Vegetable lasagne

vegetarian lasagna

Healthy, steamy home made comfort food is what this is all about. Serve with crisp garlic bread and try, if you can to leave some for a late night snack.

What you need

500ml marinara sauce
500g cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
handful of ripped fresh basil
lasagna sheets (if dry in a box, soften for 2 to 3 minutes in a bowl of boiling water first)
250g mozzarella cheese
4 cups mixed vegetables, spinach, carrots, sun dried tomatoes, and baby marrow

The process

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius and lightly butter a casserole dish

Mix together the cottage cheese and parmesan.

Place a layer of lasagna noodles on the base of the dish and cover alternatively with marinara sauce, cheese mix parmesan and cottage cheese, vegetables and mozzarella. You should get 3-4 layers ending with a nice layer of mozzarella on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

It’s really good, healthy and tasty. You should not need any salt and pepper as most of the seasoning will come from the marinara sauce.

Marinara pasta sauce

Marinara pasta sauce

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce

Marinara pasta sauce is the basis of Italian tomato recipes and is so vesatile it is worth perfecting for your own tastes and using for a quick delicious meal. Marinara sauce freezes very well so make a whole lot and just defrost as much sauce as you need. I usually let the pasta sauce cool and then put it in jiffy bags divided into portions.

What you need

1/4 cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tin of chopped peeled Italian tomatoes
3 basil leaves chopped
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

The process

Place garlic and olive oil in large sauce pan and cook over a medium heat until the garlic turns white.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, the basil, oregano and season with salt and pepper.

Bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes until thickened and reduced.

Marinara sauce is the basis of many italian dishes and can be served as it is over pasta, over sauteed chicken breasts with some mozarella cheese melted on top. Add some seafood and a dash of white wine for a fabulous seafood pasta.

Spicy sausage meat pasta

Spicy sausage meat pasta

Sausage meat pasta

Sausage meat pasta

Any Italian friend you have will want to book a ticket home to see his gandma after having had a platefull of this delicious italian dish. This recipe is really fantastic and like most pasta recipes is very uncomplicated to make.

What you need

2 punnets cherry tomatoes
500g pork sausage meat
4 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
finely chopped fresh oreganum
1 packet shell pasta (approx 400g)
tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

The process

Pop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water to soften slightly and halve. Remove the sausage meat from the skins.

Fry the sausage meat in the butter and olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook till the onion is soft, add thepaprika, chopped tomatoes, origanum and season with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Add your sauce to your cooked pasta shells and toss to coat the pasta.

Serve immediately with a generous topping of grated parmesan cheese.

This is real Italian cooking. If you are able to get your hands on some spicy italian sausage, substitute the sausage meat and paprika with the italian sausage.
Macaroni Sausage and Broccoli Bake on Foodista

Macaroni cheese

macaroni cheese

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese never fails to remind me of my childhood and my kids simply love it. On a cold weekend I often double this recipe and leave it in the fridge for anytime snacks.  Its so simple and just takes 10 minutes.

What you need

250g macaroni or any shell type pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar
1 cup grated mature cheddar
1 cup chopped kassler rib meat/vienna sausages
Salt and pepper

The process

Cook you pasta until just al dente, drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pot over a medium heat and mix in the flour allowing it to cook for a minute or so stirring continuously. Add the milk and cook, stirring all the time for about 5 minutes. Add the mature cheddar and 1/2 the cheddar and stir until completely melted. Now season with salt and pepper to taste.

I a large oven proof dish mix the pasta, the cheese sauce and the meat and mix together well.

Sprinkle the last of the cheese over the top(if you need more don’t be shy) and bake in a 180 Celsius oven 1/2 an hour.

We use this as a basic macaroni recipe and often add left over chicken with some mustard or whole pork sausages. You can really go to town with this one.

Try this one.. macaroni and cheese with bacon and tomato as a change.

Favorite Mafia pasta sauce

pasta siciliana

This is another old pasta recipe that was reputedly one of the mafia bosses favorite dishes and you will see why when you taste it. It has more ingredients than most of our pasta dishes but well worth it.


Spaghetti meatballs

Spaghetti meatballs


Spaghetti meatballs

Last night I thought we would revisit an old favorite and classic Italian recipe that I had not made for a longtime, and it was so worth it and truely delicious. (Enough for 4 people)

What you need

500g lean mince
Italian fresh herb mix (Basil, parsley, origanum)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 egg
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
25ml Olive oil
25g butter
Salt and pepper

The process

In a mixing bowl add the onion, finely chopped herbs (a nice heap that covers your palm), pinch of salt, generous grind of black pepper and egg and mix it to break up the egg. Add the mince and mix to combine all ingredients thoroughly, set aside.

In a saucepan add the olive oil, butter, another palm of finely chopped mixed herbs, a pinch of salt and black pepper and tinned tomatoes with the juice. bring to the boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer to reduce about 1/3.

Heat an oven to 180 celsius and on a baking tray, place balls of mince mixture about 5 cm in diameter and bake them for about 10 minutes.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and serve over spaghetti with a little parmesan, give it a go its well worth it.

View all of the pasta recipes

Rich bacon and mushroom sauce

bacon and mushroom sauce

This is a classic sauce for those who love bacon, it’s rich, creamy and the smells coming out of the kitchen are sure to make any not so hungry kids, starving. The smell of frying bacon just seems to have that effect! It is best served with penne, which holds the sauce in the ridges, but any pasta will do.

Beef stroganoff

beef stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff takes just 10 to 15 minutes to prepare and in a little over half an hour you can can present a truely delicious meal to meal to your family that any restaurant would be proud to serve. This is for 2 large servings which could feed 2 adults and 2 small kids. I double this up to feed 5 of us. Not for weight watchers

What you need

750 grams aged rump steak
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
A nice big chunk of butter 60grams or so
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 packet small button mushrooms
juice of half a lemon
splash of red wine (50 ml)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 sour cream (375 ml)
a palm full of chopped chives

The process

Thinly slice the steak against the grain, mix flour and paprika together and coat the steak pieces with the mixture. Its easiest to put it in a bag amd shake it around.

In a saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter, add the onions and garlic and stir for a few minutes or until the onions are soft.

Increase the heat to maximum and add the steak and brown the meat stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms, lemon juice and wine, stir to mix it all together, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lastly stir in the tomato paste and sour cream and stir for a minute or 2 until its back up to simmer.

You are done!

Serve over pasta or rice and sprinkle with the chives.

Classic Italian sauce

Classic Italian sauce

Italian tomato pasta sauce

Italian tomato pasta sauce

This really is a fantastic pasta sauce that takes just minutes tp prepare and can be added to any pasta you have in your cupboard. It’s a really good pasta sauce to make and freeze in portions for when you just have time for a quick meal.  (4 portions)

You Need

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 400g chopped peeled tomatoes
4 cloves garlic quartered
salt and pepper
500g spaghetti
large handful fresh basil leaves ripped

The process

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes, or until the oil separates fromt he tomato. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warm serving dish.

Pour the sauce over the pasta. Add the basil and toss well to mix. Serve with Parmesan.