Tag: pasta

creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Creamy garlic, Parmesan chicken

Difficulty:Easy

Time:30 minutes

Serves:4

Ingredients
6 chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
An onion
200g bacon chopped, or bacon lardons
400g mushrooms
1 cup cream OR milk (or half and half)
½ cup (120ml) chicken stock
½ cup Parmesan, grated
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Fresh shaved or grated parmesan, to garnish

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Bacon mac and cheese

 

Homemade chicken nuggets

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More family dinners

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut making the same dinners again and again so I’ve been trying to mix things up a little bit lately. Anyone with young children will know that this is a risky business so I tend to stick to safe ingredients like chicken and pasta. I found this recipe for creamy garlic parmesan chicken from Cafe Delights on Pinterest (my go to place for inspiration) and it was truly delicious. It’s always a bonus when you find something as tasty as this that the kids will eat too!

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C / 180F / 400F
Cook the chicken

Heat a tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides ( a few minutes on each side).

Transfer the chicken to an oven proof dish and pop into the oven to roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes (or while you make the sauce).

Prepare the ingredients for the sauce

Prepare the garlic, dice the onion and chop the mushrooms.

Make the sauce

Fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until they are soft and fragrant, stirring frequently. This should take a minute or so.
Add the bacon and fry until it is starting to go crisp.

Add the mushrooms and cook them for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

Pour in the cream (or milk – I used half a cup of each), the chicken stock, and parmesan. Simmer in the pan until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the chicken

Remove the chicken from the oven and add it back into the sauce. Cook for a another few minutes. Garnish with parsley and or grated parmesan (optional).

creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Serve with rice or pasta or vegetables.

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sausage pasta

Sausage pasta

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

6 good quality sausages
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 pepper
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Italian or mixed herbs
Parmesan (or any cheese) for serving

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Bacon mac & cheese

Cannelloni

Slow cooker beef ragu

I started making this because Lewis loved sausages and Hannah loved pasta so combining them meant everyone would eat dinner (in theory!) In reality it’s worked and is now a regular dish on our dinner menu. We normally throw in peppers for a bit of colour but you can add any other vegetables you have lying around like broccoli or spinach.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C

Lay the sausages on a grill tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Make the sauce

While the sausages are cooking, dice the onion and chop the pepper in to small chunks. Peel and crush the garlic.

Fry the onion in a little oil in a large pan. Leave it for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the pepper, tin of tomatoes and herbs. Stir everything together. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes or until the sausages are ready.

Add the sausages and pasta

Remove the sausages from the oven and cut into small bite sized pieces. Add to the sauce.

Add the pasta to the sauce, stir so the pasta is coated.

Serve with a little grated cheese sprinkled on top.

sausage pasta

 

 

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slow cooker beef ragu

Slow cooker beef ragu

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes plus 4 hours+ cooking

Serves: 8

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
2 carrots, sliced
1 pepper, chopped
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 splash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Italian herbs
1 tbsp oregano
100ml red wine (or water)

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Sausage pasta

Bacon mac & cheese

Cannelloni

We use our slow cooker a lot, especially in the winter. Beef ragu is one of our favourites because it’s so simple and can make a quick mid week meal served with pasta, or be turned into something a bit more special like lasagne, or cannelloni. Using the slow cooker is convenient, but also makes the sauce really rich and flavoursome. If you don’t have a slow cooker simply follow the steps below but cook everything together in one pan for 30 minutes+. This recipe normally leaves us with leftovers which we freeze for dinner another day.

Method

Heat some oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.


Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or so until it has browned.

Transfer to the slow cooker and stir in the carrots, peppers and tinned tomatoes.


Add the stock cube, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and herbs and 100ml of water (or red wine) and mix everything together one last time.

Cover with the lid and cook on low for 4+ hours.

slow cooker beef ragu
Serve with pasta or use the ragu to make a lasagne or cannelloni.

 

 

 

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bacon mac n cheese

Bacon mac & cheese

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the bacon sauce
1 medium onion
6+ rashers of bacon
2 tomatoes
1/2 tbsp BBQ seasoning
400g pasta

For the cheese sauce
40g (2 tbsp) butter
40g (2 tbsp) plain flour
500ml (2 cups) Milk
1 tsp Mustard powder
150g Cheese (grated)

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Sausage pasta

Cannelloni

Slow cooker beef ragu

This is our favourite family dinner which i’ll always make if I fancy a no-fuss, quick meal. I used to have macaroni cheese as I child and this is based on that but this bacon mac & cheese adds some bacon and other flavours to make it more interesting and substantial.

