Red Pepper Pasta Bake

pepper pasta bakeSometimes it’s worth just looking at the fridge and deciding to put things together that seem fairly logical. This evening I made a lovely tomatoey cheesy pasta bake, with ricotta stuffed peppers we had in the fridge. I made this bake with slightly less sauce than normal, so the cheese flavours come through. Dead quick and simple after work, really tasty and healthy, healthy as always!

You will need: a tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, 40g cheddar cheese, 100g ricotta stuffed peppers (or if you don’t have any, use normal peppers, mushrooms, whatever 🙂 ), olive oil, 200g fusili.

pepper pasta bakeBoil your pasta in a big pan for 10 minutes. Chop up your garlic and onions and fry in olive oil, add the tinned tomatoes and the mixed herbs, and give everything a good stir. Chop the peppers in halves and grate the cheddar. Drain the pasta and put it into a casserole dish. Add the sauce and toss everything together. Pop your pepper halves in the dish and add half the grated cheese then stir. Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the pasta and bake for 20 minutes on 180 degrees.

Serve straight out of the oven in a big pile and enjoy. This would be a great meal for friends if you just double the quantities. Lots of Mediterranean flavours make a really great meal.

pepper pasta bake

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Crunchy Cauliflower Crumble

DSCF1615Oooh, use of alliteration there, folks! This is a dead quick and simple recipe – super healthy, really tasty and a good sunday roast alternative. I love apple crumble and cauliflower cheese and this is a strange fusion of the two – it tastes good though, promise! Crunchy broccoli and cauliflower and baked mushrooms covered with crunchy cheesy breadcrumbs – simple! Also if you’re vegan, leave out the cheese and add a bit of olive oil to the breadcrumb mix instead.

You will need: 1 small cauliflower, 1/2 broccoli, 2 slices of breads worth of breadcrumbs, 35g cheddar cheese, 150g mushrooms, salt, pepper, Aromat, teaspoon sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into chunks, and pop in a pan of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes (make sure they aren’t too squishy) and drain in a colander. Grate the cheese and then mix the cheese, breadcumbs, a pinch salt, pinch of pepper, seeds and a pinch of Aromat in a bowl. Chop your mushrooms in half and wash them.

DSCF1604Place the broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower chunks into a casserole dish and pour the cheesy mixture over the top, make sure everything is covered. Then put in the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done!

DSCF1609You don’t have to just use broccoli and cauliflower – I’ve used potatoes and carrots for this recipe. As I said, it’s a really simple meal, but nice and hearty. Serve with crispy roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings for a great sunday roast or have it with a nice salad for tea, like we did.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Melty Aubergine Bakes

2014-03-11 19.43.27You know when you are planning a meal and you realise you don’t have one ingredient? It always happens to me so I’ve learned to improvise. I’d already sliced an aubergine (but had no eggs) so I created these  – thick slices of aubergine underneath a tomato and onion layer, then covered with cheese and breadcrumbs. It’s dead quick and easy and doesn’t need many ingredients, have ago!

You will need: 1 large aubergine, 1 small onion, 2 big tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, 25g cheese, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 slice of breads worth of breadcrumbs, olive oil, 2 tablespoons tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and rocket to serve.

Dice your onion and pop in a big frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, finely chop your garlic cloves and add these. Cook for 5 minutes, chop the tomatoes into chunks and add these and the tomato puree to the pan. Add a big crack of black pepper, a pinch of salt, your cream cheese and some mixed herbs and then take the pan off the heat when the cheese has melted in.

20140311_190041Grate your cheese and mix it in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and a bit of pepper. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees. Chop your aubergine into 4 thick slices and place on a baking tray. Divide the tomato mixture between the slices and then sprinkle a big handful of cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.20140311_190545While that’s cooking, put your rocket on the plate and drizzle with a little balsamic and some good quality olive oil. When the aubergines are cooked put them on your salad and serve. Voila!

