Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.

Recipe time again. I've had a bit of a blogging drought this past fortnight. I could blog about nonsense but have had quite a lot on my mind at the moment. Stuff I probably should write about. I attempted to use my blog as my very own therapist couch before and it felt incredibly uncomfortable. I admire that there are some bloggers out there who proudly wear their heart on their sleeve but I've had some bad experiences in the past on social networking sites. Full service will resume once I've worked past some obstacles in our path.

Spicy Chorizo Potatoes


  • 2 large potatoes , peeled and cut into chunks
  • olive oil
  • 1 small red onion , halved and sliced
  • 1 green chilli , sliced
  • 100g piece chorizo , cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 eggs
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain really well then fry in 1-2 tbsp olive oil until golden. Scoop out the pan, then add the onion and chilli and keep frying until softened. Add the chorizo and paprika and cook for a minute then add the potatoes back and cook, tossing everything together.
  2. In a separate pan, fry the eggs. Serve on top of the potatoes.
Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel


  1. 500g rigatoni pasta
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. 2 tsp fennel seeds
  6. 400g good, spicy Italian sausages
  7. 400g can chopped tomatoes
  8. 2 tbsp tomato purée
  9. 300ml vegetable stock, hot
  10. Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  11. 25g Parmesan or Grana Padano, grated


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in another saucepan over a low heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a further minute.
  3. Split open the sausages, add the meat to the onion and gently fry, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until golden. Add the tomatoes, purée and stock, and season well. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
  4. Toss the pasta with the sausage ragù and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with the Parmesan to serve.


Penne con Salsiccia e Zafferano


  •  Fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion 
  • 1 tablepoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 750g sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 tub heavy cream
  • 500g  penne 

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon water and saffron in a small bowl; set aside. 
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and thyme; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes, then add sausage and cook, breaking up sausage into small bits with a wooden spoon, until sausage is mostly cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add cream, saffron mixture and generous pinch salt; bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl; immediately add cream mixture and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately. 

No Cook Chocolate Tart


  • 200g pack all-butter biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
  • 100g bar dark chocolate
  • 100g bar milk chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar , plus extra for dusting
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche , to decorate
  • 200g raspberries , to serve
  1. Crush the biscuits by putting them in a large, strong, plastic food bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Melt the butter with the syrup or honey in the microwave, then stir in the biscuits. Press onto the base and up the sides of a 12 x 36cm rectangular tin (or 23-25cm round flan tin) and chill while you make the filling.
  2. Break up the two chocolate bars and put in a large bowl. Melt in the microwave for 2-3 mins on Medium, stirring halfway through. Stir in the vanilla extract, then sift in the icing sugar. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then fold into the melted chocolate. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Chill for at least 2 hrs or for up to 2 days.
  3. Just before serving, remove the tart from the tin and slide it onto a flat plate (loosen edges first with the tip of a small pointed knife). You will find it easier to remove the tart if you leave it at room temperature for 30 mins. Put a few tsps of crème fraîche along the centre of the tart (or around the edges if the tart is circular) and top each with a raspberry, then dust lightly with icing sugar. Cut into thin slices and serve with extra raspberries on the side.   

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