Vegetable Flan

Vegetable Flan

Last week with a couple of friends we inaugurated the coming of autumn with the first cheese fondue of the season. That would be the first of a long weekend of fun celebratory events. Continue reading

Came Sunday, all I wanted was to hang around the home: no sports, wide pants and top, film and lit fireplace. I also wanted some easy to make food and found this flan recipe (in French), which I found would suit the mood. I made a few small changes and additions to the original version, the main one being the addition of lentils and some extra cheese.

 

 

Vegetable Flan

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 35 min

 

Ingredients:

130 cooked lentils (if you still have to cook them, the equivalent is 50 g raw lentils)

2 tomatoes

2 small zucchini

1 onion

2 tbsp. of thyme leaves

20 cl of fresh cream

4 tbsp. flour

4 eggs

100 g grated hard goat cheese (or any other cheese you like)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Preheat the oven th.6 (180°C).

Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds, then cut them into small cubes of about 1 cm. Now take the zucchini and make zucchini spaghetti using a spiralizer. Alternatively, if you’re using a knife, cut the zucchini by its length into thin slices and then cut each slice into spaghetti like strings. A third alternative is to cut them into cubes of 1 cm. Chop the onion.

Mix all the vegetables, the thyme, the lentils and the grated cheese and place everything in a greased baking dish.

Add the flour to a bowl; add the cream and mix; then add the eggs, salt and pepper, blend all the ingredients together. Pour on the vegetables and gently move them to make sure the egg mix fills any gaps.

Bake in the oven for 35 min. Once done, use a knife to detach the flan from the edges. This dish can be made ahead. Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

Asparagus Lemon Pasta BakeIn a hurried week I really wanted to post this recipe, which I really enjoyed. The lemon gives this pasta bake has a light and refreshing taste and it’s asparagus season so I want to take advantage of it! Continue reading

As an inspiration for this recipe I took smittenkitchen’s mushroom Marsala pasta bake, a recipe I’ve been contemplating for some time and finally decided to adapt it to the spring season. I’m going to have to keep it short because I still have to finish packing for a special weekend where I get to spend time with a friend… but before he arrives in Zurich, I want/need to go shopping.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

Asparagus Lemon Pasta Bake

 

Asparagus Pasta Bake

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50-60 min

 

Ingredients:

280g short pasta (I used penne)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small-medium onion

0.8 dl white wine

45g butter

30 g flour (or 2 tbsp.)

3.5 dl vegetable stock

80g Parmesan cheese

The juice and zest of 1 small organic lemon

0.9 dl cream

400g asparagus (woody part removed)

 

Recipe:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water but make sure it’s al dente. Drain it 1-2 minutes before doneness and set it aside.

Slice the asparagus at an angle into 0.5 cm pieces (if using thin asparaguses, cut them into 1-1.5 cm pieces. Chop the onion.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium-high heat and add the asparaguses to brown tossing occasionally. Once done set them aside with the pasta.

Reduce the fire to medium-low and add the second tbsp. of olive oil along with the chopped onion. Cook until the onion has softened (4-5 min). Pour in the white wine, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, don’t stop stirring. Now add the butter and once it has melted, add the flour and continue stirring until it has been combined with the rest of the ingredients. Start adding the stock one splash at the time. Make sure that between splashes, the liquid is well combined. Do so until the stock is finished then let it cook for a couple of minutes to let the sauce thicken. Add the cream, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the fire and add ¾ of the grated cheese along with the pasta and the asparaguses. Mix everything together. If you’re using an ovenproof pan, you can bake the dish directly in there. If your pan is not oven proof transfer it to a baking dish. Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining grated Parmesan and bake for 25-30 min in a pre-heated oven at 200°C.

Butternut Pasta Bake

Butternut Pasta Bake

To think that until a few years ago the only times I ate anything with pumpkin I had it when someone cooked it for me… I’m happy this has changed. Continue reading

Honestly now that I’m back from my honeymoon, as much as country life is beautiful, now that I’ve re-spent some time in a city, I really miss it. I miss all the attractions and the possibility to talk to random people and so to keep my spirits up, I spend more time in the kitchen and in front of my computer, getting ahead with the novel I started some time ago. So yesterday within the realm of my kitchen, I’ve been making a pasta bake which is my favourite way of having this particular carb: it’s comforting and so tasty!

