Bucatini Pasta alla Amatriciana with ZucchiniClick for Reviews

 

Sugo all’ Amatriciana, or amatriciana sauce, is traditionally made with guanciale (cured pork cheek), tomato and Pecorino cheese, and is one the most well-known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine.

Using small, fresh zucchinis straight from the garden, and sun ripened vine tomatoes, this is such a great dish for summer when it is too hot to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, as it can be made in under 15 minutes!

IMG_9074 bucatini with zucchini

Ingredients

  • 500g box Bucatini size n.9 pasta
  • 3 vine ripened fresh tomatoes (or 400g canned)
  • 150g guanciale (or speck or bacon)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red fresh long chilli (optional)
  • 4 small zucchini (or about 350g total)
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g pecorino cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper, salt
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

 

Method

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. Cut zucchini into very thin rounds or cut into small dice.
  3. Finely chop onion and chilli.
  4. Cut guanciale into ½ cm cubes.
  5. Cut tomatoes into small cubes.
  6. Once water is boiling add pasta and cook for 8 mins, or until ‘al dente’.
  7. While pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large pan and fry the guanciale until the fat renders out a little and starts to become crisp, then add onion and chilli and fry for 2-3 mins.
  8. Add the zucchini and sauté for 2-3 mins.
  9. Add tomatoes and sauté on gentle heat until just warmed through.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add the pasta into the ‘sauce’, along with ½ – 1 cup of the pasta water, and gently mix and sauté for 1-2 minute until everything is nicely combined.
  12. Serve immediately and garnish with grated pecorino, chopped parsley, and an extra glug of olive oil if desired.

Tips

  • This really can be made in under 15 minutes if you do all your chopping while the water comes to the boil, and then sautéing your sauce while it takes the 8 minutes for your pasta to cook!
  • You can of course swap the bucatini for any pasta you have on hand.
  • Try swapping the zucchini for other vegies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, French beans and baby peas, asparagus, or very young aubergine etc.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta in the salted water as it will continue cooking in the sauce at the end for a minute or so, which will help it absorb the flavours of your sauce.

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KFC Style Aussie Bean SaladClick for Reviews

 

Tell me… Who remembers the bean salad that Kentucky Fried Chicken used to make?!

I used to love how the beans squeaked against my teeth. High in acidity, nice and sweet with heaps of black pepper. I’m sure all the acidity in it helped cut through the fat in the chicken and its method of cooking.

IMG_8944 kfc bean salad pic

It was removed from their menu years ago, and unfortunately KFC just hasn’t been the same for me.

If you are looking for a super tasty, super easy, typically Aussie salad to serve along with your bbq this weekend, here is a recipe for a bean salad that is as close to the original as I can remember, and I can almost guarantee you might already have all the ingredients needed in your pantry!!!

Enjoy.

 

KFC Style Traditional Aussie BBQ Bean Salad

 

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cans of 5 bean mix (or 4 bean mix or 3 bean mix!)
  • 250g frozen cut green beans
  • 1 red Spanish onion finely chopped
  • One 330ml bottle of ‘Praise’ brand 100% fat free Italian dressing (or see tips below)
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Method

  1. Open cans of beans and tip them into a colander and rinse well with running water.
  2. Drain well and add to remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir well, cover, and allow to marinate for a few hours if possible before serving.

Tips

  • This salad actually tastes better after about 3 days and lasts up to two weeks covered in the fridge!!
  • The addition of a finely chopped green or red capsicum is nice too.
  • If you would prefer not to use a bottle of ready-made dressing, simply make you own dressing using the following as a guide…

Homemade Dressing

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried mixed herbs
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder (or ½ clove crushed garlic)
  • ¼ tsp. paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Bring water and sugar to a boil to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool. Add remaining ingredients and continue above recipe, omitting the bottle of dressing and extra sugar.

 

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Watermelon, Feta and Mint SaladClick for Reviews

 

Forget those sports drinks!

Keep yourself hydrated this summer with this wonderfully refreshing salad containing protein for energy, and its naturally high fluid levels, vitamins, and electrolytes.

IMG_7930 rubik's cube

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes, well chilled
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • ½ Spanish red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or normal balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Mix the chopped mint, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper together then simply pour over remaining ingredients and serve.

Tips and variations:

  • For a bit of spice you could add a pinch of chilli powder or, a few drops of tobacco sauce.
  • You might also like to add two large handfuls of watercress or baby spinach or rocket etc. to the salad immediately before serving.
  • Add to, or replace the mint with coriander or basil.
  • For some fun plating presentation, try cutting the watermelon, feta, cucumber, and onion into the same size cubes, and make a rubik’s cube out of them, add a sprig of mint on the top, and serving the olives beside it with a little of the dressing in individual bowls.

 

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