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Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

Ultimate Bolognese

We don’t keep much food in the freezer – peas, broad beans and ice cubes mainly. But at this time of year we like to cook bigger quantities of bolognese, chilli & casseroles so there’s always something warming available for the end of the week, when ingredients are running low. This version by Barney Desmazery is not traditional but absolutely flavour-packed and we loved finishing the pasta in the sauce which really brings it all together.

Wine Suggestion: Bolognese and other tomato based ragú worked really well with Sangiovese. Whether you choose a favourite Brunello, like we did, a Chianti, or a non-Italian version the acidity and tannins help with the richness and flavours.

Pasta Bolognese – serves 8 

  • 400g beef mince
  • 400g Italian sausages, skinned and crumbled
  • 200g smoked pancetta
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • small bunch fresh basil, small leaves picked and reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½  tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml white wine
  • 100g Parmesan, grated, rind removed and reserved
  • pasta, to serve

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and crumble in the mince and sausage meat. Cook the mince for a good 30 minutes – it will release a lot of liquid which will evaporate and eventually it will fry in its own fat. If the pan looks a bit dry, drizzle in more olive oil. Towards the end, keep stirring the mince until it starts to crisp and brown.

Heat the oven to 140C/120C/Gas 2.

While the mince is browning, heat another splash of oil in a casserole dish and fry the pancetta for about 5 minutes or until it starts to brown and release its fat, then add the vegetables and herbs and finely crumble over the dried porcini. Cook gently for 5 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle over the sugar, then stir in the tomato purée and splash in the fish sauce and vinegar. Simmer down until thickened, then stir through the meat and pour in the milk and tomatoes. Rinse out the tomato tins with the wine and stir into the pan. Season, then nestle in the Parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

When cooked, tip as many portions of the Bolognese as you need into a sauté pan. Cook the pasta until very al dente, then add to the bolognese sauce with a bit of the water and finish cooking in the sauce for 2 minutes. Stir through the Parmesan and a drizzle more olive oil.

Serve the pasta bolognese in bowls with basil and Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Barney Desmazery in BBC Good Food Magazine, September 2017.)

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Lasagne bianco

This ‘white’ lasagne is a bit different as it has no tomato sauce. Very rich and delicious though.

Wine Suggestion: we think that this dish suits earthy whites and happily suggest the Salwey Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) from Baden in Germany which is a gem, but could also suggest a Vin Jaune from the Jura, or the Jean Fournier Aligoté from Burgundy (one of the few brilliant examples of this grape).

White Lasagne – serves 6

  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g pancetta cubes
  • 500g veal mince
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml white wine
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp of thyme leaves
  • 8-10 fresh lasagne sheets (or use dried ones)

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 750ml milk
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 100g Parmesan, grated

Put the porcini into a small bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the pancetta and cook for a few minutes until the fat is released. Add the veal mince and cook until it starts to brown. Break it up well with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Stir in the flour.

Chop the porcini and add the the pan with the soaking liquid (leave the gritty bits behind in the bowl). Add the wine, stock and thyme and season. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is reduced and sticks to the mince. Depending on how much mushroom liquid you added it may take a bit longer.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a pan then add the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, then gradually pour in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in the nutmeg and most of the Parmesan and season.

Heat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.

Layer the mince, lasagne sheets and béchamel in a baking dish, finishing with a layer of lasagne and béchamel. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan and bake for 40 minutes until golden.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: Olive Magazine, September 2015.)

 

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Roasted butternut squash and red onion pasta

A simple autumnal pasta dish for a tasty weeknight dinner.

Wine Suggestion:  we initially thought to open a Pinot Noir for this but hesitated because of the Parmesan and crème fraîche. We’re glad we did because the Pira Luigi Nebbiolo d’Alba was the better match. This had just the right earthiness alongside a youthful fruit (the dish isn’t too serious) plus great fresh acidity and fine tannins for the rich proteins of parmesan and cream that bring the dish together.

Roasted squash & red onion pasta – serves 2

  • 1 butternut squash, about 700g
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 175g penne or rigatoni
  • 3 rounded tbsp crème fraîche
  • freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

Preheat your oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Peel and deseed the squash, then cut it into bite-sized chunks. Peel the onions then cut each into eight wedges. Tip the squash and onions into a roasting tin along with the sliced garlic and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, then toss with your hands until everything is coated with oil. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the veg is completely tender and browned and crispy at the edges.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water according to the pack instructions. Drain the pasta and reserve about 4 tbsp of the cooking water. Remove the tin from the oven and stir in the the cooking water and crème fraîche. Tip in the pasta and toss well. Serve in warm bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Creamy marscapone tortellini

Because we had leftover marscapone … we love using leftover ingredients. It’s ok to cheat sometimes with some shop-bought fresh tortellini and the result is dinner in minutes!

