One Pan Alpine Pasta

One Pan Alpine PastaI love one-pan dishes, I find them fun, easy to make and no chance of towering up dishes in the sink which will have to be cleaned after the meal! I made this dish for my mother and myself one day we were running short of time but now that I’ve tried it, I’d totally remake it for an evening between friends, maybe with a nice platter of dried meat as a starter and a nice glass of wine (the latter is not a “maybe”). I found the base for this recipe in my Swiss Cooking book (by Alfred Haefeli) and adapted it in order to make it become a one-pan dish to save time and clean kitchenware.

Tip: To make this recipe a little lighter, instead of using whole milk I used the half-fat kind and I found it didn’t affect the final result.

 

 

One Pan Alpine Pasta

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5-7 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients:

200g short pasta (choose a kind of pasta that takes between 12-15 min to cook, I used rigatoni)

500g peeled potatoes

1 large onion

1-2 garlic cloves

5 dl vegetable stock

1 dl milk

2 dl cream

1 tsp. cornstarch

200 g alpine cheese or Gruyere

Nutmeg

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes and chop the onion and the garlic.

Place the pasta, potatoes, onion and garlic and in a pan.

In a small bowl place the cornstarch along with a little milk and mix until the combined.

Pour over the stock, milk, cream and diluted corn starch, nutmeg and pepper and bring to a rolling boil and leave to cook stirring occasionally until the pasta and potatoes are cooked and the whole become creamy. If needed reduce heat.

Meanwhile grate the cheese.

Once the ingredients are cooked through, remove the pan from the fire, add the grated cheese and mix. Should the cheese not be completely melted, add the pan back to the fire for a short moment while constantly stirring. Optionally sprinkle a little more pepper and serve.

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

I can go for weeks without having a sweet treat and then my sweet craving go like from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde. Continue reading

In an attempt to minimise my intake I bake something not overly sweet but which I will still enjoy: here is the context where this kind of chocolate waffle cookies are made. I took this recipe from an old book about cookies from Pat Alburey. It’s the second time I make these and the more I eat them, the more I enjoy them. The cookie part is made of a thin waffle that is crispy on the outside and soft inside, while the topping is pure melted chocolate with something nutty on top. These cookies thin little treats and once I begin, I find it hard to stop munching on them… next time I’ll try and bake a large one instead of many little ones.

 

 

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Recipe for 32 pieces

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

60 g soft butter

90 g powdered sugar

a few drops vanilla extract

3 egg whites

A small pinch of salt

70g sieved flour

30 g cooled melted butter

120 dark chocolate

30 toasted hazelnuts – finely chopped (alternatively, like in the book, use shredded coconut)

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

In a bowl place the butter and the powdered sugar and whisk until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they’re foamy and add them gradually to the butter and sugar, mixing between additions. Add the sifted flour in two-three times, mixing between additions. Finally combine the melted butter.

Line a baking tray with oven paper. Take a spoonful of the batter, place it on the baking tray and gently flatten it with the back of the spoon. Space the portions apart, as the cookies will spread during the cooking process. You will need to make this in two batches so prepare one tray and bake it in the oven for 7-8 while you prepare the second one. A tip, keep an eye on the cooking process, while I made mine, I was doing the dishes and took the cookies out at the last moment.

Once the cookies are browned on the sides, remove them from the heat and transfer them to a rack and let them cool completely (it won’t take long).

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and using a teaspoon or a spatula, spread over the chocolate evenly.

Finally sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts on top of the cookies and leave to rest until the chocolate will have hardened.

Bread and Cheese Pudding

Bread and Cheese Pudding

The one thing I would really have trouble giving up is cheese. Maybe because I’m Swiss or maybe it’s because it just tastes amazing and it’s an ingredient you can just have so much fun with in the kitchen. Continue reading

This Bread and Cheese Pudding is something I have already tried last year but this time when I tried it, I found it’s better not having the bread stick out of the mix as I find it becomes too hard and dry. I tested this recipe on my mother and remarkably she took a second helping, which is not very common for her. Do I need to mention I had a second helping too? I took a recipe from the Swiss Cooking book from Betty Bossi and made a few changes to make this dish a little lighter. For instance I replaces the double cream by using plain cream and instead of using three eggs I just used two large ones. This Swiss recipe is just an easy, moist and very tasty dish.

 

 

Bread and Cheese Pudding

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g white bread

2 tbsp. soft butter (optional)

1 dl dry white wine (alternatively use white grape juice with a few drops of lemon in it)

3 dl milk

2 large eggs

150g semi hard cheese (Gruyere, Emmetaler…)

¾ tsp. salt

Pepper

2 dl cream

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 240°C.

