Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!

Italian

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns….

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns....

You know how cleaning up prawns is… I was so caught up with half a kilo of prawn cleaning today that I completely lost track of time,hunger began to creep in, had no lunch ready, a glance at the wall clock, it read thirty past two. K was home, I had to put together a quick lunch. I took a frantic look around my kitchen (my morning plans of preparing some basa fish curry would not hold good for now) & my eyes fell on small pile of garlic, since I bake a lot these days, we never run out of butter at home. My mind went racing & I literally put 2 & 2 together. 😉 Craving for some butter garlic prawns instantly began :D. I chided myself!I was late, I did not have any time for starters & then get into cooking a main course. Sigh!

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns....

If I want to eat something, I will not rest till I have had it. I put on my thinking cap. The next thought that hit my mind was Pasta! I stock up a lot of pasta as well ;). It for sure will be yummy, no second thoughts when it comes to butter, garlic, prawns & spaghetti together!! That is wee story that gave life to this recipe :). K digs Pasta & prawns, it knew he will thoroughly enjoy this recipe.

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Shrimps...

This recipe does not have a sauce, it is more of a creamy buttery garlicky glaze to the spaghetti when ready. Do I see lip smacks?? 😉 Well I sure did make your lip smack, come on admit it. 🙂 This super quick & yummy recipe is a keeper for sure. You can wow your guests the next time you have a brunch or a lunch party at home.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)   Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Prawns – 14 medium-sized prawns, tail on, cleaned (de-veined) & drained
Spaghetti – 150 gms
Garlic – 8-10 medium-sized cloves, finely chopped
Butter – 1 tbsp, use salted/unsalted, your choice
Fresh cream – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Crushed black pepper – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp (To cook the spaghetti)
Salt to taste

Method:
Bring pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to the water. Add the cooking oil. Cook till al dante or as per the instructions on the pack.

While the spaghetti is around 3-4 minutes into cooking, melt butter in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped garlic, lower heat to medium. Let the garlic flavour induce into the butter. Do not let the garlic change colour. Add the prawns after a minute. Sprinkle some salt to taste (Remember the spaghetti is already cooking in salty water, if you have used salted butter then add accordingly).

Once the prawns turn white on both sides, add the cream & mix well. Throw in 1/4 tsp of the freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, check on the spaghetti. Drain, reserve about 4-5 tbsp of the pasta water (For use just in case the pasta dries up). Throw in the cooke spaghetti. Mix well till the butter & cream sauce just glazes the spaghetti. Turn off the heat.

Garnishing:
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & 1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with the leftover black pepper & wedges of lime, if you want to add a citrus twist.

 

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns...

Accompany this with a glass of wine that you like :).

We enjoyed this a lot. Do drop your comments if you happen to try this recipe. 🙂

 


Cheesy Red Onion & Pimento Olive Focaccia…

Cheesy Red Onion & Pimento Olive Focaccia...

Sorry for playing the disappearing act too often. I’m still scouting around for my ingredients & equipment. I just managed to select the oven I wanted & guess what??!?? its out of stock.. 😦 So while I wait for everything to fall into place I’m catching up with friends & family. Another couple of days & i’m heading to Mangalore,,!! After about 2 yrs.. & yes I’m damn excited.. being home.. lazing around, going out with mum, the food & all my favourite people around.. :))

Cheesy Red Onion & Pimento Olive Focaccia...

Again this is another recipe I managed photographing between all the packing & moving back to India..

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)      Preparation Time: 120 mins
Strong white Bread flour – 350 gms
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Active dry yeast – 1 sachet
Honey – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp freshly ground,
Warm water – 250 ml
Plain Olive oil – 3 tbsp + extra for greasing
Red onion – 1 small, diced
Pimento Olives – 8-10, each cut into 4 discs
Mature Cheddar Cheese – 3-4 tbsp grated
Parsley – 1 tsp freshly chopped
Salt – 1 tsp

Some of the ingredients..

Tip: You could mix up the olives, parsley & onions with some salt in a bowl & let the flavours mix. 

Method:
In a saucepan, mix the olive oil, black pepper & minced garlic. Heat the oil mixture over low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the garlic does not change colour. Turn off the heat & let the mixture cool. The best part about this focaccia is you infuse olive oil with the flavours you want & you do not need to hunt stores for infused olive oil.

