Category Archives: Recipe

Italian Sausage Stew

Firstly, apologies for the bad photos. Our camera has been commandeered by the boy who is using it for work things and I cant get it back from him! Iphone it is!

I have had this recipe book marked since it appeared on Not Quite Nigella’s blog back in late 2009. But for some reason, I have only just gotten around to making it! And I am very glad I did – it was quite simple to whip up, but had a lot of flavour and with a sick boyfriend, he was in need of some comfort food.

I have adjusted the original recipe as per below, because the boy refuses to eat cous cous! But if anyone is looking for a winter warmer, this is a great dish!

Italian Sausage Stew

An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3-4 Italian sausages
  • 1x425g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large carrots, chopped diagonally (I added 1 zucchini)
  • 3 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives (omitted)
  • 1 cup Pearl Couscous (or orzo/risoni) (We used mini-shell pasta)
  • Parsley to serve (omitted because I forgot it!)

1. In a large saucepan fry sausages on medium heat until browned on the outside. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Then add oil and fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add carrots, tomatoes, stock and black olives. Chop sausages into bite sized pieces and add these too. Simmer for low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes stirring occasionally (I’ve even left this without stirring and it has been fine).

2. Add pearl couscous (or pasta) and simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes (or until cooked). Test for seasoning, if it needs some salt and pepper add it (usually it does benefit from some). Serve with pasta, rice or with some lovely bread to soak up the juices. (We had garlic bread – I am a big believer in lots of garlic for a cold!)



Chicken cacciatore risotto

Still in Fiji! 


I made this a while ago, after a particularly long and tough day at work. And it was seriously good. But in particular, the boy loved this. He had quite a few second helpings of it! So this is one recipe that is being added to my repertoire! And as far as I am concerned, any recipe that has wine in the recipe gives me a great excuse to finish off the bottle!   

Chicken cacciatore risotto


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3 cups salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 400g jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 slices (100g) pancetta, chopped
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 (500g) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, cubed
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Place stock and sauce in a saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until needed. 
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add rice, chilli and rosemary. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine. Bring to the boil. Add chicken. Stir to combine
  3. Add 1/3 cup stock mixture. Cook, stirring, or until stock mixture has been absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender and creamy. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cheese and parsley.  



Super Food Ideas – June 2009


Spanish Soup

I am off in Fiji at the moment, enjoying the sun, sand and a fabulous wedding. While I am gone, I thought I would leave you with a winter warmer!

I love soup in winter. When it is freezing cold outside nothing warms you up quicker than a piping hot bowl of soup. This spanish soup had a really nice tang to it and was really delicious.

Spanish Soup (From Delicious. Quick Smart Cook)

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup dry sherry
Chopped hard boiled egg, curls of jamon and small croutons to serve (The recipe said you could use proscuitto if you like, so I did!)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook, stirring, for 5 – 7 minutes until softened.

Add the cumin and paprika, stir well and then add the tomato and the stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 18 – 20 minutes, until the carrot is very tender.

Remove from heat and then use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. Add the parsley and sherry then warm through over low heat. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with egg, jamon and croutons.

Spanish Rice


There was something just so delicious about this recipe. It was simple to put together, not overly time consuming, but the end result was full of flavour! The only suggestion would be to increase the stock just a touch as I had to keep adding water to the pan until the rice cooked through. Other than that, a really delicious dinner that tasted like more effort than it was!   

Spanish rice 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3 red onions, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 large fresh green chillies, thickly sliced diagonally
  • 400g (2 cups) long-grain rice
  • 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 125g (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • I added 500g diced chicken
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook chicken until cooked through. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until soft.   
  2. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until glassy. Add the stock and tomato and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Add the beans and combine. 
  3. Divide among serving bowls. Top with sour cream and coriander to serve.    




