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.

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.

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.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat CheeseFlavourful and quick pasta recipes always come in handy. To lighten up the calorie content of this pasta dish I have replaced part of the carbs with the zucchini. In the end I was quite surprised about how filling this dish was. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to make the zucchini spaghetti using my knife (since I don’t have a spiralizer) but then I found here a simple alternative using a grater that I thought worked well and was also faster. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti and since I really liked them I now have a new item on my to buy list: the spiralizer. This quick fresh and light recipe turned out to be a tasty dish and surely one of these days this is a recipe I shall serve again… especially since the wedding is less than a month away and I want to keep my food on the light side.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-12 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

2-3 zucchini

8 sun dried tomato filets

240 g spaghetti

120 g hard goat cheese

80 g crème fraiche

Zest of 1 organic lemon

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Using either a spiralizer or a large holed grater or even a knife, make the zucchini noodles. As I only have a grater I used it by grating the zucchini through their whole length. The other option is to thinly slice the zucchini by their length and them cut each slice into spaghetti like shapes.

Roughly chop the sun dried tomato filets and grate the hard goat cheese.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package instructions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the zucchini and the sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring once or twice. Add the crème fraiche, hard goat cheese and lemon zest. Lower the fire and cook until the sauce is dense but still a little runny.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the pine nuts. Remove from fire, mix all together, correct taste if needed 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.

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.

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin


Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin The great thing with spaetzle is that it’s a made from scratch type of pasta is quick to prepare and doesn’t need great skills to put together. Continue reading

Personally I love the consistency and taste of spaetzle. For this gratin recipe I’ve added mushrooms and spinach because they are a delicious flavour combination that is easy to find all year round. I served this dish with a simple salad but if you want to serve some meat, a nice piece of chicken would marry well with the rest of the ingredients.

Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Spaetzle:

400 g flour

4 eggs

1.5 dl milk

1.5 dl water

2 tsp. salt

 

Gratin:

2 knobs butter (plus more to grease the baking dish)

150 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g cooked spinach (frozen one are fine too)

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

A splash of cream

80 grams grated Swiss cheese (I used Sbrinz)

2-3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs together and mix them in the bowl with the flour.

Combine the water and the milk and gradually add them to the other ingredients while whisking. The batter should be dense but still a little runny.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a large holed colander (or even better on a spaetzle grater) on top. Take about ¼ of the batter, put it in the colander and press down so the better falls in the water. Once the spaetzle come to the surface it means the are ready. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the spinach and slice the mushrooms into 0.5 cm thick slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan melt the second knob of butter and add the spaetzle to brown for about 7 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add the spinach and mushrooms, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the fire and add the sour cream, cream and 50g of the grated cheese. After mixing all together transfer to a greased baking dish and sprinkle on top the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25-30 min at 190°C. Once the top has browned remove the dish from oven and wait a few minutes before serving.

Roasted Onions and Pine Nut Pasta

Roasted Onion and Pine Nut Pasta BowlOver the next week I’ll be quite busy so I will take a small break till next Thursday. Continue reading

Besides engagements and a couple of events, on Thursday we’re going wedding dress shopping with my mother. I am so excited (and stressed) about it. Since I’m sort of short on time I thought about making a quick pasta recipe for this post, which is made with common ingredients but I find it has a twist. I quickly roasted some onions in the oven with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This dish is really easy, it’s ready in little time and it’s something different while using few, basic ingredients.

Roasted Onion and Pine Nut Pasta Bowl

 

Roasted Onions and Pine Nut Pasta

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

 

Ingredients:

360 g pasta (penne, farfalle… – I always use whole pasta)

300 g red onions (about 4 units)

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

4 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 240°C.

Peel the onions and cut them in half first then into wedges about 0.7 cm wide. Place them in a baking tin and drizzle over half of the oil and all of the balsamic vinegar with the salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 7-8 minutes tossing the onions once after 3-4 min. Remove the baking tin from the oven when the onions are slightly charred.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package instructions, then drain and replace in the pan.

