Quick chili spaghetti

Quick chili spaghetti

chili pasta

Chilli pasta

I used to make this when I had very little time and felt I just needed to get something into my body but have come to really love it. It’s fresh and depending on how you feel you can use any heat chili’s.

What you need

½ packet (250g) dry spaghetti cooked
3 large red chilis chopped finely (about 6-7cm long – if you use smaller ones use about 20cm in total)
3-4 spring onions finely sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed (1 teaspoon)
125g butter
Palm of chopped parsley
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan (optional)

The process

Cook the spaghetti to al dente, drain and set aside.

In a large pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the chili, garlic and spring onions, cook for 2-3 minutes, taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Add the spaghetti and parsley to the pan and toss or stir to coat the spaghetti with the buttery sauce.

That’s it, serve with grated parmesan if you have or eat it as it is. Try some of the other pasta recipes.

Green pepper antipasto

Green pepper antipasto

antipasto

Antipasto

This is the third in the antipasto series which gives you all you need for a really fantastic summer meal. They are really easy to make and always at the ready for guests while on holiday.

What you need

3 large green peppers
3 medium onions finely sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes diced
½ cup vinegar
Pinch of salt
Olive oil

The process

Cut the peppers lengthways and remove the seeds. Slice into strips.

Add a splash of olive oil, peppers, onions, tomatoes and a pinch of salt to a pan on a low heat, cover with a lid or a plate and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

Add the vinegar, stir and allow to simmer with the lid off for another 15 minutes.

Remove and place into a bowl, cover with cling wrap and pop it into the fridge to cool.

Done, and how about a few easy pasta recipes for you to try.

Bacon and pea pasta

Bacon and pea pasta

bacon and pea pasta

Bacon and pea pasta

The best part about Italian cooking is that it is quick and very easy. This is a fresh yet tasty pasta dish which takes just a few minutes to prepare. Bacon and peas go together so beautifully that you just have to try this easy recipe. (good for 6 people)

What you need

500g packet pasta (spaghetti or tagliatelle)
100g streaky bacon chopped
1 ½ cups frozen peas that have been boiled to soften
4-6 chopped spring onions
Palm of chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

The process

Cook the pasta in plenty of water until al dente, drain and keep warm in the pot.

In a pan cook the bacon until there is a little fat in the pan, add the peas and spring onions, toss around to combine well and heat through.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine, splash a little olive oil over the pasta and toss again. Add the parsley and give it a final toss.

The pasta should be glistening.

Serve and grate over a good amount of parmesan cheese.

That’s it, summer food at it’s best. Serve with bread and a simple salad.

I have added a little fresh mint to the mix before and it really makes a nice change, especially for a lunch on a hot day. There are some other fabulous easy pasta recipes for you to try.

Spaghetti Siciliana

Spaghetti Siciliana

pasta sauce

Sicilian spaghetti recipe

This is another old pasta recipe that was reputedly one of the mafia bosses favorite dishes( no really) and you will see why when you taste it. It has more ingredients than most of our pasta dishes but well worth it. Every man has at some stage been a fan of Mafia movies and the one thing they always do is eat a lot of pasta so bring back the memories.

What you need

1 medium onion finely chopped
1 small eggplant peeled and chopped into squares(2cm)
1 green pepper chopped
1 teaspoon capers
45g anchovy fillets
milk
10-12 black olives
80ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tines peeled chopped tomatoes
1 -2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
Palm full of chopped parsley
Pepper to taste

The process

First soak the anchovy fillets in milk for about 10 minutes and drain well to remove excess salty taste, chop into small pieces. Remove the pips from the olives, chop the olives and the capers.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion, eggplant and chopped peppers, stir until the eggplant softens. Add the garlic tomatoes and the basil then bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the anchovies, olives, capers and parsley and season with a little more pepper if needed and cook with the lid on for another 5 minutes.

It is best served with spaghetti and parmesan shavings. Its really good!!

Try some of the other pasta recipes.

Gnocchi with bolognese sauce

Gnocchi with bolognese sauce

gnocchi bolognese sauce

I love gnocchi and set about making my own over the weekend for some of the bolognese sauce I had left over and I was really surprised at how easy it was. It takes about an hour from start to finish and is important to use floury potatoes. I only cooked half of the gnocchi and the rest is suitable to freeze.

What you need

2kg floury potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

The process

Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes ot to the stage that a toothpick or skewer goes in easily but is still quite firm.

Drain the potatoes and mash them well to a smooth consistency, with no lumps.

Transfer the mash to a large bowl, add the salt and 1/2 of the flour and knead to combine it all well. Add more flour a little at a time and knead until the dough is no longer sticky and quite firm.

Flour a surface, cut into 3 or 4 portions and roll each portion into a long tube about 2 or 3 cm thick. (if you are going to freeze some, place them in a ziploc and freeze now)

To cook them, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, drop in the gnocchi and when the rise to the surface let them cook for another 2 minutes.

remove, drain and pour over the bolognese sauce.

Spaghetti Sicily

Spaghetti Sicily

authentic italian spaghetti

This is the perfect fresh and quick summer pasta dish. It will take you 10 minutes from start to finish and is really authentic Italian cooking. It’s so fresh and light you will need a whole packet of spaghetti for 4 people.

