I do love Bruschetta, in fact anything Italian, it has to be my 2nd favourite cuisine, next to Scottish Cooking, of course!
This is a classic recipe that never fails to satisfy the taste buds. Bruschetta is an antipasto starter consisting of toasted bread with oil and garlic, topped with tomatoes & basil. It’s light & refreshing, a perfect snack, starter or party food dish.
1 Baguette or any crusty bread- sliced diagonally (try Tiger bread, its delicious too)
250g Cherry Tomatoes – sliced into quarters
1-2 Garlic Cloves – crushed
Fresh Basil leaves – chopped or 2 tsp dried basil
30ml Balsamic Vinegar (use a good quality one – you’ll taste the difference)
60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use a good quality one)
1/2 Small red onion – chopped finely
1 Tsp Sea salt
1 Tsp Cracked Rainbow Pepper
Place the diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar & olive oil into a bowl & mix through. Season with salt & pepper. Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavours to infuse.
When ready to serve, brush the bread with a little olive oil & garlic, grill lightly under a medium grill heat until lightly toasted.
Spoon mixture onto the bread, sprinkle a little basil & serve. Enjoy!
This was my first go at coloured pasta, I’ve seen loads of posts on instagram showing beautiful colour pasta shapes and needed to give it a go. It was a lot easier that I originally thought, although my filling shape needs to be improved. lol! Practise makes perfect as they say….lol.
I use my Kitchen Aid pasta roller for this but any handheld pasta roller or even a rolling pin will do.
The general rule of thumb when making pasta is:-
100g ‘OO’ Flour, 1 egg, pinch salt. (makes enough for 2 small portions)
If you need more simply double everything ie: 200g flour, 2 eggs etc, 400g flour, 4 eggs etc.
For the basic past dough:-
100g ‘OO’ Flour
Pinch of salt
For the Colouring:-
1 tsp Beetroot Powder (Red)
1 tsp Blue Pea Powder (Blue/Purple)
1 tsp Spinach Powder (Green)
You can of course use any colour you wish.
1 tsp nutmeg
handful chopped Dill or Spinach
40g Parmesan grated
Make a well in the middle of your flour on a flat surface.
Crack the egg into a jug, add the tsp of colouring and salt and whisk until blended, pour into the well of flour.
Gently with a fork mix a little of the flour into the egg, once it starts to come together use your hands to bring together into a dough. If it is too dry just dip your fingers into water and add. You want the dough to be like a child’s play dough type texture.
Once in a ball wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Using the pasta roller, roll through on 1 twice, then fold the edges in, this is to try and keep the pasta sheet shape, then roll through on 1 again twice then 2,3,4,5 twice then a final roll on 6 then 7 just once. Sprinkle some semolina on a baking sheet and lay pasta down, this is to try and stop it from drying and sticking too much.
Once all your sheets are ready, change cutter to tagliatelle. Choosing just 2 of the colours, pass through the cutter, then coat the strips in semolina to stop sticking together.
Take each strip of colour and lay onto the final colour past sheet and press down, then put through the pasta roller to combine on setting 4, then 6 then 7 just once.
Now you can decide on your shape, cut using pasta cutter.
If filling, turn upside down 1 sheet and add dollops of your filling leaving enough space between, using a little water to edge the pasta (this allows the seal). Take the other pasta sheet and place on top and press around filling to seal ensuring no air bubbles. Freeze the filled pasta and then cook from frozen when required. (By freezing you ensure that the filling doesn’t leak when cooking)
I had some tagliatelle left over, so I just cooked in a little salt water for 2 minutes using my steam pot on my pasta setting, drained and mixed with the left over cheese mixture (quick little snack)
If you have any excess, allow to completely dry out by hanging (48 hours) then just bag or jar (ensuring covered with semolina to stop sticking).
My first try at making my own lasagne and it was delicious, there are so many different ways to making a lasagne but I decided to start it would be the classic, as you can never really go wrong with the good old recipes.
My new oven actually has a Lasagne setting which took away my thinking of what the correct temperature, humidity and cooking elements to be used. I am impressed, a perfectly baked lasagne. (ok some may say a bit too browned on top, but my partner likes it that way…lol).
Makes for 2-3
250g minced beef
1 red onion – finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – crushed
1 tbsp olive oil for fry
1 red pepper – diced
1 tbsp flour
250g tomatoes, skinned and chopped (to skin, score tomatoes and place in a pot of boiling water for about 10 mins, the skin will then easily peel away) or you could use chopped tin tomatoes.
2 tbsp tomato puree
100ml beef stock
100ml white wine
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper
Lasagne sheets – I used wholewheat
For the sauce
150g grated cheddar cheese
Gently fry the onion and garlic in a pan with the oil for a few mins until brown.
Add the mince and cook through
Add the chopped pepper and cook for a few mins
Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato puree and oregano, season well, mix through and simmer for 30 mins uncovered. If still too wet, add some flour to help thicken or increase heat and boil for a couple of mins.
Meanwhile to make the cheese sauce, add the butter, milk and flour to a pan and gently heat through stirring continuously until it starts to bubble, then add 100g of the grated cheese and mix through for about 2 mins.
Place some of the meat in a lasagne dish, then cover with some lasagne sheets, then pour over some of the cheese sauce, continue to layer until you finish with the sauce. I got 2 layers. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.
Set your oven to 170 deg fan and cook for approx 35-40 mins if you haven’t got a lasagne setting.
Serve. Oh yummy!
You can do a vegetarian version by replacing beef stock and mince with veg stock and vegetables of your choice. You could even do a chicken lasagne with chicken stock. The options are endless.
A wee afternoon treat to myself, I love Amaretto and I love coffee, no better way than to combine them. I had some Amaretto flavoured coffee left over so decided to try that instead of the liqueur in the biscuits (as I had none) and it so worked.
Makes 12 biscuits
200g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp amaretto coffee, my fav from the Edinburgh Tea & coffee Company
1 tbsp orange flavouring
50g cocoa powder
Firstly make the amaretto coffee in a cafetiere.
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder ,baking powder and butter together. Then add in the coffee and orange flavouring, mix together until you get a dough like consistency.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for about an hour just enough so you can roll out.
Remove from fridge and roll out to approx 1cm thick, place some greaseproof paper or parchmont paper on a baking tray.
Using a cutter, cut out the biscuits and place onto baking sheet. Bake for approx 15 mins at 200 deg.
Remove and place on a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Sprinkle some icing sugar over and serve.
I love to dunk mine into fresh coffee……oh so yummy!
I purchased some Soya Based Mozzarella from Muckle Coo Ltd at my local Glasgow Food Assembly https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7907 this week. Jill (the owner) at Muckle Coo Ltd makes handmade Soya based Meltable Mozzarella style balls that are Dairy/Gluten free & Vegan friendly. The two day process uses 83% organic ingredients (however, as its not 95% I can’t list any of the components as organic).
They are: Soya beans, water extra virgin rapeseed oil, tapioca flour, Carrageenan, sea salt, bifidus & acidophilus.
It was absolutely delicious! I decided to melt them onto Olive bread topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh chopped basil, such a tasty wee snack.
Couldn’t decide between Thai or Italian for lunch……so why not have both? This was a tasty wee snack for lunch that just simply worked. I love creating in my kitchen. Sun was shining today and wanted a refreshing lunch snack with a bit of a punch.
4 x Thai Rice papers
About 12 king prawns (3 in each wrap)
Handful of my favourite Italian pasta – Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia (translated – black squid ink spaghetti)
Handful of Kalette leaves – steamed
Peanut satay sauce – my favourite is by Cottage Delights as it has a nice spice kick to it.
Parmesan Cheese – grated
1 tbsp crushed peanuts
Cook pasta as per instructions. It does look a bit like worms…..lol!
Heat a griddle pan to a high heat and griddle the prawns for a few minutes on each side. Then mix with the peanut sauce.
