Pasta you’ve never tried before

As in the title. This is a combination that maybe it’s a bit weird. Crazy even. Who mix chickpeas and pasta? But because I used not so many ingredients, simple flavours and very fine olive oil – it all well combined, tasty and intriguing. All you need it’s just follow few steps to make it works. Perfect as a starter, hot or cold.
Portion for 2.
2 handful of original penne
1/2 can of chickpeas (I used dried + soaked in the water)
1 cup of leek leaves, green parts
1/2 tsp of chili leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 carrot
fresh thyme, a few Tbs, chopped
3 Tbs of good quality olive oil
Sea salt

Cook pasta in a very salty water, must be al’ dente (boiling water+ 8 mins). Drain, pour 1 Tbs of olive oil in, and sprinkle with chili leaves. Set aside. Put 2 Tbs of olive oil in the hot pan and start frying very finely sliced carrot (seasoned with salt earlier). After a few mins, when carrot is softer and golden, add chopped leek leaves and fry for about 5 mins. you can pour a little bit water in, to make it faster. Add crushed garlic at the end and chickpeas. Mix everything gently and fry on the very low gas for 8-10 mins, until everything is scentem by fried garlic and leek. Add penne and chopped, fresh thyme. Serve immediately or as a cool starter. Enjoy!
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Garlic penne with zucchini & sage

I haven’t got enough time to cook more complicated meals recently than today’s pasta with sage and zucchini. Still – it has a lot of flavour. And it’s ready within minutes – isn’t it all about nowaday? Very sad, though.

Penne (made from durum flour)
1 fresh zucchini
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 of onion
handful of fresh sage
2 Tbs of butter
Sea salt, pepper

Cook penne in very salty water, max. 8 mins (until al’dente) and drain. Meanwhile slice finely zucchini and chopy garlic and onion. Put butter on the hot pan and fry garlic just for a few seconds (10-15). Add sliced zucchini and onion. Fry until soft – you can pour a little bit of a water in to make it faster. Add chopped sage and drained penne at the end. Toss everything. To get nice cover on the pasta I also combine everything with 2-3 Tbs of milk or cream. Season nicely with salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy! It’s Perfect with pancetta. Get the most of the flavour with a Glass of nice dry white wine 😉
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Cauliflower & Leek soup

I believe in seasonal cooking. It’s easier, affordable and can be elegant too. So when it’s cauliflower time, I know I’ll be cooking it in many ways. I love it simply with butter and I think it’s best way for this vegetable. But why not try other ideas out?
Today simple and comfort soup. Thick, creamy – can be served as a single dish. Uncomplicated for sure.

3/4 of cauliflower (florets)
1 big potato, peeled and halved
1 leek (white part – green one is perfect for broccoli & leek soup)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic + 1 additionally
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of corriander seeds, crushed in the mortar
1 Tbs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of single cream (or full fat milk)
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 heaped Tbs of unsalted butter
1,5 L of water
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Put cauliflower and potato in the pot with water, add bay leaf & corriander seeds and start cooking. Slice garlic, leek and onion. Put olive oil in the hot pan and fry garlic for 10-15 sec. Add onion and leek, pour 1/2 cup of water in and mix gently from time to time. Veggies should be softer, but not caramelized or even gold. Do not overfried!
Put it in the pot and cook for about 30 mins. Cool down a little bit, add fresh rosemary and last clove of garlic – crushed. Take bay leaf out. Blend everything until smooth and creamy. Combine with cream, butter, salt and pepper. The more runny soup you want the more cream/milk/water you should add. Enjoy!
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Pure simplicity – roasted pumpkin

When I think about wasting lovely pumpkin for the Halloween decorations… to be honest with you, I am not really into Halloween anyway, so no harm at all. If you like simplicity which is super-fast and sophisticated at the same time – Roasted pumpkin is good consideration. All you need is wide kitchen board and a knife. And wide plate of course, because this proposition of pumpkin is dangerously delicious.

1 pumpkin
2-3 Tbs of butter (it’s enough!)
Fresh or dried rosemary – up to you how much
Sea salt

If you don’t know how to cut pumpkin properly (and safely!), put the knife into the top and carefully try to halve it, cutting around. Make quarters and smaller slices at the end. Cut off pluffy inside. I love eating fresh pumpkin seeds, they’re absolutely great for your digestive system. Peel it and cut into big chunks, season with salt (it’ll be softer) and put in the very big pot or bowl. Heat up butter in the small pot, just for a minute, to get runny liqid (not too much heating!). Pour butter in the pot with pumpkin and immediately start tossing, because we need it to cover up every chunk of the pumpkin. Add rosemary. Put on the very wide baking tray, and leave in the oven (200 C) for about 45 mins. After that time change for a 220 C for another 15 mins, to get crispy endings. This is what I really wait for… And you will be genuinely surprised, that the entire baking tray will be empty within minutes 🙂 It’s also perfect base for a winter, comfort soup, with cream and a bit of ginger. Enjoy!
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Make the most of the Fall

I visited my Family who live in the country and the weather was absolutely stunning. I mean, we have nearly November and today was 17 Celsius! I could go for a long, relaxing walk. What’s best after? Of course thick, creamy pumpkin & pepper soup.
Although I’ve made many recently I decided to show you one of my favourite’s (but I love all of them anyway 🙂 ) I made this one a couple of times, beause I wasn’t really contented when it comes to the flavour. Now I know that pepper in this particular recipe should be raw, crispy and sweet and added at the very end.

