pork, chorizo & orzo

The perfect TV meal! Quick and easy and perfect for a bowl and fork.
The orzo pasta can easily be replaced with rice or any other pasta like penne or farfalle. The choizo sausage adds a beautiful smoky flavour to this dish as well as depth so I will not recommend leaving it out of the recipe. You can however use pancetta or bacon instead.
I used pork sizzler sausages and removed the skin so that all the beautiful meaty flavour is easily released into my dish. Do not hesitate to replace the sizzlers with a different alternative such as a spicy sausage, or any other sausage of your preference. In turn, really making this dish your own.
Serve this dish with a simple side salad.
A great family meal, on the table in no time. My idea of food heaven!

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
3T olive oil
2T butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into blocks
5 pork sizzlers or any other pork sausage of choice
2 chorizo sausages (160g), sliced and halved
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 large or 2 medium sized tomato/s, roughly chopped
1.5C orzo / rosmarino pasta
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1tsp paprika
1C white wine
2.5C chicken stock
chives, for garnish
2T butter
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

how to do it
Using a sharp knife, cut down the sizzlers, opening up the sausage to reveal the meat. Gently fold out the inside and discard the skins. Break into even sized pieces, to get about 5 pieces from one sausage.
Set aside.
In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil &. butter. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until glossy, about two minutes. Add the pork sizzlers pieces and fry until browned on all sides.
Add the red pepper and toss for about two minutes. Add the chorizo & garlic and toss for a minute. Add the paprika and stir through.
Pour the wine into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until reduced. Add the orzo / rosmarino pasta and stir to coat. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Place a tight fitting lid on top and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked al dente. (The occasional stir will prevent the pasta from burning on the bottom).
Once the pasta is cooked and the broth reduced, add the chopped tomato, one sliced spring onion, thyme, salt & pepper.
Stir though and cook for a further four minutes, while stirring. Stir the remaining two tablespoons butter through the mixture.
Remove from the heat and garnish with the chives and remaining spring onion.

*You can also add parmesan shavings to this dish.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


leftover leg of lamb – open lasagna of lamb & mushroom

I do not waste anything in the kitchen. Quite honestly, no good Chef wastes any food produce. And minimal waste equals great saving. Simply freeze items in freezer friendly containers or resealable freezer bags, name and date it and safely reuse it in the not so distant future. Easy.
I had some leftover leg of lamb from Sundays’ roast and since pasta is another one of my secret romances, last night was undoubtedly pasta night in my home. Use whatever meat you prefer or may have tucked away in your freezer. Or fry some bacon or sausage, like chorizo and add it to the dish. Even leftover oxtail will make an amazing alternative to the lamb.
There is great effort in making a lasagna…a good lasagna, that is. So this is my take of a lazy lasagna when I actually don’t have the time to make all of the elements to the traditional lasagna we all love so much.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
10 lasagna sheets
2tbs olive oil
700g leftover lamb (or any other red meat that you would like to use)
3tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1 punnet wild mushrooms, halved
4 leeks, washed and sliced at an angle
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 white onion, quartered
1.5c cream (full fat)
1c beef stock/broth
8 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
1/4c brandy
1tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp salt
black pepper
parmesan (garnish)
fresh chives, garnish
handful fresh parsley, chopped
150g creme fraiche

