Tag Archive: Food



Strains of Marvin Gaye stream in the background.

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough, baby

One of those days when I felt like the Energizer bunny. It was a dear friends birthday and I had decided to fix her a treat. In preperation I had my ingredients list ready (One of those rare times I must admit.It usually is a two pitstop strategy to the supermarket to pick up an ingredient, that I had tucked away in a corner of my mind and forgotten conviniently the first time), The stand mixer was in the boot of the car and I rocked into work fairly early. I played out the steps for the recipe in my mind a couple of times and it was down to crunching some numbers at work. After I knocked off work, I whizzed down to the supermarket and after some snappy shopping, I was on my way to A & R’s place. After the surprise knock on the door and customary wishes, I set shop and got down to work. After a good two hours of toiling, out came the golden baby – a hint of cinnamon in the air, a crusty top and a soft moist center – Apple and Berry crumble cake!

Apple Berry Crumble Cake.

You're old enough now, no more pacifier.

Bubba time!

It tasted just as nice as it looked. Served as a perfect treat for A on her birthday and seemingly so Ria liked my dessert over R’s gift- A money plant ūüôā

Ingredients ( serves 8 )

Apple and Berry Layer
3 medium Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
75g fresh or frozen blueberries, 75 g fresh or frozen raspberries

Crumble Topping
100g plain flour
80g cold butter, chopped (salted butter)
80g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g cold butter (salted butter)
180g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
100g plain flour

Method

  • Peel apples. Cut apples into quarters and remove the cores. Slice each quarter lengthways into four or five pieces.
  • ¬†Place apple in a medium saucepan. Add water and 1 tablespoon sugar to the saucepan.
  • ¬†Cover saucepan with a lid. Place saucepan over high heat, and when the water boils, reduce heat so that the mixture simmers.
  • Cook apple for about 12-15 minutes, until tender (the point of a knife should pierce the apple easily).
  • Transfer apple mixture to a heatproof bowl and place in the fridge or freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
  • When assembling the slice, the apple needs to be cold or at room temperature. It will probably take about 40 minutes for the apple to cool in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced).
  • Move oven rack to the middle shelf position (not necessary for a fan-forced oven).
  • Grease an 18cm by 27.5cm (top inside measurement) slice pan that is at least 3cm deep.
  • Line with baking paper, extending the paper about 2cm above the sides of the pan. The excess paper can be used as handles to lift the slice out of the pan.
  • To make the crumble topping, place crumble ingredients in a stand mixer and process on medium speed until the ingredients are combined and the mixture starts to form clumps (about 20-40 seconds).
  • Tip crumble mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate while preparing the cake batter.
  • In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, eggs and vanilla.
  • Place butter, caster sugar and flours in the stand mixer and process on medium speed until no large pieces of butter remain (about 30 seconds). The mixture should look similar to almond meal.
  • Add sour cream mixture to the food processor and process on medium speed until combined into a thick batter (about 10 seconds).
  • Scrape down the side and base of the processor and process again for about 10 seconds.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread batter evenly over the base of the pan.
  • Place the cooled, cooked apple over the batter.
  • Sprinkle the berries over the apple.
  • Sprinkle crumble topping over the fruit.

Bake cake for about 50-55 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out without any batter attached. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the centre and the crumble should be lightly browned.

Serve cake warm or at room temperature, on its own or with cream and/or ice cream.

Here’s another time when I made the Apple Berry Crumble in ramekins.

Apple Berry Crumble.

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Tantalising Tiramisu Cake


Ever since I started baking, and going out on the WWW in search of interesting recipes, I have more often than not settled on recipes out of blogs written by women. I wonder why? Perhaps, it is that extra bit of attention to detail, the pretty photographs, the detailed recipes and the steps involved that put them apart. Mine on the other hand, as you would have noticed, is a quick and nasty approach of documenting my experiments with the oven. On that note this post is dedicated to the women in my life that have have touched upon various facets at various points in my life.

Firstly Happy Birthday Mum, I am who I am, in big parts thanks to you. Your volumes of meticulously hand written recipes are an inspiration.

To my primary school chum – Sonya, who melts at the mention of the word Tiramisu, you have been the best find in years. After being classmates for the first four years of schooling life, Sonya left never to be seen or heard from again. Let me add at this point she was one of the model students (in all senses). Over the years, after Sonya left, I always wondered where would she be and what would have happened to her.
That answer came to me thanks to our friend Facebook. Imagine bumping into a grown up gorgeous doctor some 20 years later. I must say, neither was I surprised she had turned out to be gorgeous or the small matter that she was now a Doctor. I as much expected it. But what got me excited
was that I had found my long lost friend! Doc, thank you for re-connecting and thank you for just being there.

