RECIPE: Bombay Potatoes

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Bombay potatoes is a traditional Indian side dish that also works well as a main course option for vegetarians. There are many variations of this dish as people often use different spices or add alternative ingredients. It is simple to make as it consists of just potatoes, tomatoes, and spices. Another bonus is that it is a really cheap meal option, so it is great for people on a budget. Therefore, even if you are an Indian cooking novice, this is a simple dish to make. Here is an easy recipe for Bombay potatoes.

Ingredients for Bombay Potatoes

 

  • 3 large potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1-inch chunk of peeled ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 chilli, deseeded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

 

How to Make Bombay Potatoes

  1. Boil the potato chunks in salted water until cooked (approximately 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, add one of the chopped tomatoes, the ginger, the garlic cloves and the chilli to a blender and whizz into a paste. 
  3. Add the oil to a saucepan and put over a medium heat. 
  4. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook for two minutes.
  5. Add the chopped onion and cook for a further two minutes.
  6. Add the ground spices and cook for one more minute.
  7. Add the salt and the paste of tomato, chilli, ginger, and garlic. Cook for two more minutes.
  8. Add the second diced tomato and cook for five minutes.
  9. Drain the cooked chopped tomato and add to the pan. 
  10. Stir through until all the potatoes are coated in the mixture.
  11. Cook for a further five minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavour.
  12. Add the chopped fresh coriander at the last minute and then serve. 

 

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RECIPE: Spinach and Cream Cheese Ravioli with a Garlic Mushroom Butter

 

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If you have started to make your own fresh pasta, then you may be looking for some ideas for meals you can make with your creation. I have recently got a pasta making machine and the first meal I wanted to create was a ravioli using some of our favourite family ingredients. I decided to make a cream cheese and spinach ravioli with a garlic mushroom butter and salad. It is relatively easy to make, just a bit fiddly. Here is how to make a cream cheese and spinach ravioli with a garlic mushroom butter.

Ingredients for Pasta

  • 10 oz/ 280 g pasta flour or plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg for sealing the ravioli

Ingredients for the Spinach and Ricotta Filling

  • 250g tub of cream cheese
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
  • Black pepper

Ingredients for Garlic Mushroom Butter

  • 6 button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

 

 

How to Make Fresh Pasta

  1. Measure out the flour and add the salt. Mix together.
  2. Tip the flour and salt onto the work surface in a heap and make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the eggs and the olive oil to the centre of the well.
  4. Start to bind the mixture together using your hand and working in a little more flour each time.
  5. When you have formed a solid ball of pasta dough, knead for five minutes.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  7. After resting, unwrap the dough and divide into four balls.
  8. Flour your work surface and dust the dough balls with flour.
  9. If you are using a rolling pin, then roll out the dough thinly. You should be able to see the work surface through the pasta.
  10. If you are using a pasta making machine. then press one ball of dough at a time into a rectangular shape with your hand.
  11. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and roll one piece of pasta through at a time.
  12. Adjust the pasta machine down a few settings and repeat. Continue to do this until you are on the second to last setting of the machine. The pasta should then be thin enough.
  13. Cut the pasta into discs using a round cookie cutter or the end of a small tumbler glass.

How to Make the Cream Cheese and Spinach Filling

  1. Add the cream cheese to a saucepan over a medium heat and stir around until it begins to melt.
  2. Add the chopped spinach and stir through. This will almost immediately begin to wilt.
  3. Season with black pepper and then reduce to a low heat while you make the garlic mushroom butter.

How to Make the Garlic Mushroom Butter

  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a pan and put over a medium heat. The oil will help to stop the butter burning to the pan.
  2. Add the crushed garlic cloves and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped button mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further five minutes. 

How to Make Cream Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

  1. Beat an egg in a cup and use a pastry brush to brush egg along the edges of the pasta discs. This will help the edges to stick together.
  2. Add a small teaspoon of the cream cheese and spinach mixture to the centre of each pasta discs. Be careful not to overfill or the ravioli will burst in the pan and water will get into the filling.
  3. Draw opposite edges of the pasta together and squeeze.
  4. Continue to pinch the edges together until the ravioli is sealed all the way around. 
  5. Add the ravioli to a pan of boiling salted water in small batches for approximately five minutes.
  6. Remove from the pan using a slatted spoon and ensure they are drained thoroughly. 

