When I started writing this post, I had something totally different planned, but I decided to be spontaneous and changed my mind. Right now. I don’t even know if I’ll manage to post this today. Today as in Wednesday. Sometimes I feel so rushed during the day, that this blog is the first to take the hit. Unfortunately so I always say, as C&T is where, to a certain degree, I feel myself the most. I feel glad about this, because I never wanted to lose myself in here. Let me rephrase that: I never want to present anything that is not me. The food in the photos is never wasted, always eaten by us and/or friends and family. I share, because I love to, I want to, and of course, because I cannot justify eating a whole cake by myself. Well…
So let’s take a little break from cake and let me give you this.
Continue reading Easy Mediterranean Spaghettini
I can’t quite get my head round the fact that it’s already the beginning of October. Children have started school this week here in Malta and today, poor things, they made their way in the rain. We had quite a storm this morning and this doesn’t make the commute easy for all those who have to walk out the door to work. Flooding affected the usual places and traffic was even more nightmarish than usual. I hope everyone made it to their destination in one piece. It’s Friday once again though, so there’s the weekend to look forward to. Anything to hold on to, to make life better, right?
Continue reading Trottole with Courgettes and Ricotta (#PastaFriday and the conclusion to Writing 101)
So last Friday I announced that I’ll be posting a pasta recipe every week. Today I’ve decided to make it an event. Why not?! So if you are a food blogger and you love pasta, this can be the space for you. To participate in this weekly event, on a Friday or during the weekend, I invite you to write a post on your blog accompanied of course by a pasta recipe. What you need to do next is very simple:
- Include a link to your post in a comment on my post for that week.
- Include a link to my post in your own blog post. Don’t reblog the post. A simple link will do.
- If you use Twitter promote your post with #PastaFriday so everyone will be able to see it.
Easy. This event will run up to October 2nd, at least for the time being.
Now onto this recipe which I have promised you ages ago but never got round to it. It’s an off-the-cuff one simply because everyone does pasta salad differently. Everyone comes up with many variants most of the time. I have to be honest here: there has been a time (I suspect that it’s not over) that this became one of my regular go-to suppers as it’s easy to prepare and good for transport. Also it’s a good one for making use of things I just want to use up. I open the fridge and voila you have a meal. I have made it during these hot months for friends coming at the house at the last minute, especially during those intermittent weeks where I skipped my otherwise regular grocery shop.
Continue reading Picnic Pasta Salad and a Special #PastaFriday Event
I spent the last thirty minutes or so reorganising my photos into ingredient folders, if that makes sense. I just have too many, but it’s been a very interesting exercise, because now I’m aware of some old dishes I’ve been wanting to publish for ages. So for now, every Friday is Pasta Day. Lately my least busy day, at least for the summer, has been Friday. Having said that, today has been quite a hectic one and all I want to do right now is eat, watch a movie and sleep.
I have sadly finished all episodes of Castle. Sad days indeed. I had a very light lunch today so now I’m feeling ravenous. I don’t like heavy meals in the evenings though. I’m a light sleeper by nature, on the verge of being an insomniac, so anything heavy will make me sick. However I find that one of the gentlest things to eat at night is pasta. I know, I know, it may seem weird to you and it was to me too, the first time I read that. I mean, how was that even possible? I read an article a few years ago written by a chef. He said that he eats a small portion of pasta after a late night at the restaurant because apparently carbohydrates are one category of foods that are easiest to digest. I can’t remember where I read this but all I can say is that, for me, this works. I cut down quite a lot on pasta and bread these past few months, but once a week it’s pasta day in my house and that, my friends, makes me more than happy.
Continue reading Fusilli with a Simple Tomato Sauce
You know the drill: you go to the shops and buy something which is not one of your usuals. It has been a while though since I’ve gone on a shopping strike recently. Well not really…not a 100% because you can’t do that…but I had this packet of dried conchiglie lying around in my pantry not doing much. I got so tired of looking at it that I decided to use some of it.
There’s no denying that pasta and pizza are great for pantry clearing. They also come in handy when you’ve either forgot to do the shopping or when you’re too tired to think after a day’s work. The following is a take on an easy recipe which is very popular in Malta. Fact is that back home we love our food, baked dishes being some of our favourites. Baking with pasta or even rice is quick, practical and it’s the kind of food which you can freeze and reheat. It will also keep well for two to three days in the fridge. You can use other types of pasta if you like, but conchiglie give you bulk without having to pile up the pasta for decent thickness and presence. I like to make this in summer or when I don’t feel like faffing about with lasagne.
For this recipe, which serves up to 6-8 people (always depending on your guests’ level of hunger) you need:
- 750g conchiglie, cooked al dente & drained
For the ricotta mixture:
- 500g ricotta
- 250g fresh spinach, steamed & cooled
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the tomato sauce topping:
- 1 -2 onions, chopped
- 700g passata
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon curry
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- salt & pepper, to taste
For the cheese topping:
- 50g grated Red Leicester, Cheddar or any other hard cheese you like
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350ºF.
- In a large bowl mix the cooked pasta, steamed spinach, ricotta, salt and pepper. Steaming the spinach is ideal if you don’t want a sloppy mixture. When you are happy with the seasoning, add the beaten eggs and mix everything until well combined.
- To prepare the tomato sauce, you don’t need to cook it on the stove. Just mix well your ingredients in another bowl.
- Spread a tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of a rectangular ceramic or glass baking dish, and also spread a thin layer of your tomato sauce. Tip in the cooked pasta and ricotta mixture into the dish and spread evenly. Then spread the tomato mixture over the pasta.
- Grate the cheese all over and bake for around 45 minutes, but keep an eye on it once in a while. You could serve this alone or with some green salad.