Once the onions are done remove them from the oven and add them to the pasta with the rest of the olive oil, the pine nuts parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Combine all the ingredients and serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.

Quick Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Quick Broccoli Rabe Pasta Over the Christmas holiday we visited my fiancé’s uncles. On that occasion, his aunt told me I should give this recipe a try, and so I did. Continue reading

In my version of the recipe I added a little sun dried tomatoes, other than that, I stuck to what she told me. Besides the flavour, this recipe is healthy and so quick to make and a part from the broccoli rabe, the ingredients can easily be found in any kitchen. My favourite pasta dishes are either a pasta bake or pasta with a few simple ingredients. This dish ticks the second box.

 

 

 

Quick Broccoli Rabe Pasta

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients

360 g pasta (I used whole wheat farfalle but that’s up to you)

12 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

160 g broccoli rabe

2 medium garlic cloves

1-2 red chillies

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

(optional: grated cheese)

 

Recipe:

Finely slice the broccoli rabe. Dice the sun-dried tomatoes and finely chop the garlic and chilli(es).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain.

Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a pan with the sun-dried tomatoes, chillies and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 4-5 min (stirring occasionally), then add the broccoli rabe and cook for another 5 min. Then add the pasta and cook for another couple of minutes tossing now and then. Serve either alone or with some grated cheese.

Pizokel

Pizokel So on Saturday we had my fiancé’s birthday party: it was an absolutely fun and delightful evening. Continue reading

Thanks to the help of my friends I managed not having to run around the whole day… I actually even had time to have a twenty-minute siesta 😉 For the event I knew my fiancé really wanted “pizzocheri” because he loves this dish. This pasta recipe is attributed to the Valtellina in Italy, which is a direct neighbour to the Swiss Canton of Grisons. Grisons also has another recipe which phonetically sounds like the pasta dish and these are the Pizokel, which actually look more like spaetzle that the more usual pasta. For Saturday’s dinner I made a combination and an adaptation of the two. What I really love about this recipe is the combination of the taste between the buckwheat flour of the Pizokel and the cheese…

Recipe adapted from:

stephanedecotterd.com (in French)

accademiadelpizzocchero.it (in Italian)

 

 

 

Pizokel

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min (+ rest time)

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

160 g flour

250 g buckwheat flour

2 eggs

1 dl milk

2 tsp. salt

Nutmeg

2-2.5 dl water

50 g butter

250 g cheese (a cheese that is fruity and flavourful)

100 g grated Sbrinz or Parmesan

200 g savoy cabbage

230 g potatoes

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

 

Recipe

For the Pizokel mix in a bowl the two flours, salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre, add the eggs and start working the batter while adding the milk little by little. The batter should be semi-liquid and should be sticky; to do this, add the water until it has reached such a consistence. Let the batter rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile, cut the cheese in small pieces, pass the garlic clove through a garlic crusher (and set them aside). Dice the potatoes and cut the savoy cabbage leaves into pieces. Bring salted water to a boil and add the potatoes, when they are almost cooked add the savoy cabbage for 2-3 minutes, remove from fire and strain. Set aside.

Remove the batter from the fridge. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Take a wooden board and make sure it’s damp with water. Place a portion of the batter on top of it and with the help of a wet spatula (I used a flat bladed knife), scrape small tbsp. portions into the boiling water. Once the pizokel come to the surface they are ready. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside (add a little oil to keep them from sticking together). Repeat with the rest of the batter.

In a pan heat a tbsp. rapeseed oil and add the pizokel to brown, add the butter to improve browning process. Add the garlic, potatoes and savoy cabbage; continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

In a warm serving plate, place 1/3 of the pizokel, on top sprinkle half of each of the two cheeses. Repeat the layers once more and finally top with the remaining pizokel. Serve without waiting.