Good Taste – July 2006

Chicken and spinach currry

 Looking for something new to do with a Roast Chicken? This curry is really simple, quick and easy to whip up and thankfully, also tastes really good. Admittedly, when I first picked out this recipe to make I skim read a little… and totally missed the part that said to include quite a bit of yoghurt. Not wanting a huge stomach ache, I just decided to omit it altogether. And despite being a touch watery (next time I will use some coconut cream) it didn’t affect the taste at all. 

The almonds in this dish really balance out the curry flavour, and I used a mixture of fresh and frozen spinach, because I am a bit of a spinach freak and it seemed like a good idea at the time! All in all, a quick dish that I will make again!  

Chicken and spinach curry 


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons korma curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 large barbecued chicken, skin removed, meat roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves roughly chopped
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve  


  1. Heat a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add almonds. Cook, shaking pan gently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove to a plate.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add curry paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add yoghurt and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir until well combined. 
  3. Add chicken. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Add spinach. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Spoon curry over rice. Top with toasted almonds. Serve.   



Super Food Ideas – August 2006


Product review: Whisk and Pin Deep Chocolate and Raspberry Muffin Mix

Most people around me know that I love to cook – so at Christmas time last year, many of the corporate gifts I received were food based. One of the packs had this cute little muffin mix from Whisk and Pin, from the Blue Mountains in NSW. I finally got around to making them up this week, when Ben was having a friend over to watch the soccer mid week. I couldn’t be bothered making anything from scratch, given I am in the middle of a hugely busy week, so this seemed like the perfect time.

The mix was easy to do – add some eggs, milk and oil and stir. I got 8 very big muffins out of the mix, but given that they rose quite a bit you could do smaller ones and get 10-12. It said to bake for 25 minutes, but after 15 minutes I felt they were done (and a little black on the top – couldn’t taste it though!)

I wasn’t overly convinced on the taste of these – my sneaky licks of the mixture didnt leave me with that “yum” taste. It was just OK. But once baked, the taste was quite nice.

One thing I didn’t like as much was the little raspberry seeds – they keep getting stuck in my teeth! The raspberry flavour wasnt that strong, so I felt it could have been left out to just be a chocolate muffin. But I did like the big chunks of chocolate, they melted perfectly into the muffins and every now and then you come across a pocket of that deliciousness.

Ben REALLY liked these – something I think that can be attributed to the fact that they are sweet but not overpoweringly so.

So all in all, a really good muffin mix that tastes very home made! I have a scone mixture from them to try out next, so lets see when I get around to that!

In other news:

My teeny tiny magnolia tree has grown his first flower! I planted him when we first moved in and he has not grown up our out or seemed to do much of anything since then, so I was quite excited to see this flower! (Sadly though, some punk teenager ripped a bunch of leaves off this tiny tree over the weekend, so I am not sure his long term chances of survival given this poor treatment so early in his life!)

Pumpkin risotto

Normally, I find the recipes in the Masterchef cookbook just a little TOO challenging for my skills. As much as I would love to give the croquembouche a go… I just dont really think its in my future! But they did have a really good looking pumpkin risotto recipe in there. Normally when I do pumpkin in my risotto it is as roasted chunks, but this way gives it such a smooth, creamy texture. Needless to say, the boy and I both LOVED this. I added in a shredded bbq chicken to give the boy his meat, but you really dont need it.

Having made this dairy free too (nutellex instead of butter and no parmesan) I can say it kept its uber smooth creamy taste. Seriously people, this is one risotto you have to make.

Pumpkin Risotto

4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
60g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 ½ cups arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
200g piece of pumpkin, peeled, seeded and grated
½ cup parmesan, finely grated
50g fetta
Basil leaves, to garnish
Olive oil, to drizzle 

George says that when you’re cooking risotto, don’t stir – agitate! You don’t want to break up the rice grains and create starch. The risotto should be creamy, not starchy. (Never knew this… followed his advice, and yep, definately a creamier taste!)