Now in a large bowl, mix the yeast with the honey & water. Stir a couple of times & let it rest for about 5 minutes. Add about 140 gms of flour & the cooled olive oil mixture. Mix about 5-6 times, till the flour is moistened. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. Now add rest of the flour & salt. Mix till the dough comes together. Now knead the dough till its smooth. Oil the bowl & place the dough in the bowl & cover with a warm damp cloth & let the yeast work on the dough for around an hour. Place the dough in a warm area so that this helps it rise better.

Let the dough rise..

Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees C or 450 degrees F. Use some olive oil to grease a 9 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet. I used a slightly larger sheet hence my focaccia is a little flatter than usual.

When an hour is up & the dough has risen well, knead it again a couple of times, then transfer it to the greased baking sheet & flatten it out using your hands. Else use a rolling pin. Let it be for another 20 mins so that the dough rises again. Spread a tsp of olive oil over the top using a pastry brush. Press down the strands of red onion evenly on top of the dough. Add the olive discs between the onions.

Arrange the veggies around..

Doesn’t this look colourful??? I couldn’t help but pop in some olives when slicing them.. 🙂 & the bread is so spongy it was springing back as I was placing the veggies around.. 

Sprinkle the chopped parsley around & then finally spread the grated cheese around evenly.

Sprinkle the cheese around..

I just love how this looks even before its out of the oven.. 🙂

Now bake for 15 – 20 minutes in the centre of the oven or until the top is golden brown.

Since I used a larger pan the dough was spread a little flatter, hence my focaccia was ready in 15 minutes.

The aroma is just brilliant. Makes you all warm & you crave for some creamy soup/pasta to go with it. Once done, let it cool on a cooling rack.

Serving Suggestions:
Cut into pieces of the desired size & serve warm. They are yummy as is or they go really well with some Pasta or soup or just as is with some wine.

Cheesy Red Onion & Pimento Olive Focaccia...

Note: The bread tastes best when warm & out of the oven. If you plan to save some for later, then it lasts for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –


LemonChilli Pasta with courgette…..

LemonChilli Pasta with courgette....

This is the simplest pasta that I fixed for lunch today… Super quick & the best part about it is that you can have it hot or cold.. the way you want it… that’s because there is no sauce as such.. I was bored or preparing white/tomato sauce for the pasta… So just a wee bit extra olive oil than usual infused with garlic, red chilli & lemon juice makes this pasta so refreshing & yummy..  parsley adds its lovely freshness to this pasta.. To summarise I should say my tummy was happy… that’s what we care about when we eat a meal.. don’t we??

LemonChilli Pasta with courgette...

K carried this for his lunchbox.. I’m sure he will love it.. If you don’t have courgette try replacing it with some peppers cut in the similar way… I would suggest red/yellow not green..

This is a perfect meal to fix on those days when you for sure don’t have to cook your usual meal at home & want to pass on picking a take away… This is for those who like an extra lemony zing in their food..

LemonChilli Pasta with courgette...

Ingredients: (Serves 2)      Preparation Time: 10 mins
Pasta – 75 gms, I prefer Fusilli for this recipe,
Courgette – 1 medium-sized, cut into thin finger-shaped pieces, length same as that of the fusilli

Finger-shaped cut courgette...
Garlic – 2 large cloves, chopped finely
Dried Red Chilli – 2, medium-hot variety, deseeded & finely chopped, I used extra hot. 🙂
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp, freshly squeezed
Parsley – 1 tsbp, finely chopped
Olive Oil – 1.5 tbsp or more, based on your taste
Salt to taste

Method:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a tsp of oil & salt to the water. Throw in the pasta when the water begins to bubble & cook it as per the packet instructions.

Meanwhile when the pasta is cooking, place a deep bottom fry pan to heat up. When hot, add the olive oil. Make sure heat is set to low. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped garlic & the finely chopped red chilli. Sauté the garlic till it begins to change in colour. Squeeze/add in the lemon juice. Mix well. Now throw in the courgette fingers, add some salt to taste & toss them around till they loosen up.

Saute the courgette till it loosens up...

Remember all this time the heat should be set to low.

