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Smoked Salmon Carbonara

salmon

Is there a dish you never tire of?

For me it has to be spaghetti carbonara, I simply love it. The delicious richness of the dish and the salty pancetta makes me very happy – okay it’s not the most adventurous dish, but it is without a doubt the best comfort food going. There is something so wonderful about sitting down with a big bowl of pasta and digging in. I recently made my carbonara recipe for my brother and he loved it too. Even Richard, who is not fussed with pasta dishes, admitted that it really is a tasty dish.

I’ve made the recipe so many times over the years that I really have perfected it – but sometimes I like to mix things up a little. I had some smoked salmon in the fridge that needed using, so I decided to try it in a carbonara recipe. It was wonderful -totally different from a traditional one of course, but very nearly equally as good.

I didn’t use it, but I think next time I’ll try adding a little lemon zest, I think it will really bring it to another level and give a good lift of freshness to the dish.

Ordinarily I’d scoff at anyone using cream in a carbonara recipe, but given that this isn’t your typical authentic recipe I’m not going to feel shameful about it.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara
 
Author: 
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Ingredients
  • 100g smoked salmon, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 175g fusilli pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest (if using)
  • Pinch of salt
  • A good twist a fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta in a large pan of salted water until cooked al dente (firm to the bite).
  2. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a large bowl, break in the eggs and whisk well. Add the parmesan, chives, smoked salmon and salt and pepper stir. At this point you can add the lemon zest if using.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan (off the heat), pour over the sauce and stir, ensuring the sauce fully coats the pasta. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the sauce but ensure the egg doesn’t scramble.
  4. Divide between two warmed bowls and scatter with a few snipped chives to garnish – and a little grated lemon zest if using.

 

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Black ‘n’ Blue Penne Pasta with Cajun Chicken

I am possibly the most flippant person I know; I change my mind like the wind. I’ve decided to quit Slimming World after just 8 weeks – I admit I felt too deprived! To be fair, I had lost half a stone, which is half the weight I really wanted to, but I’ve resided to the fact that I’d rather be fat and satisfied.

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, I’m not exactly fat, at 9 stone 9 pounds I’m perhaps a few pounds off my ideal. It’s quite possible that if you don’t have the type of relationship I do with food you’d be okay with Slimming World, but I’m a food blogger and limiting myself to certain types of foods was never going to work. What is it they say, “It’s better to have tried” and all that…?

I have times when I feel like being super healthy and I admit I’m one of those people who feels smug with myself when I decide to have a salad for dinner or go for an impromptu run. But with the festive season pretty much upon us getting into shape and fitting into my summer clothes isn’t on my agenda right now.

So, keeping in theme with my ‘eating what I god damn like’ attitude, I made the most delicious supper tonight. It was inspired by a dish I had at Frankie and Benny’s of all places; I went for lunch with my colleague Jade the other day and had a delicious black and blue pasta dish. It’s a dish they only have on the lunch menu for some bazaar reason, it’s delicious and definitely deserves a place on their regular menu. So I decided to copy the dish, as best I could anyway. I’m sure that those in the know would argue it’s nothing like the real dish, but it really hit the spot and tasted just as good, if not better. That’s right, better!

Black ‘n’ Blue Penne Pasta with Cajun Chicken

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Black 'n' Blue Penne Pasta with Cajan Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
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Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp cajun spice mix
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml single cream
  • 125g Stilton, or similar blue cheese, crumbled
  • 250g penne pasta
Instructions
  1. Start by placing the chicken strips onto a baking sheet and sprinkling evenly with the cajun spice mix, place into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees.
  2. Heat the butter oil in a pan over a high heat and fry the shallots and garlic until translucent, add the flour and stir well. Then immediately add the wine and simmer for a few minutes before adding the cream. At this point you will need to whisk the sauce well to ensure the flour is well combined and not lumpy.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the pasta - this will need about 12 minutes, or 11 for al dente.
  4. Crumble the blue cheese into the pan and allow to simmer until the pasta is cooked.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water (about 60ml), add this pasta water and the pasta to the sauce and stir well to combine.
  6. By this time the chicken will be cooked through, remove from the oven and stir into the pasta.
  7. Serve immediately in warmed bowls with a little parmesan if required.

 

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Naples and the Amalfi Coast – Restaurant Recommendations

As I dashed across the zebra crossing weaving in and out of scooters and cars that clearly had no intention of slowing down or stopping, I tripped over rubbish in the street, and felt somewhat intimidated by the stares of passersby and the almost constant sound of sirens, it was then that I realised that I’d arrived in Naples – and that it perhaps wasn’t quite as I had expected.

Continue reading “Naples and the Amalfi Coast – Restaurant Recommendations”

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Donna Hay’s Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs have got to be the ultimate comfort food. I love them, the boyfriend on the other hand has never been convinced – that was until he tried this recipe. I’ve tried plenty of recipes before, but never have I found one as good as this. It’s a Donna Hay recipe, she uses a combination of pork and beef mince which is definitely the secret. The bold fragrant aroma of sage and fresh basil work beautifully in unison in this dish – a real palate pleaser. The sauce is so fresh tasting, I’ve made it twice now and both times it was delicious. This recipe simply wouldn’t be complete though without a large glass of read wine.

I urge you to try this recipe, it makes a large batch (far too many meatballs for two, about 30 if I remember rightly) which is great as they freeze so well in batches ready for a speedy week-night supper when you are in a hurry; the sauce also freezes well.

Given all the changes to my blog recently I’ve been cooking from recipes and books for a while, rather than being adventurous myself, it saves time and produces a fool proof delicious meal every time, so I bring you this one from the wonderful Donna Hay.

All that is about to change though as I embark on what is likely to be a labour intensive festive cooking extravaganza, meaning I’ll be putting my creative culinary skills to the test. I’m helping out at my cousin’s Christmas open day (he owns a Butchers and Delicatessen) and has asked me to provide an array of festive baked goods for people to sample and order ahead of Christmas. I guess that means I’ll have a busy December lined up, I’ll be sick of the sight of mince pies. It also means I’ve been running about like a headless chicken in search of hamper baskets, cellophane and various other wrapping items at a reasonable price.

Donna Hay Meatballs

Click here for Donna Hay’s Classic Meatballs recipe!

 

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Pasta Puttanesca



Being an avid foodie, it’s almost impossible for me to pick a favourite dish, but there are a few that are certainly up there and this pasta dish certainly deserves a place in my top 5 meals. My friend Emily and I just adore this dish, mainly for its pungent delicious flavour, but also because there are few things more comforting that a big bowl of pasta. I’ve posted a puttanesca recipe before, but this is a variation on the last recipe, I wanted to create a super quick version of my favourite pasta dish that is just as delicious.  
If you’ve never tried puttanesca, I’ll warn you, it’s instantly addictive, and will most likely become a real go to meal when you’re having a busy week. You can almost make the entire meal from your store cupboard ingredients, all except the lemon juice, parsley and red chilli. Of course you could use chilli flakes, and bottled lemon juice, but the fresh parsley is a must. A word of warning, don’t add any salt to the dish, the anchovies provide all the saltiness you need.
Traditionally, you would use spaghetti in this dish, but any pasta you have knocking about is fine, and to be honest fusilli worked really well here, and for a speedy supper it’s easier to eat – that is simply my inner greed. My boyfriend always comments on how quickly I eat my meals.

Ingredients:
250g fusilli pasta
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of anchovies
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 red chilli roughly chopped
2 tbsp capers
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of freshly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
Method:

Start by cooking the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, add the anchovies to a hot pan, with the oil that they are in, using a wooden spoon break them up; the heat will turn them into a paste. Add the garlic and chilli, cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, capers and half of the parsley to the pan. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and mix well to combine, allow this to simmer over a medium heat until the pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta; add to the pan with a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Serve in warmed bowls with a sprinkling of parsley and parmesan. 
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Authentic Tuscan Ragú


The best Italian food is simple, rustic and colourful

There must be a million ragú recipes out there, but this wonderfully versatile sauce plays such a big part in authentic Italian cookery, so one more won’t hurt. Made with the freshest ingredients and slow cooked to perfection, there is no doubt that a huge pot of rich, mahogany ragú bubbling away on the stove will set your taste buds tingling. The red wine and mix of different meats, beef and lamb mince and chicken livers really set this recipe apart from the rest and creates the most wonderful depth of flavour.
The versatility of this ragú is what I love the most; enjoy it with freshly made pasta or in a lasagne. But, for me its best served on toasted ciabatta bread, topped and vine tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and a few shavings of parmesan, all washed down with a delicious Italian red wine. Make a big batch and freeze it for delicious, but quick, weeknight meals.

