Lentils and Orzo Pasta with Caramelised Onions

Orzo, that tiny rice shaped pasta not to be confused with barley which is  called orzo in Italy, pairs well with rice and with lentils. In this Greek dish it is cooked with lentils or beans and then topped with deeply flavoured caramelised onions. Yum.

There is some debate about whether the practice of combining pasta and lentils began in Italy or Greece, but what is known is that regions in both countries have traditionally made this pairing. It extends through the Middle East where rice and short pieces of noodles are also cooked together.

Similar dishes include Orzo and Rice, and Orzo Salad with Spinach and Pinenuts.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Udon and Shimeji Mushrooms with a Miso Mushroom Broth

Shimeji mushrooms are a popular mushroom in Japan with wonderful umami flavour. They grow at the bottom of Japanese oaks and red pines. When raw they have a somewhat bitter taste, but the bitterness disappears completely upon cooking. The cooked mushrooms have a pleasant, firm, slightly crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. They love soups, stews and noodle dishes, and can be sauteed and slow roasted.

Similar dishes include Miso Slow Braised Cabbage, Quick Pickled Shimeji Mushrooms, Hot and Sour Soup, Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, Mushrooms for Toast, and Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Mushroom recipes and all of our Noodle dishes. Our Japanese recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Conchiglie or Orecchiette with Yoghurt, Peas and Chilli

A spicy pasta dish hit the table this week, one that certainly packs a chilli hit, but one that also includes yoghurt and feta, and the cooling peas to temper that punch. It is quite a glorious dish, silky and creamy with the texture of toasted pine nuts. I am making it in Winter, but I highly recommend it for Spring. It can be made any time of year, of course, but peas fresh from the vine lift the dish to a different level. Bookmark it now for your spring time.

The recipe is one of Ottolenghi’s from his Guardian column and from his book, Jerusalem. We are cooking our way through Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here, and from Jerusalem here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander, Mint and Thai Basil

A herby noodle salad with a sauce that combines the creaminess of both peanut butter and coconut milk, bringing an Asian island flavour to this salad. It is fresh and inviting with a touch of heat and it deserves a place at your table.

Are you looking for other Noodle dishes? Try Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu, Fox Noodles, and Sesame-Ginger Sauce for Noodles.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes here, and use our basic pasta/noodle recipe to make your own noodles. All of our salads are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Soba Noodles, Cucumber and Wakame Salad with Sesame Seeds

Ah, the wealth of noodles from all parts of Asia – Korea, Japan, China, South East Asia and India. An infinite number. Our local Asian grocery alone must stock over 100 different noodles. While traditional uses make fabulous dishes, using them in other ways is also delicious. For example, build salads around them.

Today’s salad is takes soba noodles as its basis and adds cooling cucumber, Japanese seaweed, miso and toasted sesame seeds. It’s a beauty!

Are you after other Noodle dishes? Try Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander and Mint, Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu, Fox Noodles, and Sesame-Ginger Sauce for Noodles.

You might also like to try Chinese Pickled Cucumbers.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes here, and use our basic Pasta/Noodle recipe to make your own noodles. All of our Salads are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Salad of Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles

This is a beautiful use of butternut, where it is prepared tataki. This method is usually reserved for non-veg items, but can be used with vegetables. It is a Japanese method where the vegetable is charred over a hot flame or on a pan, and then marinated in vinegar and ginger. Here the butternut is then combined with noodles and herbs for a delicious dish.

The salad is amazing. The sweet sourness of the dressing, the crunch of the snowpeas and radish, the softness of the noodles, the sweet munchiness of the pumpkin, the heat of the chilli and bite of the radish, the texture of the sesame seeds. Beautiful.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Thanks to the chargrilling, the butternut squash in this meal of a salad tastes both fresh and smoky at the same time.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Sesame Seed, Broth and Dipping Sauce for Japanese Noodles, Chargrilled Butternut with Labneh, and Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes and all of our Pumpkin recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Pasta and Roasted Sweet Peppers Salad with Walnuts

A pasta salad! Some may say this is corny, but we love them, and they are also such a good way to use up left over cooked pasta. This one takes some sweet roasted peppers – at least some red ones, but add green, yellow and orange if you have them, and tosses them with any cooked and cooled pasta and toasted walnuts. Goats cheese or Persian feta is optional. Today we left it off, but it does make a good addition to the salad.

Are you after other Pasta dishes? Try Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Hand Made Pesto, and Light Pasta Lunch Salads.

What about other Capsicum dishes? Try Roasted Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and White Beans, Tomato and Red Pepper Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Lime and Chilli, and Roasted Peppers and Eggplant Salad.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes, and all of our Capsicum dishes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or explore all of our Late Autumn recipes.

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Baked Ziti with Feta

I had recently made Jamie Oliver’s Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella, when I came across this similar recipe by Ottolenghi. The concept is the same – cheesey pasta in tomato sauce, baked until melty – the execution is different, with different pastas, different spices, cheeses and cooking methods. They are both great left-over-pasta-and-tomato-sauce dishes – layer with cheese and bake or grill – and hence they would make fabulous Sunday night supper meals.

I think Jamie’s recipe is a winner – easy to make and packed with flavour, and it has an honesty about its simplicity which shines through in the finished dish. Ottolenghi’s version layers the flavours with herbs and spices and uses the bite of feta and the umami of aged cheese and parmesan to add depth to the dish. It is different to Jamie’s in that the pasta is the focus and it is baked until the top layer is crispy and the cheese is golden brown. Delicious. Jamie’s recipe is pasta bathed in tomato sauce, Ottolenghi’s is pasta with a little tomato sauce.

I always preferred my father’s pasta the next day, when he’d put it in a hot oven with heaps of extra cheese. It would emerge slightly burned and very crisp on top.

This recipe serves a heap of people, up to 10, depending on how hungry the mob is. So don’t be afraid to halve it for a smaller family meal. Just note that the baking dish must be big enough to hold the pasta in a shallow layer. Or bake in separate dishes as I did.

I also have to mention that Ottolenghi grills this dish but I baked it. Partly because that is easier in our kitchen, but mostly because the recipe asks that the tomato sauce sits aside while the pasta is cooked, so it has lost heat. Baking heats the dish again beautifully.

As already mentioned, this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes, our Baked dishes and our Italian recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Baked Ziti with Feta”

Jamie’s Pasta al Forno con Pomodori e Mozzarella | Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

During a delightful week at my daughter’s place, running wild with the two kids, we had an informal Sunday lunch with friends and made this baked pasta dish from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy. Jamie describes it as a wonderful dish which is simple to make, and he is right on both points.

He first fell in love with this dish in Italy, then tried to reproduce it in his school’s program for 37p per serve. He tells how he fell out of love with it because he had to use cheap pasta and cheap cheese. Back in Italy, he realised that the Italian government mandates organic pasta for schools, the mozzarella was always local and fresh and the tomatoes the best available. It makes all the difference! He says that this was the recipe that was made for 1,000 kids at the Italian school he visited.

The dish is very common in Italy, and can be eaten hot, warm and room temperature. Use the best ingredients that you can, and make two – you won’t regret it.

Similar recipes include Baked Ziti with Feta, Orecchiette with Broad Beans, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes, our Baked dishes and our Italian recipes. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Jamie’s Pasta al Forno con Pomodori e Mozzarella | Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella”

Spaghetti con Pomodori Freshchi | Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

It’s Friday night, Pasta night, and we are all home late and tired from a long week. There is no time for a cooked sauce, we are starving. So we turn to one of our simple but delicious pasta dishes, a salad and some crusty bread.

This recipe is simple, just tomatoes, cheese and basil, so very Italian in its composition. It takes no longer than it takes to cook the pasta. Enjoy!

Why not make your own Pasta? How to Make Eggless Pasta.

Are you looking for Pasta recipes? Try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, and Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil.

You can browse all of our Pasta dishes and all of our Italian recipes. Or simply browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

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