The pasta should be ready, drain away the water & add the cooked pasta. Mix them up well so that the olive oil coats up the pasta.

LemonChilli Pasta with courgette...

Garnishing:
With the chopped parsley & add some freshly ground mixed Italian herbs if you wish to. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil if the pasta seems dry.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot or cold, anyway you like… 🙂

LemonChilli Pasta with courgette....

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Frankfurters & pasta tossed in a hot creamy capsicum sauce!Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with PeasFried Halloumi Pasta SaladPasta infused in tomato and mozzarella.., etc.


Tagliatelle with Mushrooms in white sauce…

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms in white sauce...

I know it’s funny how, just yesterday I was talking about cutting down on fatty food.. eating salads, snacking healthy.. blah blah… & today there you go.. I completely forgot about it till I prepared this.. !! That’s the life of a foodie I suppose, right?? You may think, gosh what a terrible memory she has.. Sigh.. What can I do..??!! I can’t waste it after I prepare it, can I? Of course not.. ! Moreover High Heel Gourmet another blog I follow had posted a pasta & mushroom picture on their Facebook wall recently, & my craving began..!

 Tagliatelle with Mushrooms in white sauce...

The truth is that I did remember that I was supposed to cut down on fattening food. No, I’m not that old.. 😀 There was a carton of double cream which I had to use up by another 2 days. I have been postponing using this because I did not want to indulge.. till I thought yes, its time for me to use it up since I don’t believe in wasting food. Been a while since I ate mushrooms too. I had something similar when K & I were in Rome.. but that was without the cream & with loads of chilli infused olive oil. I did not have chilli infused olive oil ready with me so had to use the cream instead..

What have you guys got planned over the weekend? other than eating good food.. 🙂 watched “Man of Steel” yet? I liked the movie.. totally action packed..! I’m waiting eagerly for Despicable Me 2 now.. 😉 love animated movies & the minions.. they are cute..

Tip: Those who want to avoid the double cream, use single cream instead. 🙂 every little helps.. doesn’t it??
All you non-vegetarians don’t be disappointed, you can add chicken strips along with half the amount of mushrooms.

If you’re a vegan. you can use olive oil in place of the butter; use  Soya cream/ soya milk mixed with some corn flour for the sauce,

Ingredients: (Serves 4)     Preparation Time: 10 – 15 mins
Tagliatelle Pasta – 250 gms
Chestnut Button mushrooms – 250 gms, washed, drained & diced thick
Dried Basil – 1 tsp
Double Cream – 200 ml
Garlic – 8-10 cloves, finely chopped
Olive oil – 1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Fresh Parsley – finely chopped, 1 tbsp, I used curly parsley, you can use flat parsley as well. Use more parsley if you like the flavour.
Black peppercorns – freshly crushed, use as per your taste
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

Method:
Heat oil, the butter together in a deep bottom pan. Set heat to medium. Once the butter melts & the butter + oil mixture heats up, lower heat, add the chopped garlic & sauté them. Let them sizzle nicely. Don’t let the garlic change colour. When the heavenly garlic smell fills up your nose, add the dried basil; sauté for a minute. Next add diced mushrooms. (If you are adding chicken strips, increase the heat, add chicken first & let them turn white, when they are more than 70% cooked you add mushrooms & turn heat back to low.)

In a large pot, bring enough water to a boil. Add salt & 1/2 tbsp olive oil. When the water bubbles, reduce heat to medium & add the pasta. The pasta should cook & be ready as per your packet instructions. It was ready for me in 7 minutes.

Now, add salt to taste & about 1/4 tsp crushed pepper so that the mushrooms absorb some of the pepper flavour. Let the mushrooms are cook in low heat. Simultaneously

Keep your attention both on the cooking Pasta, stirring it occasionally & make sure you toss the mushroom around as well. When the mushrooms begin to let out water, add the cream to the mushrooms. Adjust the seasoning. The pasta should be ready by now.

Drain the pasta, by now the cream would have heated up, don’t let the cream bubble. Immediately transfer the drained pasta to the mushrooms in the cream. Turn off heat. Mix well.

Garnishing:
Garnish with finely chopped parsley.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot immediately, as the pasta tends to absorb the sauce up. If you wish to, serve with some wine & garlic bread by the side.