how to
run water in a large pot and add two tablespoons of olive oil & salt. set aside.
heat the two tablespoons olive oil & 2 tablespoon butter in a large skillet / pan and fry the mushrooms until just cooked. about five minutes. set aside.
in the same skillet, add the remaining one tablespoon olive oil & one tablespoon butter. sauté the onion & garlic until translucent. add the brandy and cook until the alcohol has evaporated, about two minutes. (or flambé if you feel gutsy.)
add the herbs (thyme, rosemary oregano) & the leeks and cook for one minute. add the beef stock and mushrooms and cook until reduced by almost half and slightly thickened. about five minutes.
pour the cream into the mixture and cook for about three minutes. turn down the heat and get on with the meat and the lasagna sheets.
bring the pot of salted water to the boil. add the lasagna sheets one by one and give it a gentle stir. cook for about 8 minutes.
using tongs, pick the sheets out of the water directly into the cream mixture, twisting the sheets to sit, folded, in the creamy sauce, making space for all then sheets. (the starchy water will give a beautiful shine to your sauce.)
in a separate pan, heat a little olive oil and toss the meat until warmed through and slightly crispy on the outside.
turn the heat of the cream mixture on a low simmer and very gently move the lasagna around so to cover it with the sauce.
once warmed through, garnish with the chopped chives and parsley and liberally top with parmesan shavings.
top the lasagna with the meat or serve the meat separately.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x







rosmarino & beef meatballs

another easy, great tasting mid week meal, perfect for the whole family! and of course, it is another one pot wonder, which falls right into my meal favourites!
a little effort as the meatballs take some time but if you double up the meatball recipe you can use half for this dish and the other half can be frozen for future use.
rosmarino and orzo pasta remind me of family comfort food…good food made easy. i sometimes tuck in with a spoon only.
and if you feel like treating yourself, break a few eggs into the dish a few minutes before the end of the baking time, making this a pasta & meatball shakshuka!!
home made chilli sauce and a side salad are the perfect accompaniments to this dish.

for the meatballs | makes about 35
500g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1tsp minced garlic
1 egg
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1tbs chutney
1tbs Worcester sauce
1c breadcrumbs
3/4c milk
1tsp dried oregano
1/2c finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2tsp salt
grind of black pepper

for the sauce
200g rosmarino or orzo pasta
3tbs olive oil
2tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1tsp dried Italian herbs
1/2tsp fennel seeds
1tbs brown sugar
1tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
2c beef stock
1tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1tsp onion seeds
1tsp dried oregano
1tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
120g mozzarella cheese, shredded
chives, for garnish

how to do it
pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and set aside. tip the mince into a mixing bowl together with the remaining ingredients. mix through. add the breadcrumb mixture and, using your hands, mix until well combined.
using the palms of your hands, roll small or medium sized meatballs and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. to cook, either fry the meatballs in a little oil until just cooked or place the whole baking tray into a 180 degrees C oven for about ten minutes, until just browned but not completely cooked through. set aside.
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
in an ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter and sauté the onion until translucent. add the fennel seeds, Italian herbs, brown sugar, oregano, rosemary, onion seeds and tomato paste to the skillet and cook, while stirring, for about 2 minutes.
pour the chopped tomato into the skillet with the two cups beef stock. stir and bring to the boil. taste and season.
remove the skillet from the oven and drop the meatballs into the sauce. add the rosmarino pasta to the skillet and lightly press it down to ensure that it is covered with the sauce. cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid or tinfoil and bake for about 35 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
remove the skillet from the oven. nestle the shredded mozzarella into the sauce, cover with a lid again, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
remove from the oven and garnish with chopped chives.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x


tomato chicken & rosmarino one pot



chicken is a staple in my home. a lean meat, high in protein, easy to cook and very versatile. my firm favourite is a whole chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs and drenched in white wine, then shoved into the oven for a lengthy roasting period. yum.
and then pasta…my other secret love affair.
so combining the two makes perfect sense. to me food is not only to cure hunger. it brings people together. it soothes an aching heart. it stirs up good conversation. it makes a very dull day colourful.
it really is the best medicine money can buy. and it doesn’t always have to be fancy.
rosmarino is a small rice like pasta that i often use when making a cold salads with zesty dressings. and if you are not totally sold on the pasta idea in this dish, then use rice instead and have a Spanish evening.
this is comfort food at its best. a little effort in shredding the chicken after the cooking process but well worth it! i like to shred the chicken before serving as it is a little easier (and tidier) than doing it at the table but there really are no rules.
a great tasting, home cooked meal, perfect for the family or an evening of easy going entertainment.