Butternut Pasta Bake

Recipe for 4
Cook time: 45 min
Prep time: 20 min

Ingredients:

800 g butternut (peeled and deseeded)
320 g short pasta (fusilli, penne, rigatoni…)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 red onion
3 tbsp. chopped sage
½ – 1 dl water or vegetable stock
3 dl cream
2 dl milk
2 knobs butter
Cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. grated cheese (+ 3-4 for topping
3 tbsp. pine nuts
2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
Cut the butternut into cubes (the smaller the pieces the quicker they’ll cook), chop the onion and pass the garlic cloves through a garlic crusher.
Place a pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil and the onion. Cook for 4-5 min. stirring occasionally. Add the sage leaves and the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
Now add the butternut cubes and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes before pouring in a little water or alternatively some stock (about ½-1 dl). Preferably add the water little by little during the cooking process rather that all at once. Cover the pan and cook until the butternut will have become soft, don’t forget to stir occasionally.
Once the butternut is soft, transfer the content of the pan to a bowl and mash it with a potato masher or if you want a very smooth result use a food processor. Place the mass back in the pan (always on a medium fire), add the cream and the milk and combine the ingredients by stirring. Add the knob of butter and correct taste with salt and pepper if needed. Remove the pan from the fire and add the grated cheese and stir to combine.
While the butternut is softening or once the sauce is done, prepare the pasta in salted boiling water but make sure you cook it until just al dente or once you cook it in the oven it will become too soft. To stop the cooking process, once you drain the pasta pass it under cold water. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
Transfer the ingredients to a lightly greased baking dish and top with the remaining grated cheese, breadcrumbs and pine nuts (optionally add small pieces of butter on top which will help the browning process). Bake in the oven at 190°C for about 20 min.

Lazy Tomato Pasta Bake

Lazy Tomato Pasta BakeThe wedding preparations have been speeding up lately. Tonight we’re meeting the caterer and on Thursday we’re going to look for Mister’s wedding outfit. And last week we had our trial dinner where when we arrived they were not expecting us so we ended up being offered an enormous amount of food as it was taken straight from the menu and it wasn’t sampled. Continue reading

I managed to control myself but my fiancé still felt full the following day. Since time is short I made a recipe that would not take me too much time chopping, prepping and/or looking after the stove; hence this lazy tomato pasta bake. I don’t cook much with ricotta just because I often forget about this ingredient, but in this recipe it worked really well as it added extra creaminess to the whole dish. With a classic combination of tomato and basil, we really feasted on this pasta bake.

 

 

Lazy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 55-60 min

 

Ingredients

200g cherry tomatoes

320g short pasta

Olive oil

2 tsp. finely chopped garlic

200 g ricotta

2 dl cream

Salt and pepper

140 g grated cheese

A small bunch basil leaves

Cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

(optional: a few flakes of butter)

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Grease a baking dish with olive oil and the tomatoes (cut side up) by spreading them on a single layer. On the sprinkle a tbsp. olive oil and season them generously with salt and pepper. Cook them for 35-40 min on the upper part of the oven.

Meanwhile cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions in salted boiling water. If the pasta is ready and you have time to let it sit there add a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

Finely slice the basil.

In a bowl mix together the ricotta, cream, 120g of the grated cheese, cayenne pepper to taste, the garlic, the basil and a little pepper.

Once the tomatoes are roasted take the dish out and add the pasta and the ricotta, cream, cheese mix. Blend all ingredients together evenly before sprinkling on top the remaining grated cheese, the breadcrumbs and eventually the butter flakes that will ensure a nice browning on top. Replace the baking dish on the upper part of the oven and cook for another 20 min.

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake Pasta bake is something I can’t resist. Continue reading

I have been making them for over ten years and whether it’s for a simple meal or for a dinner between friends it always has its success. I made this pasta bake thinking about my mother who, up to a couple of months ago, never dared to give it a try. Since I’m writing this blog, as I already wrote it, she has been facing some of her fears in the kitchen such as risotto, croquettes and now the pasta bake. I told her just to give it a try and that it was easy; the following day she phoned me and told me how much her and her boyfriend enjoyed it (when he takes a second refill it means he likes it). For this recipe I didn’t even look up a recipe, I just went with what I had at home and thought it would be nice to have the dish already portioned. Actually I also gladly noticed that it makes the washing up quicker… which is always on the plus side.                             I wish you all a great weekend, I’ll be off to beautiful Crans Montana with my boyfriend for the weekend. For two days I’ll be setting the healthy life style on the side since we’ll surely party and will be eating rosti, Argentinian meat, dried meat and if it’s chilly why not a cheese fondue!

 

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

 

Recipe for 2 as a main meal or for 4 as a first course

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

160 g short pasta such as elbow macaroni, orecchiette, pennette…

2 Aubergines

Olive oil

4-5 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

120 g cherry tomatoes quartered (roughly 8 pieces)

60 g grated cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. dried chillies

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions and once done, add a little olive oil and leave it to cool.

Meanwhile cut the aubergines in half lengthways and incise them deeply (without piercing the skin) making diagonal lines about 2-3 cm between cuts. Brush the cut side with olive oil.

Quarter the garlic cloves and push two pieces in the cut flesh for each aubergine half, do the same with the thyme sprigs. Season the aubergines with salt and cook in the oven for 30 min or until the flesh has softened. Once the aubergines are out of the oven, remove the thyme sprigs and set the garlic aside. With the help of a spoon scoop out the flesh, just be careful not to break the skin, as you will soon need it.

Chop the aubergine flesh and the garlic and let them to cool for 5 min before adding them to the pasta along with the egg, the cherry tomatoes, ¾ of the grated cheese, dried chillies, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and evenly spoon the preparation in the aubergine skins. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Replace them in the oven and cook for 15-18 min.