Pasta al peperoni

If you’re looking for a delicious meat-free lunch or supper idea, then this #FridayRecipe could be just the ticket. Roasted peppers in a tomato sauce, piquant with a little sherry vinegar and lifted by the freshness of chopped parsley, served with your favourite pasta – even my super-carnivorous partner thought this was brilliant. It takes about 40 minutes to make but only because the peppers need to oven roast for 30 minutes – it’s pretty quick and easy to make otherwise. Enjoy!

Pasta al peperoni

  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste – peel a large clove and flatten with the blade of a knife with a pinch of sea salt
  • 3 long pointed peppers – red or a mixture of yellow and red
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pasta for two people – this can be made with short pasta shapes or linguine. I used Malfada Corta from the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. 
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Optional: grated Parmesan to serve

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Lay the peppers on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. The skin should blister and the flesh softens. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Take off the skin –  it should peel off really easily – and the seeds. Slice the peppers into strips and reserve the juices.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and gently cook the shallots with the garlic paste for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the vinegar. Simmer and allow to reduce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should be ready.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack – usually about 12 minutes. Once cooked al dente, drain and add to the tomato sauce. Stir in the pepper juices and strips of pepper. Add the parsley at the last minute, serve in warmed bowls and top with a little grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paté de campagne

There hasn’t been a new #FridayRecipe for a while so I hope that this makes up for it! I’ve had delicious country-style patés in France many times but it’s hard to find a really good one to buy in the shops here. It would be pretty expensive to buy enough from a supermarket deli to serve as a starter for a lot of people, however, this is very easy and relatively inexpensive to make at home. It’s great party or friends and family gathering food although you do need to make it the day before you want to eat it so that the flavour and texture will develop perfectly. Served in slices with hot toast, crusty bread, olives, cornichons, sweet baby tomatoes or silver skinned onions, it’s a really delicious and special hors d’oeuvres.

pate de campagne

  • 350 g veal
  • 450 g rindless belly pork (ask your butcher for leftover strips of pork fat if he has them)
  • 225 g pig’s liver
  • 125 g streaky bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 15 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 25 ml brandy
  • 4 fresh bay leaves to garnish

To make…

  • First, prepare the meat. To get the best-finished texture, I hand cut the belly pork and the bacon into small lardon-type pieces – roughly half a centimetre in size.  For the veal and then the pigs liver, I use a food processor to create a coarse texture – just a few short pulses will do or it will turn to mush.
  • Add all the meat to a large mixing bowl and then add all the rest of the flavouring ingredients i.e. everything except the bay leaves. Mix it thoroughly, cover and leave in a cool place for a couple of hours-
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Pack the meat mixture into a proper terrine or a 900g loaf tin, smooth the top level and lay the pork fat strips over the top if you have them. Place into a bain-marie (a meat-roasting tin half-filled with water) and carefully transfer to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for about an hour and a half.
  • Remove it from the oven and remove the pork strips but don’t drain any of the juices or fat – you need them to keep it moist – it will have shrunk quite a bit. Allow it to cool thoroughly and then press the bay leaves in to decorate. Cover with foil and then add weights or a couple of tins of tomatoes to the top to press it down which will make it easier to slice.
  • Leave it the fridge overnight. Bring it out about an hour before you want to serve it and carefully lift off any areas of white fat on the top with the blade of a knife but leave it sitting in the jelly. If you used a terrine that goes oven to table, leave it in the terrine to serve it. If it’s in a loaf tin carefully lift it out onto a serving plate.
  • Bring it to the table with pride.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cauliflower soup with blue cheese

This is one of those simple to make, delicious soups that’s great for using up the veggies and cheese left in your cupboard at the end of the week. You can make it as a smooth and sophisticated dinner party style soup for a starter, or one with a little more rustic texture for lunch or supper with some crusty bread. I prefer mine made with chicken stock but, if you want this to be 100% vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead.

Cauliflower cheese soup

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g blue cheese such as Stilton or Roquefort, crumbled
  • 1 large knob of butter 
  • 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
  • Chopped chives or parsley to garnish 
  • Salt and white pepper

To make…

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion, celery and potato. Gently sweat them in the melted butter over a very low heat for about 15 minutes, add the chopped leeks and cauliflower for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock and cook gently on a low simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • If you want a 100% smooth soup, use a stick blender and blend the whole thing. If you want something with a little more texture, ladle half of the mixture into a jug, blend and then return to the pan. If it’s too thick, add a little water.
  • Stir in the creme fraiche and the crumbled cheese.
  • Check for seasoning with salt and white pepper.
  • Serve in hot bowls, garnish with chopped chives or parsley.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment