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.

Tasty pak choy

Tasty pak choy

Pak choy

Pak choy

In my quest to find great tasting vegetable dishes I decided to try something a little different. Pak Choy is a chinese vegetable that I really enjoyed. Its quick, simple and very tasty.

What you need

1 bunch pak choy
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 small onoin
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
splash of soy sauce

The process

Wash the pak choy under fast running cod water, letting the water run right inside the pak choy.

Steam the pak choy for about 5/6 minutes, you don’t want it soft, it must be hot and crunchy.

In a saucepan with a little oil fry the onion and garlic until soft add the ginger and the soy sauce and bring to the boil. remove from the heat.

Place your steamed pak choy on a plate and pour over the sauce, Done.

It made such a nice difference to have a veg I would only normally eat in a chinese restaurant and the sauce just makes it.

Roman style beans

green beans

Every now and then we all need to get our greens and this is a great way to flavour beans and make thema meal. For us bacon with almost anything is good.

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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
Parmesan

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.

Perfect roast potatoes

Perfect roast potatoes

Perfect roast potatoes

Perfect roast potatoes

If you get your roast potatoes right your family and friends will love you forever. You may be spending a whole lot more time in the kitchen, but the satisfied sounds that come out of their mouths will make it all worth while. this is from Nigella Lawson, my all time favorite woman chef.

You need

Roasting potatoes, Woolies potatoes will say “for roasting” on the bag and in the supermarkets generally the medium size potatoes.

Oil, not olive oil, it smokes at a lower temperature.

The process

Preheat the oven to 220 Celsius and place a rosting tray with the oil in the oven to preheat. (It’s vital to have the oil hot before you put the potatoes in)

Peel the potatoes and cut into equal size pieces.

Boil potatoes for about 10 minutes or until the edges are soft and fluffy.

Drain them in a colander and then give the colander a good shake to break up the edges of the potatoes, this is what gives them those crispy edges while being soft and fluffy inside.

Place the potatoes into the hot oil with a long spoon to avoid hot splatter and turn each one to get it coated with the oil. Place on a high shelf in the oven and do not disturb them for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a good pinch of salt immediately. Try the perfect roast chicken recipe.

MAKE PLENTY.

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

If you are a single guy like me or a single woman for that matter who neglects to eat enough veggies from time to time then this one will set you in good stead, and the best thing about it is that you can add almost anything to it and make it a full on meal.

You will need

Stock, chicken or veg stock depending on what flavour you feel like or what you are going to add to it. Personally I use chicken stock 90% of the time, vegetable quantities will vary and you can add almost any vegetable, make a pile of your favorite vegetables that is about 1/3 more than you think you will need.

Carrots
Celery
Onions
Potatoes

These are the basic veg that you should have in any soup and then you can go to town, add whatever your favorite veg is to the list and even a few of those never tried before veg, lets face it, how bad can they really taste! They can only be good for you.

The process (10 minutes max )

Chop up the veg into nice bite size pieces, not too small, we are after a good hearty meal in a soup kind of setup. Make up some stock (read the package), generally I make 500ml and thats good for about 4 servings.

Put a large pot on the stove at a medium to high heat. Add a little olive oil and fry the unions a little or until they are glistening, sometimes I throw in all the veg and give them a bit of a fry for no other reason than I feel like it and it starts to smell good.

Then all you need to do is add the stock, not quite covering the veg, turn down the heat to a low heat and simmer it for about 10-15 minutes with the lid on and you’re done. Now you can chop up a few herbs, grate a little parmesan(my favorite) or chop up a spring onion and sprinkle on top of your soup, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt before eating.

Adding meat/chicken

When you add meat or chicken, fry it up with the onions befor adding the stock. I like to shred chicken in my soup, it gives it a kind of chinesey feel.