15 minute Coconut curry noodle soup

Want a bowl of heaven in 15 minutes?  This recipe is from a great blog called Woks of Life and has all my favorite ingredients rolled into one bowl of deliciousness.

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Makes 2 generous portions

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 heaped tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (or 3 tbsp if you like it really spicy)
8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 tbsp fish sauce
2/3 cup coconut milk
6 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles (or the fine rice noodles)
A bag of beansprouts (about 10 oz)
1 lime, juiced
Sliced red onion, red chilies, cilantro, scallions to garnish

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the chicken and cook for a couple minutes, just until the chicken turns opaque.
Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. At this point, taste the broth for salt and adjust seasoning accordingly (add salt if needed, or if it’s too salty, add a bit of water).

Put the dried rice vermicelli noodles in each of your large soup bowls, add a large handful of beansprouts, a good amount of roughly chopped cilantro and about 1/4 cup chopped scallions per bowl.
Pour the boiling soup over all this and add a good squeeze of lime juice to each bowl.Let sit for about 4 minutes until the noodles are cooked. Serve

(Alternatively, you can add the noodles to the boiling broth to cook them, and then divide among serving bowls).

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Easy lemon pesto sauce

A light, lemony and more refreshing version of a traditional pesto sauce is delicious tossed with hot pasta for a quick meal or side dish with roasted or grilled meats and fish.
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2 garlic cloves
3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts (to toast the pine nuts, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts, basil, parsley, cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse until ground to a fine paste, about 1 minute. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups.

Addicting Asian sesame garlic noodles

This is such a wonderfully easy and stunning addition to a party or just a family meal. I highly recommend you try it because it is always addictive for your guests.

Tastetickler

This recipe is to die for and you won’t be able to stop eating them. You can serve this dish hot or at room temperature and is perfect for a pot luck as you can make the sauce ahead of time, prep whatever you’re going to add to the noodles, and just cook the spaghetti nearer the serving time.
You can augment this recipe as much as you want, but be careful with the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it.

These noodles are great just with a few chopped scallions added, but you can also add;
cooked prawns
chopped cilantro
chopped scallions
cooked chicken pieces
chopped red pepper
corn

For 1/2lb spaghetti

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp re pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Add these ingredients to a food processor.
Cook the spaghetti…

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Easy chorizo pasta bake

I love chorizo and often order it online through “La Tienda” a great Spanish website. I like the mild chorizo best but do remember to peel it before using. This is a warming, spicy pasta that you will adore!
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Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 good sized red onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 red peppers (capsicums) roughly chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
6 oz (or even 8 oz) good quality Spanish chorizo, chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch dried red chillies
28 oz tin plum tomatoes
a good handful of fresh basil, ripped up
1 tsp sugar
12 oz penne pasta
8 oz mozzarella

Heat the olive oil in a large pan then gently cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft, adding the garlic and cooking for a further minute.
Add the peppers and chorizo and cook until the meat starts to crisp up.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar, paprika, chilli, if you want an extra kick, and the tomatoes.
Mix it well, breaking up the tomatoes, add the basil, then season with a tsp of sugar and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and then add to the pan of simmering sauce.
Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and stir half into the pasta mixture.
Turn out into a large ovenproof dish, dot with the remaining chunks of mozzarella and then bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is all melted.

Serve with a large green salad and some great garlic bread

Mushroom and Marsala Pasta Bake

What a lovely idea to have the benefits of Chicken Marsala but with pasta instead of chicken. This is such a silky, comforting and tasty dish to make and can be all done in a 3 to 5 qt heavy stove-to-oven braiser, depending if you’re doubling the recipe for more people. This recipe is credited to “Smitten Kitchen” food blog.

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Serves 4

8 oz of a robust pasta of your choice, such as a ziti
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb fresh mushroom, sliced
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (not pre-grated)
6 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the pasta. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 F.

Make the sauce:
Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat. Add the oil and once it is hot, add the mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated.
Add the Marsala and cook the mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference).
Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the flour and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add the broth, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash.
Repeat until all the broth has been added. Let the mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove the pan from heat.

Assemble and bake the dish:
Add the cooked pasta and stir until combined. Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.

Penne with brown butter, arugula, tomatoes and pine nuts

This is a terrific recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis and is full of great textures and flavors. Although it’s a pasta dish, it’s really like a room temp pasta salad that’s light, tangy, easy to make and makes a great lunch for friends.

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Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp good Dijon mustard
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, crushed

Pasta:
1 pound penne rigate pasta
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
4 cups baby arugula
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

Firstly, toast the pine nuts by arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, crushed garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Sweet Italian sausage and kale pasta with lemon cream sauce

This is a wonderful recipe for those cold winter nights. It’s full of strong, earthy flavors, offset by the unctious,bright lemon cream sauce. This is a recipe from the wonderful Saveur magazine.
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SERVES 6

¼ cup good quality olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes ( or more if you can take it!)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
2½ cups half and half
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound dried penne pasta
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat oil in a 6-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and red chile flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces until browned, 16 to 18 minutes.
Add the chopped kale, season with salt and pepper and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
Add the half and half and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally until reduced by a third, 7 to 8 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper; set aside and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes.
Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water; add both pasta and water to the reserved sauce and cook about 5 minutes more. Serve garnished with parsley.