Method

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Prepare the bacon sauce

Chop the bacon, onion and tomatoes.

Fry the onions in a little oil until for a few minutes until they have softened. Add the bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and BBQ seasoning and continue cooking on a low heat, stirring occasionally.


Make the cheese sauce

Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the flour and stir into the butter until it is well combined. Cook for a minute.

Add the milk a little at a time stirring continuously as it thickens. I normally start with a tiny bit at first and only add the next bit when that’s fully combined as I find it stops it going lumpy.
Add the mustard powder if you have any as it will bring out the flavour of the cheese more.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Combine everything together in one pot, stir, serve your bacon mac & cheese and enjoy!

bacon mac & cheese

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cannelloni

Beef cannelloni


Difficulty:
Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 40 minutes cooking

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
350g beef mince
1 carrots, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 splash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Italian herbs
1 tbsp oregano
100ml red wine (or water)

For the cheese sauce
40g (2 tbsp) butter
40g (2 tbsp) plain flour
500ml (2 cups) Milk
1 tsp Mustard powder
100g Cheese (grated) plus extra for the top

1 x 400g jar passata
400g dried cannelloni tubes

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Sausage pasta

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Slow cooker beef ragu

This is easier than you think to make and a firm favourite in our family.

Method

Make the mince

Heat some oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.

Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or so until it has browned.

Stir in the carrots, peppers and tinned tomatoes. Add the stock cube, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and herbs and 100ml of water (or red wine) and mix everything together one last time. Simmer for 20 minutes while you make the cheese sauce.

Make the cheese sauce
Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the flour and stir into the butter until it is well combined. Cook for a minute.

Add the milk a little at a time stirring continuously as it thickens. I normally start with a tiny bit at first and only add the next bit when that’s fully combined as I find it stops it going lumpy.

Add the mustard powder if you have any as it will bring out the flavour of the cheese more.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Make the cannelloni

Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan /Gas 6 / 395F.

Pour the passata over the base of a large oven proof dish.

Spoon the beef sauce into each cannelloni tube using a teaspoon and lay on top of the passata.

 

Pour over the cheese sauce, and then grate a little cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven for for 40-45 minutes. It’s ready when the pasta is tender and topping is golden.

 

You can freeze the uncooked cannelloni wrapped well in clingfilm. Defrost thoroughly then cook for 50-55 minutes.

 

 

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carbonara cake

Carbonara cake

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes plus 35 minutes baking

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients
300g spaghetti, cooked
100g hard cheese, finely grated (eg parmesan, guyere, cheddar)
3 large eggs
250ml double cream
250g leftover ham (or we used bacon lardons)

 

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It’s not always so easy to get young children involved with making dinner for obvious reasons (knives, ovens, the cooker) but this dish is an exception. I based it on a dish from Jamie Oliver and so simple to make. It’s quick enough to be a mid week meal but a bit more special than plain pasta carbonara. You can cook the pasta and ham/bacon in advance to make it even quicker/easier. It was a first for us but we’ll certainly be making it again!

Method

Before you start, if you don’t have left over pasta and ham, cooked the pasta and ham or bacon and add to a bowl. Allow to cool down. I did this part in advance as there wasn’t much the kids could help with.

 

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a cake tin.

Get your children to help grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with oil (you can pour a little oil in and get them to brush it over all the sides.) Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over the bottom and shake it up the sides a little.

  

Add everything to your bowl

Get your kids to help you add the cream and cheese to the bowl of pasta. Break the eggs into a separate bowl first to give them a quick whisk before adding to the pasta. I normally get Hannah to break the eggs and Lewis mix them so they both get a turn at doing something.

Give it a good mix so all the pasta is coated.

  

Bake the carbonara cake

Add the pasta to your prepared cake tin and pat down with the back of a spoon.

 

Pop it on a baking tray into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. It’s ready when it looks golden brown and has cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out of the tin.

 carbonara cake

Serve with a lovely fresh green salad and enjoy!

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