Spaghetti & Meatballs

On 17th May 2016, This was Dinner

I suppose there is a thousand and one recipes for spaghetti and meatballs and I probably have about 150 of them. IS there a rule like  ‘it’s only proper spaghetti and meatballs if’?

Get set…

  • Chop an onion and finely chop another
  • Chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get spaghetti, beef mince, tomato purée, tin of chopped tomatoes, dried thyme, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)

Throw it together…

Mix the finely chopped onion with the thyme and mince. Form into balls and pop in the fridge.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add some purée and stir through then add the tinned tomatoes and some seasoning and leave to cook gently.

Pop the meatball on a baking tray and stick in the oven, they should take around 20 minutes to cook.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Dish it up…

On the bed of spaghetti, topped with the sauce and served with a sprinkle of parmesan of course.

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Not a jar of the dreaded Dolmio in sight.

Pasta, Tomato & Blue Cheese

Well it has been a while! I feel a little like I have lost my cooking mojo at the minute. No matter how much I plan, I’m not really sticking to it. So this is one factor in my lack of blogging. Then there is the fact that I’ve had my busiest period at work and I’m still playing catch up there. Then weekends are taken up by dogs and helping Mr S with the admin side of his business. Yes, it has definitely taken a back seat.

As I was so far behind I was going to ditch this post. Look at it! It doesn’t look like much does it? I decided to post it because it SHOULD have been good. I just made a poor choice on the pasta. So here we are:

On 14th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Crumble some blue cheese
  • Get pasta, chilli flakes, good oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

 

Mix the tomatoes with the garlic and oil. Add the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper then give it another stir and leave to one side for about half an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions then mix with the tomatoes and add the blue cheese.

Dish it up…

Finish with a pinch of pepper and a little more cheese if you have it.

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Ha, I couldn’t even remember how I posted the blog!

This recipe can be found in Hugh’s Three Good Things, where he uses a lovely penne pasta.

Greek Lamb & Macaroni Bake

On 18th April 2016, This was Dinner

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know I love a pasta bake. This BBC Good Food recipe has a suggestion to serve with garlic bread! All those carbs? I don’t think I could manage it! Oh and there was plenty of leftovers for lunch at work the next day, always a winner.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Prepare a small amount of beef stock
  • Get lamb mince, macaroni, ricotta, tin of chopped tomatoes, ground cinnamon, milk, dried oregano, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion. Cooking until softened then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking it up as you cook.

Add the cinnamon and stir. Add the stock and allow it to reduce. Sprinkle in the oregano then add the tomatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and season then cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Cook the pasta then drain.

Mix the ricotta with most of the parmesan and some seasoning and stir in the pasta.

Pour the mince into a large oven proof dish then top with the pasta. Scatter over the remaining parmesan. Bake for around 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

Get a great scoop into a bowl and feel the comfort of the pasta bake.

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Three Cheese Macaroni Bake with Chorizo & Bacon

On 6th April 2016, This was Dinner

Can you tell I had a bit of a ‘use it all up’ moment by the name of the recipe? Well I did and it turns out it was a great dinner too.

Get set…

  • Finely slice some leeks
  • Cut some brie into pieces
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Cut some cooking chorizo into bite sized pieces
  • Tear up some basil
  • Get streaky bacon, macaroni, frozen peas, soft cheese, English mustard, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Heat a frying pan and cook the strips of bacon. Remove and set aside. Cook the chorizo until it releases it’s oil and remove and set aside.

Heat some oil in the pan and cook the leeks until softened. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and refresh reserving a little of the cooking water.

Add the peas to the leeks and cook for a couple more minutes.

Snip the bacon into bits and then mix everything together along with the soft cheese and the brie. Add some of the pasta water if required. Season well and then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Dish it up…

Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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As you can see, there was a side of chicken wings too!

