Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is quite easily another favourite with the family. The trick to make this into a quick fix meal is to prep up the meat sauce ahead of time. I usually make a large batch and freeze this for a week or so. This way the assembly of  the sauce and the boiled spag is another “Meal in less than 30 minutes”. The meat sauce has really simple ingredients and while you may choose using ground pork or beef, I’ve used some minced goat meat.

This hearty  sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, lots of garlic, carrots and oregano.I like to keep the Bolognese fairly thick so that it coats the spaghetti well. You may use the same sauce with any other variety Pastas or even a Lasagne.While some recipes call for use of some red wine.I’ve skipped this and instead added some balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to make the sauce a tad bit tart and it enhance the colour too.

Well, go ahead and combine your love for pasta and a quick dinner idea and do give  this recipe a go.

This one is sure to give your dinner table a weeknight makeover.

Bon Appetite!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (small and chopped finely)
  • 5-7 button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250 g Goat meat mince (mutton)
  • 4 large tomatoes ( blanched and pureed)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (grated for the garnish)
  • Fresh basil or parsley (garnish)
  • 250 g Boiled Spaghetti

Method:

  1. Boil the spaghetti for 10 minutes and drain and keep aside.
  2. Brown the mince in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add water and cook till no more raw.
  3. Add some olive oil to another pan and saute the onions and garlic.
  4. Add in the finely chopped carrots and cook till done. Add in the mushroom and cook.
  5. Now add in the pureed tomatoes and some water and simmer till the sauce is fairly thick.
  6. Add in the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar.
  7. Season with chilli flakes,salt and pepper.
  8. Once the sauce is ready add in the cooked meat and some more water and simmer further for 10 minutes
  9. Pour over the cooked spaghetti and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.

 

Classic Lasagne : An All Time Favorite

I have been meaning to put up this recipe for my Classic Lasagne for ever so long.It’s summer at it’s warmest and sunniest best here in Mumbai at the moment.While this is way too heavy a meal for dinner at the moment, it is still a family favourite and my recipe for a Classic lasagna. I agree the task is quite a laborious one but very worth the effort of slaving over it. The result is a creamy, moist and delicious baked dish. While a lot of recipes do not use  Ricotta cheese and egg mixture, I personally feel this gives the Lasagne a great creamy and moist texture and makes for a delicious baked dish.

You could make up the filling a day ahead and that would save a lot of time indeed. Served with a side of a garden fresh salad and a some nice warm herbed bread, this works great for weeknight dinners and while entertaining as well.

Hope you enjoy making this.

Bon Apetite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg lean mince (goat or lamb)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500 ml fresh tomato puree
  • 2 packets  tomato paste
  • 1 pack tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 250 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 300 grams mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Drizzle some oil in a skillet and add the onions and garlic a and salute for a bit. Next add in the ground meat and cook till well browned.. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven 190 degrees C
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Beetroot Risotto: A humble attempt at my Restaurant Favourite

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My nephew celebrated his 21st Birthday at Cafe Zoe,in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago.The entire family was invited to a sit down lunch.Cafe Zoe is a cosy resto downtown and serves up a great European fare.It’s amongst my favorite places for lunch,more so as they make an absolutely beautiful Beetroot Risotto.My sister who hosted the lunch was keen that the menu be planned up ahead so as to avoid any confusion, as we were a large group.Grilled Fish in almond butter and Capers,Beef Tenderloin,Roasted chicken with pink peppercorns and Beet Risotto were our choice of mains.I was ever so happy see the Risotto feature on the menu and settled for just that.

So well, let’s say I’ve had  Risotto making on my mind since the lunch and have been reading some great blog posts and recipes too.I had promised the dear son that I would make some for his lunch this afternoon.Now I do  make a fairly decent one with Mushrooms and quite happy the way it turns out.I was just looking at a variation,so decided on a twist on the classic recipe by using some Beets.