 Tagliatelle with Mushrooms in white sauce...

Tip: Always prepare this dish just before your ready to eat.

If you liked this recipe, you may also like –


Fiery Cheesy Tomato Macaroni Bake with Mushrooms & Frankfurters.. made using a homemade sauce…

Fiery Cheesy Tomato Macaroni Bake with Mushrooms & Frankfurters..

K & I love pasta bakes.. we normally buy ready sauces from the grocers & reserve it for those days when I don’t find time to cook.. or K wants to have something warm & cheesy..!It’s been on my mind to try out my own pasta bake sauce from sometime now.. Since I wanted a recipe that does not involve too much of chopping, I ended up preparing this today for lunch..

It turned out to be yummy..& we loved it.. Mission accomplished.. no need to buy ready sauces from the grocers as this sauce is ready in 5 minutes…No preservatives present in ready store bought sauces… When you prepare the sauce at home you can add the flavours you want..& customise it.. what more can you ask for?

I added some diced mushrooms & chopped frankfurters to the sauce before baking it.. You can add the veggies/frozen meat of your choice.. for example add some spinach/sweet corn/ courgette’s/chorizo slices/sausages/bacon bits etc.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)      Preparation Time: 45 mins
Macaroni – 80 gms
Soft Cheese – 3 tbsp
Mushrooms – 2-3 medium-sized, diced
Passata – 4 tbsp
Chilli flakes – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Dried chives – 1 tsp
Frankfurter – 2, cut into small 1/2 inch rounds
Crushed black pepper – as per taste
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Basil – 3-4 medium-sized leaves, final
Cooking oil/Olive oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Method:
Preheat the oven in the baking mode..to 180 degrees if it is fan assisted else to 200 degrees.

Meanwhile when the oven is getting preheated you can start to prepare the sauce..

For the sauce:

Heat oil in a fry pan, add the garlic when the oil is hot. Make sure heat is set to medium & sauté the garlic of a minute.. add the chopped onions & as always.. add some salt to help the onions turn translucent quickly..

Once the onions turn translucent add the dried chives, fry for another minute..Next add passata… mix cook on low heat for a couple of minutes..add salt to taste…add a little extra for the pasta as well..add the soft cheese. Mix well.Turn the heat off.. Add the chilli flakes… mix well…

Sauce & the uncooked macaroni..

Add the macaroni to a bake safe dish.. add the prepared sauce on top of the macaroni. Now add a cup of water..approximately 200 ml to the saucepan/fry pan used & give it a good,slow swirl & add this water to the baking dish. Add the mushrooms & the frankfurters & mix well.

Add 200 ml water to the baking dish & mix..

Tip: If you wish to serve in the same dish you can use individual bake dishes.

Bake this for 20 minutes by placing it in the centre of the oven. Take the dish out & mix well, return the dish to the oven again for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven. Take the dish out & let it stand for a couple of minutes.

Let the baked pasta stand for 2 minutes once out of the oven & then mix well..
Garnishing:
Garnish with basil & add crushed black pepper as per your taste.

Garnish with some crushed black pepper & basil..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with warm garlic bread by the side.. Enjoy.. 😀

Fiery Cheesy Tomato Macaroni Bake with Mushrooms & Frankfurters..

Serves 2 people with a decent appetite.. But if your a poor eater like K & me then 3 can comfortably eat… 😉

If you like this recipe.. check some similar recipes like – Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with PeasWhole wheat spaghetti with BaconPasta infused in tomato and mozzarella..Creamy Egg Pasta etc.

 

 


Frankfurters & pasta tossed in a hot creamy capsicum sauce!

Frankfurters & pasta tossed in a hot creamy capsicum sauce...

