Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Salami and pea risotto

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I’ve blogged before about risotto.  It really isn’t as hard as it seems.  Just add a bit of stock at a time and stir in the same direction until cooked.  That’s pretty much it.  And this is one is super simple because there’s very little prep and so there’s not much to throw you off your rice stirring.   Ready in 25 minutes – that’s a good midweek meal.  It’s also pretty cheap.  You can use any salami, I used a nice one from Lidl but really whatever you want.  Frozen peas too, are a staple so it’s quite easy to do with what you have.  if you don’t have salami you can use ham or chorizo, or anything like that.  Even Mr J thought it was good, which is pretty hard to do as he’s so spoilt by my cooking.

I found the recipe here: http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/53/quick-salami-pea-risotto/

Salami and pea risotto

Serves 2

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion,finely chopped
  • 150g risotto rice (I used arborio, also from Lidl, so fancy doesn’t need to be expensive)
  • 750ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • large handful of frozen or fresh peas, defrosted or use mushrooms or other vege
  • 50-60g sliced salami, shredded
  • handful of parmesan cheese
  • small knob of butter or margerine or a spoonful of creme fraiche or cream
  1. Heat the oil in a high sided pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened.
  3. Add the rice, stiring until it turns translucent.
  4. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stiring until evaporated.
  5. Turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  6. Continue adding stock until the rice is cooked and the stock absorbed (you may need slightly less or more stock)
  7. Mid way through, add the peas.
  8. Whilst the rice is cooking, dry fry the salami in a separate pan until crispy, then turn out onto kitchen towel.
  9. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and stir through most of the salami, the parmesan and the butter or margerine or cream.
  10. Leave for 3-4 minutes to ‘rest’.
  11. Serve with the remaining salami sprinkled on top
  12. And enjoy the deliciousness!

 

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Cheap and easy: pasta puttanesca

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I’ve already blogged about puttanesca with prawns, as a good diet friendly dish, and it certainly is.  This is a slightly different version.  Cheap, just as easy, because it uses tinned sardines.

The prawn version is here https://mrsjacksoncooks.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/sweet-pepper-and-bacon-pasta-2/

I have used tinned sardines before, but I don’t like the bones in them.  Every recipe I’ve found previously always says, leave them in, they’re small and good for you, you don’t notice them.  I do.  I don’t like them!  This was the first recipe that said take them out, and said how to (although I probably could have figured it out, having something that tells you how, takes the guesswork out of it).  Most puttanesca recipes use anchovies but I’m not a fan of them, so this recipe works much better for me.

It’s a post by Jack Monroe on the Guardian.  I like Jack Monroe.  Her recipes are alwayseasy, and often use stuff that’s in the cupboard.  I met her through working for Oxfam, and like her honesty and grittiness, and of course, the easiness of her recipes.  Her recipe is here http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/16/jack-monroe-spaghetti-alla-puttanesca-recipe 

As always, I’ve adapted it.  I used macaroni because that’s what I had in.  You can use whatever pasta you like.  Spaghetti is good too.  I do normally use capers, however, I had run out this last time, so added in juice of one lemon, which worked well too.

Pasta puttanesca

Serves 2

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin sardines
  • 150g dried pasta of your choice
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped, or juice 1 lemon
  • 20 large olives (I used green), pitted and sliced
  • Handful of chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of parmesan (optional)
  1. Boil the pasta until al dente.  Remove and drain, and set aside (if the pasta is done much before the sauce, you may want to add some oil to it to stop it sticking)
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil in a pan on a medium heat.
  3. When warmed, add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook until the onion is softened.
  4. Remove the bones from the sardines by slicing down the back and opening and removing easily as they’re all in one piece.  Chop up the sardines.
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pan, breaking them up with the spatula or spoon.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the sardines, capers or lemon juice and continue simmering until you have a good saucey consistency.
  7. Then add the olives and basil in.  Taste and add seasoning as needed.
  8. Stir through the pasta until combined.
  9. Turn into bowls and scatter parmesan over the top if using.
  10. Enjoy the healthy, easy goodness
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I’m back! And I’m cheating – easy cheats meatball pasta

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I know, I’ve been away, you’ve been wondering what to eat. I’ve got a new super exciting job at British Cycling (don’t you just love how I manage to jump on every bandwagon going?!) which is very demanding. So I have been cooking – that wouldn’t change…I’ve not had the time for blogging and I keep forgetting to take photos.

