Recipe: Italian-style Burger with Prosciutto and Buffalo Mozzarella

I love Italian cuisine. These burgers require no cooking at all (apart from heating the bun) and are fresh & delicious! Serves 4.

Ingredients
2 large roma tomatoes, sliced
150g thinly shaved prosciutto
1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced
1 bunch basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic-infused olive oil (optional)
4 turkish bread rolls
Salt & Pepper
METHOD
Cut the bread rolls in half, brush with a little extra virgin olive oil and toast oil-side down until firm, then turn over for a minute or two until light brown. Top with the sliced tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves (torn) and prosciutto. Season to taste with salt & pepper and drizzle with a little garlic infused olive oil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe: Rocket & Radicchio Salad with Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts & Aged Balsamic

My 100th post! This is my favourite salad at the moment. Radicchio is like a very bitter lettuce and so the sweetness of the aged balsamic is important to balance this salad out. The toasted pine nuts add a nice crunch. Delicious! This is a Jamie Oliver recipe. Serves 1.

Ingredients
Handful rocket
1/4 radicchio, finely sliced
Small handful grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
Salt & Pepper
METHOD
In a large bowl toss together the rocket, radicchio and parmesan. Add the balsamic, olive oil, toasted pine nuts and a little salt & pepper and toss to combine.

Grate over a little extra parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe: Crab & Prawn Pappardelle

This delicious pasta dish is simple to make and very moreish! Works well with tagliatelle if you don’t have any pappardelle. Serves 4.

crab-&-prawn-pappardelle

Ingredients

1 live mud crab (approx 1.4kg)
16 green king prawns, shelled & deveined
100ml olive oil
350-400g fresh pappardelle pasta
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 sml red chilli, finely sliced
50ml dry white wine
250g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch continental parsley
50g unsalted butter
1 lemon
Salt & pepper

METHOD

Put the mud crab in the freezer for approx 20mins while you bring a big pot of salted water to the boil. Take the mud crab straight from the freezer and put into the boiling water and cook for 10min per kg of crab. Drain water and allow the crab to cool before extracting all the crab meat. Set the crab meat aside.

Bring a pot of water to the boil.

In a large frypan over medium heat lightly fry the garlic and chilli in olive oil, being careful not to colour the garlic. Add the prawns and crab meat, turn the heat up to high and cook for 30 seconds.

Add a splash of dry white wine and flambé. Add the cherry tomatoes and a handful of roughly chopped parsley. Toss to combine.

Put the pasta in the pot and cook until al dente, drain & add to the frypan. Add the knob of butter, season well with salt & pepper and toss together to combine.

Serve with a small handful of chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!

Note: If you are using dry pasta you will have to put it in the pot to cook before you start cooking the chilli and the garlic as it will take a lot longer to cook then the fresh pasta.

Recipe: Tuscan Bread Salad (Panzanella)

Delicious and simple! You can make this with fresh bread but the stale bread is really what makes the dish. Serves 4.

Tuscan-Bread-Salad

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper 

Salad
1 stale ciabatta loaf, roughly broken up by hand
6 large ripe roma tomatoes, quartered
1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
5-6 slices red onion, broken up
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
12 large basil leaves, roughly torn

METHOD

Whisk the dressing in small bowl and set aside.

Put the bread in a large bowl with 2 cups water for 1min. Drain the water off and squeeze any excess water from the bread with your hands and drain that off also. Add in all the other ingredients except the basil, add the dressing and mix well. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

When ready to serve, stir in the basil. Enjoy!

Recipe: Prawn Tagliatelle with Lemon Chilli Breadcrumbs

This dish is delicious but does take some prep time! Serves 2.

Prawn-Tagliatelle

INGREDIENTS

1 punnet grape tomatoes
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sml red chilli, roughly chopped (deseed if you don’t like it hot)
2 tbs olive oil
12 green king prawns, peeled & deveined

PASTA 
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp olive oil
100g plain flour

LEMON CHILLI BREADCRUMBS 
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup ciabatta, roughly chopped
rind of 1/2 lemon
1 sml red chilli, deseeded

METHOD

To make the pasta, mix ingredients together in a bowl and then turn out on to a floured surface, kneed and put through a pasta machine to desired thickness and cut in to 2cm wide strips (use a rolling pin if you don’t have a pasta machine).

To make the lemon chilli breadcrumbs heat the olive oil in a small pan, add ciabatta breadcrumbs and fry until golden, add in the lemon rind and chilli and cook for a further minute. Take out and blend lightly until the consistency of breadcrumbs and season well with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan heat the olive oil then add the garlic and chilli until the garlic is transparent. Add the grape tomatoes and cook lid on for 5-10mins on high until all the tomatoes have burst and you have a nice tomato sauce.

Put the fresh pasta in a pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. In the meantime mix the prawns with 1 tbs olive oil and season well in another bowl and cook in a fry pan for 3-4mins each side.