Soak the rice paper as per instructions.
Assemble together with kalette leaves, spaghetti, prawns then shavings of parmesan, the roll to make your parcels. I always find folding the sides in then rolling keeps everything in better.
Place on a plate, sprinkle peanuts over and serve with a little of the peanut satay sauce. Yummy!
Another amazing purchase from the Food Assembly this week, Fresh Rainbow Beetroots and Carrots….I just love the colours and design of these vegetables, makes my plate of food more exciting. I made some lovely Italian potatoes to go with these for my fantastic veg dinner tonight. So tasty, full of flavour and very, very healthy, at under 400 calories per plate it’s a winner!
4 small roasting potatoes – cut into 4 lengthways (like wedges)
1 yellow beetroot – sliced (just look at the lovely rings inside)
1 purple carrot – chopped into chunks
1 orange carrot – chopped into chunks
Salt & pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 210 deg.
In a roasting tin, lightly spray base with light spray oil and place the potatoes facing upward in the dish. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and Italian seasoning to desired taste, then grate a little parmesan cheese over top of potatoes.
In a separate roasting tin, place in beetroot and carrots and spread out evenly, sprinkle a little olive oil over and season with salt & pepper, nothing else, you want to taste the amazing flavours from these vegetables.
Place both in hot oven and bake for about 40 minutes.
5 minutes before ready, remove potatoes and grate a little more parmesan cheese and put back.
I was lucky enough to win some vouchers for this years Global Market Village, it is another huge celebration of culture, flavour and diversity! With over 40 different traders, Glasgow was bursting with a fantastic atmosphere where shoppers have the chance to explore a number of represented countries during this free event!
From a range of different Curries to a Greek grill, Spanish paella, Traditional German Schwenkgrill, French Crepes and not forgetting the amazing Italian Cuisine on offer there was something for everyone, my mouth was watering with every step.
I well and truly spend all my vouchers, I went around the world but decided to France and Italy for my purchases, with some amazing spaghetti to French Patisserie delights and beautifully coloured and flavoured meringues I was in my element. Lovely day walking around and amazing smells.
Here is what I picked up, can’t wait to get cooking. The pastries and meringues were amazing.
Scottish Salmon with Potato, Spinach and Beetroot Gnocchetti. (Whole meal 420 calories and 3 minutes to cook!)
I visited the Hopetoun Farm Shop and found this Tri Gnocchetti, thought it sounded lovely and yes it tasted fabulous too. Made in Italy by the Fresh Pasta Company. Needed to Scottish the meal up though, so I bought some fresh Scottish Salmon.
1 x Portion of Scottish Salmon – I used my Automatic Fish programme on my Combi Microwave, it steam cooks it in under 2.05 mins for a 125g portion. I splashed some lemon juice and some fresh chopped parsley on top. Lovely!
1 x 150g portion of Gnocchetti – Bring a pan of water to boil, drop in Gnocchetti and cook on high heat for about 60 seconds or until they rise to top of water, remove with slotted spoon, place onto plate and top with Salmon.
Serve with a lovely Chardonnay. Mmmmmmmm! Perfecto Friday dinner.
3 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin or hazelnut for extra taste)
200g bread torn into chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 red chilli, chopped finely
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 red onion thickly sliced
handful of chopped fresh basil
50g -100g baby leaf salad (peppery for more flavour)
1. line a baking tray with foil. In a large bowl toss the beetroot, butternut, red onion, dried herbs and olive oil. Spread the mixture onto the baking tray and roast at 200 deg Fan for 25 mins.
2. Meanwhile toss the bread chunks, garlic, chilli and olive oil together in a bowl. After 25 mins remove the vegetables from the oven and scatter the bread mixture on top evenly, put back into oven a cook for a further 5 mins.
3. Meanwhile to make the dressing whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and seasoning. Transfer the vegetable and bread mixture to a large bowl and pour over dressing. leave for 5 mins to cool. Once cooled then add in the salad leaves and basil and toss again, then serve.
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