But I’ve just got back from Ibiza (totally fab, amazing holiday, what a beautiful mesmerising place…don’t ever go all inclusive there, you miss the point of it) where I ate lots of gorgeous Spanish food and found perhaps the best place I have ever tasted tapas, drank lots of great (and cheap!) wine, danced my socks off (not that I was wearing any) and got a tan. Here are my top 5 things I learnt in Ibiza:

  1. A hot tub is the best after party – EVER! Get one, now – your life isn’t complete without it. Mr J and I are actually going to move so we can have one.
  2. Benirras beach is an amazing sunset party on Sundays. Get there early – they have police just for the parking.
  3. Random nights are the best
  4. There’s nothing funnier than driving around San Ant in your red fiat 500 convertible, roof all the way down, Guetta blaring from the stereo whilst you dance out the roof, and people wonder who you are
  5. Destino in San Jozep (between San ant and ibiza town) does the best tapas in the world.
  6. (I know, it’s 6 not 5) Drunk Connie is so much fun. Just give her 2 jaegerbombs and you’ll laugh all night.

Prior to the holiday me and Mr J thought we’d lose some weight so we went low carb, low fat. And whilst it’s totally unsustainable (and I ended up dreaming about pasta!) I learnt a couple of things – the cut of meat you choose can make all the difference. Always cut the fat off and remove the skin to reduce fat calories, and you don’t need as much oil as you think. So I’m incorporating these things into my cooking from now on. I’m also switching to low fat dairy exclusively. This was mostly the case already, but I’ve taken it further.

Anyway, holiday over. And I have the post-holiday blues, big time. But it got me to thinking about blogging again and I actually remembered to take a few photos. So I’m back for now, and here’s hoping it lasts for a bit in any case. And having the blues means I need comfort food, like now. So here’s a super quick, super easy, totally cheating pasta dish I actually got out of a magazine – More, I think. Ages ago I tore it out the magazine and stuck it in my binder where it was waiting for such a day as this.

I used frozen meatballs from Ikea as that’s what I had, but use ready made meatballs from the supermarket or just take sausages out their skins and roll them into balls. Whatever you have handy. I also used low fat creme fraiche and a bit of cream cheese, but use whatever you have to hand – fromage frais, cream, soured cream…whatever’s there.

I also added mushrooms as I’m really into mushrooms at the mo – they’re full of umami – what’s not to love?! Natural mood and taste boosters. But leave out if you want or add whatever you have in your fridge. Frozen peas would work quite well too I reckon.

So this can be done in about 20 mins – look at me, showing Jamie how it’s done. And kid friendly too.

Creamy meatball pasta

Serves 2

  • 150g pasta shapes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 100g meatballs per person
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150ml creme fraiche (or whatever)
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper
  1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions (reserve some of the water)
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pan on a medium heat and add the meatballs. As the meatballs release their fat, you can turn it up high until they’re browned on all sides.
  3. Then turn back down and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry until the onion and mushrooms are softened and the mushrooms have released their juices.
  4. Then add the creme fraiche and a few tablespoons of the pasta water to make a sauce. Stir well and bubble until slightly thickened.
  5. Then add the parsley, salt & pepper to taste. Stir through the pasta and serve.
  6. Enjoy the creamy comforty-ness
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Italian lemon chicken: Pollo alla Cacciatora

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This is utterly delicious. If you don’t cook anything else – cook this. It’s super easy too, and could be done on a week night easily enough. It’s also bikini diet friendly at 475 calories. High in protein, no carbs and fully of zesty flavour. The skin gives it more flavour and keeps it juicy, but if you are really panicking at the sight of your cellulite, then take it off to reduce the calories and fat.

The recipe comes from my Italian Comfort Food cookbook by Julia Della Croce. I’m not sure I actually altered the recipe by much at all – I added in less wine and olive oil than the recipe suggested and used a smaller chicken, but apart from that, it’s pretty much the same. I used a whole chicken as the recipe suggests – this is actually a pretty cheap option considering the price of whole chickens compared to buying thighs or breasts, and I made chicken soup out of the what was left on the carcass – so that’s lunches sorted for a couple of days – bargain!

But if you prefer, you can do this with drumstick and thighs or breasts. You can do a leg and thigh per person or a breast and drumstick per person.

I have capers so I used them and they do add to the tart flavour, but if you don’t have them it doesn’t matter too much, just leave them out. You can also leave out the chilli flakes if you’re wanting a mild flavour – but to be honest they don’t really make it spicy, just add to the overall zesty tartness.