I’m so very excited today.. as my very own domain http://www.kelipaan.com is live today. 🙂 I apologise for not being around & posting recipe’s the last few days.. I know it’s just been 2 days.. but I feel so disconnected already.. as mentioned in my last post.. my hands been acting up.. so no cooking..hence no posting… 😦 I keep telling K and myself, that I feel much better, with all the rest..but he does not agree, he says it’s too soon so say so! Any which ways I’m not so happy with the timing of my hand pain though.. it was K’s bday yesterday… & I could not bake him a cake..!!! can u imagine.. ??!!?? I had all the plans made.. a red velvet 2 layered cake with a yummy dark chocolate frosting.. 😦 all gone down the drain..thanks to my hand.. But will definitely make up for it.. though I know it won’t be the same.. 😦

This recipe is again my very own… Since from a couple of days I haven’t been able to cook..the veggie’s and some frankfurters were lying unused.. I did not want the veggies to get wasted… as K was home.. I pulled him into the kitchen & made him prepare this.. I stood besides & asked him to carry out the way in which I wanted to prepare this recipe.

I loved the smokey flavour that the frankfurters added to this dish… the dried red chilli used infused a nice hot flavour… the onions add some sweetness & the vinegar adds some tanginess. It’s got lovely flavours.. you should try it out.. this is for those who like a little their pasta a wee bit on the hot side..

Frankfurters & pasta tossed in a hot creamy capsicum sauce...

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Pasta – 150 gms, any shape of your choice, I used coloured fusilli
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
White vine vinegar – 1 tbsp
Thick cream – 2-3 tbsp
Light soy sauce – 1 tsp
Frankfurters – 2, chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
Tip: the veggie’s can use mushroom or add veg sausages instead…
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

for the sauce:
Dried red chilli – 1, medium spicy variety
Garlic cloves – 2, peeled
Capsicum – 1, large-sized, roughly chopped

Method:
Begin to cook the pasta as per the instructions on your pack. It should be anywhere between 10-12 minutes for most pasta’s. Add salt & a wee bit of oil so that they do not stick to each other.

Meanwhile when the pasta is getting cooked, heat a deep bottom fry pan & heat the oil. Make sure the heat is set to medium. Add the onions when the oil is hot & sprinkle some salt so that the onions fry faster. Simultaneously grind the 3 ingredients mentioned for the sauce in a blender to a smooth paste. Once the onions begin to turn translucent add the white wine vinegar & soy sauce. Mix well. Next add the chopped frankfurters & fry for a minute. In a minutes time add the freshly peppered capsicum sauce & mix well. Fry till the raw flavours fade away.

Once the raw flavours have faded away add the cream & simmer. The pasta should be ready by now. Drain the water away using a colander & keep aside. Check the seasoning in the sauce & adjust. Add the drained pasta. Mix well.

Garnishing: (Optional)
Garnish with additional crushed black pepper/chilli flakes if required.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as is or with some wine & garlic bread by the side..

Frankfurters & pasta tossed in a hot creamy capsicum sauce...


Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with Peas

Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with Peas..

Watercress has a very strong peppery flavour which I’m ok with at times. But then for the days when I really do not want that flavour I use them to make this pasta recipe & mask most of that flavour away using some fresh peas, spring onions & garlic. 😀 Yes, at times I act like a kid who hates his healthy greens. Sadly can’t make faces at myself, so the angel at one side urges me to eat them while the devil says no. Just like the good always wins the bad, I shut up & end up eating watercress this way. I also add some cheese to this pasta & make it sinful enough to please that devil. 😉 You can do without the cheese.

Watercress has a lot of nutritional value, that’s the reason for all this fuss. It contains a good amount of Iron, calcium, Iodine & folic acid.

Watercress..
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Watercress – 100 gms, washed & drained
Spring onions – 3 whole, chopped roughly along with the greens
Garlic clove – 1, chopped
Fresh garden peas – 2 -3 tbsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp or more, freshly ground
Milk – 30 ml
Grated cheese – the one you like, since this is optional
Water – 200 ml
Penne Pasta – about 50 gms, uncooked
Salt to taste
No oil required.

Method:
Blend the watercress, spring onions, 1 tbsp of green peas and garlic in a blender to make a paste.

Transfer the paste into a pot and add water. Bring it to a boil. Add salt to taste. When the war flavours go away, add the milk. Next add the penne pasta. Cook the pasta in this broth. Make sure there is enough water to cook the pasta, but not too much. Keep stirring from time to time so that the pasta doesn’t stick to each other or stick to the bottom of the pot.

Cooking the pasta in watercress...

When the pasta is cooked, add 1-2 tbsp of garden peas. Give it a good mix. Turn off the heat.