Slice the bread into 1-1.5cm thick pieces. Optionally, butter each slice on one side with the butter and toast in the oven for about 5 min. Once done reduce the oven heat to 200°C. Place the bread slices in a baking dish by overlapping them.

In a bowl mix the milk with the eggs, salt and pepper.

Stiffly whisk the cream and gently fold it in with the milk/egg mix.

Pour over the bread slices and bake in the oven for 20 min.

Serve with a crunchy salad.

Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip

Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip
I’m back from my honeymoon! And I can say we had a great time in France. In ten days I managed to satisfy my history curiosity, to make my taste buds happy with good food and good wine and finally to calm down my shopping cravings. Continue reading

All this, I experienced in the company of my husband (well, he didn’t find the shopping part as exciting as I did). We spent five days in Paris then moved to Tours where we visited a few of the castles of the Loire Valley. Here are a few pictures of our trip.

We came back on Saturday night and on Sunday my mother came by to return my hairy and wet nosed house mate Kumo, and kindly she also brought me some groceries since I had little left to eat at home. It was not much but I managed to make my lunch a treat by baking these sweet potato slices with this avocado dip. As a base for my sweet potatoes I used the recipe I found on
foodfunandhappiness.

Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip

Sweet Potato Slices with Avocado Dip

Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min

Ingredients:

600 g sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
4 tbsp. finely grated cheese
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Salt

Dip:
2 avocadoes
2 tbsp. fresh cheese
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
Cayenne pepper
Salt

Recipe:
Heat oven at 190°C.
Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them into 0.5 cm pieces. Rinse them under the water to remove as much starch as possible and then dry them well using kitchen paper (this process will make them crispier).
In a bowl add the olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder; add the sweet potato slices and toss until evenly coated. Now add the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese and toss again.
Line a baking tray with oven paper and spread the potatoes on a single layer. Sprinkle any remaining grated cheese and breadcrumb mix left on top of the sweet potato slices. Bake in the oven for 30-35 min, turning them every 10-12 min.
Meanwhile prepare the dip by removing the flesh of the avocado and mashing it with a fork. Combine with the fresh cheese, the chopped onion and cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Once the potatoes are done serve them immediately with the dip.

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

Sweet Potato Broccoli TartletsI’m always in for any recipe I can make where I just throw everything in a container of some sort, put it in the oven and just taste it once it’s done. Yeah, I like cooking although sometimes I feel a little lazy. Continue reading

So last week I was feeling adventurous and so I decided to give these tartlets a try. When I try new recipe out of my imagination I always feel a little tense and curious but once I saw and tasted the result, I was happy with myself. This is a recipe you cannot get wrong (unless you forget the tartlets in the oven), it’s made with simple and healthy ingredients and the sweet potatoes and the broccoli can easily be cooked in advance. With the days getting cooler I find that tarts and similar recipes go perfectly with the weather… maybe it’s an idea or maybe it’s the cookng method but I find that anything that comes out of the oven has a cosy side to it.

 

 

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

 

Recipe for 6×10.5 cm tartlet moulds

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled sweet potatoes

150 g broccoli florets

60 g grated Gruyere

3 generous tbsp. flour (+ extra for dusting the moulds)

½ tbsp. smoked paprika

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 small tbsp. butter (+ extra to grease the moulds)

A handful of arugula leaves (optional)

 

Recipe :

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in salted water. Once they’re soft drain them.

Using the same pan bring another pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets by boiling them for 2 ½-3 min, drain them and place them in icy water. Remove them from the water and roughly chop them.

Mash the sweet potatoes add the flour and mix. Now add the smoked paprika, the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix all together and correct taste if needed. Add the egg and mix until it’s combined before adding the chopped broccoli.

Grease the aluminium moulds with butter and dust them with some flour. With a spatula or a spoon fill each mould until the top and even out the top surface. On top of each tartlet add a few pieces of butter.

Cook for about 20 min in a preheated oven at 200°C. Once done leave the tartlets a couple of minutes to cool before removing them from their moulds. If using them, top with arugula leaves and serve.

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

I love foods that get along with each other; they are just a wonder to combine… like tomato and avocado. So this week I thought I’d make a simple, quick but tasty sandwich with such simple ingredients. This is a sandwich I made last week with my mother when we had an improvised picnic on the terrace under the hot sun. Continue reading

I am also really excited to announce that from October on I will be blogging for the tasty association the “amis da la forcheta” which is an association that focuses on products from Ticino by organising gastronomic events and walks. They are a group that proudly supports locals products and also, they have an eye on ecological sustainability. All of these aspects I personally consider to be really important. Over the next few weeks I will write more about it; but for now I am really excited to share the news! With a heart full of excitement I wish you all a great week 😀

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Recipe for 4:

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

8 1 cm thick slices brown bread

2 small avocadoes

4 small tbsp. mayonnaise

2 meaty tomatoes (I used the beef heart kind)

2 spring onions (white part only)

A few salad leaves

Powdered chilli

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Toast the four slices of bread either in a toaster or in an oven. Once they’re lightly toasted let the cool by leaning them on something so that they don’t lay flat and therefore loose they crunchiness.