Wine Suggestion: this works with young, fresh red wines. If you feel like Italian then the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo which is unoaked and vibrantly full of fruit is a good choice. We, however, threw a Pike & Joyce Rapide (unoaked) Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills into the fridge for 30 minutes. A good match too.

Tortellini with Creamy Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce – serves 2-4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder (we never are without Marigold Swiss Bouillon) or ½ cumbled stock cube
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • few basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone plus a bit extra
  • fresh tortellni – we used spinach & ricotta

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and gently fry for 1 minute. Add the tin of tomatoes, the stock powder, tomato purée and sugar, then bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Tear in the basil leaves and stir in the 2 tbsp of mascarpone.

Meanwhile, cook the tortellini in boiling salted water as per the timing on the pack, then drain well and tip into a small ovenproof dish.

Pour the sauce over the tortellini and top with a few more spoonfuls of mascarpone, then bake until bubbling at the edges.

(Original recipe by Gareth Morgans IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, August 2008.)

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Orzo & tomato salad

A characterful and bright salad that tastes great with barbecued lamb. Easily halved.

Orzo & Tomato Salad with Capers & Kalamata Olives – serves 6 to 8

  • 350g orzo pasta
  • 2 x 290g deli packs of sunblush tomatoes, drained & cut into strips – reserve the oil
  • 400g green beans, trimmed & halved
  • 200g pitted Kalamata olives, roughly halved
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems finely chopped
  • 400g feta cheese, crumbled into small chunks
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 240g capers in brine, drained

Cook the orzo according to the pack. Rinse well in cold water and leave to drain in a sieve for 10 minutes.

Put the drained orzo into a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp of oil from the tomatoes and mix well.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, then drain and put into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Drain well.

Add the green beans to the orzo along with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add some more of the tomato oil and season generously with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Spinach & Courgette Lasagne

We loved this easy veggie lasagne that celebrates courgettes – one of our favourite summer vegetables. An excellent family dish for mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: We had a Bergerac blanc from Le Tap at hand from our recent holidays. It was a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a touch of Muscadelle and had the right kind of freshness and body.

Spinach & Courgette Lasagne – serves 6

  • 400g spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 9 lasagne sheets
  • 100ml double cream
  • 3 large courgettes, sliced lengthways

Put the spinach into a colander and pour over boiling water to wilt it. Leave until cool enough to touch, then squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and soften for a minute. Add the nutmeg and cook for another minute before adding the mascarpone, spinach, half the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix together and season well, then set aside.

Heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4.

Spread a third of the filling over the base of a 20 x 30 cm baking dish, cover with 3 lasagne sheets, then add a layer of courgettes. Repeat two more times. Pour the remaining cream over and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the pasta is cooked. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Sicilian tuna pasta

We loved this easy pasta dish that we cooked when camping underneath Château de Beynac, right beside the banks of the Dordogne, with hot air balloons floating by. Such happy memories.

Wine Suggestion: We don’t see wines from the Dordogne often in Ireland and found ourselves a bit at sea until we found the Vinotheque de Beynac run by Enrique; young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and who had curated a nice, boutique selection of wines. His suggestion of the Chateau Montdoyen Un Point c’est Tout! Bergerac Rosé was a great match. If you’re near Beynac et Cazenac in the Dordogne, he’s well worth seeking out for local wine inspiration.

Sicilian Tuna Pasta – serves 4

  • 300g dried pasta shells
  • 4 heaped tsp baby capers
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes (mixed colours if available), halved
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 x 220g jar of tuna in olive oil

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty boiling water according to the time suggested on the packet. Meanwhile, put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the capers, fry until very crispy, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomatoes, then sprinkle in most of the oregano. Drain and flake in the tuna, add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water, and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little more of the cooking water, then toss the pasta into the tuna pan. Mix together and loosen with a splash of the pasta water if needed. Taste and season, then serve scattered with the crispy capers and the rest of the oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “5 Ingredients”, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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