To the lady whose posts I read religiously, enviously every time and secretly aspire to emulate her presentation of food she dishes up in her kitchen – Shumaila, I doff my hat to you. I wish, I had half as much zest as you do, when it comes to baking/cooking. Also thanks for the kick in the back to spur me on with my posts.

To the woman I have never met, but continues to amaze me – The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond, thank you for inspiring me to enjoy the little joys of life.

Now onto the business end of things, the recipe for a Triamisu cake. I made this on the ocassion of a friends birthday recently and was quite
impressed myself.

Ingredients (serves 10)

For the cake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks(10 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the Espresso Extract

  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

For the Espresso Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto, kahlua or brandy (I used 3 tablespoons of kahlua)

For the filling and frosting

  • 250 gms¬† mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ameretto, kahlua or brandy (I used 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 60 gms¬† bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store bought mini chocolate chips (or more, to cover the layer completely)
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Method

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pan with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on baking sheet.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.
  • Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, and then the yolk, beating for one minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients).
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 28 to 30 minutes,rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean.
  • Transfer the cakes to a rack and cook for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

To make the extract:

  • Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.

To make the syrup:

  • Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy. Set aside.

To make the filling and frosting:

  • Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds form peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch. Add the remaining 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of espresso extract into the mascarpone cream. Taste to decided how much extract you want to add.

To assemble the cake:

  • If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them.
  • Place one layer right side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper.
  • Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup.
  • Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer- use about 1 1/4 cups- and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling.
  • Put the second cake later on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.

Use the remaining cream to frost the top of the cake. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread on the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.

With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. Decorate with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or up to one day) before serving, so that the elements have enough time to meld.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.


For someone who loves to bake, I seldom can go beyond two spoonfuls when it is plated up. It is easier to get away with it when it is your own creation, but I have had to endure being on sticky wickets when friends serve up a plateful and I have that sheepish look on my face. All that goes out the window for one dessert – Molten chocolate lava cake. I’d be more than happy to dig into this one with both my hands!

 This goes back some time. My first tryst with this decadent desert was at an Italian restaurant named Meli Melo in St Kilda. I fell hopelessly in love with it. The restaurant shut shop a year later, and although I hunted for a like for like all around the city, no one even came close.

¬†When I started baking, I looked all over the net for a good recipe. Either, I just wasn’t doing it right or the recipes just didn’t cut it. After some 4 vain attempts, I stumbled upon this recipe on an innocuous looking website. Nothing fancy, just a simple recipe. After tinkering around with the recipe for a couple of times, I hit the jackpot one late night at a friend’s place.

¬†There are two reasons I love going over to R & A’s place. R is an accomplished pastry chef by trade and I find it reassuring to have him by my side to hand me tips and tricks that a recipe off the net doesn’t. I must mention, that for somebody that makes a living out of baking, I have rarely seen R in action in the kitchen. The credit perhaps should go to A, for playing the super-mum, Which brings me to the more important reason – Ria. R & A’s two and a bit year old bundle of joy. I could spend hours together with her and not know of the time. Here’s a snap of the happy family.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

R, A and Ria.

 

After a hard grind at putting together a Gingerbread house (I’ll save this for another time), I set about baking this evil delight at 11 PM. When it came out of the oven and onto the plates, I just couldn’t help but swoon. There were a few happy tummies and the sugar rush kept us awake into wee hours of the morning.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 200g Semi-Sweet Baking chocolate
  • 170g Butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Liberally butter four individual ramekins.
  • Melt chocolate on very low flame in a double boiler.
  • Add diced butter; stir until melted.
  • In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until it starts to whiten.
  • Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour (Ensure the molten chocolate isn’t as hot as to cook the eggs).
  • Pour into ramekins.
  • Bake for 10 -12 minutes (Take the ramekins out when the top starts to form a skin but still wobbly when you give the ramekins a shake).
  • Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or some whipped cream.

Here’s a snap from another time of a happy customer!

Ojo gives a thumbs up for User Acceptance Testing.

Moroccan Delights.


¬†After repeatedly fending off¬† verbal barbs from a group of friends, that I upload pictures of food that I cook, onto my Facebook page, but never bother to invite them over to try some of it, I set about planning a weekend brunch. Now here’s a thing about me, close friends will tell you that if something catches my fancy, I’ll try my best to replicate it. Now was a good time for a good recipe to catch my eye. After a good hour of browsing for recipes, nothing really whet my appetite. Here’s another thing albeit a tad quirky about me. At times I give my thoughts a free rein, and go gamboling from one bubble to another, each connected to the previous by nothing more than a fine thread.

¬†I sat back, switched off and let my mind wander. It was drizzling out the window as I sat on my bed musing. It was the same sort of drizzle that blighted my first few months in Melbourne (About six years ago now. wow! time flies). Back then, being homesick, any sight of warm food with spices would get the stomach rumbling. One of the first few restaurants I went to in Melbourne was a Moroccan restaurant. Bingo! my eyes lit up. I knew what to look for now ūüôā

¬†A few educated searches later, I finally had a rough idea of what I’d make for the weekend – Moroccan Pumpkin Soup and¬† Moroccan Stuffed Capsicum.

 I must throw in a note on my coterie of friends, here. Most of my road trips, travels around Australia has been in the company of these usual suspects РD, M, N. N the only non-vegetarian in the group has to bear being the minority for a change, loves his wine and is the philosopher. M who loves good music, also doubles up as an entertainment unit. If you want to master the hip and leg movements of Elvis, get M on high ground and get him to look below. D who also serves me admirably well as a lab rat for my baking experiments, has the most pronounced sweet tooth that I know of.

Here’s us walking the skies in Sydney on one of our trips.

View of the Coat hanger from Sydney Tower.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Atop Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup.
Ingredients (serves 6) 
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded (see note), cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/3 cup (70g) yellow split peas
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Coriander sprigs and soup sprinkles, to serve
Method
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat and cook leek, garlic and 2 tsp salt, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until soft.
  • Add chilli, cinnamon, ginger and cumin and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add carrots, pumpkin and split peas. Stir to coat in onion mixture.
  • Add 1.5 litres water to saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 50 minutes or until split peas are soft.
  • Remove and discard cinnamon stick from soup.
  • Add lemon juice then process or blend soup, in small batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Return soup to pan and reheat over medium heat.
  • Serve topped with coriander sprigs and soup sprinkles.
Notes
Reserve 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for soup sprinkles. Mix 1/2 Tbsp butter and pumpkin seeds and bake in the oven till golden brown.
 

Morrocan Stuffed Capsicum

 

Moroccan Stuffed Capsicum.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Capsicum stuffing
  • ¬†2 large red capsicums
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 vegetarian stock cube (alternatively use 1 cup stock)
  • 1/2 cup sultanas or chopped dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 250g cubed or crumbled feta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Moroccan spice blend (below)
Moroccan spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg celsius
  • Mix the spices for the Moroccan spice blend and set aside.
  • Break up the cube into a measuring jug. Add boiling water and stir briefly till dissolved.
  • Add couscous and sultanas and cover jug. Set aside.
  • Wash, halve and clean the capsicums for stuffing, removing the stem and seeds.
  • Transfer couscous to a mixing bowl. Add walnuts, feta, garlic and parsley. Mix well.
  • Add Moroccan spice blend and mix to combine.
  • Fill capsicum halves with the couscous mixture.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and place the capsicums on an oiled tray.
  • Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until top is brown and crunchy.
 

It was a momentous occasion. My favourite bub and a friends¬†daughter Ria¬†was turning one today! I had been told the theme colours for the party would be Pink and White. A week of recipe hunting on the net and the colour theme in mind, I narrowed down to what I’d be whipping up for my cutie pie.

Ria turns one.

  • A Schwarzwalder¬†Kirschtorte¬†– the famous Black forest cherry cake for the centre piece.
  • Strawberry Panna cotta (thinking pink!).
  • Vanilla cupcakes with crushed raspberry and cream.

The toppings for the cupcakes caught my fancy, as they were not your run of the mill icing sugar frosting. Raspberry and cream – a mix of sweet and tangy, when put together, wait for it…….. Pink! ūüôā

Vanilla cupcakes with crushed raspberries and cream

 

Recipe for Vanilla cupcakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. 

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

 

Recipe for crushed raspberry cream:

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams raspberries
  • 1 cup thick (double) cream
  • 1 tbsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

To make the crushed raspberry cream, place the raspberries in a bowl and crush lightly with a fork.

Add the cream and icing sugar and fold to combine.

To serve, use a teaspoon to scoop out a spoonful of the mixture and top each cake.

PS: The above recipes are not my own creations. They have been sourced from various websites. All I can stake a claim for is that they work!

English Breakkie


I basically sell stories. So each of my tried and tested recipes come with one, whether you like it or not :).
This weekend I was in mood for some solid therapy which meant spending some ‘me time’ in the kitchen. I made up my mind to fix friends a big English breakfast. Recently I was back home in Bangalore. I had decided that I would fix my family a proper Sunday morning breakkie. With all the ‘live like there’s no tomorrow’ feel of being back home, I regret I had to put the plan on the back-burner. So here’s trying to make up for it. After a night of heavy duty bollywood flicks from 90’s marathon on DVD with friends, I had to rise and shine early!
On the cards for a weekend brunch –

Grilled Tomatoes
Grilled garlic Mushrooms
Wilted Spinach
Garlic Bread
Hash Browns
Poached Eggs

My first English breakkie

My first English breakkie

Ingredients (serves 4)

A french stick
8 Eggs
2 Tomatoes
8-12 Mushrooms (bigger the better)
2 big bunches of baby Spinach
4 cloves of Garlic
dried Oregano leaves (finely chopped)
Butter
Olive oil
Salt
fresh cracked Pepper

 

Grilled Garlic Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Hash browns-

  • Let the oven pre-heat for 5 mins at 250 degrees.
  • Wash Tomatoes and slice into half horizontally.
  • Wash Mushrooms thoroughly, de-stem.
  • In a small bowl add about 6 tbsp Olive oil.
  • Add 2 tbsp oregano leaves to the bowl and mix thoroughly using a pastry brush.
  • Lather the cut tomatoes and pop onto a grilling plate.
  • de-skin two garlic cloves and mince using a garlic press or a food processor.
  • Add to the bowl into remaining olive oil – oregano mixture. mix thoroughly.
  • Generously lather the mushrooms on both sides and pop onto the grilling plate.
  • Pop the grilling plate into the now hot oven.
  • In a baking pan or just an aluminium foil lay out 4-6 frozen Hash browns and pop into oven.

Garlic Bread-

  • Moving onto the bread, slice the french stick at an angle to give long pieces of bread about 1 inch thick.
  • In a bowl add about 6 tbsp of butter. pop into the oven for 30 seconds.
  • To the softened butter add 2 tbsp Oregano leaves.
  • Mince 2 de-skinned cloves and add to the butter-oregano mix.
  • Mix thoroughly and using a butter knife butter the bread pieces evenly.
  • Pop onto grill or onto an aluminium foil and into the oven.
  • Remove the Mushrooms and Tomatoes after about 8-10 minutes of putting into oven or until they start beginning to char.

Wilted Spinach-

  • In a skillet, add two glasses of water and add baby spinach.
  • On medium heat use tongs to toss the baby spinach around till it wilts, which is about 6-8 mins.
  • Drain out the water and move the wilted spinach into a bowl.

Poached Eggs-

  • I use the poaching pods to do my eggs.
  • For the purists, boil about 6 glasses of water in a wide pan.
  • When the water comes to a boil, lower the flame and add 3-4 tbsp white vinegar.
  • The white vinegar serves the purpose of holding the egg white together.
  • Using the wrong end of the spoon, stir a small whirlpool.
  • Break an egg open into this whirlpool gently. the whirlpool action helps keep the egg together.
  • Leave for 2 mins for a soft yolk or 3 mins for a harder yolk.
  • Transfer out the poached eggs onto a serviette to soak out water using flat spoons.

We are good to go now!!

On each plate organise two grilled Mushrooms, a grilled tomato, two hash browns, some wilted spinach, two slices of bread and two poached eggs. Generously sprinkle cracked pepper all over (some prefer it only on their eggs). Sprinkle some rock salt to taste.
Voila, you now have your perfect veggie English breakkie. Add a couple of grilled sausages and the meat lovers are taken care of too! Thanks are in order to my Sous-Chef Devang for giving me a hand around the kitchen and yes, for making the perfect coffee to wash down the food with.

Spaghetti with Pesto


Having anointed myself the Chef de Cuisine of the house and drumming out a ‘license to thrill’ from the housemates, I look forward to cooking on Thursdays, the day ear marked for a dish that is out of the norm. I find cooking therapeutic and the whole idea of cooking to feed the ‘family’ gives me enormous satisfaction. The compliments that follow, more than make up for the sweat and toil behind the stove! No new experiment goes without a silent ‘Thank you mum’, for all those hours in the kitchen after a hard day’s work.

Today I was in the mood for a bit of an Italiano. The key was- keep it simple yet tasty. As I flipped through a cookbook, I settled on my favourite Pesto with some good old Spaghetti. You may choose to substitue the Spaghetti with either Penne, Spirali or Gnocchi Pasta.

Onto the drawing board!  

500g Spaghetti
1/2 cup Olive oil
50g Pine nuts
2 cloves of Garlic
1 bunch of Basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  • Cook Spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water on a medium flame for 6-8 minutes until al dente.
  • In the meantime, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a small wok/frying pan¬† over medium flame.
  • Add 50g Pine nuts and cook for about three minutes till golden brown.
  • Transfer into a mixer/food processor with two shelled Garlic cloves, a pinch of sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • Process until finely chopped.
  • Add leaves from a bunch of Basil with 1/2 cup Olive oil.
  • Process to form a course paste.
  • Transfer into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
  • Drain Pasta and return to wok/pan.
  • Add Pesto and toss until pasta is coated.
  • Serve hot with cheese shavings as a topping.

Buon appetito!