Remove the hard part of the tomatoes and slice them into 3-4 mm thick pieces. Do the same with the spring onion.

Cut the avocadoes in two, remove the pit and remove the meat with the help of a tbsp. Place the avocado meat in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add mayo and powdered chilli to taste and mix all together.

Take a slice of bread and spread on one side a generous layer of the avocado mayo. On top place the tomatoes and the spring onion, season with salt and pepper, add the salad leaves and top with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the rest of the bread slice and the ingredients and serve.

 

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.

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad 2.2 These Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad are the kind of dish I love making, eating and sharing. Continue reading

The more I cook the more I notice my love for making veggie filled dishes. On the other hand I also notice that my sweet baking skills have room for improvement… Anyway, since I haven’t seen much sun lately I wanted to encourage warm days by making something with an eye towards summer. Aubergines and salad to me scream warm and sunny days. With the wedges I made the wheat salad by adding ingredients that pair well with aubergines: tomatoes, walnuts, chilli and a little garlic. Easy and healthy, I hope you’ll like it as much as I did.

 

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

 

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 25-30 min

 

Ingredients

2 small aubergines (stem trimmed) – about 500 g

160 g tomatoes – the meatier the better

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1-2 cloves garlic

Chilli powder

2 tbsp. dry roasted coarsely chopped walnuts

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1.5 tbsp. lemon juice

160 g wheat (I used the precooked kind)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, and then cut each half into four equal sized wedges. Brush each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the wedges (skin side down) on a parchment lined baking tray and cook for 25-30 min in the oven. If the top gets too dark turn the wedges on one side and flip them after a few minutes.

Meanwhile cook the wheat according to package instructions (about 10 min.) in salted water. Drain if needed once done.

Chop the tomato into about ½ cm pieces and using a garlic crusher crush the cloves (alternatively finely chop it)

Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice with 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a bowl combine the cooked wheat, chopped tomatoes, garlic, parsley, walnuts and dressing.

Place the aubergine wedges on a serving plate(s) and add the wheat salad on top. Serve

 

Springtime Pasta

Springtime Pasta Because asparagus season always seems too short so I wanted to take advantage of it at least once more. Continue reading

For this quick and easy dish I dressed the pasta with a creamy goat cheese sauce filled with tasty and healthy greens. These will provide two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables one needs a day. And since after almost eight years I’m still trying to get my fiancé to improve his diet, this is a good way to trick him 😉 .

Springtime Pasta

 

 

Springtime Pasta

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

320 g pasta (fusilli, farfalle…)

320 g fresh peas (frozen ones are fine too but make sure they are at room temperature)

320 g fine asparagus

160 g fresh goat cheese

2 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 tbsp. cream

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Chop the asparagus into 2 cm pieces (I cut mine a little too big).

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a low-medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus and the peas with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tenderstirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Once the vegetables are done add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for another half minute before reducing fire and adding the cream and goat cheese. Cook while stirring until the goat cheese has melted.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the vegetables and the goat cheese. Toss and serve.

 

Red Bean Burger

Red Bean BurgerI love vegetarian/vegan burgers and this recipe is something I keep on making over and over, especially when my mother comes over and we don’t know what to eat. Continue reading

With a few ingredients you’ve got yourself a healthy and filling dish that is easy and quick to prepare. What I also like about burgers is that they are a good source of iron and since my meat intake is relatively limited, this recipe is a good alternative. I prepared this red bean burger and garnished it with what I had at home (tomatoes and salad) although if had had an avocado I would have smashed it with a fork and used it as mayo to smother it all over. The nice thing at least is that I know that in not so long I’ll be having it again and this time I will not forget the avocado.

 

Red Bean Burger

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

520 g cooked red kidney beans

4 tbsp. chopped coriander

2 garlic cloves

1 small red onion

2 chilli peppers

Salt

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

4 buns

Garnish to taste with either: tomatoes, salad, smashed avocado, mayonnaise….

 

Recipe:

Place the beans in a bowl and with the help of a fork or a potato masher mash them.

Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher and finely chop the onion and the red pepper. Add the two ingredients to the bowl along with the coriander and salt to taste.

Mix everything together and form four patties.

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium fire and cook the bean burgers for 4-5 min per side. Once they are nice and brown, garnish your burger according to your taste.