Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Ratatouille calzones

Calzones de ratatouille / Ratatouille calzones

Last week I told Joao that for the weekend I wanted to make something different for lunch: I was not in the mood for pasta or for the good old rice and beans combo, and I definitely wanted to try my hands at a new recipe.

Going through the vegetables in my fridge I found one eggplant, one zucchini, a couple of carrots and that was it: not much to choose from. So I kept the carrots for some other time and used the eggplant and the zucchini to make a sort of ratatouille, adding tomato paste and olive to make the mixture more interesting. Mixed with cheese it became the filling for these calzones and I bring you this recipe with a very proud smile: the calzones turned out so good!

Apparently going through the crisper drawer might be a good creative exercise. :D

The recipe yields 8 large calzones, which is too much for the both of us for one meal, so I froze the remaining calzones and we ate them for dinner yesterday. If you want to do the same, just wait for the calzones to cool completely, wrap in foil and place them in a plastic bag, sealing well. Once the calzones are thawed, 10 minutes in a hot oven are enough to make them delicious again.

Calzones de ratatouille / Ratatouille calzones

Ratatouille calzones
own recipe

Dough:
2 teaspoons dried yeast
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups (300ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons table salt

Filling:
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ small onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium zucchini (240g), in 1cm-cubes
1 medium eggplant (300g), in 1cm-cubes
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry white wine
10 large black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 ½ cups (150g) coarsely grated yellow mozzarella*
3 tablespoons coarsely grated parmesan
2 teaspoons dried oregano

After assembling the calzones:
olive oil, for brushing
finely grated parmesan, for sprinkling over the calzones

Start with the dough: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the yeast, sugar and water with a fork. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, flour and salt and mix for 6-8 minutes or until a soft and elastic dough forms. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size – mine proved for 90 minutes.

In the meantime, make the filling: heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant – do not let it burn or it will get bitter. Stir in zucchini, eggplant and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are softer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes – it is important to cook it thoroughly to avoid the raw tomato aftertaste. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the olives. Remove from the heat, cool completely, discard the bay leaf and then stir in the cheeses and the oregano.

Preheat the oven to 420°F/220°C. Have ready two large baking sheets.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts – each will be around 100g (3 ½ oz.). Roll out each portion of dough on a lightly floured surface until you get a rough 25cm (10in) circle. Place about ½ cup of the filling on one side of the dough and fold the other half over, pinching the seams well to keep the filling inside – since vegetables can vary in size, if you have a scale weigh the filling and divide it equally in 8 portions. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. Place the calzones onto the sheets and brush them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

* the yellow mozzarella I used is not like fresh mozzarella balls, therefore it does not release too much liquid. Replace by cheddar or something similar texture wise.

Makes 8

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Spinach and cheese “meatballs”

Bolinhos de espinafre e queijo

Who follows me on Instagram has seen some of my lunch dishes: it is usually simple food, quick to put together, so I can make it and eat in on my lunch break. Rice and beans I keep ready at the fridge, so it is just a matter of roasting some vegetables, making a salad or an omelet, or getting meatballs from the fridge straight to the oven. All very quick.

But when I have a little more time, or when I get organized enough on the previous night, I like to make new recipes, food that takes a little bit longer in the kitchen, like these delicious spinach “meatballs”: I had some spinach in the fridge and wanted to use it in something different – on a busy day I would simple stir-fry it with olive oil, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg for a tasty side dish, but since I had a bit of extra time I went to my good old sources for recipes online (Donna Hay, Jamie Oliver, Gourmet Traveller, both Australian and UK Delicious magazines) and it was on the Guardian that I found something interesting. I adapted the recipe slightly and got truly delicious spinach cakes – I am calling them meatballs because I decided to roll them into balls.

I am sure these meatballs would be delicious baked, but since my oven was already full with something else I just grilled them quickly in a nonstick frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. If you decide to bake them, line the baking sheet with foil and brush it with olive oil, because the amount of cheese in these cakes will make them stick on the sheet.

Too bad the recipe does not yield much – the meatballs were gone in no time at all. :D

Spinach and cheese “meatballs”
adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's savory spinach cakes recipe

"Meatballs":
4 cups (260g) fresh spinach, tough stalks removed, leaves washed, packed
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup coarsely grated yellow mozzarella – cheddar should make a fine substitute, or even Monterey Jack
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten – the egg I used was a small one, 50g; I buy organic eggs and sizes vary
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For frying the balls:
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, cook the spinach in two batches, stirring until wilted. Transfer to a colander. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze very well with your hands, then chop. Set aside to cool completely.
Using the same frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – don’t overcook or the garlic will turn bitter. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

Transfer spinach, onion and garlic mixture, cheeses, cream cheese, breadcrumbs and nutmeg to a medium bowl. Stir in the egg and season with salt and pepper. With damp hands, roll 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture into balls, pressing slightly to compact the mixture. Transfer to a place and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Before frying the meatballs, roll them into the breadcrumbs. Heat the olive oil in the same frying pan used before over medium-high heat and fry the balls, turning two or three times to evenly brown them – be careful because they are very soft. Serve immediately.

Makes 10-11 cakes

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes, or “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-risotto”

Risoto de cenoura e couve com rabanetes assados

Saturday morning, feeling super lazy after cleaning the apartment, all I really wanted was to take a shower, open a bottle of wine and lay on my couch. But we gotta eat, right? After cleaning the apartment and doing the laundry Joao and I get pretty hungry – never fails. :D I was not feeling very creative or inspired to cook, to be honest with you: I could have made burgers, but had forgotten to defrost the beef. I did not feel like eating pasta. So I opened the fridge and grabbed everything in front of me: carrots, leeks, radishes. Oh, there were also some kale leaves already washed, so I just gathered everything and decided to use them up in a risotto.

It is a carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes, a.k.a. “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-risotto”. :)

As I did not have any vegetable stock at hand, I used leeks and onion to enhance the risotto flavor and boiled 1 bay leaf in the water I used to replace the stock. It worked like a charm! The risotto turned out really good, guys – sorry for not being modest at all. :D
In the end, the roasted radishes did not go so well with the rest of the dish: I wanted to add a different texture to the meal, but the risotto worked very well without the radishes. I bring you the recipe anyway, in case you want to serve the radishes in a different meal, with a different dish.

Carrot and kale risotto with roasted radishes
own recipe

Radishes:
5 small radishes (100g in total), sliced in half lengthwise; if radishes are large, cut them in 3 or 4 pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Risotto:
3 cups (720ml) water
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small and thin leek, only the light green part, thinly sliced
½ small onion, finely diced
¾ cup (165g) Arborio or Carnaroli rice
¼ cup (60ml) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small carrots (160g in total, weighed before peeling), coarsely grated
2 kale leaves, without the central stalk, torn into small pieces
¼ xícara (35g) coarsely grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Transfer the radishes to the foil, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat, spread on the sheet leaving some space between the radishes and roast for 30 minutes, turning at half the oven time. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In the meantime, make the risotto: place the water and the bay leaf in a small saucepan over high heat until it boils. Keep it simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt half the butter and olive oil. Add leek and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, to coat all the rice grains with fat. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the carrots. Start adding the water, 1 ladle at a time, then stirring constantly so the rice releases its starch.
Repeat this until all the water has been used, the rice is al dente and the risotto is thick and glossy – about 20 minutes. Stir in the kale, the remaining butter and the parmesan. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, cover the pan and wait 5 minutes. Transfer risotto to serving plates, arrange the radishes on top and serve immediately.

Serves 2 generously, or 3 lighter servings

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Red lentil soup with kale chips

Sopa de lentilha vermelha com chips de couve / Red lentil soup with kale chips

As many of you, I have been cooking a lot more since the quarantine started, and it is not an easy task to cook lunch and dinner every day while also trying to vary the menu with what I have at hand – we already feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, so if the food is also the same in every meal… I don’t want to think about that. :D

I was going through some recipes I bookmarked in the past and found this soup on Gourmet Traveller, one of my favorite recipe sources. I decided to freestyle a little with the recipe while also aiming to make it a vegan meal. I did not have vegetable stock in the freezer and was also out of carrots to make some from scratch, so on top of the spices I also added a bay leaf and tomato paste to enhance flavors. And speaking of spices, I used the ones I have at hand and you can adapt and do the same.

To make it vegan I served my soup with kale chips and it worked beautifully – feel free to do what GT suggests and serve the soup with yogurt. Next time I have the soup for dinner (I froze half of it for some other day) I will top mine with a poached egg – my mouth is watering already. :D

Red lentil soup with kale chips
soup recipe adapted from here, chips adapted from several recipes around the web

Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup celery stalks, finely chopped – I used frozen and added unthawed to the pan
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon tomato paste
5 ½ cups (1,320ml) boiling water
1 1/3 cups (285g) dried red lentils
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lime, finely grated zest and juice

Kale chips:
5 large kale leaves
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In the meantime, start with the soup: heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not overcook it or the soup will taste bitter. Add spices and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes – it is important to cook the tomato paste well to remove the flavor of raw tomatoes from the recipe. Add water and stir. When it comes to a boil, add lentils and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and then simmer for 15-17 minutes or until lentils are soft and starting to break down – stir occasionally so it does not catch in the bottom of the pan.

While the soup boils, make the chips: tear the kale leaves into medium pieces and transfer to a nonstick large baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and dress the leaves using your hands. Spread the kale onto the sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely so they become crunchy.