Garnishing:
Garnish with freshly ground black pepper. I also add some grated/powdered cheese.

 Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with Peas....

Serving suggestions:
Serve along with some plain bread or garlic bread by the side.

 Watercress flavoured Penne Pasta with Peas..

If you liked this recipe do check out – Pasta Mayo Salad, Creamy Egg Pasta, Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad etc.


Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad

Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad...

I love fried Halloumi. Do you know the kind of people who overeat things they like/love & develop an aversion towards it?? Yes, I belong to that category. So Halloumi was in that category for a while :).

Until I came to the UK I did not know much about different types of cheese… I knew a little from the tv shows I watched on travel n living.. I knew people grew fungi on some to savour certain kinds of cheese.. Frying cheese, not heard of that till K told me about it! Halloumi originated in Cyprus.. You got to try it.. The aroma of frying halloumi is just tantalising!

I had bought a packet over the weekend as it was long. I wanted to try something new this time. I always end up frying the Halloumi pieces & eating them along with a glass of wine or beer. Wanted a salad.. something really colourful & filling. So fixed this salad up. Wanted a simple & light dressing (as I was already eating fried Halloumi, so no Mayo or no heavy salad dressings). Its quick & simple, once you have the ingredients around you.

Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad...

There was a task ahead of me, K has been postponing eating salads every time I ask him if he would eat one. He likes eating salads, I know you would think I make horrible salads, that’s the reason. Hell no. I never got down to asking him why though. I think, it’s time to ask the question…WHY? He likes Halloumi, so knew this would be a perfect way to make him eat a long pending salad.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Pasta – 1 cup, uncooked, any shape of your choice
Plum/Cherry tomatoes – 6-8, each cut into 2
Rocket leaves – a handful
Garlic – 1-2 cloves, finely chopped
Black Kalamata olives – 6, cut into thin rings
Halloumi cheese – 1 inch piece of a 225g packet
Black pepper – freshly crushed, use as per your taste
Red wine vinegar – 1 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive oil – 1 tbsp or more
Basil – 4-5 leaves, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Cook the Pasta as per the instructions. Use the cooking oil while cooking the pasta. Add some salt to the pasta while its cooking. When the pasta is cooking cut the veggies.

Cut the halloumi cheese into thin slices. Then further chop them into small bits or crumble them with your hands. Heat a fry pan. Set the heat to medium. Fry the halloumi bits, till they turn golden brown. Add the garlic just about 30s before you turn the heat off. Mix well. Let the fried cheese cool down.

Fried Halloumi bits..

Meanwhile the pasta would be ready. Drain the hot water away & add cold tap water to cool down the pasta. Drain all the water away.

Cooked & drained pasta..

In a mixing bowl add the cooked pasta, fried halloumi with garlic,red wine vinegar, olive oil, black olives, tomatoes, rocket leaves, freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste. Mix well. Lastly add basil. Mix well & serve.

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl..

Tip: If you wish to, you can add some onions & sweet peppers too. The red wine vinegar & the olives add a bit of tangy flavours to the salad, but if you want to go ahead & squeeze some lemon juice.

Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad...

If you like this recipe, you may also like – Pasta Mayo Salad, Egg & Apple Salad, Pineapple, Sultana Salad with chocolate sprinklesmore salad recipe’s.


Olive & Basil bread


Preparing some herbed bread has been on my mind since a long time. Just did not get down to it. Thought its high time and I should bake some bread today. This recipe is a modified version from a website called my jhola. I just skipped the sun-dried tomatoes from the original recipe and used double the ingredients so that it can serve 3-4 persons.

Olive & Basil bread

The aroma of baking bread gives me such a big high. It is like aroma therapy for me. It fills your home with a nice warm feeling.

This bread has flavours infused by garlic & basil and occasionally you get to bite into bits of black olives.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 1 hr includes baking time
Dried yeast – 2 tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Olive Oil – 3 tsp
Salt – 1/4 of a tsp
All purpose flour – 400 gms
Black Olives – around 8, pitted & sliced/chopped
Basil – 5-6 leaves, chopped roughly
Garlic cloves – 2-3 medium-sized, finely chopped

Chopped olives & garlic with basil by the side
Method:
Take about 3/4 cup of luke warm water in a bowl and dissolve the sugar in it. Now add the dry yeast to it. Leave it aside for about 10 -12 minutes, till the yeast gets activated and the mixture gets frothy and some bubbles form on top. Sugar is used as food for the yeast.