I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve recently discovered a love of authentic Italian cookery, so I was delighted when I received an email from the folks at To Tuscany, explaining that they were running a foodie blogger competition, and they wanted me to enter. The idea is to post a Tuscan inspired recipe, which is something I was only too pleased to set about making. Having thought about the basics of Italian cookery, and the simplistic approach Italian’s seem to adopt when cooking, I knew the recipe had to encompass three things, fresh ingredients, good preparation and enjoyment. There is nothing the Italian’s love more that sitting down to enjoy a lovingly prepared meal over a lazy afternoon. And, given that seasonality plays such an important part in Italian cookery, only the freshest ingredients would do.
I’m excited at the prospect of a foodie competition, mostly because it allows me to put my thinking cap on and get creative, but also because I want to win a week in one of your Tuscany villas. Really I do! Imagine sitting in the warm Tuscan sunshine enjoying a glass of the finest Italian wine and munching your way through some delicious bruschetta, knowing you’ve earned your way there by creating a delicious Tuscan recipe. Fingers crossed!
Given that ragú is probably one of the most common Italian recipes, and one that is showcased in various different versions all across Italy, it may seem an obvious choice. But, ragú is all too often ruined by people mistaking it for a simple flavour combination; it’s a far cry from simple, dull or boring. Made with the best quality ingredients and just the right about of love your ragú will have the most wonderful depth of flavour, making you feel as if you’re enjoying an authentic Italian dish on a hill-top hamlet in Tuscany. We can but dream…

Authentic Tuscan Ragú Recipe

Recipe makes a large batch for freezing

250g Beef mince
250g lamb mince
200g Chicken livers, finely chopped
5 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil (such as De Cecco Il Classico)
800g chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp tomato purée
200ml of red wine
Salt and black pepper
Handful of freshly chopped basil
10 vine tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp parmesan shavings
A combination of the following ingredients finely chopped is what the Italian’s call Soffritto, which forms the basis of many authentic Italian meals:
2 Red onions
2 Carrots
2 Celery sticks
1 sprig of rosemary (optional in most Soffritto recipes)
2 bay leaves (optional in most Soffritto recipes)

Start by heating the oil in a pan and gently frying the red onion, carrots and celery. Add the rosemary and bay leaves. Cook until golden, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the rosemary and bay leaves and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the meats to the pan and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Once browned add the wine and stir well. Cook until the wine and fat from the meats has evaporated.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and season to taste.
Serve with toasted ciabatta, topped with a generous spoonful or ragú, a few chopped vine tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and parmesan shavings.

Bon appétit!

 Wine Paring – Piccini Super Tuscan – medium bodied, it’s a blend of Sagiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, particularly good with red meat, pasta and rich tomato sauce – Perfect indeed!


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Homemade Gnocchi with Tomato, Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragù



I was rather excited to be given the most beautifully illustrated recipe book a week or so ago; The Italian Cookery Course by Katie Caldesi. My friend Karly had no use for it and knew just who would appreciate it, me! Giving me a new recipe book to ponder over is like giving a child a very, very exciting toy to play with. So I set about carefully studying many recipes from the book, which is so wonderfully put together, the colourful pages and awe inspiring food photography was enough to keep me captivated by the book for quite some time. The problem is, I inevitably end up with a whole list of recipes to add to my ever growing list of ‘things I want to cook’. I’m sure I’ll get round to them all one day.
It’s important to note that this is far more than just a recipe book, this wonderfully penned bible of Italian cookery features techniques and master classes with beautifully colourful step-by-step photographs for many authentic Italian recipes and techniques. Have you always wanted to make pasta yourself, or quite fancied your hand at baking a Focaccia? It’s all here in this wonderful book. And I’ve a feeling I’ll be making many more of the recipes very soon indeed.
I’ve been meaning to have a go at making potato gnocchi for a while, although I realised this was something that would have to wait until I had a free weekend to really get stuck into it. Luckily, as I’m now off work until mid June, time is exactly what I have. Having said that, I really must set aside some time to pack for my holiday on Tuesday; did I mention I’m off to Majorca?
Having set aside practically the whole afternoon to make my gnocchi and an authentic Italian ragù, I came to realise that it really wasn’t as lengthy a process as I’d initially thought. If I’d realised quite how simple it would be I’d have made it ages ago. 3 basic ingredients, 30 minutes or so and you have yourself homemade potato gnocchi, it really was a pleasure to make too. There is something quite satisfying about having made something you’d normally buy in a packet, and honestly its worlds apart from the dried up versions you buy in the supermarket. You can make your gnocchi ahead of time and freeze them; they  keep for up to 3 months. Alternatively, you can make them a day ahead and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.  
A couple of things that Katie mentions about making gnocchi, the first is that there is nothing more comforting, and I’d definitely agree. The second is that you should opt for potatoes that are not too waxy, and I can see why, the drier the better, something like Maris Piper or King Edward work wonderfully.
The sauce I chose to accompany my gnocchi (tomato, sausage and fennel seed ragù) was mainly chosen because I already had most of the ingredients, and it called for red wine – what’s not to like? The inclusion of fennel seeds apparently makes the sauce typically Tuscan and it works perfectly with gnocchi.
If you’ve never attempted making gnocchi, but often buy it from the supermarket, I really encourage you to have a go at making it yourself; not only is far superior in taste and texture, it’s ridiculously cheap to make.  Next time I’m going to make a large batch and freeze it for weeknight meals. The gnocchi takes about 2-3 minutes to cook, and a couple more minutes from frozen.
There are a few more recipes from the book I’m going to try out very soon, such as honey and pistachio crusted salmon with parsnip mash (an unusual combination, and not one you’d think of as Italian) and I also quite like the sound of the Prosecco and peach jelly. I’m sure my friends will be fans of that one too. Not that I’m implying in any way that my friends a sloshes like me 😉
Serves 4

Gnocchi di patate – Potato Gnocchi

1kg potatoes (King Edward or Maris Piper), unpeeled
150g ‘00’ or pasta flour (you can also use very strong white flour)
1 egg
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water until very tender – this could take a while, depending on their size. Drain and peel them while they are still hot, either by holding them in one hand on a folk or with a cloth, and peeling the skin with a knife in the other hand. (This might seem odd, but cooking the potatoes in their skin gives them so much more flavour and stops the water from penetrating the potato).
Pass the peeled potatoes through a potato ricer into a bowl. If you do not have a ricer mashing them will suffice. Stir in the egg using a wooden spoon and season. Add the flour to form a soft, pliable dough.
Flour the work surface, turn out the dough, kneed the ingredients together, adding a little more flour if the dough is sticking to your hands or work surface. The more flour you add at this point the heavier the dough will be, so only add more flour if it’s very sticky.
Roll out the dough into long sausages and chop between 2cm and 4cm in length. Store the gnocchi on a well floured surface whilst you make the rest. You can them roll them over the tines of a folk for texture or make an indentation in the top with your finger – this means more sauce will stick to them – or you could simply leave them pillow shaped and plain.
Set the gnocchi aside while you make the sauce (see below). Then come back to the next step.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi, you might want to do this in two batches. They cook so quickly that the first batch won’t have a chance to go cold. They are cooked when they bob back up to the surface – this takes about 2-3 minutes. Drain well and toss with the sauce (recipe below).

Gnocchi al pomodoro, salsiccia e semi di finocchio – Tomato, sausage and fennel seed ragù with Gnocchi

6 lean best-quality pork sausages
6 tbsp olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
125ml red wine
400g Italian tinned plum tomatoes
3 heaped tbsp tomato purée
25g finely grated Parmesan
Homemade gnocchi (as above)
Remove the sausages from their casings and chop up the meat to break it up.
Put the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and salt and pepper. Fry for about 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes light gold. Then add the onion and fry for a few minutes, until translucent. Stir in the fennel seeds and bay leaves. Put the meat into the pan and fry for 6-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into mince and stop it sticking. If the sausages release a lot of fat, pour it away, although a little won’t hurt.
Add the wine and allow to reduce for a couple of minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée and stir well. Leave the ragù to simmer for 10 minutes while you cook the gnocchi (according to the instructions above).

