Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

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Stuffed Marrow…

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I was in tesco, and there were some marrows reduced to about 40p. I’ve never had marrow before, never mind cooked with it, but I figured that price it wouldn’t hurt to try especially as we like courgette. Isn’t marrow pretty much just a big courgette?

So anyway, I googled it. Read a few recipes, then came up with my own. Essentially it’s marrow stuffed with bolognese and covered with cheese.. But it was pretty tasty!

Although Lillee didn’t like the marrow she ate the pasta and sauce telling me she doesn’t like hot cucumber..

Here’s the recipe if you want to try it!

•250g small pasta shapes
•400g chopped tomatoes
•Worcestershire sauce approx 1tbsp
•1tsp mixed herbs
•2 tbsp tomato purée
•1 onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 bay leaf
•300g minced beef
•200g grated cheese
•1 marrow sliced into inch thick pieces, middle removed and chopped.
•1 large carrot, diced
•2 beef stock cubes
•100ml red wine(optional)

Pre-heat the oven too 200*C (180*C fan) Place the slices of marrow into a baking dish in a single layer. I actually used too so I could freeze one. In one pan, cook the pasta following packet instructions and drain when tender. In a seperate pan, sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs until softens and the onion is translucent. Stir in the mince and continue to cook until browned. Stir in the tomato purée, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce. Cooke for a few minutes then add the wine. Allow to reduce down before stirring in the tomatoes and the centre of the marrow. Simmer for as long as possible on a low heat to infuse the flavours. When ready, stir in the cooked pasta and spoon into the marrow. Put any extra on or around the marrow pieces. Cover with foil and place into the oven for half an hour. After half an hour, remove to foil and top with the cheese. Return to the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the marrow is soft, and the cheese is melted and golden.

Serve one slice per portion (approx 6-8 depending on the size of the marrow)

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Lighter Lasagne…

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I love lasagne, but I’ve always hated how high in fat it is. Soo I’ve tried something new! Since Christmas, weightwatchers have introduced simple start and I found that it was basically fruit and veggies, lean meat and fish, low fat dairy and whole grains along with treats. I actually found this worked really well for me and I lost 2lbs in my first week following the plan. Anyway, Dan decided that he wanted lasagne and it got me thinking. Why not try and make it fit into the filling and healthy/simple start guidelines? So I did! First, I swapped out the oil for fry light, and made sure it was lean mince. I changes the pasta sheets to a whole wheat version, and then wondered how to make the topping. Then I remembered seeing something on the pioneer women about using cottage cheese, and there it was! So here is my lighter version of lasagne…

•medium onion diced
•2 cloves of garlic crushed
•a carrot diced
•500g lean beef mince
•2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•2 tbsp tomato purée
•3 beef stock cubes
•100ml red wine (optional)
•2 Tins chopped tomatoes
•2 bay leaves
•1 tsp dried mixed herbs
•1/2 tsp sugar
•fry light (or 1 tsp oil)
•100g mushrooms
• no-cook whole wheat lasagne sheets

•300g cottage cheese
•1 egg beaten
•1/2tsp mixed herbs
•100g cheese grated (I used a mixture of chedder and mozzarella)

Soften the carrots and onion in a large pan with the fry light, add the garlic, herbs and mince and contain to cook until the mince is browned. Add in the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes then stir in the stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce and wine. Reduce down, then add the tomatoes and sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce the temperature to low. Leave to cook for at least 30 minutes, but the longer you can leave it the better. Stirring occasionally. Mean while, stir together the cottage cheese, egg, herbs and a little seasoning. When the mince is ready, layer half the mince into a baking dish. Cover with a single layer of lasagne sheets, and then repeat. Finally, too with the cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle the cheese over. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180*C) for approximately 45 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife easily passes through the layers.

Contains approximately(please use these figures as a guide, but they may not be exact.):

9 Propoints,

350 Calories,

1 extra treat/ 2 weekly points on simple start/filling and healthy.

Enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

Creamy Vegetable Pasta…

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In our house, pasta always goes down well. This dish is pretty simple and great for using odds and ends in the fridge, I’ve used everything from broccoli and sprouts to sweetcorn! It’s also really good for using up any leftover meat or fish. We usually have it with pork or chicken stirred through but its just as nice on its own, with salmon or any thing else you fancy!

You will need:
.500g of pasta
.1 onion finely chopped
.2 leeks sliced
.4 carrots diced
.1 courgette diced
.2 sticks of celery sliced
.10 mushrooms sliced
.a tin of sweetcorn drained
.250g frozen peas
.1 tbsp olive oil
.2 tbsp plain flour
.1/2 pint skimmed milk
.2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
.seasoning
.2 cloves of garlic

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook untill the onion is translucent then add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Cook for another 2 minutes then slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, while the sauce simmers stirring it occasionally to stop it sticking. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Season to taste.

Serves 6-8

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Sausage Pasta Hotpot…

sausage pasta hotpot
This is a recipe that my nan passed onto my mom and then she passed it on to me! Its really yummy and really filling. Plus its cheap, and easy to make using mostly store cupboard ingreadients!

You will need:
.500g dried pasta
.2 tins chopped tomatoes
.1 tbsp tomato puree
.1 onion, finely chopped
.3 cloves garlic finely chopped
.1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
.mixed herbs (optional)
.8 good quality sausages
.2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
.2 courgettes, sliced
.1 tin of sweetcorn, drained

To make it:
Soften your onion in a little oil. When soft, add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tinned tomatoes, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce. (At this point the sauce can be blended to make it smooth and then put back in the pan, but I usually just leave it chunky). Add in the courgette and sweetcorn and leave to simmer stirring frequently. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to packet instructions, and either grill or roast the sausages. If they are good quality there will be little or no fat. When everthing is cooked, drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Slice the sausage (I usually hold each one with tongs and use kitchen scissors so I don’t burn my fingers) add to the pasta and sauce and combine well. season generously with black pepper.

Serves 8

sausage pasta hotpot on plate

something nice for tea…

when we really can’t be bothered to cook one of our standbye meals is cheesy mushroom pasta. its so easy to make…

you will need:
pasta
cheese spread
butter
mushrooms
garlic
salt and pepper
meltable cheese either sliced or grated

what to do:

cook pasta in boiling water until tender
drain pasta
put butter in the pan to melt
add mushrooms and garlic and saute until cooked
mix in cream cheese and seasoning
put in bowls, top with cheese and microwave until melted.

thats it! so nice and easy to make. its also yummy with other vegetables and bacon added. or even just the cheese. enjoy!

Emma-Jayne x