What you need

500g Cherry tomatoes halved
Palm of capers in brine (about 3 tablespoons)
Palm of chopped mint and flat leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic crushed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chili flakes (optional)

Cooked Spaghetti (1 500g packet)

The process

Put the spaghetti in salted water to cook.

Take the halved tomatoes and squeeze them over a bowl to remove some of the seeds and liquid and then chop them up roughly.

Add enough olive oil to a pan over a medium heat to cover the base. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes to soften and heat through. Add the capers, mint and parsley and toss around for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and then add the cooked spaghetti.

Toss to coat the spaghetti in the sauce and serve straight away with crusty warm bread.

Done! A pasta recipe your Mamma would be proud of.

Pumpkin and spinach penne

Pumpkin and spinach penne

roast pumpkin penne

Roast pumpkin penne

here is a really nice light and healthy pasta dish as another attempt at cooking for the summer slim down. Roast pumpkin has so much natural fresh flavor that you will probably not need to season so taste before you do.

What you need

500g pumpkin cubed
1 cooked packet penne (400g)
1 Onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 packet spinach (green only) finely chopped

Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

The process

Toss the pumpkin cubes in a little olive oil and roast in a 180 Celsius oven for about 20minutes or until they are soft and the edges are beginning to brown.

heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry the onions until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and toss to combine for about 1 minute, then the spinach, mix and cook for about another 2 minutes and finally add the roasted pumpkin, toss to distribute evenly, taste and season if necessary and set aside.

Immediately add the warm cooked pasta, mix with a large spoon to coat the pasta in a little oil and distribute the mixture evenly.

Done, serve with a good grating of parmesan and black pepper.

Try some of the other easy pasta recipes.

spaghetti with marinara shrimp sauce

spaghetti with marinara shrimp sauce

shrimp marinara

Here is another really exciting dish that can be made with the traditional marinara sauce. You can really go to town here with the flavors. Add more herbs, a little chili or other types of fish or shellfish to make a real seafood treat.

For 4 people you need

300g frozen shrimp or prawns that have been thawed.

2 cups marinara sauce

Depending on how saucy you like your pasta add a little more or a little less. The basic marinara sauce freezes very well so pasta dishes like this can be whipped up in an instant.

The process

Cook your spaghetti or your favorite pasta to al dente, drain and toss in a little olive oil.

Decide wether you are going to use the sauce as is or want to add additional flavors.

If you want ita little hot and garlicy add a little oil to the pan and fry 1 extra clove of garlic and 1 chopped dried chili for about 1 or 2 minutes before adding the marinara sauce to heat up.

Once the sauce is hot simply toss in the shrimp and  allow to simmer for about 5 minutes  or until the shrimp are firm and cooked through.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce.

Serve immediately with some chopped parsley and a few shavings of parmesan.

Baked Spaghetti with chicken and mushrooms

Baked Spaghetti with chicken and mushrooms

Baked chicken and mushroom spaghetti

This is one of those dishes that may not look elegant enough to serve to guests but believe me it will have them talking about it for months afterwards. It’s very rich and creamy but is worth every mouthful. If you have kids that are picky eaters, try this one, there are few that can resist it and once you have them hooked you can even toss in a cup of frozen peas.

What you need

1 punnet mushrooms (250g) sliced
4 chicken breasts cubed
2 cloves crushed garlic
250ml white wine
500ml cream
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 packet spaghetti (400g)
150g grated parmesan cheese

The process

Cook the spaghetti to al-dente, drain, add a little olive oil, toss gently and set aside.

In a pan with some oil, cook the chicken cubes until almost cooked through. Add garlic and mushrooms and toss for about 2 minutes. Add the wine, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes longer.

Add the cream to the pan and allow to heat through.

Add the spaghetti and about 1/2 of the grated parmesan and toss together ensuring that it is well combined.

pour the whole lot into a baking dish, top with the rest of the parmesan and bake at 200 Celsius until the cheese has completely melted on top and is beginning to turn golden.

Serve with a nice green salad.

Take a look at some of the other easy pasta recipes.

Creamy baked chicken pasta

Creamy baked chicken pasta

chicken-penne

Chicken pasta bake

This is such a great winter dish which you will keep as a quick hearty dinner recipe for any day. Use left over chicken and remember when you make the Alfredo sauce to keep enough aside for this dish.(4 people)

What you need

1 1/2 cups cooked pasta (spirals or penne)
300g chicken mince or chopped chicken breast
1 tin drained corn Kernels
300g Alfredo sauce (see bottom of page)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar

The process

Add a little oil to a pan, add the chicken and fry until beginning to brown.

Add the corn and combine.

Add the milk and Alfredo sauce and allow to heat through, giving it a good stir to evenly combine the chicken and corn.

Add the cooked pasta, mix together well and turn the mixture into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and place in a 200 Celsius oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Serve with warm crusty garlic bread and a simple side salad.

Alfredo sauce

150g butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
175ml cup cream
pinch of salt and black pepper

Melt butter over a low heat, add cream and warm through, add parmesan, season and you are done.

Here ia a famtastic 3 cheese bolognese pasta for you to try.