When the gnocchi are cooked, drain and toss into the ragù, serve with a scattering of torn basil and finely grated Parmesan.
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Speedy Spaghetti with Sardines



Today is a special Friday as the time has finally arrived, moving day is tomorrow. Yippee! I couldn’t be more excited for my fresh start. So obviously the past few weeks have been busy ones, which has meant my kitchen has been rather neglected, hence the lack of recipe posts recently. It’s been a wash with reviews and bits and bobs really, and for that I apologise, but I didn’t want to abandon the blog all together. We all have times where life is just so hectic that we barely have time to think about dinner, let alone begin the tremendous task of pulling out pots and pans, so this post is dedicated to those of you who, like me, are experiencing life in the fast lane.


To be honest, this is almost a variation of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, you’ll notice many of the same ingredients, but I’ve mixed it up a little. I was trying to empty my food cupboards ahead of the move and I found a lonely tin of sardines in tomato sauce. Why I even bought these in the first place is a mystery to me, but having discovered this recipe I’m kind of glad I did. And, before you’re inner food snob turns its nose up at the idea of fish in a can, think tuna but a little different. Really, it’s not that scary is it? Of course you could always use fresh sardines, but that completely defeats the object of this being a speedy store cupboard supper.

Given that this recipe is made with store cupboard ingredients it has some amazingly punchy flavours, the capers, balsamic vinegar and sardines give it the edge, but it’s completely off set by the small quantity of sugar and sweet basil – delicious!

I’ve realised that sometimes the most satisfying of recipes are discovered when you’ve not spent a small fortune on ingredients and haven’t slaved away for hours.  There is something much more rewarding about having salvaged ingredients from the depths of your cupboards and thrown it all together in 10 minutes. It’s that moment when you taste it and think – actually this is quite good. I even managed to make a little garlic ciabatta roll to accompany my pasta in this time.  Yes, I think I have developed an unhealthy obsession with garlic bread recently, although, I plan to have a stab at this Fasting Day diet some time soon. I know I’m not exactly overweight, in fact I worked out my BMI yesterday at it appears I am a healthy weight. Although, I’m not quite in the middle of the healthy weight scale, which I’d like to be; I think a goal of loosing 5lbs is sensible.

I’m going to keep a food diary for the week and include this in my review blog post; I’ll include the recipes from my fasting days too. Do you think it’s possible to loose 5lbs in one week? Ha ha, I’m not sure I’ll last any longer. I’ve never before attempted a diet so this will be interesting. Perhaps I should have done this a few weeks ago. I’m off to Majorca on the 4th June so I doubt if I’ll get my perfect bikini body by then, but then again, I’ll be over indulging in paella and sangria anyway, so who cares?

230g spaghetti
2tbsp olive oil
120g tin sardines in tomato sauce
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
Half a bunch of freshly chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan to serve

Boil the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and chilli, fry this for about 5 minutes until the flavours have infused. Roughly chop the sardines and add them to the pan along with the capers, chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the pasta is done.

Drain the pasta (reserving a little of the water). Add the pasta to the sauce, mix well ensuring that all of the pasta is coated. If the sauce is a little thick use some of the starchy water to loosen it.

Scatter with freshly chopped basil and parmesan, serve immediately.
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Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Chicken

I’m not often annoyed, as in really annoyed, but today is an exception. My blog has become subject to spam links from a disgusting website, and it’s mucking up my stats left right and centre. I won’t name ‘said’ website as I don’t want to encourage any more links to the offending page. I just wish these people would bog off! And that’s the edited, slightly politer version of what I wanted to say. I have worked hard at establishing Miss Friday’s Feast and I’ll be dammed if some repulsive website wants to get in the way of it. Has anyone else been experiencing these issues lately? Oh so irritating. Anyway, on with today’s post…