Italian Lemon Chicken

Serves 4

  • 1 small-medium sized chicken (about 1.3 – 1.7kg) or chicken pieces to the same amount
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
  • handful of chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried
  • 60g green olives, drained and sliced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, 1 finely sliced into rounds, the other pips removed and finely chopped (both with rind on)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cut the whole chicken up into legs, wings, breasts and anything else you can get off the carcass. Then make chicken stock from the carcass. Heat the oil in a large high sided pan and when its hot add the chicken pieces and fry on both sides until browned.
  2. Remove the chicken and drain on kitchen towel. Pour off all but about 1 tbsp of the oil. Allow to cool (until it stops smoking).
  3. Then on a low heat, add the onion, garlic, rosemary and sage, frying until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  4. Add the chicken pieces back in, along with the olives. Carefully stir to mix.
  5. Next add the wine, vinegar, lemons, and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and partially cover for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add water if it becomes too dry.
  6. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add as needed.
  7. Serve immediately with new potatoes, mash or hunks of farmhouse bread. Or just have on its own
  8. Enjoy the zesty flavours 🙂
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Italian style rice & egg salad

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It was sunny yesterday, and a pleasant return to the UK after a great holiday in Cape Verde where we just chilled out, ate too much and I didn’t cook once. Just what I needed. So I returned 1/2 a stone heavier and in need of a diet. I wanted to do something healthy and light and salad seemed like a good thing. But we didn’t have much in the fridge, so I was being inventive.

I got the recipe from my new Italian Comfort Foods cook book, which you can find here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Comfort-Food-Soul-Satisfying-Recipes/dp/1856269361/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333377952&sr=8-1 and it uses pickled vegetables. But I didn’t have any of them, except for onions, so I just used marinated roasted peppers and artichokes and some olives instead. And some sweetcorn that was lurking in the fridge. I also didn’t have any mozzarella, so I used goats cheese and it was delicious.

So basically – just substitute whatever you’ve got into the salad and I’m sure it’ll be fine.

I also used Thai Jasmine rice for the rice, as that’s what I had, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It was ok but it’s quite a sticky rice. I think a long grain rice would be better for a salad.

Italian style rice & egg salad

Serves 3

  • 130g rice
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1.2l water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 90g pickled onions (the little ones you use for cheese crackers – I had leftover ones from Christmas!)
  • 100g (ish) roasted peppers from a jar – drain and rinse off the oil and slice into strips.
  • 100g (ish) artichoke hearts from a jar – again drain and rinse off the oil
  • 100g (ish) green olives – rinse off the oil or brine
  • 100g tinned sweetcorn, drained
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 100g mozzarella cheese (real stuff, not the pizza stuff), diced or use goats cheese instead
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tsp English mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Spread the rice out on a baking tray and place in the oven to toast for a few minutes.
  2. Bring the water to boil, place the lemon in the water and the salt and then add the rice. Re-bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is just cooked (you don’t want to over cook it and have all the starch come out) – about 10 minutes.
  3. Then drain and rinse under cold water until the rice is cooled and the water runs clear. Set aside until needed.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, salt & pepper to form a dressing.
  5. Put all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl (the larger the better for mixing) and toss. Add the rice and toss again.
  6. Add the dressing and toss once more to combine then serve immediately.
  7. Enjoy! 🙂
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Easy healthy midweek pasta: spicy bacon & aubergine pasta

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This was one of those – random things in fridge and in need of something quick and healthy to eat before the gym. And it worked really well actually. At just over 400 calories it certainly ticks the healthy box, and it was very tasty and didn’t take very long to make either – certainly a Jamie Oliver contender. You could even leave the bacon out (and maybe add mushrooms) for a vege option too.

The recipe came from my trusty BBC good food site http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/874651/aubergine-chilli-and-bacon-pasta and I didn’t really change that much of it, although I made less than it suggested and it was enough to go round.

Spicy bacon & aubergine pasta

Serves 3

  • 225g pasta shapes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into small cubes
  • 4 rashers of rindless back bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 red chillis, finely chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • handful of grated parmesan to serve (optional)
  1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and add the aubergine. Cook over a medium heat until softened – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crispy, about another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and chilli and stir through for a minute before adding the tomatoes, breaking them up with the spatula if necessary.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to the boil and then simmer until you have a nice thick sauce.
  7. Stir through the pasta and then tip onto plates, topped with parmesan if using.
  8. Eat immediately and enjoy!
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Making amends: Sweet potato and roasted pepper frittata

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I apologise. I’ve deserted you. I’ve not been myself…it’s not you, it’s my work. They had me pulling crazy hours, pulling my hair out and come friday I was a wreck, sat under my desk gibbering nonsense. They eventually sent me home at 3pm! So, of course, I went shopping! And bought myself some lovely hats which came in handy as it decided to snow on Saturday!