  1. Bring stock to boil in a medium saucepan with 1 cup water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until required.
  2. Melt one third of the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent. Add the rice and coat in the butter. Pour in the wine around the edge of the pan.
  3. Add the hot stock mixture a little at a time, just enough to cover the rice. Simmer, shaking the pan occasionally until the stock is absorbed. Keep adding stock in  batches, shaking the rice as it cooks. This will take 20-25 minutes until all the stock is used and the rice is creamy.
  4. Meanwhile combine the pumpkin and half the remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until very soft. Mash until smooth.
  5. Add the remaining butter to the rice, along with the pumpkin puree and the parmesan. Gently fold through until just combined. Spoon onto a serving plate and crumble the fetta over. Sprinkle with basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.

Cara’s Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne

I am a bit of a pumpkin freak. I could eat it in every meal and never get sick of it. I constantly lament that we do not have all those fantastic varieties of pumpkin I see on American blogs (oh what I would give to find a spaghetti squash!) so I have to be content with my butternut pumpkin.

I recently came across the Cara’s Cravings blog,  and she is a girl after my own heart! She has so many uses for pumpkin and I am just jealous that she has access to all those crazy pumpkin and squash varieties! (Is it weird to consider growing my own…) and she also tries to make everything as healthy as possible, which is fine by me!

The below recipe was DELICIOUS! I had to leave out the cottage cheese because of my allergy but I substituted by using a touch more pumpkin, goats milk feta cheese and a touch more soy milk. I wasnt expecting this to be so yummy. And bonus points? The boy liked it! The boy who tolerates my crazy pumpkin addiction by limiting me to one pumpkin recipe per week.

I think I will definately be trying out so more of her pumpkin recipes in the near future. (Sorry Ben).

Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne

4 oz penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 75gm)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2T chopped fresh sage
2 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced (see note)
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
5oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and baby spinach, and toss together. Cover for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Warm chicken, pumpkin and fetta pasta salad

Sunday afternoons is when we do our grocery shopping for the week, and more often than not we will grab a roast chicken to turn into dinner.  This time around we decided to turn the roast chicken into a pasta salad – the only hitch being that I could not find rocket anywhere, so I had to use spinach, making it a bit more pastaish than salad.

That said, this was delicious. Really light, yet filling enough not to have me going for seconds (therefore giving me enough for lunch the next day!) and anything with pumpkin is a winner in my book!

We might be coming to the end of summer now, but theres still plenty of time left for salad.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large barbecue chicken
  • 600g penne pasta
  • 200g roughly crumbled Greek fetta
  • 75g baby rocket
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil, extra //


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place pumpkin, oil, salt and cracked black pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender and lightly golden. Remove and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the chicken (you should have around 400g meat). Cover and set aside.
  3. Cook the penne in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and return to pan. Add the chicken, fetta and rocket.
  4. Whisk together the lemon juice, extra olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper and add to the pasta, tossing to coat evenly. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with pumpkin. Serve immediately or see note below. 


Source – October 2008

Pumpkin, leek, spinach & basil quiche

I love any combination of pumpkin and spinach, and when you add in leek you have a winner for me. This was a really light and tasty dinner and I even resisted the urge to include pastry! I omitted the ricotta but included some goats cheese feta instead.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 700g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • ProChef Olive Oil Spray
  • 1 leek, pale section only, halved lengthways, washed, dried, thinly sliced crossways
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) skim milk
  • 80g (1/3 cup) fresh low-fat ricotta
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Mixed salad leaves (optional), to serve 


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin on the lined tray and spray with olive oil spray. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil spray to grease. Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until soft. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the spinach just wilts.
  3. Line a 26 x 16cm (base measurement) slab pan with non-stick baking paper. Spread the pumpkin and leek mixture evenly over the base of the pan.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites and milk in a jug. Pour egg mixture evenly over pumpkin and leek mixture. Sprinkle evenly with ricotta. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve with mixed salad leaves, if desired.


Good Taste – April 2008