Spaghetti alla Carbonara… with Chicken

Pasta has got to be one of my favourite midweek meals; much like the potato it’s just so versatile. I mean, I could probably share at least 10 recipes off the top of my head, and I’m sure that goes for most of us. The point is that you can pretty much add anything to a pasta sauce; I enjoy experimenting with different flavours and textures. Although, there is one pasta dish that stands the test of time for me, and always seems to make its way on to my dinner plate: Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Perhaps it’s the creamy texture, the salty bacon and yes, the stacks of parmesan I grate on top; it’s such a simple meal to throw together, and in so little time. What’s not to love?
This particular recipe is by the Hairy Bikers , although I did make a few alterations, for instance they suggested using 100g of butter. Now, you know I’m not shy of a bit of butter, and carbonara is perhaps one of the most indulgent recipes anyway. However, I did feel this amount of butter was a little unnecessary. I mean no disrespect to Si and Dave, but even the thought of putting that much butter into a dish that is already so rich made me feel a little uneasy. I have to fit into my bikini in 3 weeks time. The original recipe doesn’t call for chicken, but I quite fancied it. Having made many variations of Spaghetti all Carbonara in the past I’m always keen to try a different method or recipe so the white wine in this one was a great addition that I’d never tried. But, I’ll certainly be making it this way again.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is always at risk of looking a little boring, I put this down to the pasta, the sauce and the cheese all looking the same colour. You want you food to look as appetising as it tastes so reserve some of the crispy pancetta for garnish and sprinkle over a little flat leaf parsley – in terms of presentation this will make the world of difference.
Serve with my quick garlic bread recipe

Serves 4
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breasts
250g pancetta, diced
40g unsalted butter
150ml dry white wine
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
100g parmesan, grated
plus extra for serving
400g spaghetti
Freshly ground black pepper
Warm the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken, once cooked set aside and keep warm. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook slowly until golden. Add half of the butter, then the wine and simmer for a couple of minutes. In a bowl, beat the whole eggs with the egg yolks and add the parmesan, season with black pepper.
Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the warm pancetta. Add the chicken. Mix until the pasta is nicely coated. Stir in the eggs and cheese – the heat from the pasta will cook the egg.
Stir in the remaining butter, check the seasoning and serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped flat leaf parsley and extra parmesan. 
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Bacon & Cabbage Pasta with Chilli

Hurrah for Friday. It’s been a slow but eventful week, with a few too many late nights, so I feel as though I need to catch up on plenty of sleep this weekend. And, considering I don’t have many plans, I think that’s just what I’ll do, amongst the cooking and packing of course.
Speaking of packing, I feel I may be focusing on many quick and easy meals over the coming weeks. Today’s recipe is pasta; perhaps the king of all comfort foods, who doesn’t love a big bowl of it whilst watching TV on a lazy evening in? This recipe really is absurdly simple to prepare, and with just a few inexpensive ingredients it’s a budget friendly family meal that will keep everyone happy. The sweetness of the smoked bacon against the bitterness of the Savoy cabbage works wonderfully, and in true Nicole fashion I loaded this dish with fiery red chillies. And, yes I did just refer to myself in the third person. Now, if you’re making it for the kiddywinkles, perhaps just use a few (and I mean a few) chilli flakes instead of a whole chilli.
You may be thinking that bacon and cabbage pasta sounds dreadfully boring, or unexciting even, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. As well as the delicious flavours, I adore the ensemble of colours in this dish. With plenty of black pepper and just the right amount of parmesan and you’ll have found yourself a firm family favourite for years to come. Honestly, I believe you’ll love it as much as I do.


150g dried fusilli
6 smoked rashers of bacon, roughly sliced
½ head of Savoy cabbage, roughly sliced
1 Red chilli, finely sliced
1 large red onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
50g parmesan, grated
½ Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Start by weighing out your pasta. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile add the onion, garlic, chilli and bacon to a pan with a tablespoon of oil and fry for about 7 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the bacon has become a little crispy.
When the pasta has 5 minutes cooking time left add the cabbage to the pasta water and continue cooking. After the 5 minutes drain the pasta and cabbage and add it to the onions. Stir in the parmesan ensuring the pasta is well coated and add a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.