Sieve & add the flour to a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture to it. Add salt & olive oil. You can add a tbsp of butter which is at room temperature if you want to. Knead it to a sooth elastic dough.Cover with a warm towel. Keep the dough aside for about 15 minutes. The dough puffs up as the yeast acts upon the flour. Now add the chopped/sliced olives, basil and garlic.

Mix well. Again cover the dough using the warm towel and keep aside for another 15 minutes so that the dough can rise again.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degree Celsius. Shape the dough as desired . Make some cuts on the top if you want to.

Make cuts on the top

Grease and sprinkle the bottom of a baking tray with some all-purpose flour. Shaped the dough as desired. I shaped it as a big fat bun. :). Place the dough on a baking tray.

Place the tray in the centre of the oven once pre-heated and bake for 30 minutes or till the top gets a lovely golden brown colour.

Garnishing:
Take the bread out of the oven. Brush some olive oil on the top. Let the bread cool down.

Baked bread

Serving Suggestions:
Serve warm with some Pasta of your choice, or eat as is.

Olive & Basil bread

You many want to try some of my Pasta recipes with this bread.


Pasta with Broccoli & Brussel sprouts tossed in sesame & honey

Pasta with Broccoli & Brussel sprouts tossed in sesame & honey

Aaa…. this pasta is really flavourful.The broccoli and the occasional encounter with the toasted sesame seeds adds a nice crunchy feel to this pasta.

Pasta with Broccoli & Brussel sprouts tossed in sesame & honey

I added a little extra red chilli flakes as the spice from the chilli flakes is cut out by the honey. The brussel sprouts also absorbs all the flavours from the ingredients added hence tastes real good. Also there is that glass of wine to wash down the spice ;).

Pasta with Broccoli & Brussel sprouts tossed in sesame & honey
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Pasta – 100 gms, any type you wish to eat, I used wheat Penne
Light cream – 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves – 1 large, finely chopped
Black peppercorns – as per your taste
Onion – 1 medium-sized, diced finely
Broccoli florets – a handful,
Brussel sprouts – a handful, outer layer removed & diced
Red chilli flakes – as per your taste
Honey – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Chives – 2-3 sprigs finely chopped if you’re using fresh chives, I used dried chives, so added about a tsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
In a big pot, boil about a litre of water. Add enough salt and half a tsp of oil to it. Add the pasta and cook the pasta as per the instructions. Instructions may vary from brand to brand. I took 10-12 minutes to cook my pasta. While this is in progress you can start with preparing the sauce. Remember to stir the pasta every few minutes.

Heat oil in a deep fry pan set to medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and sauté them till they turn light brown.  (Tip:  If you want to you can toast the sesame seeds without the oil and take them off and keep them aside and add in the end as garnishing. )Add garlic & Sauté, don’t let them get brown, Add onions and sauté. Add some salt to fasten the onion frying process. Once the onions turn translucent add the brussel sprouts and fry them. Once they start wilting add the chilli flakes, mix well. Next add the honey. Remember to stir the pasta every few minutes. Now add the broccoli, mix it well and let it cook just right, nice and crunchy. Takes about a minute or two. Check salt and adjust. (Tip: If you want them cooked more add it earlier with the brussel sprouts. I like it crunchy hence added it in the end.) The pasta should be ready by now. Add the cream to this mix well.

Once the pasta is cooked immediately take the pot off the heat and move the pot under running cold water and let the pasta cool.. then drain the pasta. This is to prevent the pasta from cooking further and becoming gooey.

Add the cooked pasta and stir in. Turn off the heat, when the pasta gets warm enough.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some freshly crushed black peppercorns and some chives.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with some wine by the side.
Tip: I had it with some powdered cheese sprinkled on top. 🙂 for the people concerned about calories you can skip this. 🙂

Pasta with Broccoli & Brussel sprouts tossed in sesame & honey

If you liked this recipe, You may also like other pasta recipes like – Sour Creamed Pasta with Broccoli & Red Pepper, Creamy Egg Pasta ..