Drain the pasta and add to the tomato sauce then plate up with the pasta as the base, prawns on top and then garnish with the lemon chilli breadcrumbs and a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!

Recipe: Spaghetti Marinara

This is a very easy dish to make requiring only two pots! You can add more seafood than that shown below (mussels, lobster etc…) but I really like the simplicity and flavour of the prawns, fish & calamari together. Serves 2.

spaghetti-marinara

INGREDIENTS

150g spaghetti (I like garofalo brand) 
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 sml white onion, finely diced
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
400g vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 
200g ling fillets (or other white-flesh fish), roughly chopped
2 squid tubes, cleaned and cut into rings
8 green king prawns, peeled & deveined
2 tbs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
lemon quarters, to serve

METHOD

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic & chilli flakes and cook until onion is translucent (i.e. do not brown!). Add tomato paste and roughly chopped vine-ripened tomatoes and simmer 10mins, stirring occasionally (sauce will start to thicken). Add in half the ling fillets and cook for a further 10mins – the ling fillets will break down and become part of the sauce. Continue stirring occasionally. Season well.

Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Add the rest of the ling fillets and the prawns & calamari and cook lid on for 3-4 mins. Take off the heat, toss the pasta in with the sauce along with 1tbs of flat-leaf parsley and coat well.

Serve immediately with a lemon wedge and the remainder of the flat-leaf parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe: Traditional Gnocchi Napoletana

gnocchi

 

INGREDIENTS
Pasta

3 medium-sized desiree potatoes
1 egg
100g plain flour

Napoletana Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sml red chilli, finely sliced (half of the seeds removed)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled & deseeded and chopped roughly
1 teaspoon oregano
4 basil leaves, sliced finely
1 tablespoon shaved parmigiano reggiano, plus extra to serve

METHOD

To make the gnocchi, put the potatoes in a big pot, fill with water and bring to the boil. Simmer lid on for between 45mins – 1 hour depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain the water and leave the potatoes in the pot to dry out any excess moisture for a couple of minutes, de-skin and push the potatoes through a sieve or use a ricer into a big bowl. Add egg and mix slightly with a fork and add 75g plain flour. Put mixture on to a floured surface and work into a dough kneading as few times as possible. Only use the additional 25g flour if necessary. Roll out in to long thing ‘snakes’ and cut in to 1cm bits. Put all the cut gnocchi into a bowl with a sprinkle of flour and toss to coat so they don’t stick together.

To make the napoletana sauce, in a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the chilli & garlic, don’t let the oil get too hot before adding the tomato and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 10mins. Add the oregano, basil and season with salt & pepper and cook for a further 5 mins.

Cook the gnocchi in a pot and when they float to the surface (approx 30 seconds) add them to the saucepan with a little of the starchy pasta water. Stir in the parmigiano reggiano, serve and top with a little extra parmigiano. Delicious!

You can substitute packet gnocchi for the fresh, but it is never as good!

Recipe: Mum’s Spaghetti Bolognese

Mum’s spaghetti is always the best and this is the recipe that my Mum has passed down to me and I think it’s absolutely delicious! Give it a go and see if you agree! Serves 4.

IMG_0920

 

INGREDIENTS
1 sml brown onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g low-fat beef mince
1 can (approx 400ml) whole peeled tomatoes
1 big tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Salt & pepper
200g spaghetti (i like garofalo brand)
Parmigiano reggiano (to serve)
METHOD

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the onion & garlic until the onion is transparent. Add mince & mash with a fork to break up any lumps. Cook until ALL liquid has evaporated and mince is dry with no lumps.

Push the tinned tomatoes through a sieve over the mince, crushing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard seeds and tomato bits. Add tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme, salt & pepper. Also add a little water (rinse out the tomato can & use about 1/4 of a can of water), depending on how runny you like the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat while you prepare pasta until al dente (about 20mins or so). Take lid off if too runny. Drain pasta and add to mince, toss and serve with parmesan shavings and buttered toast on the side.

Recipe: Traditional Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

I love traditional tomato & basil bruschetta and i’m not sure where I found this recipe but it is absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious! Serves 4 as an entree.

IMG_0562-2

 

INGREDIENTS
6 ripe egg or roma tomatoes 
1 sml red onion
6 basil leaves finely sliced
Pinch of salt & pepper 
20ml olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Ciabatta bread
1 clove garlic
Parmigiano reggiano (to serve)
METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Bring a pot of water to the boil and put in the tomatoes for 30 seconds until the skin starts to blister (if you pierce them with a fork first it will help them blister faster). Peel, de-seed and roughly chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl with a tiny amount of finely diced red onion (literally one or two slices of the onion), basil leaves, salt & pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. This is your bruschetta topping.

Slice the ciabatta and brush one side with olive oil. Put the slices onto a tray in the oven oil side-down and cook for 5 mins or until crunchy. Remove and rub the olive-oil side liberally with the garlic, top with bruschetta mixture and top with parmesan shavings.