serves 6
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
2tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, chopped or grated
2tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
3 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
2tbs brown sugar
2tsp paprika
1/2tsp onion seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
2tbs worcestershire sauce
3 stalks rosemary, leaves only, chopped
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1/2c dry white wine
600ml chicken stock
600ml cold water
handful fresh chives, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
200g rosmarino pasta

how to do it
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. or 160 with a fan.
heat a little oil in a deep, oven proof dish with tight fitting lid or dutch oven.
place the chicken in the hot oil, breast side down, and brown the meat for about 4 minutes. remove and set aside.
add the remaining oil and butter. sauté the onion until translucent. add the tomato paste, brown sugar, spices & rosemary and cook for about 2 minutes, until wonderfully fragrant. deglaze with the white wine and cook until reduced by half.
add the carrots and celery and stir to coat. pour the chopped tomato into the pot with the chopped garlic. stir and cook for 2 minutes. place the chicken back into the pot, skin side up. pour the chicken stock and cold water mixture into the pot, around the chicken but leaving the top of the chicken breast untouched.
bring the pot to the boil, uncovered.
once boiling, place the lid on top and put it into the oven for one hour, 20 minutes.
carefully remove the pot from the oven and gently stir in the rosmarino pasta around the sides of the chicken. put the pot back into the oven, with the lid on, for a further 30 minutes.
remove from the oven and rest, covered for 20 minutes.
now you can remove the chicken and shred the meat to your preference, discarding the bones and carcass. stir the parsley and worcestershire sauce through the pasta. place the shredded chicken on top and garnish with the chopped chives and a few pinches of paprika.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x





prawn mac & cheese

i think there is big debate in the food industry about changing or personalising old favourites and traditional recipes. i, however, find this completely acceptable. i mean, how else do we find inspiration and new ideas?
macaroni & cheese is something i grew up with. wether my mother made a simple version of really only macaroni and a cheese sauce straight from the pan into our plates or a baked version with strips of fatty bacon nestled between the macaroni and very cheesy cheese sauce, it was a common dish in our home. it comes as no surprise that i, too, have my own versions of this very traditional, tasty dish.
this version is a rich, saucy, meaty, cheesy heaven. you can bake it in the oven to grill the cheese it was topped with or dish it straight from the pan simply topped with some parmesan shavings. either way, it is delicious!!

300g rigatoni pasta, cooked according to packet instructions
70g butter
30g flour
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or grated
1/2 small onion, finely chopped or grated
2tsp paprika (not smoked)
2 pinches saffron threads
100g cheddar, grated
100g ricotta
50g parmesan, grated
350ml milk
100ml cream
1/2c fish stock
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2tsp dijon mustard
1tbs worcestershire sauce
1tbs tomato puree
bunch fresh chives, chopped
bunch fresh dill, chopped
basil, leaves only
1tbs brown sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
pinch chilli flakes
500g prawns (cleaned, uncooked & shelled)

how to do it
cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente. drain and lightly oil. set aside.
bring the milk, cream & saffron to a light simmer. add the prawns and poach for about 5 minutes. remove prawns and set aside to cool. reserve the milk for the sauce.
melt the butter in a deep, oven proof skillet. add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent taking care not to burn the garlic. stir in the paprika, tomato paste & brown sugar and cook for two minutes while stirring.
stir in the fish stock and mix until thick and smooth.
slowly pour in the milk & cream mixture while stirring or lightly whisking. simmer, while stirring, until thick and creamy. stir through the worcesterchire sauce, mustard, lemon zest, cheeses & a pinch of chilli flakes.
taste now and season.
roughly chop the cooled prawns and add it to the sauce together with the pasta.
stir through the dill and chives.
top with desired amount of grated cheese. (i used about 80g)
bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes until bubbly.
garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

serve with a green salad.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x