Smoked trout on pappardelle pasta

Smoked trout in parpadelle

Smoked trout in pappardelle pasta

This recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food book. I wouldn’t describe it as “fast”, but probably because I was making it for the first time and it takes me a while to make something fiddly like a sauce. Next time will be quicker. I tried getting into the Ramsay style of cooking, but I had nobody to shout and swear at, so I don’t think it worked. Cooked this for guests, and it went down very well. They could tell by the mess in the kitchen (Tuesy: yes, he messed up my kitchen!) that I’d made an effort.

You need:

  • 6 medium vine plum tomatoes
  • 85g of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 15 pcs)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 banana shallots (or 4 regular ones), roughly choppped
  • 175ml olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 500g fresh pappardelle (or you can use tagliatelle)
  • 600g skinless smoked trout fillets, flaked into large chunks
  • grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
chopped banana shallots

chopped banana shallots

What to do:

  1. Skin tomatoes – this is easy Tuesday did this for the roasted tomato soup recipe. Chop the tomatoes in half and take out the seeds. I found it a bit tricky to squeeze out the seeds, so I left a lot of them in there. Don’t tell Tuesy. I don’t think anyone noticed.

    skinning vine-riped tomatoes

    skinning vine-riped tomatoes

  2. Put the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor until you have a smooth sauce. Season to your taste.

    ingredients on food processor

    ingredients on food processor

  3. Pour the sauce into a pan and warm on a medium heat. Be careful not to boil it too quickly.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente then toss with the tomato sauce and flaked trout (don’t flake that trout too much – it looks and tastes great with big chunks of fish in it. Serve with parmesan. Lots of parmesan. And probably some fresh black pepper.

Parsnip bread with parmesan and sage

Parmesan and parsnip bread © Kirsten

Parmesan and parsnip bread © Kirsten

This is another one from good ol’ Delia.

I served this bread with the roasted tomato soup in the last post. It was good but surprisingly tiny– about half the size of a regular loaf. I thought it looked like a moon rock! Not that I have seen a moon rock…

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 200 g parsnips
  • 50 g parmesan, cut into small cubes
  • 25 g parmesan shavings
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • a few whole small fresh sage leaves
  • 225 g self-raising flour (leave some extra for dusting)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large free-range eggs (beat lightly with 1 tbsp of milk)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • baking sheet, greased

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C (or about 150˚C if using a fan-assisted oven)
  2. Sift flour and salt. Grate the parsnip onto the flour and then toss them around, making sure that it’s all covered. It’s ok if it’s coarse like this.

    coarse grated parsnip © kirsten

    grated parsnip © kirsten

  3. Add the parmesan cube and chopped sage then toss again.
  4. Add the egg mixture gradually while mixing. Don’t worry about how it looks – the dough will look rough and sticky like this:

    parmesan and parsnip dough © kirsten

    parmesan and parsnip dough © kirsten

  5. Transfer dough to the baking sheet and pat gently into a 6-inch round dough. Make a cross using the blunt side of the knife.
  6. Scatter the parmesan shaving over the top of the dough, then sprinkle some flour.
  7. Dip each sage leave in the oil then scatter them on top of the dough.

    dough ready for oven © kirsten

    dough ready for oven © kirsten

  8. Put in the oven (high shelf) and bake for 45-50 minutes (less on fan-assisted oven) until it’s all golden and the crusty.
  9. Cool on wire rack before serving while warm-ish.
bread cooling © kirsten

bread cooling © kirsten

And there you go… you will smell the cheese and the sage when you take it out of the oven. Wonderful!

The other pictures of the parmesan and parsnip bread are here.

Watercress pesto

Here’s something you can do with a bag of watercress salad. I really can’t remember the measurement. You just have to check for consistency and taste as you whizz everything.

You need:
100 g (or more) watercress
4 tbsp pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
50g freshly grated parmesan
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more depending on the consistency)
a little squeeze of lemon
salt & pepper to taste

What you do:
All you need to do is get a decent food processor and whizz everything!

I recently bought a magimix compact which is just the right size for my small flat. It’s more pricey than some food processors but it’s worth it!

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

This is in the oven right now as I start writing this. It’s my first attempt at lasagne. Ever. And the greengrocer seems to have sold me some slightly dodgy spinach, so I can’t really vouch for its quality just yet. Maybe Tuesy can report back after I serve it up.

Here’s what you need to do:

1 Butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper

Peel and halve the squash. De-seed that thing. Chop it into big chunks (1 inch square has to be good enough, I reckon), toss it all in a roasting tin with the olive oil, chopped onion and a tablespoon of water. Season with salt n’ pepper. Roast at about 200 degrees (or considerably less if your oven is a fan-assisted raging furnace like Tuesy’s) for 25 mins. While that’s going on, you can get started on the sauce:

25g butter
25g plain flour
1 pint milk

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time (you don’t want it to go too lumpy) and then simmer it for about five minutes. It’ll go a bit thick, but not too stodgy.

In the meantime, cook 250g of baby leaf spinach in a few dribbles of water (use a separate pan!). Add salt and pepper.

To finish the sauce, you’ll need:

250g carton of ricotta
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (Tuesy: I did the grating!!)
6 sheets of that
lasagne that doesn’t need pre-cooking (Tuesy: this means, use regular lasagne sheets but you don’t have to pre-cook even if the packet says so. As this is very saucy, the pasta will cook anyway!)
50g of parmesan cheese, grated (we like it cheesy, so we’d go up to 80g for this one. I know, we’re just wild…)

Mix the ricotta into the sauce, add the nutmeg and a bit of salt n’ pepper if you haven’t got enough seasoning already. Here, for atmosphere, is a picture of some nutmeg during the grating process:

Now you get to build your lasagne. In an ovenproof dish, put the squash and onion stuff, nicely roasted by now, in the bottom, add the spinach on top and in between and all over, then about a third of the sauce. Layer the lasagne sheets on top, pour on the rest of the sauce. Finally, sprinkle the cheese on top and still more salt n’ pepper if that’s your thing.

Bake for about half an hour, or until the top part achieves your ideal level of crispy, golden goodness. Mine is nearly ready. Hope it’s good. Tuesy’s getting ready to test out her new food processor with some cup cakes, so there may be a delicious dessert blog to come shortly.

Tuesy: The lasagne Dan made is the best lasagne I have ever had in my flat tee hee… it was the FIRST lasagne I’ve ever had in my flat 🙂 But but but! It was also the best lasagne in the whole world! I absolutely love it!

The picture below is a macro shot of the lasagne. We love a crispy top!

PS. Dan used the Good Housekeeping guide to cookery for this recipe. He got it from his brother for xmas and it has changed his life! And I am grateful, of course 🙂

PPS. Recipe for the delicious dark chocolate cup cake to be published soon!