Tagliatelle with Tuna and Caper-Preserved Lemon Sauce

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This is a very easy and quick pasta dish, perfect for a weeknight dinner.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

250grs of Tagliatelle

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons of chopped capers

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped

2 cans of tuna

¼ cup of chopped parsley

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

To make the sauce, place about ¼ cup of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the garlic, capers and preserved lemon. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Then add the tuna, broken into small chunks. Add the cooked pasta and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine.

Divide the pasta among two plates. Enjoy!

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Farfalle Aglio e Olio with Charred Cauliflower & Breadcrumbs

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I’ve been craving a lot of charred cauliflower lately. I’ve been adding it to pasta dishes, salads and also just eating it by itself as a snack with some lime juice on the side. I love simple pasta dishes like aglio e olio. Adding charred cauliflower and spicy breadcrumbs, are nice little extras that give some more bite to the dish.  They say toasted breadcrumbs are the poor man’s parmesan but I don’t think there is anything poor about it. Toasted in olive oil with some salt, already adds a nice taste and if you want more, you can add any kind of herbs. It’s crunchy, salty goodness. An easy vegetarian dish, perfect for a weeknight dinner!

This recipe serves 3.

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Ingredients:

For the cauliflower:

1 cauliflower, cut into florets, then thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the breadcrumbs:

3 slices of toasted bread

Dried chili flakes, to taste

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

For the pasta:

400gr of farfalle pasta

1/3 cup of olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt

Pepper

For the toppings:

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of ½ a lemon

 

Place the cauliflower slices in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Then place it on a pan, over medium-high heat. Cook until the cauliflower gets charred, stirring from time to time. This will take about 7 minutes. Set aside.

While the cauliflower is getting charred, cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

To make the breadcrumbs, place the toasted bread in the food processor. Pulse until you get crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan, over medium heat. Place the breadcrumbs, add salt and dried chili flakes to taste. Cook until the breadcrumbs get a golden color. Set aside.

Add 1/3 of a cup of olive oil to a pan, over medium heat. Add the minced garlic cloves. Cook for a minute or 2 until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the cooked pasta, charred cauliflower, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Finish it by adding the parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix it well. Taste for salt and pepper.

Divide the pasta into 3 plates and top each plate with some of the breadcrumbs.

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Pan-Fried Plantain Gnocchi with Crème Fraiche and Bacon Crumbs

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I wanted to try and make plantain gnocchi for a while now.  But the last time I got plantains; I ended up frying them and eating them with rice and fried eggs. One of those things I used to love eating growing up. It is simple and delicious.

I served these gnocchi with a very simple sauce made with crème fraiche, shallots and garlic, and topped it off with some bacon crumbs and a few thyme leaves.  This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the Gnocchi:

3 ripe plantains

40gr of Parmesan cheese

1 egg

½ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

200gr crème fraiche

Salt

Pepper

For the bacon crumbs:

5 slices of crispy bacon

Butter and olive oil to pan-fry the gnocchi

A few fresh thyme leaves (optional), to decorate

 

To make the bacon crumbs, just fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Then place the bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb most of the fat. Then put the bacon in a food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Set aside.

Put the unpeeled plantains in an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes at 180C/350F.  Allow to cool down. Then peel them and cut each plantain into 4 pieces and remove the seeds using a knife.  Once all the seeds have been removed, chop them and put them in the food processor and pulse until you get a smooth puree.

Put the plantain puree in a large bowl; add the Parmesan, egg and salt. Mix well with a fork.  Then slowly add the flour.

Once all the flour is incorporated, Place 1/6 of the dough on a floured surface and start rolling it as if it were a long snake. Then cut it into small pieces of about 2cm/1inch. Roll them in the palm of your hands to give them more shape. They don’t have to be perfect.  Put the finished gnocchi aside and continue with the rest of the dough.

Once all of the gnocchi is done, drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water. When they start floating around in the top, give them an extra minute and then drain them using a colander.

To make the sauce, heat up the olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Then add the crème fraiche and cook for another minute stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Going back to the gnocchi, you’ll have to pan-fry them in batches.  In order to get a nice even golden color you can’t to overcrowd the pan.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium heat. Add about ½ of the boiled gnocchi and fry them until they have a light brown crust on both sides.  Then remove from the heat and repeat for the remaining gnocchi.

To plate the gnocchi, place a bit of the crème fraiche sauce on a plate. Then add the gnocchi and top with some of the bacon crumbs and a few thyme leaves.

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