I love all things Italian, especially food. Crusty breads, warm pizzas and creamy pastas are just a few of many things that I dream about. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with a traditional carbonara, I love this lighter varient that was born when I combined two of my faves (alfredo and carbonara) with some fresh herbs. I think some of the best recipes can be born out of need. In this instance I simply didn’t have enough cream left over for a alfredo sauce and since then I’ve purposefully recreated this recipe a few times as we love the intense flavours and lighter sauce. If the raw egg in a traditional carbonara worries you, then read on to see how I make myself feel better about it.
I really favour simple meals that are bursting with flavour, especially when I am the one preparing it! A traditional Italian bolognese sauce served with pasta is one of my husband’s favourite meals and it is super simple and quick to prepare. I personally prefer penne pasta, but spagetthi is traditional. This is also the same meat sauce I use for my lasagne.
- 1 tbs sunflower oil
- 4 Shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 500 g Extra Lean Beef Mince
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can chopped tomatoes with Italian Herbs
- 2 tbs chutney
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- water or 1 glass red wine
- fresh basil leaves, to taste and extra for serving
- 300-400 g dried Penne Pasta
- Parmesan for serving
- In a non-stick saucepan, stir-fry the thinly sliced shallots, minced garlic, celery and carrot before adding the minced beef.
- Once the mince has browned add the canned tomatoes, chutney, worchestershire sauce and tomato paste.
- Gently stir and let it simmer before adding a few basil leaves. You might find the need to add a lit bit of water if your sauce becomes to thick. If you have an already open bottle of red wine, it is worth adding a glass to your sauce. This isn’t necessary, but is a nice addition when possible.
- Leave the saucee simmering while starting with the pasta.
- Bring a litre water to the boil in a pot before adding a little bit of cooking oil and the pasta. Cook until al dente, usually around 7 minutes.
- Serve the pasta, topped with the spaghetti sauce, fresh basil and grated parmesan.
If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll have noticed that I reserve a special place in my heart (in my stomach) for Italian cuisine. Naturally Biscotti, something between a rusk and a biscuit, is one of my favourite treats. This is the ultimate indulgent snack for winter. It is sweet, filling and ideal for dipping into coffee. The best part is how easy it is to make as you literally just throw it all together and mix before baking.
- 100 g almonds, diced
- 100 g milk chocolate chips or diced milk chocolate slab
- 430 g flour
- 15 ml baking powder
- 300 g castor sugar
- 5 ml cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 45 ml butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 160C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients and add the almonds and chocolate.
- Beat the eggs and butter in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until it forms a big piece of dough
- Divide into two pieces and press and roll it out into two long ‘french loaf’-type shapes.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool completely.
- Slice thin slices of biscotti (approximately 5 mm) with a sharp knife.
- Spread out on baking tray and bake for a further 20 minutes or until crispy at 60C.
- Let it cool and serve with coffee.