This dish seems really posh but it’s actually dead simple and doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. 1 slice of aubergine would be great for a starter and like always, add more cheese, or tomato if you like. It’s really healthy, cheap and delicious – what’s not to love?!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Mozzarella Paninis with Homemade Veggie Tapenade

20131231_144411It’s really easy to fall into the habit of lunch being a cheese sandwich or a piece of toast and only making the effort with your evening meal. But as it’s new year and I decided to do a really lovely lunch. I also love a bargain, and picked up a big bag of paninis from Tesco that were in the reduced section for 50p. So this is what I did with them, lots of lovely gooey mozzarella cheese, homemade tapenade style dip and some lovely big tomatoes. A good lunch if I ever saw one. The quantities are for two people but go ahead and double them, half them, whatever!

You will need: 10 black olives, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 paninis, 125g mozzarella cheese, pinch of mixed herbs, a big handful of walnuts, a big tomato and rocket to serve.20131231_141705Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Chop the paninis in half and drizzle each half with olive oil. Crush your garlic first in the pestle and mortar. When they are crushed, add the walnuts and then the olives and pound them to make a smooth paste. Add a pinch of mixed herbs, a tablespoon of olive oil and some lemon juice if you fancy.20131231_142234Spread your tapenade over the bottom two halves of your paninis. Now slice your mozzarella into thick slices and divide between the paninis covering the tapenade evenly. Slice your tomato and divide this as well. 20131231_142652Now put the tops of your paninis on top of the tomatoes and squish down well. Place on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes in the oven. Take them out, make sure all your cheese has melted and serve on a bed of rocket with some balsamic vingear.

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And that’s it. A really lovely lunchtime treat that’s dead easy to make and would cost a bomb if you bought it in a cafe!

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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Heavenly Vegetarian Tart

20131226_194346      My hubby absolutely adores roast dinners, however we don’t eat meat so sometimes coming up with a veggie main to go with all those lovely roast potatoes and vegetables is a challenge. For boxing day tea, I invented this epic tart, filled with homemade pesto, loads of cheese, mushrooms onions and a bit more cheese. It really is comfort food, a lovely english roast dinner, no animals necessary. It does require a bit of time and effort, but it is worth it, promise!

You will need… 4oz butter/margerine, 6oz plain flour, 50g walnuts, 60g olives, a big handful fresh basil, pepper, salt, olive oil, 150g mushrooms, 1 small onion, 75g mozarella cheese, 1 slice of bread, 25g cheddar cheese, pestle and mortar, 20cm flan dish, mixing bowl, rolling pin.20131226_175214

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. First of all make the pastry. For this you need to put your flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Cut your butter into little chunks and mix these into the flour with a knife, when all the butter is covered in flour add 3 tablespoons of warm water and stir in. Form the pastry into a ball (f you need to add more water to bind it together, add it by the teaspoon), cover in cling film and pop in the fridge.20131226_170127

I wanted to add an extra texture to my tart so I created a walnut pesto, if you don’t have a pestle and mortar you could always use ready made green pesto, but the homemade version is much nicer! For this, put your walnuts into the pestle and mortar and grind down into tiny pieces, add your handful of basil and squish this as well. Then add your olives, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil and grind this in a circular motion until it looks like a thick paste.

Dice the onion and fry in a tablespoon of butter, slice your mushrooms and add these to the frying pan once the onions are soft.

20131226_185722Roll out your pastry on a floured surface until it will cover the flan dish and is about 5mm thick. Put your pastry over the flan dish and press down carefully. 20131226_185822Spread your pesto over the bottom of the pastry, then layer half the mushrooms on top of this.20131226_190231

Slice your mozarella and form a layer of this on top of the mushrooms.

20131226_190308Add another layer of mushrooms and onion. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor or just tear it by hand and cover the dish with these. Finally grate your cheddar and sprinkle over the top.

20131226_190434Place your tart into the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is nice and golden and the cheese is all melted. 20131226_194905

Serve with crispy roast potatoes, vegetables and cauliflower cheese (if you fancy more cheese!) or for a lighter meal serve with a lovely rocket salad. A glass of gorgeous red wine is also a must, our favourite is Marques de Carano Reserva 2009. This is one of my favourite dishes and is a really great go to recipe if you have vegetarian guests or you want to cook something a bit special.

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom