

2 tbsp. fresh oregano, or otherwise about 1 tsp dried

2 tbsp. capers, drained

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 C. toasted pine nuts

Start by putting the pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 7 to 9 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the bacon in a hot pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. When almost done add the cherry tomatoes, garlic and olives. Then add the oregano. From the pan where you are boiling your pasta, scoop a ladle into the pan with your bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile the pasta should be cooked, drain but do not rinse, add it to the pan with your bacon and olives and so forth. Add the capers. Toss together and serve immediatly. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil and scatter with the remaining fresh oregano and the toasted pine nuts.

Serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese if you like.