If you will eat the soup right away, remove the bay leaf, add lemon rind and juice, then blend with a hand-held blender until a coarse purée. If you are making the soup to freeze, do not add lime zest and juice – do this upon serving.

Divide among bowls and serve with the kale chips.

Serves 4-5

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Lentil bolgonese and trying to be a better person

Bolonhesa de lentilha

I was going through some old photos I made for the blog (or for the book, when I still considered writing one), and found today’s photo: a lentil Bolognese that I tested a few times and turned out quite tasty. I liked it a lot, but my husband not so much: he is not addicted to meat and does not mind at all eating without it most days, but he is not very much into lentils. I ended up forgetting about the recipe, and also because the name kind of bugged me a bit: it is a delicious and nutritious sauce, but it has nothing to with the once made with mince beef.

Since then, time flew, lots of things happened, I became lactose intolerant and started drinking plant based milks – they saved my beloved lattes in the morning – and I realized that I had to stop lecturing so much. If people want to call those plant based beverages “milk”, what is the issue? Same for calling this sauce “bolognese” – no worries anymore. I don’t want to be that person – if you have read my blog long enough you will probably have seen me being a dick a couple of times about something (excuse my French), so I apologize now. I want to be a better person.

I decided to post this recipe because I believe that it might come in handy for those quarantined like me, who don’t have mince beef in their fridge or freezer. I must confess that I wasn’t very fond of this sauce on pasta, but it was delicious over soft polenta.

Lentil bolgonese
own recipe, inspired by several recipes

For the lentils:
2 cups water
pinch of salt
½ cup dried green lentils
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half

Sauce:
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, finely diced
2 small celery sticks, finely diced (1/4 cup after they are diced)
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 can (400g) peeled tomatoes, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
sal and freshly ground black pepper
handful fresh basil leaves

Start by cooking the lentils: place the water in a small saucepan and heat over high heat. When it starts to boil, add the lentils, garlic and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until lentils are al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove the garlic – you won’t need it anymore.

Now, the sauce: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not let it burn or it will give the recipe a bitter taste. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, the thyme, the bay leaf, the sugar, season with salt and pepper. When it starts to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf, add the basil and serve.

Serves 4 over soft polenta, 2 served with pasta


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Quarantine vegetable soup

Sopa de legumes da quarentena

Hello everyone, long time no see. Ages ago I decided to be honest with myself and accept the fact that I no longer had time to write on this blog, unfortunately – I can barely update the one in Portuguese. But with these crazy, uncertain times we are living I thought I should ask you how it has been for you.

This is my third week isolated, went out only once to buy groceries. How is it going for you? I miss my nephew, miss going to work and to the gym, miss buying things like fresh veg whenever I want to, miss going to the movies. But I know I am privileged and one of the lucky people who can work from home and I have food on my table.

I have been cooking a lot, trying to make everything stretch as much as possible to avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. I also try to make each batch of food last for at least 2 meals. I have baked bread, but no sweets: my husband does not like them, and I don’t want to eat everything myself.

I made this soup earlier this week and it was enough for 2 dinners – my husband loves soup and if he wasn’t so eager to eat it the soup would have probably lasted for 3 meals. :D It is a riff on another soup I make regularly. I hope you like this recipe and I also hope to hear from you. xx

Quarantine vegetable soup
own recipe, a riff on this one

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion, finely chopped
1 leek, light part only, finely sliced
1/3 cup finely diced celery - I used frozen, unthawed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large courgette, diced
boiling water, enough to cover the vegetables (about 1,5 liters, but it will depend on the size of your saucepan)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
150g frozen spinach, unthawed - here in Brazil that would be 5 portions

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until transparent, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the leek and cook for 1 minute. Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes – if you use frozen, like me, cook for 4 minutes, because it will cool the bottom of the saucepan slightly. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant – do not let it burn or it will taste bitter.

Add the tomato and a pinch of salt and cook until it is mushy. Add the carrots, potatoes and courgette and stir to combine. Cover with boiling water, season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially and cook until vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes – this will depend on the size you cut them; I test the carrots and if they are tender the soup is ready.
Turn off the heat and with an immersion blender, blitz the soup for a couple of seconds – you want the mixture to be half chunky, half smooth. Add the spinach and stir slowly, until it defrosts and gets mixed into the soup – this will cool the soup a little bit and make it ready to serve.

Serves 5-6

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quinoa, carrot and mozzarella fritters

Quinoa, carrot and mozzarella fritters / Bolinhos de quinoa, cenoura e mozarela

It took me a while to get on the quinoa bandwagon (I don’t really know why), but after I did I started making fritters with it quite often: with a salad they become a delicious and light lunch or dinner.

Here I have combined quinoa with other tasty ingredients such as carrots, mozzarella and olives – their saltiness goes really well with the sweetness of the carrots and the mozzarella. However, if you like intense flavors (I do), the mozzarella can be replaced with a stronger cheese.