Kale & Parma Ham Canelloni

On 29th March 2016, This was Dinner

I can honestly say that although I expected this to be nice, I didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was. The bonus was that Mr S had done all of the hard work and I just helped to assemble it.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Peel & finely chop 6 garlic cloves
  • Peel & slice a red onion
  • Chop up some kale
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Tear up some mozzarella
  • Get parma ham, a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, fresh lasagne sheetscrème fraîche, chilli flakes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the lasagne sheets in boiling water with a little all, just for a couple of minutes, dry with kitchen paper and set aside.

Cook the kale for a couple of minutes in the same water and drain and refresh.

Cook the ham in a dry frying pan then remove and tear into small pieces.

Add a little oil to the pan and cook the onion and ¼ or the garlic for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.

Mix the crème fraîche with another ¼ of the garlic and half of the parmesan.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the remaining garlic gently for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and some chilli flakes and season. Leave to cook for around 10 minutes.

Mix the onions with the kale, parma ham, mozzarella and some seasoning.

Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish then divide the filling between the pasta sheets, roll up and place on the sauce. We didn’t over-fill ours and there was extra mixture to scatter around. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture over the top then sprinkle with the cheddar and the remaining parmesan.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Dish it up...

No added extra’s here, just serve.

As Mr S said to me, don’t eat this if you are doing something special, it’s loaded with garlic! Another thing to note is that this did make a large amount of sauce so freeze what you don’t use, it’s a perfect pasta sauce or pizza base.

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This recipe was inspired by an old Morrison’s Mag recipe. The photo isn’t the best, you’ll just have to take my word for how good this is.

Chorizo & Savoy Cabbage Spaghetti

On 21st March 2016, This was Dinner...

Chorizo and cabbage has to be one of the matches made in heaven for me. I usually make a rice dish but decided to use spaghetti this time. I used savoy but to be honest, any is good.

Get set…

  • Slice half a savoy cabbage
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Cut up a chorizo
  • Get spaghetti, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together...

Cook the chorizo in a hot pan then remove and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.

Heat some oil in the pan you cooked the chorizo in and cook the onion until softened.

Add the cabbage to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Throw in a little of the pasta water then pop the lid on for a minute whilst you drain the spaghetti (reserve a little water in case you need it).

Mix everything together and season well.

Dish it up…

If you have some parmesan, sprinkle some on. If you don’t, it’s good all the same.

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I have come to love spaghetti as a pasta, I always thought it was a bit of a waste but have changed my mind in recent years.

Seafood & Olive Pasta

On 10th March 2016, This was Dinner

This ended up being a meal for one as Mr S didn’t fancy it at all. Oh well, his loss. I used frozen seafood.

Get set…

  • Defrost some mixed seafood
  • Chop an onion
  • Slice a red chilli
  • Get pasta, olives, tin of chopped tomatoes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened.

Add the chilli and stir then add the chopped tomatoes and seasoning. Bring to the boil then leave to cook.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Add the seafood to the sauce to warm through.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.

Dish it up…

Scatter with your olives of choice.

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It was really nice, Mr S missed out.

Sweet, Sweet Kale

On 1st & 2nd March 2016, This was Dinner

I do adore kale, for a while it was quite hard to come buy unless it was in season but it is very fashionable now isn’t it. I bought a rather large bag of it from the market and new it would do two meals.

Tuesday’s dinner was Spaghetti with Caramelised Onion, Kale & Gorgonzola:

Get set…

  • Halve and thinly slice a red onion
  • Chop come kale
  • Crumble some gorgonzola
  • Prepare a small amount of vegetable stock
  • Chop some thyme leaves
  • Get spaghetti, sherry vinegar, caster sugar, chilli flakes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and thyme with some seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes until softened then add the chilli flakes along with the sugar and sherry vinegar. Stir then add the stock. Cook for 10 minutes, only stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions and add the kale for the last few minutes. Drain (reserving a little water) then toss together with the cheese.

Dish it up…

Serve in a bowl with the onions on top.

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Original recipe here.

I think I have actually achieved something I’ve never done before! I have used chorizo over two meals! To use up the kale I decided to make quesadillas and having bought cooking chorizo for another meal, I decided to add half of the pack to these. So Wednesday’s dinner – Chorizo, Red Onion & Kale Quesadillas:

Get set…

  • Finely slice a red onion
  • Cut a cooking chorizo into small pieces
  • Chops some kale
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get tortillas & oil ready

Throw it together…

Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened. Remove from the pan.

Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until starting to colour and crisp. Remove from the pan.

Add the kale to the pan and stir constantly for a couple of minutes then add a small amount of water, pop the lid on and remove from the heat. Remove the kale from the pan

Wipe out the pan and pop back on the heat.

Set out the tortillas and spread the onion over one half of each. Scatter the chorizo over then add the kale. Sprinkle with cheddar and fold over.

Pop two in a pan and cook on each side until browned and the cheese has melted.

Dish it up...

Halve each one. I like them to cool a little first. Just pop on a plate and serve.

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Before and after, or is that after and before.

This made six, I don’t like to overfill mine.

Chicken, Sweetcorn & ‘Noodle’ Soup

On 24th February 2016, This was Dinner

Not wanting to waste some fresh(ish) pasta that was sitting in the fridge from the seafood lasagne on Friday I decided to cut them into strips and serve them in this soup.

You could poach the chicken ahead to save time. Save the poaching liquid.

Get set…

  • Finely slice a green chilli
  • Cut some fresh lasagne sheets into strips
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Drain a can of sweetcorn
  • Mix a little cornflour with water
  • Lightly beat an egg
  • Get chicken breast, curry powder, shaoxing wine, brown sugar, a chicken stock pot & salt ready.

Throw it together…

Bring about a litre of water to the boil and add the chicken. Cook for 15-18 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Remove and set aside.

Add the stock pot to the poaching liquid along with the sweetcorn, bring to the boil and cook for a few minutes.

Add some curry powder, the shaoxing wine, sugar and a teaspoon of stock. Stir well and bring back to the boil then simmer for five minutes.

Add the lasagne strips to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

Slice or shred the chicken then add to the pan with the chilli, cornflour and half of the spring onions. Cook for a couple more minutes.

Slowly drizzle in the beaten egg, stirring constantly. By the time you’ve sorted your bowls out it is ready to serve.

Serve it up…

Just carefully spoon into a bowl and garnish with the remaining spring onions.

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Bacon, Cheese & Tomato Pasta Bake

It’s three years (and one day) since I registered for WordPress. I looked at a couple of my very early posts and thankfully it has evolved a bit since then.

And talking of anniversaries, it is 20 years since Jarvis Cocker stormed Michael Jackson’s set at the Brits. Which means it is 20 years since I went to see Pulp at the Sheffield Arena. I remember him walking out holding a copy of the Sun newspaper, of which he commanded the front page (and probably a few pages within I would imagine. The British media know how to milk a story). It’s also 20 years since Trainspotting was released. Twenty years though? Without sounding like my Nan, where does time go?

On 22nd February 2016, This was Dinner

I was so hungry today. We went and did some work at Unbloq yesterday and before we knew it, it was 3.30pm and we hadn’t eaten a sausage. (Or a slice of toast for that matter.) We ended up buying a ready roasted chicken from Morrisons and making a chicken and chorizo sandwich. The problem was this was my first bread for a while and it filled me until about 9.30pm when I was ready to eat again but by then it was too late.

I resisted the urge to get a takeaway on Monday night and made this pasta bake instead. This is originally a Bill Granger dish but I changed it up a little bit. The bacon is actually pancetta and the cheese is not just any old cheese, it’s the delicious (and a personal favourite of mine) taleggio.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Break up some taleggio
  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get pasta, milk, plain flour, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the pasta (I used shells) until al dente, drain and set aside.

Heat up a frying pan and add the pancetta and cook until starting to crisp. Add the onion and cook until softened.

Add the butter to the pan and melt. Add the flour to the pan and stir well. Gradually add in the milk to create a sauce. Season and add the taleggio.

Stir the pancetta mixture through the pasta, along with the tomatoes and add to a baking dish.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes then remove and add the cheddar and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Dish it up…

This dish doesn’t need anything else. Just tuck in.

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