I must say I was quite happy with the outcome.A humble attempt to replicate the one I normally indulge in at Cafe Zoe,none the less a delicious one.I’ve chosen to boil the beets and just puree them,all though you may even roast them and roughly grate them if you wish.I somehow felt that the route to a good Risotto was cumbersome and trying.How wrong have I been!The key really is just a little patience.It’s very important to toast the rice in the butter when you start off so that each grain gets warmed up and only then one could go ahead with glazing it with some wine.I’ve actually used some red wine in this recipe as I thought it would go well with the beets.

This is really a simple yet impressive meal and the beetroots lend a gorgeous colour and a hint of sweetness to the Risotto.The Parmesan shaving and drizzle add a hint of style making it quite eye-catching and an elegant presentation.This recipe is for keeps and I can’t wait to try it out again.

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Ingredients:

  • 320 grams Gallo Arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 pods garlic (minced)
  • 2 small beetroot (boiled and pureed)
  • 40 grams butter
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Freshly grated Parmesan shavings
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions till translucent.
  2. Then add in the minced garlic  and sauté further.
  3. Add the rice and let sauté till rice is transparent.
  4. Add in the wine and stir till it evaporates.
  5. Now keep adding spoonfuls of the stock and let it simmer on a slow flame.
  6. Do keep adding more stock as the stock is absorbed by the rice.
  7. When you have used about 2/3 rd the amount of stock,you may start adding the beetroot puree a little at a time.
  8. Continue adding the stock and bits of puree till  the rice is cooked al dente and is creamy in texture( approx. 20-25 minutes).Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the parmesan shaving and season with some salt if necessary.
  10. Drizzle with Avocado Oil.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan Shavings.
  12. Serve hot.

Oven Grilled Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables

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How’s the summer treating you? Kind and cool I hope….While I prefer the heat over cold wintry days any day, the summer month’s here in Mumbai have been sweltering hot.Perhaps most of you would agree that the last thing on one’s mind is cooking in the heat.

Well the dear son is here on his holidays from Montreal and  yes I’ve been pampering him with his favourite meals.He often hear’s me complain about the heat and of course the eternal debate on what to cook for dinner!  I for one have been trying to simply meal times at home. At least the dinner’s. A couple of posts ago I wrote about focussing on easy and fuss free cooking ideas.This dinner idea is just that.A oven grilled boneless chicken accompanied with the starchy goodness of some Hasselback Potatoes and a healthful serving of  pan charred Zucchini and carrots. Well balanced,nutritious and gets done in just about 30 minutes.Yes that’s my new kitchen mantra.Well for the summer’s at least.

So how’s that for an ultra quick and  family friendly recipe that’s light and refreshing and one that can just as well become a part of your weeknight repertoire? Do share some of your easy meal ideas here.I would love to hear from you. Continue reading

Chicken Meat Loaf: Masterchef Approved

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Traditionally a Meatloaf calls for either ground beef or even mutton mince which works great too.I have been trying to cut back on using red meat and was looking for a leaner option for a meat loaf.Chicken mince is a great low-fat option for most pies and have experimented with it in a Shepherd’s pie as well.I was contemplating using it while experimenting with a meat loaf recipe.Now those of you have been following my journey,probably know that I’ve been involved with content creation for  Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor’s  Khazana Youtube.It’s been an exhilarating experience indeed.

I choose to make up this chicken meat loaf as a recipe for a demo a few weeks ago.I had made this up a couple of times in my kitchen,hence was pretty confident of the outcome.The family too loved it,especially since it comes out really quite moist.I went on with the rest of the demo’s for the day and was pretty much done by lunchtime.Now Alyona Kapoor (Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s wife) who is a dear friend of mine wanted to sample some of this when it was ready so I decided to take some over to her office for lunch.It was just then the Masterchef walked in and decided to have a bite of this himself.“Moist as ever and very good” is what Chef Sanjeev Kapoor commented on having a bite of this meatloaf. Continue reading