Category Archives: Pasta

Chicken, Tomato, Olives, Capers

This is a brilliant combination if you’re craving that tomatoey flavour of bolognese but don’t want it too rich and beefy.

Chicken linguine in tomato sauce, with carrots, olives and capers.

  1. Set your pasta to boil.
  2. With some oil in a hot skillet, toss in minced shallots, carrot brunoise, chopped tomatoes, and maybe a bit of minced chilli if you want the spicy kick.
  3. Add in the chicken cubes, olives (best if pitted and sliced), and capers.
  4. Use a small blob of tomato puree and water to make a sauce, so everything holds together.
  5. Season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Garnish generously with carrot top leaves.
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Pork & Cumin Spaghetti

Asian-fried spaghetti of pork cubes, sugar snaps and egg, with cumin, oregano and chilli.

  1. The usual drill. Set the pasta away to boil in a pot.
  2. In a hot skillet and a little oil, fry minced garlic till fragrant.
  3. Toss in pork cubes and sugar snaps.
  4. Add in crushed cumin and oregano.
  5. When pork is almost done, move all to the side of the skillet. Add some oil in the pan and crack in an egg. Beat it erratically and let it cook in chunks.
  6. Toss in sliced chilli.
  7. Mix everything together and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
  8. The pasta should be done by now. Drain and add to skillet. Stir everything together into a party of lovely colours.

Salmon, Chicory, Sprouts, Beet & Brie

(No space for full title above.)

Lemon salmon on oregano spaghetti with boiled carrots, blanched chicory and beansprouts, with beetroot and Brie.

  1. Set the pasta to boil and drain when done. Season with sea-salt. Then toss with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil and dried oregano leaves.
  2. Sear the fillet of salmon with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, till lovely and browned.
  3. Boil the carrots and blanch chicory and beansprouts briefly. (Note: chicory is bitter so a small quantity will suffice.)
  4. Serve with beetroot cubes and pinches of Brie.
  5. Garnish with carrot leaves.
Don’t those carrots look lovely?

Salmon, Mint, Fennel & Sour Pasta

Seared salmon with sauteed carrot and fennel, on linguine dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, served with a mint and garlic sauce.

  1. Set the linguine away to cook in a pot of boiling water. Drain once cooked, and toss in a balsamic vinaigrette.
  2. With a small knob of butter and a little splash of olive oil, saute the julienned carrot and fennel. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Remove once vegetables are cooked.
  3. Prepare your salmon fillets, cutting them into small rectangular pieces. Salt the skin generously with seasalt and lay them skin side down on a piece of kitchen towel.
  4. Chop up a handful of mint leaves and mince it together with a small clove of garlic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and pound away till everything comes together as a sauce.
  5. As soon as the vegetables are out of the pan, sear the salmon fillets skin side down till golden. Flip the fillets after the skins are nicely browned, and remove once they are done. The pieces of salmon should be firm not hard, nor soft. Let them rest on a fresh piece of kitchen towel before plating up.

Black Hokkien Mee

This is the Kuala Lumpur variant of Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles, similar to the usual Chinese Stir-Fry, but going crazy with the rendered lard and dark soy sauce, the darker the better.

  1. Get your noodles, or linguine boiling in a pot and have your ingredients all ready. Drain your noodles or pasta as soon as they’re done. This is important ‘cos stir-frying is a whizz, no time for chopping carrots while your garlic is burning away into a pile of charred lumps.
  2. In a screaming hot wok of a tablespoon of oil, get your slices of Chinese sausage, or lardons in.
  3. Add minced garlic, minced onion and a slice of ginger into the wok to flavour the oil.
  4. Welcome the Aroma Fairies.
  5. Carrots go in ‘cos they take longer to cook through.
  6. Once your carrots are almost done, add a small bit of oil and crack in a egg, stirring it about erratically till about done.
  7. Then, add in your marinated (minus soy sauce) Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork, stir-frying it with small quantities of the noodle boiling water.
  8. Toss in leafy green vegetables and drained noodles.
  9. Go crazy with the dark soy sauce till it’s all nice and blackish. (Bear in mind that doing this can get VERY salty, so the darker the soy sauce, the better.)
  10. Season with light soy sauce if necessary.
  11. Add a generous pinch of sugar and still happily away.

Salmon & Sage Pasta

 

Seared fillet of salmon on pasta with Chinese leaf, mushrooms, chilli and dried sage.

 

  1. Set pasta away to cook in a pot of salty boiling water.
  2. In a pan with a little bit of oil, sear the fillet of fish skin side down till just done. Set aside to rest.
  3. In the same pan, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
  4. Add in shredded Chinese leaf and quartered mushrooms.
  5. Crush in dried sage leaves and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Add sliced chilli when vegetables and mushrooms are almost cooked.
  7. Drain spaghetti and mix together with the Chinese leaf and mushrooms well. Add a generous lug of good extra virgin olive oil to loosen everything up nice and smooth.
  8. Plate up and serve, boasting the skin of the salmon in its crisp golden glory.

It’s absolute melt-in-your-mouth heaven to indulge in a large nugget of fatty salmon meat, pan-seared to perfection and luxuriously devoured whole.


Simple Butter Mussels

Mussels are apparently the poor man’s food of shellfish, cheap and easily available. I haven’t had them in awhile and tonight, I made a little bit of it with some pasta.

So far, the best way I know to do mussels is to steam them. And contrary to popular belief, Sarah read somewhere that all properly-cooked mussels can be eaten, whether or not they open during the cooking process. No clue how true that is though.

Disclaimer: Consume unopened cooked mussels AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Simple Butter Mussels

  1. Bring a pot with water about half a centimetre deep to the boil.
  2. Toss the clean scrubbed mussels in and add a splash of dry white wine. Then, put the lid on. Mussels cook really quickly so keep them in check.
  3. Remove cooked-open mussels to a bowl at once. After about a maximum of 8 minutes, remove all.
  4. DO NOT throw the remaining mussel liquor away! Melt in a small knob of salted butter and drizzle over the bowl of cooked shellfish.
  5. Sneak a happy smile, or shed happy tears.

Mussels are lovely with garlic and a little bit of chilli. So I think Aglio Olio is the perfect carbohydrate match.

Simple cooking, at it’s best.