Quinoa, carrot and mozzarella fritters
own recipe

1 small carrot, coarsely grated
150g cooked quinoa, drained and cooled
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1 spring onion, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
60g fresn mozzarella, finely chopped
2 large eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil, for frying

Place the carrot in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Transfer carrot to a large bowl and add the quinoa, parmesan, spring onion, parsley, thyme, olives, flour, mozzarella and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well combined.

Heat about ½ teaspoon oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter per fritter and flatten with the back of a spoon, shaping the edges quickly to form a rough circle. Don’t overfill the frying pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook until golden.

Serve immediately.

Makes about 10

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pasta with onion and tomato sauce and the change in my cooking habits

Pasta with onion and tomato sauce / Macarrão com molho de tomate e cebola

I was talking to my husband the other day about how my cooking and baking have changed in the past year or so: I don’t bake as much anymore (lack of time + my lactose intolerance) and I also don’t test so many new recipes as I used to. Sometimes I flip through my books and magazines and the photos make me drool, however, I have been feeling the need of eating dishes I am familiar with.

I keep coming back to recipes I call “the classics” at my house, food that comforts and nourishes. Tomato sauce is something I make quite regularly (also to keep some in the freezer for emergencies or lazy days/nights), but there are times I vary it a bit (when I am not pressed for time) and make the recipe I bring you today: it is delicious and a hit with my husband and I – we are both dying hard onion fans. What I love to use with this sauce is orecchiette, for they are like small pools of sauce. :)

Pasta with onion and tomato sauce
slightly adapted from the wonderful Antonio Carluccio

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions (300g), peeled, cut in half and finely sliced into half-moons
1 tablespoon dry red wine
1 400g (14oz) can peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves
200g short pasta
finely grated parmesan or pecorino, to serve

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat, add the onions and fry them very gently until they become transparent and soft, about 20 minutes – stir occasionally so the onions do not catch in the pan. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, followed by 1/3 of the can filled with water, the sugar, the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, now on a low heat, for 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and turn of the heat.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente (follow the instructions in the package). Drain well, then mix with the sauce and stir to coat all the pasta. Serve immediately with finely grated parmesan or pecorino.

Serves 2

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegetable tagine and some planning in the kitchen

Vegetable tagine / Tagine de legumes

There are times when work is pretty intense (like last week, for instance), and something I have been doing for those times is to have ready or almost ready meals in the fridge or freezer – it makes a huge difference. Planning is, indeed, everything.

Meatballs, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, soups, beef stews – these have been my usual suspects lately. Now I will add one more dish to my list: this vegetable tagine. It is delicious and freezes really well – just do not add the cilantro leaves in the end (do it right before serving it). I have made this tagine a couple of times already and sometimes I added green olives to it – it adds a nice saltiness to the tagine. I did not have any in the fridge on the day of the photo, but if you like olives like I do please consider my suggestion.

Vegetable tagine
own recipe, inspired for several around the web

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow pepper, finely diced
½ large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon hot paprika – use the sweet kind if you don’t like spicy food
1 teaspoon Baharat
¼ cup dry white wine
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into ½cm (¼in) slices (the ones in the photo are too thick, they take too long to cook)
1 sweet potato (about 250g/8oz), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
200g (7oz) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1 400g (14oz) can peeled chopped tomatoes
2 cups boiling water, plus more if needed
2 bay leaves
1 small eggplant (about 250g/8oz), cut into 2cm cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, unthawed
handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat – a deep frying pan works well here. Add the yellow pepper and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape the brown bits around the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the peeled tomatoes and crush them with the back of the spoon. Add the water, bay leaves, stir in the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, partially covered, for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender, checking eventually - if the tagine starts to get dry, add more water. Stir in the peas, cover, remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Serves 4-5

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Red onion tarte tatin with rye pastry

Red onion tarte tatin with rye pastry / Tarte tatin de cebola roxa com massa de centeio

I was never a pie/tart maker (one look at the blog index can confirm that), but I do love pies and tarts: I just don’t have much time for them, I guess. Two things that have helped me with this matter is making the pastry in one day and assembling and baking the pie on the other, or keeping an extra batch of pastry in the freezer – nothing like having the pastry ready when you find beautiful veggies or fruits in the market: lunch, dinner or dessert are halfway there.

This pastry is delicious and flaky, very similar to the corn flour pastry I posted a while ago. The onions not only make the tarte tatin beautiful but also very flavorsome: the time in the stove top and then in the oven transform their acrid flavor into something sweet and mellow.