Yellow pumpkin – the more the better… at least 0,7-1,0 kg
1-2 carrots
1/2 of leek, white part only
2 big onions
1 big pepper or 2 small, red preferably
4 cloves of garlic – and 1 crushed and added just before blendering
1 bay leaf
1 L of vegetable/chicken stock or simply water
1 cup of whole milk (200 ml) / or cream if you prefer
2-3 Tbs of olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper
* you can also add 1 big potato to get smooth consistency. I skiped.

Peel pumpkin, cut into chunks. Start heating stock / water up. Chop onion and leek, rather finely. Put olive oil in the pan and fry until golden. Set aside. Put pumpkin on the same pan, and fry til softer – add a little amount of water to make it faster. Don’t worry if it tourns out a bit sugary / brown – taste will be great but be careful and do not burn. Slice carrot and put in the boiling stock / water. Add bay leaf BUT only for at least 20 mins – after that time take it out. Otherwise you get unneccesarily strong flavour. Put fried onion and pumpkin in the pot, crushed 4 cloves of garlic and cook until soft. Cool down a bit, add pepper & salt to taste (quite a lot!). Add crushed 1 clove of garlic, chopped pepper and blend everything, to get very smooth soup. If you like creamy flavour – add whole milk or cream. I prefer with milk, adds lovely sweetness. Sprinkle with olive oil. Enjoy!
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Pumpkin’s and pepper’s time!

We’ve finally had beautiful, sunny days recently. I like this time of the year especially for its extraordinary colours and also because it’s pumpkin’s & pepper’s season. I’ve never tried to match it before. Yesterday I realised that it could be interesting combination: pumpkin is very delicate, sweet and is a good base. Pepper is quite intensive, has great colour and could be either crispy or soft. Depends on you. And to be honest with you, guys, I think almost every vegetable goes great simply with butter, garlic and rosemary.
Today I’ll show you how to prepare a bit rustic, but still delicious and light meal, within 15-20 minutes.I am using rustic plate, too, which is my great love… I even think that one of the posts could be devoted to my collection of Churchill's porcelain which I’ve been buying on the Internet (quite big I must say – for 12! ) Maybe one of you also loves vintage style, just like me? When you like me to choose a new pair of shoes or nice antique piece, I wouldn't hesitate at all. Although I love booties too 🙂 Anyway, I thought that buckwheat is so rustic and deserves only one of Cottonwood Collection's piece.
Ingredients at least for 2.

150g of roasted buckwheat
300g of pumpkin ( I bought 1/4 of entire one)
1 red pepper
1/2 of small onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs of butter
Fresh rosemary – 2-3 Tbs
Salt, pepper to taste
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Cook buckwheat (1:2 proportions, buckwheat to boiling water). Cook for about 10 mins and then turn if off. Leave until water absorbed. In the meantime, peel and dice pumpkin. Slice pepper. Put 1 Tbs of butter on the hot pan, put chopped garlic in, and after 1 min – also finely chopped onion. Fry until nicely golden and flavoured. Add sliced pepper, chopped rosemary and fry until soft. It will go red a bit. Meanwhile, cook pumpkin, using steam pot. When it's soft, mix everything carefully. At the very end, add 1 Tbs of butter to the hot buchwkeat and serve immediately. Enjoy colours and flavours on you plate!
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Walnut carbonara with spring onion

Pasta makes me feel very comfort. I don’t know what’s in it, but most of my friends or family say the same. If you ask me – while making pasta I always have known Families from Milano and Rome in front of my eyes… Apart from the wonderful food which was served to us with big heart, like rich pasta, heavenly scented lasagne or roasted pepper with garlic&olive oil (delicious…) – you could nearly touch emotions… Full of love, respect for each other, happiness, smile… I’ve been in Italy twice and I know It’s way not enough for me. I remember that I thought over many issues after that experience… which was fabulous after all.

Today I would like to present my variation of pasta carbonara. I must say that many times I had got scrumble eggs on the pan by the time I larnt how to make smooth carbonara sauce. Practice makes perfect! It’s walnut time, I love it, so why not? Spring onion gives nice flavour and colour. You have to try this out. Of course, I assume that It is NOT original Italian sauce, because I didn’t use bacon and I am using cream. And propably preparation is weird… Please, leave any comment which can explain how to prepare one 🙂 I will be delighted.

Original pasta penne (durum is absolutely required) 150 g

Handful of walnuts

2 spring onions, whole ones!

2 eggs

1/2 cup of cream (125ml)

1 Tbs of olive oil

Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Pasta must be ‘al dente’. To be honest I don’t remember when was the last time I ate soft one… If you want Italy on your plate, pasta must be made from durum and be al-dente. Otherwise you just pretend. Cook about 8 mins, using quite a lot of sea salt. It is said that water for pasta must be as salty as Mediterranean Sea. Very wise. And you have 8 mins for a sauce preparation…

Sauce: Chop walnuts into small pieces and roast on the HOT pan until you literally smell its flavours. Set aside. Put olive oil on the pan and add finely chopped spring onion. Fry for about 1 minute, just to break crispiness. Turn the gas OFF. Beat eggs, combine with cream, salt and pepper, pour a creamy mixture in and immediately start mixing. Don’t let the sauce to “catch” the pan. Drain pasta and add to the pan (leave about 1/2 cup of starchy water). Mix everything for a moment (1-2 mins) and to get smooth tickeness turn the gas ON, for about 30 sec. Again- mix… Again Off… Until you get smooth constistency. Freshly groung pepper to taste – e buon appetito!
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