Serving 

  1. Dress the plates with your choice of salad ingredients.
  2. Add the cooked ravioli to the plate.
  3. Drizzle with the garlic mushroom butter.

 

 

How to Make Fresh Pasta From Scratch

 

Although dried pasta is widely available from grocery stores, homemade pasta tastes so much better. Most people are put off making their own pasta as they believe it is time-consuming and difficult. This is wrong on both counts as it is quick and easy to make. It is certainly worth the effort of doing it yourself. Here is how to make fresh pasta from scratch yourself.

Ingredients for Pasta

  • 10 oz/ 280 g pasta flour or plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt

 

How to Make Fresh Pasta

  1. Measure out the flour and add the salt. Mix together.
  2. Tip the flour and salt onto the work surface in a heap and make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the eggs and the olive oil to the centre of the well.
  4. Start to bind the mixture together using your hand and working in a little more flour each time. 
  5. When you have formed a solid ball of pasta dough, knead for five minutes.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  7. After resting, unwrap the dough and divide into four balls.
  8. Flour your work surface and dust the dough balls with flour.
  9. If you are using a rolling pin, then roll out the dough thinly. You should be able to see the work surface through the pasta. 
  10. If you are using a pasta making machine. then press one ball of dough at a time into a rectangular shape with your hand.
  11. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and roll one piece of pasta through at a time. 
  12. Adjust the pasta machine down a few settings and repeat. Continue to do this until you are on the second to last setting of the machine. The pasta should then be thin enough.
  13. You are now ready to cut the pasta into the shapes that you want to create your perfect pasta dish. 

 

 

Introducing Pietro the Pasta Maker- The Fruity Tart’s New Assistant

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I am excited to introduce to you Pietro, my new pasta maker. In the style of Ainsley Harriet on ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’, I have decided to give it a name. For all of you who are not from the UK, ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ was a teatime cooking competition on TV that was presented by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriet. He would refer to the condiments as Susie Salt and Percy Pepper.

I am not entirely sure why I have decided to start naming my kitchen equipment. The only excuse I can make is that the children have been off school now for two weeks and I have had to look after them while still working from home and having building work done. Perhaps I am going a little deranged?

Anyway, you will now see Pietro appearing in quite a few blog posts now he has finally made it out of the cupboard. I actually got him as a gift from my mum for Christmas and I only got round to using him for the first time a few days ago. I made soft cheese and spinach ravioli with a garlic mushroom butter sauce and salad. Recipe coming soon!

RECIPE: Lasagne

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Lasagne is one of the most popular Italian dishes to have reached other parts of the world. In homes across the globe, it is a favourite family meal. There are many variations on this traditional Italian dish, but this version is really easy to make and tastes delicious. Here is how to make lasagne.

Ingredients for Lasagne

  • 650 g minced beef
  • 12 sheets of lasagne (or enough to cover three layers of your oven dish)
  • 250g mature cheddar (or other strong flavoured cheese), grated
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar of white lasagne sauce (or homemade bechamel sauce)
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • A handful of torn fresh basil
  • 0.5-litre beef stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Lasagne

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the minced beef to the pan and cook for approximately seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mince is browned.
  3. Add the garlic, mushrooms and diced peppers. Cook for a further ten minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the tomatoes puree, basil, and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Stir through and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4. 
  7. Add the beef stock and simmer for another ten minutes.
  8. Layer the bottom of an oven proof dish with lasagne sheets.
  9. Using a ladle, spoon over half the lasagne mixture.
  10. Add another layer of lasagne sheets.
  11. Spoon over the remaining lasagne mixture.
  12. Add a final layer of lasagne sheets before covering with either your homemade bechamel sauce or a jar of white lasagne sauce. 
  13. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top. 
  14. Put the lasagne in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden.
  15. Divide into portions and serve with salad and garlic bread. 

 

RECIPE: Creamy Chicken, Chorizo, and Tomato Pasta Bake

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Pasta dishes are some of the simplest and quickest to make. That makes them perfect for busy families who want something delicious and nutritious for their tea but don’t have hours to spare for food preparation. This creamy chicken, chorizo and tomato pasta bake is really tasty and very simple to make. Here is how to make creamy chicken, chorizo, and tomato pasta bake.