Red onion tarte tatin with rye pastry
own recipe

Pastry:
¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
3 tablespoons (30g) fine rye flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3 tablespoons sour cream, chilled*
1 tablespoon iced water

Filling:
2 red onions (approximately 250g/9oz in total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon olive oil
5 fresh thyme sprigs
½ teaspoon demerara sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dry red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start by making the pastry: in a food processor, pulse all purpose flour, rye flour and salt until well combined. Add the butter and pulse a few times until mixture resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Mix sour cream and water in a small bowl, then with the motor running, gradually add the mixture and process just until a dough forms. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

20 minutes before the end of the resting time of the pastry, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and start prepping the onions: peel them and cut them in half lengthwise. Then slice the onions in to 1cm (roughly ½in) half-moons – if the slices are too thin they will melt in the oven. Set aside.
Heat a 22cm (9in) frying pan over medium heat – for this recipe you need a frying pan that can go into the oven. Add the butter and the olive oil, followed by the thyme sprigs – this way they will be on the top of the tart once you invert it. Remove the frying pan from the heat for one moment and arrange the onion slices on top of the thyme, placing the slices close together, for they will wilt slightly when cooked - cover the entire frying pan with the onion slices. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan slightly instead of stirring the onions, to avoid them sticking to the bottom, but keeping them in place. Sprinkle with the sugar, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and the wine, season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Red onion tarte tatin with rye pastry / Tarte tatin de cebola roxa com massa de centeio

Place the dough onto large piece of baking paper, cover with another piece of paper and roll into a rough 24cm (9in) circle – work fast in order to keep the pastry chilled. Peel off the paper from the top, then roll the pastry into the rolling pin, very gently, then unroll it on top of the onions (be careful since the pan will still be hot). Tuck the pastry in, make a small hole in the center of the pastry so the hot air can escape, then bake the tart for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and very gently loosen the pastry from the edges of the pan. Top the pan with a plate and carefully unmold the tart – don’t worry if any onion bits get stuck in the pan, just loosen them up with a spatula and arrange them back on top of the tart. Serve with a green salad.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

Serves 4 with a green salad on the side

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hasselback baby eggplants

Hasselback baby eggplants / Mini berinjelas Hasselback

If you have been reading me for a while now you probably know that I am a huge fan of Nigella Lawson – I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago and got one of my books autographed. She is the one who, ages ago, introduced me to Hasselback potatoes, a recipe I find not only delicious but also really pretty.

When I was still working on the book project, I thought one day: “why not Hasselback other veggies, too?”. One day, at the farmer’s market, I saw these beautiful baby eggplants and the Hasselback feeling came back to my mind. To make things more interesting, there had to be cheese, of course, but a strong flavored one. A drizzle of garlic oil turned everything into a delicious and perfumed side dish – if my husband saw this post he would strike the word “perfumed” off, for that and “gorgonzola” cannot be in the same sentence as far as he is concerned. :D

Hasselback baby eggplants / Mini berinjelas Hasselback

Hasselback baby eggplants
own creation

12 baby eggplants (about 600g/little less than 1 ½ pounds)
4 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g gorgonzola cheese, firm enough to be sliced

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Tear 12 pieces of foil, about 20x20cm (8x8in) each, then crumple each one of them formatting into little nests – they will be the support for each eggplant, that way they don’t roll around the baking sheet.
Place the foil nests on a large baking sheet and brush their cavities with a little of the olive oil. Set aside.

In a mortar and pestle, place the garlic and salt and pound until a paste forms. Add the black pepper and the remaining olive oil and mix well.

Place each eggplant on a wooden spoon and cut into slices without going through the end – you want the eggplant to remain whole. Cut the gorgonzola into thin slices and place them inside the slits in the eggplants – make sure the cheese slices are thin enough to fit into the eggplants. Place the eggplants into the foil nests and drizzle with the garlic oil. Bake for about 25 minutes or until eggplants are tender.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Monday, August 21, 2017

Roasted tomato and red lentil soup and freezing feet

Roasted tomato and red lentil soup / Sopa de tomates assados e lentilha vermelha

I believe that one of the reasons why my love for the winter has considerably decreased is the fact that at least here in Sao Paulo we are not actually prepared for cold temperatures: there is no heat inside most of houses and apartments, stores and restaurants – one suffers with the cold both outside and inside. Taking a shower is a nightmare, getting dressed another one. :S

As I type this recipe on a very cold Sunday with a piping hot mug of tea by my side, my feet are covered in two pairs of socks and yet they feel like two ice cubes. I dream of nicer weather, and while that does not happen I make soup – this is simple, delicious and the heat turns the tomatoes into gold even if they are not at their peak, while the lentils make the soup thicker and more fulfilling.

Roasted tomato and red lentil soup
own recipe

For the roasted tomatoes:
8 ripe Italian tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano
2 bay leaves

For the soup:
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, finely sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups (720ml) vegetable stock, hot
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (100g) dried red lentils

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
Place the tomatoes on top of the foil, cut side up, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place the oregano and the bay leaves on top of the tomatoes and roast for 40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven and discard the oregano and bay leaves.