But because of all of this, I’ve not been blogging. I’ve barely been eating and certainly haven’t been cooking. I did go to the Marble Beer House on Thomas St though in the NQ which is a newish edition to the NQ. And the first time I’ve been. I was so stressed though, I forgot photos…next time maybe. Do go try their cheeseboard though and if you’re a beer drinker there’s plenty of choice. And if you’re not – I recommend the fruit beers. Don’t taste like beer at all! The chocolate one looked interesting too, but I didn’t try it, so can’t say.

Have no fear though, for valentine’s we’re going to Thomas Restaurant (on the very same Thomas St), which is a place I love, so I shall be eating, snapping pics and blogging for your delictation – the things I do for you!

I am back, and it’s business as usual. And as a peace offering, I present, the sweet potato and roasted pepper Spanish tortilla. It started out as the amalgamation of two different recipes and ended up really just being my own. Who says I don’t innovate?! Us practical cooks can do it too!

This is a lovely, delicious easy peasy recipe to do, and quick enough that it works for a midweek meal. It is meant to serve four, but it was so delicious it ended up being two generous helpings plus lunch for hubby the next day. Which is a great thing about any tortilla – you can eat it hot or cold. Tortillas are Spanish and Fritattas are Italian, but essentially they’re the same thing – omlettes with potatoes or pasta or other carby things thrown in. Ie a meal in an omelette. No bread required (although I do love an omlette sandwich myself…but there’s a time and a place). I apologise, my lack of blogging is making me verbose.

I’ve no idea on the calories, but as it’s February, we don’t have to worry about them any more and can go back to scoffing chocolate (and blame it on Valentines day – no partner necessary for that!). It is vegetarian though, so is a perfect meatless Monday option (which seems to be some American thing – probably to try and address their obesity problem). But really you can be vege any day of the week – there’s no requirement to keep to Monday’s only. I do like to try and have at least 2 vege only days a week. To much meat, especially red meat, isn’t good for you (but neither is an absence of it – everything in moderation as my mother says).

Anyway, enough waffling from me. Here’s the recipe. My original inspiration came from the BBC good food website I think, but there isn’t really a recipe to link to as it’s my own.

Sweet potato and roasted pepper tortilla/fritatta

Serves 2-4 (depending on how greedy you are)

  • 1 large red pepper (other colours will also work – maybe not green), I used Romero but it doesn’t matter really
  • 300g sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g feta cheese
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • 30g (ish) cheddar or red leicester cheese, grated
  1. Heat the grill on a high heat. Place the pepper (whole with stalk) under the grill and grill until charred on all sides. The blacker it is, the better.
  2. When it’s done, remove from the grill and place in a plastic bag (and seal) and leave to cool. Leave the grill on.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the potatoes on a medium heat until cooked and browned in patches. This takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Then add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  5. Take the pepper out the bag, and peel off the skin. Remove the stalk and seed and cut into thin strips.
  6. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl then add the pepper strips, feta, herbs, salt & pepper to the eggs.
  7. Pour it all over the potato mix and swirl about to cover the whole pan.
  8. When its mostly cooked underneath, sprinkle the cheddar over the top and place under the grill for a few minutes until it’s brown and crispy in patches and the egg is cooked.
  9. Serve immediately with a side salad or on it’s own. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and is delicious cold.
  10. Enjoy 🙂
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Easy midweek pasta: creamy prawn & spinach pasta

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This is a briliant quick and easy midweek dinner, that actually is quite a good diet option – providing you’re going for about 500 calories for dinner. It comes in at 499 calories. However, I substituted the cream for a low fat creme fraiche which would have reduced the calories further. It’s also good because it doesn’t taste like a diet dinner. It’s tasty, uses everyday ingredients, feels rich and satisfying and can be made in about 20 minutes, or the time it takes to cook the pasta.

The original recipe is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1553660/prawn-pasta

I didn’t change it significantly, bar the creme fraiche, and I used spiral pasta and added an onion as well.

Creamy prawn & spinach pasta

Serves 2

  • 170-200g pasta of your choice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 14 king or tiger prawns, raw or cooked (I used raw)
  • 100g spinach, stalks removed and chopped (or use baby spinach)
  • 2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
  • Salt & pepper
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • parmesan grated, to top (optional)
  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the prawns (if using raw) and fry for a couple of minutes until they start to go opaque and pink.
  4. Then add the spinach and stir well to combine. Allow to wilt for a couple of minutes. Then add the prawns if using cooked.
  5. Add the creme fraiche, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir well. If it’s a bit thick, add a spoonful or two of pasta water.
  6. Tip the pasta into the sauce, stir well to coat the pasta in the sauce, and serve immediately with some parmesan grated on top (optional).
  7. Enjoy the decadence without the guilt!
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Spinach and sausage lasagne

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This was another winner I found on a blog. Sometimes blog recipes are just brilliant (mine are, of course!) and so much better than recipe collection sites that I find, seem to stay quite safe (although then at least you know you’ll get something good). And just as this recipe came along as I was wondering how to make marinara sauce – when I found another blog on marinara sauce! This one came from one of the regulars that I follow, so it wasn’t quite so random as I make out. But I would have ignored it had I not been thinking about the lasagne recipe.