Ingredients for Creamy Chicken, Chorizo and Tomato Pasta Bake

  • 10oz/ 300g dried penne pasta
  • 3 diced chicken breasts
  • 3 1/2oz/ 100 g chorizo, chopped
  • 400g chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5oz/ 150 g chopped mozzarella cheese
  • 3oz/ 75g soft cheese
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 oz/ 30g torn fresh basil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Creamy Chicken, Chorizo and Tomato Pasta Bake

  1. Prepare all your ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 C/ Gas mark 8.
  3. In accordance with the instructions on the packet, cook your pasta in salted boiling water.
  4. In a large frying pan, cook the chorizo for 3-4 minutes over a high heat until the oils from the chorizo are released.
  5. Next, add both the chicken and the crushed garlic to the pan. Cook for a further five minutes.
  6. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and tip in the can of chopped tomatoes. Bring the mixture to simmering point.
  7. Add the soft cheese and stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce and has a creamy consistency and appearance.
  8. Add half the oregano and three-quarters of the fresh basil.
  9. Drain the cooked penne pasta and transfer to the mixture.
  10. Stir well to make sure the pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce and the chicken and chorizo are evenly distributed.
  11. Season with black pepper and stir through.
  12. Transfer everything from the frying pan to an oven-proof dish.
  13. Sprinkle over the chopped mozzarella, the parmesan and the remaining oregano.
  14. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the mozzarella and parmesan topping is bubbling and golden.
  15. Serve onto plates or into pasta bowls and sprinkle over the remaining basil to garnish.  

TIPS

  • Switch the meat– this dish works just as well with diced turkey if you prefer this to chicken.
  • Pasta alternatives– this recipe uses penne pasta, but most other varieties of pasta will work just as well.
  • Fresh pasta– If you prefer, you can make fresh pasta. However, you will need to adapt the cooking time as this cooks in just minutes.
  • Serving suggestion– This is fantastic with a tossed side salad and crunchy garlic bread.

Best Italian White Wines

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What is a good wine comes down to personal preference and opinion to a certain extent.  It may also depend on the occasion and what food you are eating to accompany the wine.  In terms of Italian wines, Chianti immediately comes to mind along with many other red wines.  However, Italy is a country that produces a wide variety of great white wines that can accompany many foods and are suitable for drinking on a variety of occasions.  As Italy is a very diverse country in terms of the climate and weather in different regions, the wines produced in this country vary significantly. Here are some of the best white wines that Italy has to offer.

Pinot Grigio

One of the most popular white wines from Italy is Pinot Grigio.  It is made from one of Northern Italy’s most common grapes and is widely used to complement the cuisine.  The flavors of Pinot Grigio tend to be peach and orange.  This wine is light in color and usually delicate and mild, although some producers make more full-bodied varieties.

Moscato

An excellent dessert wine from Italy is Moscato.  This is made commonly in the South, predominantly in the region of Piedmont.  It is the Moscato grape that is used to make Asti Spumante.  This wine usually has a floral aroma.

Cortese

For those who prefer a dry white wine, Cortese is an excellent choice.  Made from one of Italy’s rarer grapes in Northern Italy, this is one of the most unique and expensive wines that is produced in this country. The flavors are crisp and light bodied with tones of apple.  The best varieties also have overtones of honey.

Trebbiano

Trebbiano is classed as the easy drinking wine of Italy.  This is one of the most commonly produced wines in Italy.  They are usually pale in color and can be drunk alone or as a great accompaniment to salad or pasta dishes.  They are typically quite an acidic wine, but increasingly, producers are adding sweetness to this variety of Italian white wine.

Soave

Soave is an Italian variety of white wine that is best enjoyed new rather than bottled for a period of time.  This is quite a dry wine that is straw colored and had has fruity flavors.  This is best enjoyed as an appetizer before or after a meal.

Orvieto

The final wine to be mentioned here, but by no means the least is Orvieto.  This is a light straw colored wine with hints of green in the light.  The taste and aroma are light, with a pleasant, bitter aftertaste.  This is a great wine to drink with most dishes and can be enjoyed on any occasion.