Archive | March, 2013

Fresh Homemade Pappardelle with Herby Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

31 Mar

Fresh Homemade Pappardelle with Herby Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Fresco, pappardelle fatte in casa con polpette di carne alle erbe in salsa di pomodoro

Serves 4/6
For the pappardelle pasta

300g Italian ’00’ flour plus extra for flowering
6 egg yolks (preferably organic)
1 tspoon olive oil

For the meatballs

1 large onion, finely chopped
5 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
50g panchetta lardons
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
handful of oregano, thyme and sage chopped
1 free-range egg yolk
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
50ml red wine
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
grated cheese, to serve such as parmesan or pecorino

Preparation method.
For the pasta.
1, Place the flour, eggs and olive oil into a food processor and pulse until combined.



2, Tip out the dough and knead to form into a ball shape. Knead it briskly for 1 minute, it should be quite stiff and hard to knead.

3, once the dough has a silky texture wrap in cling film and leave to rest in a cool place for 1 hour before using.( I’ve devided in into 2 separate portions and placed one into the freezer to be used on another occasion )

4, Roll out one half of the dough until 1cm/Âœin thick, then feed it through a pasta machine. Start on the thickest setting, passing the sheet through several times and lowering the setting until it reaches the thinnest setting.

5, Carefully fold the sheet of pasta then slice the pasta sheet into ribbons 2.5cm wide now gently unravel to reveal the long pappardelle strands. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.



Preparation method
For the meatballs.
1, Heat the olive oil a heavy-based casserole or large saucepan set over a low heat. Add the onion and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat to medium and add the pancetta lardons. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (do not colour). Remove half of the mixture and set aside in a bowl to use in the sauce later.

2, Add the breadcrumbs and a generous handful of herbs to the pan. Stir and then transfer to a blender. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine.

3, Add the minced beef and pork to the mixture and pulse to form a paste. Use your hands to mould the mixture into small balls about the size of ping pong balls , leave to rest in the fridge for min 30 mins .



4, Put the meatballs into a hot pan with a splash of oil and fry until brown all over (don’t overcrowd , it can be done in 2 batches). Remove from the pan and set aside.


5, Add the reserved onion and pancetta mixture to the pan. Deglaze by adding the red wine and scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan. When the wine is boiling, add the chopped fresh tomatoes, keeping the heat high. Continue to cook, stirring all the time until they start to break down. Add the tinned tomatoes and a tin full of water. Bring back to the boil.



6,Taste to check the seasoning and cook for a further five minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

7,Place the pasta into a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until al dente. Drain well, place into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

8, To serve, mix the meatballs and pasta together then serve topped with grated cheese, and now enjoy with a delicious Italian red wine 😉

For more info, or if you like I’ll come and cook it for you , mail or phone: 0642297107


Spaghettini with Prawns, Crab, Cherry Tomatoes & Basil

23 Mar

Spaghettini with prawns, crab, cherry tomatoes & basil.

Serves 4

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves , chopped
pinch chilli flakes
200g cherry tomatoes , halved
zest and juice 1 lemon
2 x 170g cans white crab meat, drained or use fresh crab meat
400g raw prawns pealed ad deveined
400g spaghettini
1 tsp capers , drained and rinsed
1 chilli finely chopped ( remove seeds if for less heat )
1 big handful basil leaves , roughly chopped

1 In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook until just pale golden, then add the prawns and cook until just turning pink, now add tomatoes. Cook 3 mins more on a high heat until the tomatoes start to break down a little. Add the lemon juice and cook for 1-2 mins. Remove from the heat and stir in the crab to warm through – not too much or it will break up.

2 Boilthe pasta in a large pan of salted water following pack instructions then drain. Mix the pasta in the warm pot with the sauce, lemon zest, chopped fresh chilli and capers, and toss the basil through.

Serve in hot dishes and enjoy 😉

For more info don’t hesitate to mail me :
or call 0642297107
If you prefer I could come round to your house and cook it for you as I’m offering my services as a personal chef 🙂


My Tangy BĂ©arnaise Sauce and Chargrilled Sirloin Steak

17 Mar

My Tangy BĂ©arnaise Sauce and Chargrilled Sirloin Steak.
Serves 4



4 really thick sirloin steaks (4cm each)
Olive oil


50ml white wine vinegar
50ml white wine
1 shallot , chopped
bunch tarragon , stalks and leaves separated
2 egg yolks
120g butter , melted and kept warm


1:To make the BĂ©arnaise sauce, put the vinegar, wine, shallot and tarragon stalks in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then continue to cook until reduced by about 3/4. Cool and pour into in a large stainless steel bowl.


2:Put the bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, add the yolks and, with electric beaters, whisk until the yolks are thick and pale .
3:Take the bowl off the heat and put it on a work surface. Start to add the melted butter, little by little, whisking all the time until all the butter is used. Stir in chopped tarragon leaves and keep warm (you can put the bowl back over the pan off the heat).


4:Put a heavy frying pan or griddle on the heat and leave it for at least 7-8 minutes before you start cooking. Lay the steaks on a board. There is a layer of sinew running between the fat and the meat in sirloin steaks, which you need to snip through so the steak doesn’t curl up in the pan and cooks evenly. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut through the fat to the flesh so the flesh is now exposed a little .
5:Rub the steak all over with oil and then season really, really well. Drop the steak into the pan when it is so hot it is hard to put your hand near the surface. Leave the steak for 2 minutes, then turn it over and give it 2 minutes on the other side.
Now cook for a minute extra for each cm of the steak’s thickness, to get a medium- done steak. (So a 4cm steak needs 4 minutes extra – which is 2 minutes extra each side.) Take out and rest under foil for 5 minutes.

Slice the steak against the grain . Serve with BĂ©arnaise and with whatever takes your fancy, I’ve have a delicious baby leaf salad and potatoes sautĂ©ed with thyme .
Bon appetite


For more info, or if you like I can come and cook it for you .

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