Pappardelle with Brussels sprouts, leeks and truffle cream

Sauteed leeks with the earthy intensity of the truffle oil and the smooth creaminess of the cream is a heady combination. Make sure you don’t overdo the truffle oil, so start with a little less and add to taste.

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Serves 4

1/2 oz butter
1 large leek, well washed and sliced at an angle
7 oz Brussels sprouts, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/b fresh (preferably) Pappardelle pasta
4 fl oz dry white wine
2 oz good quality Parmesan cheese,finely grated
A large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp truffle oil
salt and pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

In a wide pan, melt the butter and saute the leek, Brussels sprouts and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often over medium heat.
Drop the pasta into the pan of boiling water, stirring until the water comes back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes (or if you are using dry pasta, follow the packet’s instructions) until tender. Drain the pasta into a colander and shake off any excess water.

Meanwhile, add the white wine to the sprouts pan and cook for 2 minutes then add the cream.
Bring to the boil and simmer for a minutes.
Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, truffle oil and some salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Remove from the heat.
The sauce should be quite moist. Check for seasoning and strength of truffle flavor and adjust if necessary.

Divide the pasta between 4 warmed bowls and top with some of the vegetables and sauce.
Use tongs to combine the sauce and pasta and serve immediately.

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Quick roasted Brussels sprouts with coconut ginger sauce

Okay, one more Brussels sprout recipe, because it’s so different!

Serve 2

Spicy coconut ginger sauce
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp sugar or Agave nectar
1 tsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
1/2 to 2 tsp chili garlic sauce, to taste
1 tsp rice vinegar (or lime juice)

The Brussels sprouts
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, nubby ends cut off and sliced in half. Use smaller sprouts
1 tbsp coconut oil
A sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat your broiler. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, ginger and sugar/agave nectar. Add the chili garlic sauce, to taste. Whisk the ingredients together and simmer for a couple of minutes to infuse the flavors., stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice vinegar/lime juice.

Set a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stove. Let it heat up for 2 to 3 minutes.
It should be so hot that a few drops of water sizzle and quickly disappear after contact.

Toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with the coconut oil and salt. Toss well, so that the sprouts are evenly coated in a thin layer of the oil.
Once the pan is hot, dump the sprouts into the pan and quickly rearrange them so the flat side is down. Let them cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are starting to brown on the bottom.

Transfer the pan to the broiler. Let the Brussels sprouts broil for about 3 minutes. Check them for doneness – their tops should be a little browned and the bottoms caramelized.

Transfer the sprouts to a bowl and drizzle the coconut ginger sauce over them and serve

Roasted pesto, parmesan vegetable traybake

Yesterday, I did another traybake. I was on my own so decided to cut up a whole pile of vegetables, toss them with a container of pesto sauce from Trader Joes, lots of garlic, and when they were 3/4 through with the roasting, I threw at least half a container of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over everything and roasted it till it was all melted and browned.
It was divine and so healthy!

Preheat oven to 350 F

Vegetables

 You can choose whatever is in your fridge, but I used;
3 leeks, sliced into 1 inch slices
1lb Brussel Sprouts, trimmed
1/2 large cauliflower broken into florets
2 large red onions, cubed into 1 “ pieces
2 Delicata squash, unpeeled and cubed into 1” pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1 “ slices

6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 container Trader Joes pesto sauce (8oz)
6 oz (at least) grated Parmigano Reggiano

Put all the vegetables into a very large bowl then season well and add the garlic and pesto sauce.

Mix together well with your hands and tip all the contents out onto a large baking tray with shallow sides, like the one in the picture.

Roast the vegetables for 25 mins then turn all the vegetables to avoid burning and continue to roast for another 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese and return to oven, turning the oven up to 400F for another 15 to 20 minutes until toasty and melted.

Serve on it’s own, or with a salad

 

Chicken, sausage and whatever you have in the fridge traybake.

This is the most simple, stunning dish you can have in your repertoire. You can throw it together in minutes and let it roast and caramelize for about 45 minutes and your whole meal is on one roasting dish.

All you need is a very large bowl, at least 16” diameter (great to have anyway) and a large shallow baking tray, minimum 16” x 12” x 1”

The other day I was working and we only had 1 hour before needing to be downtown for a concert.
I took out my large bowl and started to throw stuff into it, tossed it all in olive oil and fresh herbs, some salt and pepper and spices and threw it all onto the baking tray, tossed it in the oven and 45 minutes later, we had a really stunning meal.

