Pasta ai Broccoli e Pesto

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Pasta ai Broccoli e Pesto

  • Servings: “4”
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nonna has always taught us to eat as many vegetables as possible, Broccoli are some of our favourites and they are so good for you! Full of goodness and extremely tasty. This recipe is just perfect for everyone, you can eat it hot or cold 🙂

Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect for packed lunch too. Your family will love it!

Ingredients

  • 350g pasta (short pasta preferably)
  • 250g Broccoli florets
  • handful of fresh basil
  • handful of parsley
  • 3tbs olive oil
  • salt, pinch
  • pinenuts, 100g
  • 1 clove of garlic

Directions

  1. Boil 1 litre of water in a large saucepan. Add a table spoon of course salt and add the pasta in. Follow the cooking times on the package and add the broccoli florets 4 minutes before the pasta is cooked.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, use a pestle and mortar (or a hand blender will do the job too) and blend together the basil, parley, olive oil, salt, pine nuts and garlic. No nuts if you have a nut allergy. You can add a handful of parmesan cheese or a handful of fresh rocket.
  3. Drain the pasta and the broccoli.  Mix together with the pesto and ENJOY!!!

 

My Break-Through-In-The-UK dish

This is the dish that made me realise how much I enjoy cooking for other people and putting a smile on their faces 🙂

I was 23  years old and full of dreams when I decided it was time to change my life. I moved to the UK in 1999 all by myself, leaving all my family and friends behind, without knowing where I would have stayed and whom I would have met ( my English at that time was ok-ish for me to get by, let alone for me to even start thinking that it would have become a second language for me!!!) …..I did not know I would have had the most amazing time with some special people who are now friends for life.

The passion for food has always been there but it really became visible during my years at Uni and my (Spanish) flatmates helped my passion to become a real “THING”……….. ……simple ingredients made a dish that still today is one of my fortes.

Gracias  Amigas! Merce, Virgi y todas las cumpañeras de piso de Greenstead! Eso es para vosotras 🙂

TAH-LLYA-TEH-LLEH (Tagliatelle) ai Funghi e Pancetta

Pancetta and Mushroom Tagliatelle

I would normally make my own tagliatelle but it’s just as tasty (and quicker) using the pre-packed one. Any local supermarket would sell it! Follow the cooking time on the packet and make sure you add some course salt in the water as it starts to boil. Instead of the pancetta you can use cooked ham (finely chopped). Or if you want to make this dish vegetarian you can completely miss out the pancetta and replace it with some asparagus……it’s still extremely tasty and simple.

Serving 4 people

Ingredients

350g fresh tagliatelle (roughly 2 nests per person)

150g closed up mushrooms, finely chopped

150ml double cream (single cream for less fat content)

1 glove of garlic, finely chopped

1 handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

130g smoked Italian pancetta (cubes)

olive oil 2tbsp

salt, a pinch

Preparation

In a large saucepan pour some water (1/1.5 l) and bring it to the boil. Add a large tablespoon of coarse salt and put the pasta in.

Put the olive oil on a pan, add the pancetta and cook for a couple of minutes until the pancetta is crispy. Add the mushrooms and gently mix together. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat. Add the garlic and the parsley keep stirring and cook for a minute. Pour the cream and cook with the lid on for a couple of minutes.

The tagliatelle should be cooked by now! Drain the pasta, put it onto a large serving dish, pour the sauce and mix together. Add some parmesan cheese…..Pronto! 

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We love Gnocchi-di-Patate-Fatti-in-Casa

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People often ask me if it is possible to cook from scratch delicious and healthy dishes when time is an issue. My answer is very simple: Time Management.

Planning an healthy meal is very simple and it will save you lots of time for sure! Firstly I always  make sure I have the basic staples (such as pasta, rice, couscous, flour, semolina….) in my cupboard and pantry,  also fresh herbs and vegetables are a must in my kitchen.

Today I am making a classic, “Gnocchi di Patate” (Potato Gnocchi) the easiest and quickest pasta dish that everyone will love. I would always freeze half of the gnocchi and I would cook them on a school night when time is definitely tight. Just like my Mamma and Nonna would do I love planning my meals on a daily base, when you are busy with the children, work, school runs and all the sorts of things a Mum needs to do I can guarantee you being organised in the kitchen makes your life better.

So are you ready? Have you got all the ingredients for this delicious dish?

Serving 4-6 people 

Ingredients

4 large potatoes (1kg)

300g strong white flour

1 egg

salt

Preparation 

In a large pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes, boil them with their skins on for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Try not to over boil them.

Remove potatoes and drain well. Peel boiled potatoes and use a potato ricer to mash them until all completely smooth (alternately you can use a potato masher)

Place the riced potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or you can place them straight  on a dry work top). Add the flour, the salt and the egg and start mixing with a fork.

Transfer the mix on a dry work top and pull together ingredients. Knead to form dough. Be careful not to over-knead. Be weary of adding flour at this point. Too much flour will give you hard gnocchi. Knead just enough for the dough to come together. Dough should have a loose airy texture, not gooey or dense. Shape dough into a long, wide cylinder for cutting.

Quarter dough. Roll each piece by gently pushing with fingers spread. The goal is to make an evenly-distributed rope.

Using a pastry cutter or non-serrated knife, cut dough ropes into 2cm pieces. To prevent sticking, keep gnocchi in a cool area. Toss them with extra flour while they are waiting to be cooked or frozen. Gently shake away any excess flour and place finished gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2-4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon, drain very well. Toss them in a saucepan with your favorite sauce and cook together for about 2 minutes.

My children’s favourite Gnocchi dish is in a simple basil and tomato sauce but today I wanted to be more adventurous and I made a creamy mushroom sauce with garlic and thyme.

It was DELIZIOSO!!!!!!!

I hope I made Mamma and Nonna proud 🙂

 

Fun Pasta

It’s Tuesday again and I have another quick and super tasty recipe for all the Mums out there who are probably very busy planning another full-on week……..This is extremely simple and tasty, I called it Fun Pasta as it’s “Child Friendly” and fun to eat hot or cold ( pack lunch ready for tomorrow too……..thinking ahead!!!!)

P.S. This recipe is dedicated to an old friend of mine, who knew how much I enjoyed cooking since we were both studying at Uni and in those days food was not a priority!  Grazie Lukino 😉
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Ingredients

300g Short pasta (Penne, Farfalle, Fusilli)

1 large courgette (finely sliced )

1 tin of tuna

10/12 cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 medium red onion (finely chopped)

1 handful of basil, chopped or rocket

salt

2/3 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

Boil some water for the pasta (don’t forget to add a tablespoon of coarse salt in the water). Put the pasta into the water and cook for 10/12 (following the cooking time on the packet).

Put the olive oil in a pan and add the onion, courgette and salt. Cook for 5 minutes and add the tuna ( make sure it’s drained). Keep stirring and gently add the tomatoes and the basil (or the rocket). Cook only for a few minutes. The tomatoes need to stay crunchy.

The pasta should be ready by now. Drain it and pour the sauce into the pasta. Mix it together, add some parmesan cheese, Pronto! Enjoy……………….even the next day!

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Spaghetti al Sugo Semplice (Simple Sauce)

Easy peasy…….. super quick!

One of the quickest meals ever, ideal for dinner on a school day where we become taxi drivers driving backward and forward from school to the after school clubs. Where we get home realising that we have no dinner ready…. There is just not enough time in a parent’s day and this is my saving dish, my last resort, the one that all kids love (even the other people’s kids!!!).  It takes 15 minutes to make the sauce while the pasta is cooking in boiling water.  15 “very important ” minutes of your evening……after that you can put your feet up or try to! Parola di mamma e di Nonna x

This is another #BringNonnaBack recipe! Simple, tasty, wholesome.. just like how my Nonna would do! Like many Italians she would use the tomatoes from her vegetable garden.

In Italian we say  POMODORI FRESCHI  /POH-MOH-DOH-REE  FREH-SKEE/ Fresh Tomatoes

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Serving 4 people

Ingredients 

Half of a medium white onion, finely chopped

500g of plain tomato Passata (You can find passata in any good supermarket, it’s in a carton or in a bottle)

A handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Olive oil, 2 tbs

Salt, a pinch

Sugar, a pinch (to lower the acidity of the tomatoes)

How to cook the perfect pasta
350gr of pasta / serving 4 people
Bring 1lt water to the boil and add a table spoon of course salt.
Put the pasta in and cook it following the time on the packet (be careful though, taste the pasta first and then drain it). Make sure your pasta is “al dente” not too hard, not too soft.

Preparation

Heat a large pan, add the olive oil and the onion. Simmer the onion only for a few minutes till golden, don’t cook it for too long as it can easily burn.
Add the passata, the salt and sugar and cover with a lid.

PLAN B: if you haven’t got any passata 2 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes will do! Blend them first if possible and pour them into the oil, follow the instructions as before.

To make it even more authentic and fresh you can use fresh tomatoes, the more ripe tomatoes the better! 300g/400g is just the right amount, wash them and  simply blitz them (with the skin on). Follow the instruction as before.

Turn the heat down and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring it every now and again.

Finally add you basil and let the sauce embrace the leaves… your sauce is ready, you can pour it on your pasta. Grate some parmesan and enjoy. Pronto!

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