Who says lettuce is banned from pasta salads? Who says pasta salads are limited to drowning perfectly great pieces of pasta in a mayonnaise bath? Not that there is anything wrong with that but I’m generally not a huge fan. To lighten the load, I’ve swapped mayonnaise with pesto and beefed up the salad with crunchy iceberg lettuce and chunks of butternut squash. For additional crunch, add some toasted bread crumbs - perfect for a summer party!Read More
As you may know, pastas are always an easy go-to. Pasta + veg + sauce = done. It’s an easy meal to whip up during the middle of the week. Feel free to add an egg, chicken or any type of protein to make this into a complete meal. Don’t forget the lemon zest - it’s s important to brighten up the dish!Read More
Pasta + sauce + protein + veg. This is my usual equation for a quick weeknight meal. This time around? I doubled up on the sauce and combined béchamel and pesto to make this incredible cream sauce. Palate pleaser and great to pack up for lunch the next day. Success!Read More
There’s something about marrying Asian and European food together. The flavours of the east lend an interesting element in otherwise very traditional European recipes. Now, this can either work or fail – there’s no middle ground. Luckily, a recipe I had found for gochujang spaghetti which worked marvels. This spicy and cheesy Bolognese sauce is tongue-tinglingly delicious. Finally, a use for that tub of gochujang you’ve been dying to use up!Read More
If there’s one dish you must try in Rome, it’s this one: coda alla vaccinara. Forget about the cacio e pepe (although that is great too) and the pizza and gelato. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! This warming fall-off-the-bone oxtail stew is perfect for these winter months and smells wonderful in your kitchen! What are you waiting for? Add this stew to your roster this weekend!Read More
The simplest of pasta dishes. Cacio e pepe is a modest concoction of fat, cheese, and black pepper and not much more than that. Its simplicity is one of the main reasons why I love this dish immensely. Good as a primi or an entree served with your choice of protein, I’m sure cacio e pepe will soon be on your list as favourite pasta dishes.Read More
When someone gives you a bottle of squid ink, you make squid ink gnocchi! That’s how it works, right? Well, when you just so happen to have potatoes, flour, eggs and squid ink on-hand it just seems like the right thing to do…Read More
I've never been to Italy but if I were to go, I think I'd really enjoy the southern area. I'm always drawn to the pungent and briny tastes of the south. Olives, capers, anchovies, bright citrus, fruity olive oils... I love all of those flavours - they all go hand-in-hand together. Savoury with savoury. Why not?
I had a Siclian-style dinner recently and I had a lot of leftover ingredients due to the caponata I made. The flavours found in caponata are very similar to the dish I was going to make: spaghetti puttanesca.
Puttanesca, or "whore sauce", is a very savoury southern Italian tomato sauce filled with pockets of briny ingredients - olives, capers, and anchovies. It was rumoured it was named "who sauce" because prostitutes were known to cook this cheap and cheerful sauce as the aroma was said to lure in potential clients. And when I was making this sauce, who could blame them!? The smell is so wonderfully intoxicating and enticing.
This dish can be made start to finish within 20 minutes which makes for a great weeknight meal. Additionally, it keeps well for the week without the sauce drying up. If you can't find passata, you can always use canned San Marzano tomatoes (which is actually the more traditional method). Lastly, if you want to stay authentic, serve it as is! Rarely is cheese added to puttanesca as all of the ingredients are quite savoury and the additional salt is not needed.
SPAGHETTI PUTTANESCA - makes 4 - 6 servings
1 (500g) pkg spaghetti
¼ cup extra virgin olive ol
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ red onion, diced
1 tsp dried red chili flakes
6 small anchovy filets, in oil,
¼ cup capers, drained
1 (298ml) can sliced and pitted black olives, drained
2 cups passata (Italian tomato sauce)
½ cup pasta water
salt + pepper, to taste
½ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain, rinse and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and chili flakes and saute for 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
Add in the anchovies and crush with the spoon you are cooking with until they are mainly broken apart. The anchovies will disintegrate with the sauce so no need to worry if it’s not evenly broken apart.
Add in the olives and the capers and saute for 1 minute.
Add in the passata and stir until everything is well-incorporated. Add in the pasta water – this will help the sauce stick to the pasta and give it more body. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
Add in the cooked spaghetti and toss until every noodle is coated.
Top with freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley just before serving.
Ah… classic eggplant parmigiana. Yes, I’m calling it eggplant parmigiana and not eggplant parmesan because this is the traditional Sicilian way of making this dish and not the bastardization that Americans have made it. What’s the difference, you ask? Find out after the jump!Read More
Sometimes you are given ingredients which you are uncertain on how to use but leave you inspired to create something delicious! Insert orange blossom water. Like rosewater, but with a orange flavour. My orange blossom olive oil cake doesn't take anytime to make and leaves you with a light dessert that is the perfect to many spring evenings.Read More
Pasta + veg + herb sauce. Always one of my regular go-to meals on a busy weeknight! My chimichurri gemelli takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish - clean up included! Chimichurri isnt just for steaks - try it as a pasta sauce and I’m sure you’ll be just as delighted as I was!Read More
Aglio e olio - one of the easiest dishes you can make, suitable for a quick weeknight dinner or to impress your date! Inspired by my recent trip to Boston, I'll be adding this to my weekly roster!Read More