Start the soup: melt the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with any juices from the sheet. Add the vegetable stock, then blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in the lentils and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Broccolini, caramelized onions and mozzarella frittata, or eggs are my kitchen heroes

Broccolini, caramelized onions and mozzarella frittata / Frittata de brócolis, cebola caramelizada e mozarela fresca

I can surely say that eggs are one of my favorite things to eat and to cook with: I love how tasty, healthy and versatile they are. No matter how empty your fridge and cupboards are, if you have eggs on hand you have dinner, and usually quickly.

I make frittatas quite often for in them I can use whatever I have begging to be used in the fridge. The one I bring you today is one of my favorite combo flavors, and I sometimes buy broccolini and/or mozzarella especially to make it – the broccolini tastes amazing paired with the gooey pieces of cheese, but to me what really makes this dish are the sweet, delicious onions, so take your time to caramelize them, even if it sounds like a boring chore, I assure you it is worth it. I have used fresh oregano to replace thyme a couple of times and it worked beautifully, too.

Broccolini, caramelized onions and mozzarella frittata
own recipe

½ large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
salt
1 ½ cups (60g) broccolini florets
3 large eggs, room temperature
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup (60g) fresh mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Heat the olive oil in a 20cm (8in) frying pan over medium heat – make sure you use a frying pan that can go into the oven. Add the onions and stir to coat them in the oil. Sprinkle with the sugar and a pinch of salt, then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until onions are golden brown and soft.

Stir in the broccolini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. In the meantime, crack the eggs in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk. Whisk in the thyme leaves. Give the broccolini and onions a good stir to avoid the onions being all in the bottom of the pan, then pour over the egg mixture. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and place them around on top of the eggs. Cook on the stove over low heat for 2 minutes without stirring, then transfer to the oven and cook for 8 minutes, or until puffed up and golden. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chayote, carrot and white bean soup

Chayote, carrot and white bean soup / Sopa de chuchu, cenoura e feijão branco

Days ago I was watching a clip about the last Berlinale in which there were a few interviews with directors and actors, and that included The Lost City of Z cast.

There was a lot – A LOT – of screaming when Robert Pattinson hit the red carpet and I truly cannot understand why someone would go crazy over him like that while Charlie Hunnam was on the very same red carpet. :)

That made me think of this soup I made a while ago, using chayote. I find chayote so bland – Robert Pattinson-kind-of-bland – that I rarely use it in recipes, but it worked well in the soup, combined with other veggies. The addition of white beans makes it hearty and fulfilling, perfect for cold nights, and any leftovers can be kept tightly covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Chayote, carrot and white bean soup
own recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 leek, light green part only, finely sliced
½ large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, deseeded and diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chayote, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (960ml) hot vegetable stock – homemade is better ;)
2 cups (480ml) hot water
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
1 ½ cups (250g) canned white beans, drained and rinsed

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, leek and onion and cook, stirring every now and then, until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the tomato and cook for about 2 minutes or until tomato starts to dissolve. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, then add the chayote, carrot and potato. Cook for 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper and add the stock and the water, followed by the bay leaves and the thyme. When mixture comes to a boil, cover it partially, turn down the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme from the soup, then blitz it with a hand mixer until partially chunky (or to taste). Add the beans and take soup back to the heat just until beans are heated through.

Serves 6

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cherry tomato pasta and no time at all

Cherry tomato pasta / Macarrão com molho de tomate cereja

I guess it goes without saying that the frequency I post around here is a good thermometer of the amount of work I have: if I disappear you can imagine that I got swallowed by my job… :(

There are some things I wanted to write about like a couple of movies and TV shows I have watched, the Oscar that Leo will finally win this year, but I unfortunately have no time for that now – this will be a quick post and the recipe is even quicker: a very simple pasta dish and the sauce is made with cherry tomatoes. It is super fast, but absolutely delicious – it has become the perfect weeknight dish for me and I am sure many of you will feel the same way about it.

Cherry tomato pasta
slightly adapted from the always fantastic Gourmet Traveller magazine

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
700g small cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
handful of fresh marjoram leaves
300ml heavy cream
salt and freshl y ground black pepper
400g fettuccine
finely grated pecorino or parmesan, to serve

Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until blistered and golden, stirring occasionally (3-5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, stirring occasionally (3-5 minutes). Reduce heat to low, stir in marjoram and simmer until slightly thickened (2-3 minutes). Add cream, stir to combine, then season to taste and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In the meantime, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to tomato sauce. Toss to combine and serve immediately with pecorino or parmesan.

