Tag Archives: Italian pasta

Just another pesto…


Following from my last post about the basil infused olive oil…happy to report the basil saga continues with …you’ve guessed it, pesto.

I absolutely love to grow basil and it feels amazing to cook with it, smell the beautiful green leaves…

Besides using fresh leaves in cooking, I have recently made my first basil infused olive oil, which is a game changer when it comes to certain dishes, especially tomato sauce.

Today, I want to share with you the next best thing you can make with basil and that is pesto.

I absolutely love pesto and so far we have only made kale pesto which is delicious with pasta.

Basil pesto with pasta

Ingredients: 2 handfuls of washed basil leaves, 30g pine nuts, 20g walnuts, 40g Parmesan, 100ml olive oil, 1 clove garlic. Cook the pine nuts until golden, then add them to the remaining ingredients using a food processor. Whizz until smooth, then season to taste, I only add a sprinkle of salt.

The above will get you enough for 2 servings of pasta. You can always double the quantities to have pesto for later, always store in the fridge until used.

I always fry the pesto, just a bit before coating the pasta and serving straight away, but that is a personal preference, you do not need to do it, but it does elevate the taste of the dish.

Once all ingredients are mixed, you should get a a smooth like texture, you might need to add more olive oil as you mix, depending on the rest of the ingredients. The secret is, bigger the quantity, easier the mix.

Basil Pesto

Just another pesto…but so delicious.

Your Girl with the Apron,

Julia

‘The secret of Kale’


” What’s for dinner? “

That is probably the most asked question in my house…to be honest, I feel sometimes like I need to invent something new, I mean surely everyone does get bored every now and then from repeating the same recipes?!

Or it’s just me?

We’ve discovered Kale about a year ago…by chance, I might say…used it in some of the smoothies for a three-day detox! I’ve had a revelation…did you know, Kale is the most healthy green you could have in your fridge?

That was enough for me…I was convinced, but then the big question came along: ‘ What else can I cook with Kale, beside blend it with celery:)))))?’

Well…loads of things!

And to prove you, that there is still something out there that you didn’t try …here are some amazing recipes, all based on Kale:)

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Crispy kale homemade pizza

I’ve used a very simple pizza dough: flour, salt, sugar, olive oil and lukewarm water. Quantity for each ingredient is decided by how many pizzas you want to make:) Toppings: pepperoni, parmesan, tomato sauce and kale.

Before adding the kale to the pizza, sweat the leaves in a bit of olive oil with diced garlic. Place the pizza into the oven with all the toppings on for about 8 minutes.

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Kale and apple soup

Ingredients: 1 large bunch of kale, 3tbs olive oil, 4 cups of vegetable stock, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 green apple, salt, pepper, a few bits of pepperoni.

Method: In a pan over medium heat, cook the pepperoni, onion and the kale in 3tbs olive oil. After about 5 minutes add half of the vegetable stock, chopped apple and salt and bring to boil. Transfer everything to a blender adding the other half of the vegetable stock and a bit of pepper. Blend until smooth. Serve with creme fraiche.

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Italian pasta with kale pesto

Ingredients:  2 cloves garlic, peeled, 300g  kale, chopped, 4 tbsp  olive oil, handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried, 1 tsp dried oregano, pinch red pepper flakes, 100g parmesan, grated, salt and pepper

Method: Place all ingredients in a large pan under low heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Place everything in a food processor and blitz until it forms a thick paste, add more oil, if necessary. Add a bit of water from the boiling pasta so it has a saucy consistency. Put the sauce back into the pan, add the pasta and mix together.

I’ve served it with homemade breadcrumbs:)

 …and here it is…kale delight:)

Bon appetite!

‘Delicious only in red’


I was thinking all day today what should be the next recipe to share with you.

I thought it might be time for a new, sweet piece but then I discovered that for the past week I’ve been trying out new dishes that you might love as well. As I couldn’t pick only one I went for all three:)

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” The red dish “

Before anything I have to say, we do love our red plates; I cannot remember the last time we’ve used anything else to serve lunch or dinner:)

These are three recipes me and my husband put together on days when spending too much time thinking about food or spending loads of time making it, wasn’t an option; quick, healthy and yummy!

Creamy kale soup with a boiled egg ( 2 servings)

Ingredients: 500 g kale, garlic, 1 cup milk, 1 onion, flour, oil, 1 egg/ serving, salt, pepper, fresh red chilli, fried bacon or smoked sausage.

Method: Wash the kale, place it into the blender, add salt, pepper, little bit of red chilli, chopped onion, one clove of garlic and one cup of milk; blend everything until it becomes creamy.

Add to the pan little bit of oil and 2 spoons of flour, under low heat mix it with a wooden spoon until it looks golden brown. Add the kale mixture and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Boil two eggs and fry a little bit of bacon or smoked sausage.

Serve as illustrated:)

Italian pasta a la Julia:)

Ingredients: Conchiglie and fusilli italian pasta ( I say italian because the 100% durum wheat pasta is the best), salt, pepper, 150 g green peas (frozen or fresh), 100 g smoked pork sausage (I usually buy german sausage), 200 g kale, 500 g italian tomato-passata with garlic and herbs.

Method: Add a spoonful of oil to the pan, let it heat up than add the sliced smoked pork sausage, use salt and pepper as much as you need; let the sausage fry a bit then add the peas and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato-passata and cover the pan, under low heat let it simmer for about 10 minutes; add the kale, cover the pan with the lid and leave everything under heat for 5 more minutes. Boil the pasta in salted water, drain and add a bit of oil. Serve while warm.

We love to mix the sauce and pasta, but you can always serve separately and let everyone to mix them as much as the love.

My own tip. Don’t use too much salt as the smoked sausage has loads of flavour which will make the whole dish taste amazing:)

Lemon couscous with oven baked salmon flakes

Ingredients: 150 g couscous, half of lemon juice, cajun marinade, salt, pepper, 2 fresh boneless salmon fillets.

Method: Place the couscous into a bowl and pour boiled water over it until fully covered, add salt and pepper. Put a lid on and leave it for 10 minutes until it absorbs all the water and becomes soft.

Pre heat the oven, take the two salmon fillets and cover them in cajun marinade, place in aluminium foil on a baking tray and then in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

The couscous should be ready, add the lemon juice and the chunks of baked cajun salmon and your dinner is ready:)

PS. I do hope you will try at least one of these recipes and maybe share your views about it. Bon appetite 🙂