Simple Spaghetti From Scratch

Ingredients

6 Large Eggs
600g Italian 00 Flour

Method

Empty flour onto a board (you can use a bowl if preferred) and make a dip in the centre. Beat the Eggs and then pour into the dip.

Slowly working from the inside towards the outside of the dip, mix the eggs with the flour, running the mixture through your fingertips.

Repeat this until the Eggs and flour have combined and you have dough!

Knead the dough thoroughly, as this will allow the ingredients to develop to make the perfect pasta.

Once finished (your dough should be a silky texture) you will need to leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before rolling it out and fashioning into shapes.

Some people like to use a pasta machine, I do have one at home, but this can be done the traditional  way.

kitchen-aid-pasta-maker

If you do have a machine, then take a lump of dough (no bigger than an apple) and run through the machine – it should be on the widest setting. Do this for all dough and repeat the process 5 times.

Tip: Make sure you dust with plenty of flour so this doesn’t stick, keep sprinkling if you see it getting stuck.

This rolling process means you are working the dough, the ingredients are combining and perfecting your pasta.  If you can, try to work through all the width settings on the machine, as this will ensure you pasta is stretchy and lump free.

Once you are satisfied, roll the dough through the machine into a rectangular shape, then fold in half, and in half again until you have a square of dough. For the final time, run your ready made square through the machine until you have got a long golden piece of dough!

Now – you can choose the shape and width you like. Cut and shape away! Try to do this within a minute of rolling out the final piece.

Tip: If your dough becomes too dry, this is an indication that you may need to stop playing around with it, pasta dries out very quickly.

After either hang on a spaghetti tree or place on individual trays.

Cook and Enjoy!

Elena xxx

 

Melanzane Di Parmigiana

Ingredients

1 white onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Red Chilli
2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
500g Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp. Tomato Puree
2 Large Aubergines
500g Mozzarella
Parmesan
Cheddar
1 tbsp. Milk
Basil
Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper

Method

Preheat Oven on Gas Mark 4

Chop onion, garlic, chilli and lightly fry in olive oil.

Once browned, add the chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and tomato puree and leave to simmer on a medium heat. Once bubbling, add 1 tbsp. of milk, season with salt and pepper.

Leave to simmer on a low heat.

Meanwhile, slice the aubergines into medium thickness circles. Heat a frying pan with oil, and once hot, lightly fry all aubergine slices until slightly browned on each side. Once done remove from heat and set aside.

Check the tomato sauce and stir if necessary. Add to taste the basil, and as many chilli flakes as you want J

Slice mozzarella; grate the cheddar and parmesan ready to assemble your Melanzane.

In an oven proof dish, cover the bottom in some of the tomato sauce (not all as you will need this for layering).

Then add the first layer of fried aubergine.

Then top with some of the mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan.

Then coat the cheese with another layer of the tomato sauce.

Repeat the process until you have a dish looking similar to lasagne.

Sprinkle on the last of the cheese on the top layer, along with a few sprigs of basil, salt and pepper, and some extra chilli flakes.

Place dish in the oven for 30-40 to cook through.

Enjoy!

Elena xxx

Honey Spice Rice

Summer (If like me you are in the UK i’d argue if we could really call it that but…) is a great time to experiment with sweeter flavors, heat and spice! Typically I have a lot of BBQ’s, family events and there is always loads of food to be made.

I tried my own version of Honey Spice Rice for my family which they loved so thought I would share the recipe with you!

Ingredients

6 Cups Brown Rice
6 Mixed Peppers
2 White Onions

2 Red Chilli
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Pack Pomegranate Seeds (250g)
1 Pack Thick Cut Bacon
1 Teaspoon Tumeric
1 Teaspoon Paprika
3 Teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
Honey

Method

Chop onions and crush garlic and add to a pan with heated olive oil.

Once Brown, add in chopped peppers, red chilli and cook until soft. Add the bacon to the pan and cook through, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Took cook the rice, you can either add to the pan with 500ml of water, or you can boil separately, whichever you prefer. (Sometimes I use Uncle Bens Microwave Wholegrain Rice & Quinoa which gives more texture and Shorter prep time!)

Once rice is fluffy and cooked through, add to the pan of ingredients, and turn off the heat, and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Once the rice has cooled, mix in the Tumeric, Chinese Five Spice, and Honey (as much as you like to your own taste – half a tablespoon is usually sweet enough).

Add rice to serving dish/es.

Sprinkle chopped cucumber and pomegranate seeds over the top. Season with salt and pepper. You can drizzle more honey over the top but again this will be to your taste!

Enjoy

Elena xxx