Serves 4

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pasta with broccolini pesto and roasted peppers

Pasta with broccolini pesto and roasted peppers / Macarrão com pesto de brócolis e tirinhas de pimentão assado

Certain foods have a very special meaning for me: it might be something my mom cooked when I was a kid that takes me back in time, something I cooked for someone I love or something I ate at a special place. I first ate pasta with pesto sauce in Rome, and it was also the first time I ever traveled abroad, many years ago, so it holds a very dear place in my heart.

I make pesto quite regularly at home, for my husband have learned to enjoy it as well, and sometimes I switch the basil for other options, such as arugula, for example. This time basil was replaced by a mixture of broccolini and fresh oregano leaves, with a fiery touch of dried pepper flakes and a bit of sweetness from roasted peppers – a wonderful combination of flavors is the work of the man behind the best gnocchi I have ever made. To make things ever better, this is really easy to put together, and you can even roast the peppers in advance and keep them refrigerated in a bowl or glass jar with some olive oil to avoid them from drying out.

Pasta with broccolini pesto and roasted peppers
slightly adapted from the always delicious Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food

2 small red peppers
olive oil to drizzle over the peppers
200g broccolini florets
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
1 fat garlic clove, minced
½ cup grated parmesan
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g long dried pasta – I used fusilli lunghi

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°C. Line a baking sheet with foil, brush it with olive oil and place the peppers onto the foil cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until skins are blistering. Remove peppers from baking sheet and place in a large bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the skins from the peppers and cut them into thin slices. Set aside.

Pesto: bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil – you’ll cook the broccolini and the pasta using the same water. Blanch the broccolini the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove them using a slotted spoon and place in ice water to stop them from cooking (keep the water boiling too cook the pasta). Use your hands to squeeze out as much excess water from the broccolini as possible and transfer to a blender. Add the olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, red pepper flakes, oregano and blitz to a paste. Season with salt and pepper and blitz again. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water if pesto is too thick.

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss pasta with pesto, adding some of the water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Stir in the roasted pepper and serve at once.

Serves 4

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stripy courgette, tomato and polenta tart

Stripy courgette, tomato and polenta tart / Torta de polenta, tomate e abobrinha

New cookbooks can be a lovely surprise, a big disappointment or something in between – even with the “Search Inside” feature at Amazon I’ve had my share of regret buying some of them.

My latest purchase, however, was an epic win: I got Annie Rigg’s beautiful cookbook on fruit and Georgina Fuggle’s Take One Veg, and they’re both insanely beautiful – I feel like making each and every recipe on both of them, for there is nothing tricky despite the deliciousness of everything.

I made one of Rigg’s recipes and it was wonderful, but more on that later on this week – Georgina’s idea of using polenta as a tart base was such a hit at home that I had to share it with you: even my husband ate it gladly, and that is certainly something not to be taken lightly. The tart was a cinch to make and served with a green salad it was a delicious meal, one that I plan on repeating with different vegetables.

Stripy courgette, tomato and polenta tart
slightly adapted from the absolutely delicious Take One Veg: Over 100 Tempting Veggie Recipes for Simple Suppers, Packed Lunches and Weekend Cooking

Crust:
500ml hot vegetable stock
140g polenta - since the recipe doesn't state what kind of polenta it is, I used this one (I was out of instant polenta)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Filling:
2 tablespoons crème fraîche – I used homemade sour cream
1 small courgette, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced into thin slices
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Start by making the polenta crust: bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan and pour the polenta into the water. Keep your pan over a low heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly, thrashing out any lumps that try to form. Continue for around 6 minutes until the polenta is very thick.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan and stir until they have disappeared. Cool for 5 minutes, then stir through the beaten egg and season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly – in the meatime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Lightly grease a square 21cm tart pan with olive oil (I used butter). Put the polenta in the centre and, using a spatula or oiled fingers, gently tease it up the sides of the pan to create the sides of the crust.
Smother a thin layer of crème fraîche over the base of your tart and top with half the Parmesan. On top of the cheese, alternate slices of courgette and tomato. Finish with the thyme leaves and the remaining Parmesan.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove and allow the tart to cool for 5-10 minutes to allow it to ‘come to’. Serve in slices.

Serves 4 – I made the recipe above using a 30x10cm (12x4in) tart pan – there was a bit of polenta left that I formed into pancake, grilled on both sides with a tiny bit of olive oil until golden and topped with cheese and dried oregano for a snack (there is a photo here).

The recipes says it serves 4, but the tart I made was polished off by 2 served with a green salad! :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tomato and rosemary strata, a TV show and a song

Tomato and rosemary strata / Strata de tomate e alecrim

What makes you take interest in something in particular?

The thought came to my mind last night, as I started watching The Americans – I’d been meaning to watch the show forever, I loved the pilot and cannot wait to watch more episodes, but I have to say that seeing – I mean, hearing – the amazing sounds of Tusk right there, in the beginning of the first episode, made me even more interested in it.

