A Silky Courgette Pasta Sauce

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It’s the time to be sneaky again. Vegetables will be disguised in many forms so that our little ones will eat and hopefully enjoy them through the flavour rather than texture. I feel it is the texture that many children fear when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t do aubergine when I was younger as it felt rather slimy on my tongue! Now I can’t live without them! Thanks to my Mum’s perseverance in feeding them to me.

Pasta is always a winner and chunks of courgettes are not appealing to our children so blitz it, make it smooth and silky! They’ll be none the wiser!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette
1 tin plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 level tsp dried oregano
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml water

METHOD

Blend the courgette, tomatoes and garlic to a smooth paste with the water

Heat up the oil on a low heat in a medium saucepan with the oregano and chilli flakes.  Once the oil starts to sizzle slowly pour in the tomato blend.  Stir in the salt

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Keeping on a low heat, allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Whilst the sauce is cooking through put on your penne pasta to boil

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Serve the sauce on a bed of pasta with a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar cheese

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A Cherried Chianti

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We bought this wine earlier this week, which is from the Tuscany region of Italy.  I don’t drink red wine easily as some are so full bodied and overwhelming but this particular Chianti appealed to my light palette.

It has sour notes with a soothing warm feeling as you sip.  I was amazed to sense the cherry flavour that I tasted almost immediately as it has mainly cherry notes running through it. An easy wine to drink and quite delicious. Went really well with a roasted vegetable oven baked pizza. I know I will be buying and drinking this again soon!

If you get the chance..Do try it and let me know how you like it. 

Have a wonderful weekend friends.  I promise more food recipes coming up next week!  Much love, D x

Vegetarian Moussaka Style Pasta

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Hello friends! Yesterday I fused two gorgeous cuisines together, Greek & Italian! And what a result!! Tasty, Mediterranean and very comforting…my kind of food. Also healthy with the soya mince, and fresh aubergine. Which I have to say is my vegetable of choice at the minute. I keep craving them and I’m sure you’ll all be getting more aubergine recipes soon.

I think the best thing about food blogging/writing is you get to eat the food at the end of it all. Developing, prepping, cooking is enormous fun but to eat the dish is like the cherry on the cake…ummmm reminds me…I have to bake a cake soon for all of you! It’s been a while…

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, see you all very soon. Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine diced
2 medium onions diced
300g vegetarian soya mince
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tin chopped tomato
300g tomato passata
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
400g penne pasta cooked
Feta cheese optional
Salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onion and aubergine together, cover and cook for 5 minutes

2. Add the tin of tomatoes, passata, vegetarian mince, oregano, garlic and seasoning, stir, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Serve on some penne pasta with a generous crumbling of feta cheese

Quick Pizza For The Kids

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This margherita pizza can be cooked from scratch, faster than you can order one to collect! I found it especially handy for my 2 boys who love their typically “only cheese and tomato pizza”. I made this one this evening and we all devoured it with absolute delight.

I didn’t have time to take many pictures as it’s such a messy process with the dough but I found it very therapeutic. Especially kneading and pushing the dough into the tray to form the base. Hope you enjoy it. The olive oil also gives the base a scrumptious crunch. Have a beautiful day friends, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

200g plain flour
7g instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
125 ml warm water
Olive oil for baking

TOPPING

100g tomato passata
Pinch of dried oregano
Salt to taste
Grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 220°c, grease a large rectangular tray with the olive oil

In a bowl or food mixer, throw in the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together.  Mix well, slowly pour in the water.  Knead until smooth. 

Transfer into the greased tray and using your fingers press the dough into the corners, making a rectangular thin dough base

In a small saucepan heat up the tomato passata with the oregano and salt.  Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes to warm through

Spread the tomato sauce onto the pizza base, top off with cheese and place in the oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until based is nice and crispy

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Cavolo Nero Cheese Muffins

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Iron, Iron, Iron! My Mum seeked out some Cavolo Nero Cabbage for me and I was and am extremely grateful and pleased! Having never tried this type of black leaf Kale which is found in Tuscany, Italy, I really couldn’t wait to cook with it. Especially as Tuscany is one place that I want to travel to and see!

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I tried it raw and it didn’t have an overwheming strong taste, so I took a chance and wrote up a savoury muffin recipe alongside some sweet cherry tomatoes and strong mature cheddar cheese. Both my husband and I were taken a back! All these ingredients especially the cavolo nero gave us a completely new tasting muffin sensation. I know this particular bake will become very much a regular in our household, especially as our home was filled by such a scrumptious aroma whilst they were being baked. Enjoy! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

225g self raising flour
6 cavolo single leaves, remove stem and chop into strips
14 cherry tomatoes quartered
100g mature cheddar cheese
180ml milk
1 free range egg
50ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan with some olive oil

• In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients apart from the cheese

• Whisk the egg into the milk and pour into the dry ingredients along with the oil. Stir well to bring together

• Fold in the cavolo nero, cherry tomatoes and cheese

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• Spoon up to half of the mixture in each muffin hole

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• Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

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Fresh Baby Leaf Spinach & Garlic Penne

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Yesterday I had a really busy day! It was go go go! It was also very warm here in the UK so I didn’t really fancy anything too heavy to eat! We had some fresh baby spinach leaves in the fridge to be used and my husband decided to take control in the kitchen. Yay! dinner was going to be made for me! Wooo hooo! Whilst I carried to clean up after the kids….

I was treated to an aromatic and extremely tasty penne pasta salad with bright green spinach and glorious garlic running through it. Enough garlic to compliment the spinach and chilli flakes to lift the oil dressing. One pasta recipe I know I will be wanting again and again…Thanks H, lots of love xx

INGREDIENTS

1 packet of baby leaf spinach
3~4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste
Dried red chilli flakes optional
Pre cooked fresh penne upon instruction

METHOD

Gently heat the garlic with the olive oil, mix and combine the oregano so that it infuses into the oil

Stir in the penne, making sure all the pasta is covered in oil. Season with salt, mix.
Tear in our roughly slice the fresh baby spinach leaves

Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the red chilli flakes and the spinach will wilt a little as you toss the pasta

Serve up with some grated parmesan or in my case some grated mature cheddar to add a sharpness to the dish

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