You can vary the meat and vegetables according to what you have in your imagination/fridge

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 350 F

1 lb organic boneless, skinless chicken thigh, each cut into 3 chunks (Don’t use breast, as it gets too dry)
1lb of sausage you like, chorizo, Sweet Italian, Spicy Italian, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large onions, red or white, cut into 1 inch chunks
As many cloves of garlic as you want, peeled, and half of them crushed and half of them left whole
A yellow, red and/or orange pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb cherry tomatoes, some halved, the others left whole
3 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
8 oz baby crimini mushrooms,
8 oz Brussel sprouts, halved
1/2 butternut squash, or 2 cups in 1” cubes
Very small potatoes, or cut up ones, as they need to cook till tender

Throw all this into the large bowl and toss together with;

1 tsp paprika, sweet, hot or smoked, depending on your preference
2 good handfuls fresh basil, torn
A good amount of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano, or any other herb you fancy
Some dried chile, if you like a kick
Liberally glug in some really good olive oil, at least 1/4 cup

Mix it all together well so everything is well coated and then tip everything out onto the large roasting tray. Shake till it’s evenly distributed, then put into the oven until it’s starting to get browned and beginning to singe at the edges.
Remove from the oven, taste and re-season.

* Some crumbled feta or blue cheese can also go over everything in the last 15 minutes of cooking

You will start playing around with the flavors and ingredients, trying different combinations, vegetarian, more meat, less vegetables….  The worlds your oyster on this dish!

 

Butternut squash, Brussels sprout and apple stuffing

A lovely stuffing filled with vegetables. This can go Gluten Free if you use a GF bread like millet.

Serves 6

1lb butternut squash, cut into 1/2 “cubes
1lb Brussel sprouts, halved
1 Gala apple, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tbsp olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
10 thick slices of a bread of your choice: crusty sourdough dry cornbread, whole grain, GF….
*Prior to preparing the recipe, leave the bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups vegetable,chicken or turkey broth (plus extra as needed)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, halved again
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Toss the squash, Brussel sprouts, apples and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast till the vegetables are very tender, even until the Brussel sprouts are a little burnt at the edges and remove from the oven.

Reduce the heat to 350 F

Heat the other 2 tbsp oil in a large deep pan. Saute the onion and celery till translucent, abut 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the bread cubes and allow them to get golden brown with the veggies in the oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Add the roasted vegetables, broth, cranberries, pecan or walnut halves and seasonings.
Stir the mix till the broth has almost entirely absorbed into the toasted bread.
Transfer to a baking dish or sheet and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
Serve hot.

Orecchiette carbonara with charred Brussel sprouts

Lovely and soothing with the nutty flavor of the charred Brussel sprouts.

1/2 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed, leaves separated
12 oz fresh or dried orecchiette, or other fresh or dried small pasta
Kosher salt
2 oz pancetta (Italian bacon) finely chopped  (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup grated pecorino plus more
2 large egg yolks, beaten to blend
2 tbsp olive oil, divided

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add the brussel sprouts and cook, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp tender, about 5 minutes or so ; transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
* You can also toss the Brussel sprouts in a little olive oil, season and roast them on a shallow baking tray at 400 F for 15 minutes or so until they are tender and charred.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 mins for fresh pasta). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Immediately add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid to keep the pepper from burning; reduce the heat to low and gradually add the butter, swirling the skillet and adding more pasta liquid as needed, until a thick glossy sauce forms.
(Taste as you go and switch to hot water once the sauce is adequately seasoned)

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.
Add the pecorino, toss to combine.
Remove from the heat, mix in the egg yolks. Add the reserved Brussel sprouts leaves, toss, adding pasta cooking liquid or hot water as needed to thin the sauce.

Serve the pasta topped with more Pecorino

 

Brussel sprouts and butternut squash with warm maple mustard dressing

Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are simply roasted together and then tossed with a gorgeous and simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and grainy mustard for an easy and delicious Fall staple.

1lb brussels sprouts
1lb peeled, diced butternut squash, (about 1 inch dice)
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
leaves from 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 400F

Toss the brussels sprouts and butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed 9 x 13? baking sheet.
Roast for 35 minutes, turning twice, until the vegetables are tender inside and browned in spots on the outside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, rosemary and garlic. (Or blend together in a small food processor)

When the vegetables are done, transfer to a serving bowl.
Drizzle with the balsamic mixture and toss to coat.
Serve immediately