Spaghetti with Courgettes, Chilli, Garlic and Lemon

I will take any excuse to eat pasta for dinner every night of the week. When I was on holiday in Sardinia we ate pasta every single night! I think pasta is amazing and it’s extremely versatile as you can combine so many different amazing flavours into one dish. This pasta dish is a firm favourite of mine and my family. We love eating it in the spring or summer because it’s super fresh, incredibly quick to make and tastes delicious! In 3 easy steps, you’ll have a flavourful pasta dish on your table in under 15 minutes!

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Ingredients:

400g spaghetti (you can use whatever pasta you like, penne works really well too)

2 large courgettes, chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

2-3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

Zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon

65g unsalted butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Put your pasta onto boil and cook according to the packet instructions – I like my pasta served al dente.

2. Heat a good glug (sorry about the terminology!) of olive oil into a large frying pan, sauté the chopped courgette for 5 minutes on medium heat, then turn up the heat and cook for a further 3-4 more minutes. Now add the garlic, chilli and lemon and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Finish by adding the butter and cook until all the butter has melted. Season and then toss in the cooked and drained pasta.

3. Mix the pasta through the sauce, then mix through a generous amount of Parmesan (as much as you like!). Serve in pasta bowls and finish with an extra grating of Parmesan. you can never have enough in my opinion!

Enjoy!

jess

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Classic Quiche Lorraine

Today’s recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks. For me quiche Lorraine is one of those timeless classics and makes a great dinner recipe. I love this recipe from TV chef  and cookbook author Rachel Khoo. Rachel’s recipe is really simple to prepare and uses just a handful of ingredients. I love serving the quiche with some fresh, crunchy salad which has been mixed together with dijon vinaigrette. If you want to master perfect shortcrust pastry and the perfect quiche lorraine then you need to try this recipe!

classic quiche

quiche lorraine recipe

quiche

Recipe inspiration from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo 

Ingredients:

Shortcrust Pastry – 

90g softened unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

Large pinch of salt

180g plain flour, sifted

2 large free-range egg yolks

2-4 tablespoons ice cold water

Quiche Lorraine Filling –

300ml double cream

150g good-quality bacon lardons or pancetta

4 eggs plus two egg yolks

Salt and white pepper, to taste

Method- 

1. To make the pastry: Start by creaming the butter, sugar and salt together until light and just combined. Add flour, egg yolks and the ice cold water and combine together using a spoon. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight if you can. Take out of fridge half an hour before you want to use it – this will make it easier to roll! Roll the pastry out to fit a 23cm fluted tart/quiche tin and gently press into the tin. Then trim away any excess pastry, brush the base with some egg white and chill in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

2. To make the filling: Fry the bacon in a frying pan or bake until crispy in the oven. Scatter evenly in the pastry case. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake at 170 degrees Fan/190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 4 for 40-45 minutes or until golden on top.

3.Serve the quiche hot or cold. It’s really enjoyable served with a dressed salad.

quiche easy recipe

Enjoy!

jess

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Creamy Porcini Mushroom Pasta

Spaghetti with porcini mushroom cream sauce. A great dinner recipe that takes only 15 minutes to prepare. 

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I’m sharing an easy and quick recipe that would be brilliant for dinner any night of the week. This creamy porcini mushroom pasta is one of my family’s favourite savoury recipes. I love using porcini mushrooms because they have a unique earthy and slightly nutty flavour. A small amount of porcini goes a very long way and just a couple of small handfuls transform this simple cream sauce into something extra special! Porcini are delicious in all kinds of Italian recipes, such as risotto, broths and soups and sauces.

I love making this dish on busy weeknights when I don’t have the energy or time to cook something extravagant for dinner because it takes hardly any time at all to prepare.

The recipe serves 4 very hungry people or 6 for a lighter meal or starter portion. It’s rich, comforting and perfect meal for all seasons! Just make sure you cook your pasta until it’s al dente (it should have bite and be slightly firm) and don’t forget to serve the dish with lots of freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

400-500g dried spaghetti or any other pasta shape

Knob of butter

Good drizzle of olive oil

1 small shallot or onion, finely diced

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

25g dried porcini mushrooms

300ml double cream

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Place the dried porcini in a small bowl and pour over 200ml of boiling water. Allow them to rehydrate for 5 minutes.
  2. Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan or saucepan. Sauté the diced shallot/onion and garlic until it’s soft and has become transparent.
  4. Drain the porcini from the mushroom stock and set the liquid aside. Finely chop the drained porcini and add to the pan. Add the mushroom stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the stock has slightly reduced.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream. Allow the cream to simmer for a few minutes until it has thickened. Finally, add the drained pasta to sauce and toss to coat. At this point I like to toss through a nice handful of grated Parmesan. It adds gorgeous salty flavour! Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • For my original recipe posted in March 2014 I used homemade pasta, however dried or fresh pasta can be used.
  • I recommend cooking the pasta until it’s al dente, so a few minutes less than the packet instructions advise.