Strata was something I’d always thought of making, especially after seeing the lovely Nigella Lawson make one years ago, but since my husband isn’t very fond of the idea of a savory bread pudding – or any bread pudding, for that matter – I kept postponing it. When I saw this recipe the other day, full of cheese and tomatoes, I could not wait any longer: I cannot live without cheese and tomatoes are something I deeply love, to the point of eating a couple while prepping them for any recipe at all.

The strata turned out delicious: it sort of reminded me of pizza, but with a different texture. I had it with a salad and ate a lot more than I should have. :)

Different things can be triggers to something good: a song, certain foods… It’s a matter of keeping our eyes open – I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more strata recipes and interesting TV shows. ;)

Tomato and rosemary strata
slightly adapted from here

250g stale bread, sliced about 6mm (½in) thick
1 garlic clove, cut in half
60g (2oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
30g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
5 firm, firm tomatoes, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 large eggs
2 cups (480ml) whole milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Oil or butter a 2-quart baking dish or gratin. If the bread is soft, toast it lightly and rub all the slices, front and back, with the cut clove of garlic. If it’s stale, just rub with garlic. Combine the two cheeses in a small bowl.

Layer half of the bread slices in the baking dish. Top with half the tomato slices. Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt, pepper, and half the rosemary. Top with half the cheese. Repeat the layers.
Beat together the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper, then pour over the bread and tomato layers. Place in the oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until puffed and browned. Remove from the oven and serve hot or warm.

Serves 4

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pesto & courgette pasta bake for a courgette-eating husband

Pesto & courgette pasta bake / Rigatoni de forno com pesto e abobrinha

Those of you who cook for picky eaters know the feeling, I’m sure: when the person who always hated something starts eating that very thing it feels like a small victory.

When my husband decided to try mushrooms for the first time in his life and liked them, I started adding mushrooms to our meals and it was such a good thing (the vegetarian Bolognese is, indeed, delicious and I love cooking that recipe). Now that he’s come to the conclusion that he doesn’t really hate courgettes I have been adding them to our meals quite regularly, and this pasta bake was a really tasty way of having the vegetable.

I tweaked the recipe a bit – the original version called for crème fraîche, for instance, which I replaced for homemade ricotta – and got a lighter dish as a reward, not to mention the recipe is easy and tasted great: the crunchy bread and cheese topping makes the pasta extra special.

Pesto & courgette pasta bake
adapted from the always delicious Good Food magazine

150g rigatoni
1/3 cup basil pesto
200g ricotta – I used homemade
200g courgettes, coarsely grated
½ cup finely grated parmesan, divided use
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g fresh breadcrumbs
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the pack instructions say, so that it has a little more bite. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water.

Meanwhile, mix the pesto, ricotta, courgettes and half the parmesan together. Add the pasta and stir well, adding a little of the reserved water to create a good sauce consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Tip the pasta and sauce into a shallow baking dish and scatter over the breadcrumbs, then the remaining parmesan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is crisp.

Serves 2

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fusilli with pine nuts and eggplant and the pasta dishes of my childhood

Fusilli with pine nuts and eggplant / Macarrão com pinoli e berinjela

Having Italian blood in my veins, pasta was something I ate my whole life: my mother, despite being from a German family, cooked pasta quite frequently, and when she died and my paternal grandmother came to live with us she cooked pasta a lot, too – my grandfather was Italian, so pasta was something quite natural for her.

There wasn’t, or at least I don’t remember, much variety when it came to pasta sauces: there were tomato sauce, Bolognese, béchamel and aglio e olio, and that was it. When I started buying cookbooks and reading recipes online, years ago, I realized that there was so much more that could be done with pasta, there were so many interesting sauces, that blew me away.

One way I love cooking pasta is using vegetables as sauce: you get tons of flavor while eating something delicious and good for you. This recipe comes from the great Antonio Carluccio and when I finished cooking the sauce and tried some it tasted to amazing I thought it could be also spread over crusty bread and served as bruschetta instead of tossed with pasta – that is how I intend to eat it next time. :D

Fusilli with pine nuts and eggplant
slightly adapted from the great Antonio Carluccio: The Collection

400g eggplants, trimmed and cut into small cubes
salt
90ml extra virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 heaping tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
pinch of dried chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
15 large black olives, pitted and thorn into pieces
handful of fresh basil leaves, thorn
400g fusilli or other short pasta
finely grated parmesan, to serve

Leave the eggplant cubes in lightly salted water for 1 hour, then drain, squeeze out the water and pat dry on kitchen paper. Fry them in the oil for 3 minutes, stir in the garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is golden brown. Add the tomato paste, pine nuts, capers, chilli flakes, black pepper and olives and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally – add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Stir in the basil, cover and remove from the heat.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and mix well with the sauce. Serve with the parmesan.

Serves 4

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