Here’s the lasagne recipe http://cookwithfire.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/spinach-sasauge-lasagna/

Here’s the marinara recipe http://cookingtipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/12/recipe-marinara.html

Half the time I didn’t really know what cook with fire was on about – I think it’s very much focused at the US – so it went over my head! So I ignored it and just stuck with the basic ingredients. I did think her suggestion to soak the lasagne sheets was odd, but actually it works really well and cuts cooking time. Which I significantly reduced from the recipe and it was great.

I’ve not seen many ready made marinara sauces here, so if you want a jar of something – go for something tomatoey that can just act as a base. A bolognaise will also work fine, although it’s a bit heavier than a marinara. Or make your own – it does make the recipe time longer, but it’s probably worth it. I still managed this during the week making it from scratch.

Spinach and sausage lasagne

Serves 6-8

For the marinara sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions finely chopped (or 3 medium)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tins of tomatoes (I use plum and just break them up with the spatula)
  • 250ml white wine (I left this out and added extra water and stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp each dried oregano, basil, parsley or other herbs (thyme, sage etc)
  • 2 handfusl of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 larger handfuls chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the lasagne:

  • 10 sheets dried lasagne (the recipe says 12, I found 10 was enough for my dish – you could try and see how many will fit in first in 3 layers)
  • 300g spinach, washed and chopped (the recipe says baby spinach but I didn’t have any so used normal spinach)
  • 6 large, good quality sausages
  • 150g ricotta cheese (you could use cream cheese at a push)
  • 1 large ball of mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 70g parmesan cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  1. First make the marinara sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry on a medium heat until softened and transluscent.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes and dried herbs, breaking the tomatoes up with your spatula.
  3. Add the tomato puree, sugar, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and water or wine. Bring to the boil and then simmer.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until you have a nice saucy consistency.
  5. Meanwhile, grill the sausages on a high setting until cooked and browned all over. Allow to cool and slice diagonally.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
  7. Whilst the sausages are grilling, put the lasagne sheets in enough tap water to cover them. Leave them until needed.
  8. Spread a quarter of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish (needs relatively high sides).
  9. Take enough lasagne sheets to cover a layer and spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on them. Place them ricotta side up on top of the marinara sauce layer.
  10. Then put half the spinach and sausage pieces on top of the lasagne layer. followed by 1/3 mozzarella and parmesan. Pour another quarter of marinara sauce over it all.
  11. Repeat this all again from the ricotta covered lasagne sheets.
  12. Then place a final layer of ricotta covered lasagne on top, followed by the remaining marinara sauce and the remaining cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil over it all.
  13. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the lasagne is cooked through.
  14. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Quick n easy midweek: spicy prawn pasta

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I wanted something quick and easy to do that didn’t involve white or red meat – I know prawns aren’t vegetarian, but they don’t have the same effect on digestion as meat! I found this on one of the recipe websites that individuals can post to – and I can’t for the life of me find the recipe again! I did adapt it in any case, and have no fear, I at least remember how I make it, even if I can’t remember where I found it!

This is very simple, very quick, and very tasty. I’ve not counted the calories – but it would definitely be lighter than some pasta options, and would be a good option for dinner if you’re dieting.

Spicy prawn pasta

Serves 2

  • 170g pasta shapes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 12-16 raw king prawns (depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
  • handful of grated parmesan (to serve)
  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a high sided frying pan or wok on a low heat. Add the garlic, chilli and rosemary cooking gently to infuse the oil without burning the spices.
  3. After a few minutes, when the garlic starts to brown, add the onion, and continue to cook on a low heat until the onion is softened.
  4. Toss in the prawns, mixing well to coat with the mix. Cook gently until they turn opaque and pink.
  5. Stir in the creme fraiche (you may decide you want a bit more creme fraiche or oil – depending on the thickness of the sauce). Mix through until it forms a thick sauce.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste before adding the pasta and tossing it in the sauce.
  7. Serve immediately with sprinkling of parmesan
  8. Enjoy!
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