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 Enjoy!

jess

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Spaghetti Gamberi

I came up with this recipe when I was on holiday in Sardinia last year where the majority of our meals were based around the fresh seafood on offer. This dish is perfect to eat anytime of year. My family loves the dish this time of year because it’s a delicious reminder of the summer and the al fresco meals we enjoyed whilst on holiday. I love this recipe because it tastes so fresh and flavourful and takes less than 15 minutes to make!

Spaghetti Gamberi- Simple Italian food but extremely tasty

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

500g dried spaghetti

225g raw tiger prawns, cleaned and de-veined

75g butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method:

1. Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to the packets instructions.

2. Once the pasta is near enough cooked (al dente), add the olive oil to a large frying pan. Cook the prawns along with the garlic, chilli and lemon zest for about 3 minutes or until they start to turn pink in colour.

3. Then add the butter and cook for another 3 minutes on a low-medium heat to warm the prawns completely through and melt the butter. Serve the prawns and butter sauce on top of the cooked and drained pasta in a bowl and before serving add a good squeeze of fresh lemon.

Enjoy!

jess

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Gallini’s Beef Stifado

I first tried beef stifado whilst on holiday in Vasilikos on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. We arrived only to find most restaurants had closed due to an all inclusive hotel. After walking for about 30 minutes on a long dusty track we stumbled upon the most amazing family restaurant. Gallini’s offered delicious authentic Greek food. This memory has never been forgotten and this recipe is one my mum has created inspired by the flavours we tried at Gallini’s and it’s a recipe we’ve been cooking for many years.

Authentic Greek Stifado

Ingredients:

500g lean stewing beef, cut into small cubes

500g baby onions

1 litre tomato passata/chopped tomatoes

1 small wine glass of red wine (approx. 150ml)

2 tablespoons olive oil

150ml water, plus extra if needed

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

Small handful whole peppercorns

Large handful fresh thyme leaves

4 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

100g feta crumbled

Method:

1. Place all the ingredients apart from the feta cheese in a large deep baking dish. Stir and then cover with tin foil. Cook in the oven for an hour at 180 degrees Fan/200°C/450°F/Gas Mark 6.

2. After an hour, turn the oven temperature down to 160 degrees Fan/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook the stifado for further 4 hours or until the sauce is thick and glossy and the meat is fork tender. Add a splash of water to adjust the consistency of the sauce if needed.

3. Half an hour before serving, crumble and stir in the feta cheese. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes and then serve piping hot with some cooked rice or orzo.

Enjoy!

jess

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Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)

This is my go-to quick lunch/dinner if I’m in a rush or just craving some delicious Mexican-style food. This one-pot red rice is as easy as it gets, taking just half an hour to make. It’s healthy and packed full of amazing Mexican flavour and spice. A must try recipe for anyone who loves Mexican food!

mexican red rice (arroz rojo)
Easy to cook and very tasty

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cilantro/coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch chilli flakes or powder (optional)

2 tablespoons tomato purée

450g (2 cups) long grain rice

900ml (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and peppers for about 5 minutes until they’re starting to soften slightly. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the garlic and spices (cumin, cilantro/coriander, paprika and chilli) and toast for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further minute.
  3. Now add the rice and cook for another couple of minutes to toast slightly making sure it doesn’t catch too much on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and bring up to the boil.
  4. Once boiling either simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy or alternatively you can braise the rice in the oven for the same amount of time at 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Tip: Use a fork to stir the rice, this will ensure that the rice will be fluffy and not sticky.
  5. Take off the heat and add the lime juice, fluff the rice with a fork. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed and then cover and allow the flavours to infuse for 5-10 minutes before serving, then serve the rice warm or cold. Rice once cooled completely to room temperature will store in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Don’t reheat rice more than once.

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Enjoy!

jess

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