Crushed Mushroom Pasta Sauce

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Mushrooms = A no go zone for children!! But this yummy sauce will have them eating them in front of your very own eyes!!!

INGREDIENTS

1 Punnet of button mushrooms
200 ml crushed tomato
3 garlic cloves crushed
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano

METHOD

Blitz the mushrooms until small pieces

Heat up the oil with the oregano and chilli flakes. Wait for the oil to sizzle

Add in the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until a little water is released from the mushrooms

Pour in the crushed tomato with salt. Stir and cook through on a slow heat for 20 minutes, Stirring occasionally

Serve on a bed of cooked fusilili or penne pasta

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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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Israeli Cous Cous Salad

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For someone that is not partial to cous cous I had never tasted Israeli cous cous until a few weeks ago. Not very cous cous like but is actually little pearl like pasta. I found it to be filling and goes well with all sorts of vegetables. I am writing this post up as I wait here for my husband to come home and try this salad for the first time. I will let you know his verdict. I know it will be good 😉

Enjoy your day, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Israeli cous cous (cooked as per instruction on packet)
285g tinned sweetcorn
1 bag of baby spinach
1 large courgette sliced thinly
12 cherry tomatoes
6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
Cheddar cheese grated

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c, put the courgette, cherry tomatoes and garlic into a shallow roasting dish.  Drizzle over with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through and the courgette slices are soft and tender

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In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, the pre cooked cous cous, sweetcorn along with the roasted vegetables fresh out of the oven

Mix well, smash the cherry tomatoes a little to release some juice for flavour, season with salt and fresh lemon juice

Serve on a bed of baby spinach and sprinkle with cheese.  Feta cheese here would also be a lovely choice

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Simply Pomodoro Sauce

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My love for Italian food exceeds my love of any other cuisine. Sometimes you just want a simple tomato, garlic based Italian sauce to adorn a plate of delicious pasta.
When I am in the mood for this, I automatically make my go-to pomodoro sauce! Simple, full of flavour and extremely addictive!!

Have fun and enjoy your pasta!!!
See you soon, until then much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt to taste

METHOD

Heat the oil with the garlic and oregano on a low heat.  Once the oil starts to sizzle carefully pour in the tin of tomatoes

Add the sugar and salt.  Stir well, cook and cover for 15 to 20 minutes

Serve up the pomodoro sauce on your favourite pasta

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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

Fresh Linguine In A Leek & White Cheese Sauce

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As you might be able to tell, I’ve started to love my leeks..I just can’t seem to get enough of them. So here I share a recipe that I made for lunch yesterday whilst my husband made this too, to accompany my dish.

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What is even more special, is that I have been told by friends that they have a lot of leeks to use up…so I really hope you all enjoy this pasta dish, laced with the subtle taste of sweet leeks and a hint of cheddar cheese coming through!

Have a peaceful and stunning day…Enjoy! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

2 leeks finely sliced
⅓ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup milk
½ tbsp butter
½ tbsp plain flour
Salt to taste
Handful of grated mature cheddar cheese

Pre cooked fresh linguine 150-200g

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METHOD

● In a medium saucepan heat the oil and butter on a low heat. Add the leeks and stir till slightly soft and translucent

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● Mix in the flour and combine well, cook for 2 to 3 minutes

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● Gradually stir in the milk and keep stirring until it gets slightly thicker

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● Season with salt and throwing in the cheddar cheese. Stir so that the cheese melts and becomes one with the sauce

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● Sit the linguine on top of the sauce whilst still in the saucepan. Combine into the sauce and you are ready to serve

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A Chilli & Garlic Red Sauce For Ravioli

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I love pasta and find that making your own pasta sauce is very comforting.  You can add extra vegetables or make it spicy and vary it each time depending upon the type of pasta you are using.

My recent pasta dish allowed me to explore the simplicity of the red sauce.  All I wanted was a strong garlic and chilli hit to accompany some spinach and ricotta ravioli I had.  Which we polished off with a nice crisp glass of white wine.  A perfect sauce for ravioli..not too much going on in the sauce, just enough to add and bring out the flavours of the ravioli

I think I’m going to go and make some more! Ummmm…Have a relaxing weekend friends!, Enjoy…Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves crushed
500g crushed tomato passata
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 large chilli chopped

METHOD

Heat the olive oil along with the crushed garlic and chilli on a low heat for 5 to 7minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn

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Slowly pour in the tomato passata, season with the salt and leave to simmer on a low heat still

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I cover the saucepan and leave the sauce to cook through for at least 20 to 30 minutes.  If it gets to thick then add a little water to thin in down

Serve the sauce drizzled over a ravioli of your choice

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Taking some over to the weekly party over @ The Novice Gardener

Gujarati Khandvi With Baby Spinach

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This is one of my favourite traditional dishes of the region of Gujarat in India. Gram flour and fresh yoghurt based pasta sheets, rolled into tasty little delights. This is the second time I have made them and normally coriander is used as a garnish but I wanted to change it up a bit as I do! I found some crisp fresh baby spinach, shredded it and garnished the khandvi along with coconut

Have a look Tangy rolls of khandvi with baby spinach

Try them out and let me know how you like them..Have a gorgeous weekend friends! Much love, D x

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Aubergine & petit pois lasagne

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Lasagne originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and is traditionally known for the wonderful layers of ragù, bechamel sauce and parmigiano regiano with meat and vegetable layered within.

In this all vegetarian lasagne you will find that I have combined the tomato ragù with the aubergine and peas already and I personally adore the bechamel sauce with the cheese melted all over as the last layer. Which I must admit I do keep til the end when eating it.

My husband and I seriously love Italian food and that’s why we were led to Rome and Sardinia for our honeymoon. I have never tasted pizza and pasta so good as I did on the streets of ancient Rome. I must have been an Italian in my past life and now of Indian origin I think Im working through the alphabet lol!

I will definitely be exploring more Italian recipes as I go along in this very exciting culinary journey of mine…do come along for the ride!

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine thinly sliced
1 medium onion grated
1/4 tsp dried red chilli seeds
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
A little boiling water
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp salt
200g tomato passata
150-180g frozen petit pois
9 pre soaked lasagne pasta sheets *see notes*
150g cheddar cheese grated

For the bechamel sauce
30g butter
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
200ml milk
Salt to taste
Pinch of pepper

METHOD

• In a large saucepan heat up the oil throw in the onion and aubergine, sauté until tender. Sprinkle in the chilli seeds, oregano, salt and the garlic, pour in a little boiling water and mix

• Let it simmer for about 7 minutes and then stir in the passata and the peas. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame, then set aside

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• To make the white sauce. In a small saucepan melt the butter on a low flame, stir in the flour and cook through for a few minutes stirring continuously. Slowly pour in the milk whilst still stirring and leave on a low flame, keep stirring and once the sauce starts to thicken up, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir and take off the heat

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• In a deep rectangular baking dish place 3 pre cooked lasagne sheets then spoon out half of the aubergine filling and spread out. Another 3 sheets on top of the aubergine layer and then the remainder of the aubergine mixture.

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Last 3 sheets to be placed and then pour out the luscious creamy white sauce. Top off with the grated cheddar cheese

• Bake in the oven at 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4 for approximately 30-35 mincutes until the cheese is nice and crispy and golden

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• Slice into healthy size squares and serve with a salad of your choice

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Note* to pre cook the dried pasta sheets just put them in some boiling water with olive oil until they are a little softer.