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light meals pasta seafood simple meals

Mussel spaghetti with basil, chorizo and tomato

May 12, 2015

As winter knocks on our door and the last of the tomatoes and basil fade, I felt it was time for some vibrant, flavoursome seafood! This dish is a firm favourite of mine and green lipped mussels with chorizo works so well…


Serves 4 – 6
300g spaghetti pasta
2 tablespoons of olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
Juice one lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
16-20 fresh mussels
2 large tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream
A good handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
A good handful of fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the tomatoes on a baking paper lined tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, they should be a deeper red colour and the skin should be starting to blacken. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and fry the chorizo until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over a low heat until soft – about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and the lemon juice to the pan and bring to the boil.

Scrub the mussels well and de-beard the mussels. Add the mussels to the pan and place the lid on Leave for about 3 minutes and check to see if the shells have opened, if not they may need another minute. Remove the mussels and set aside discarding any unopened ones. Add the, parsley, basil, chorizo, tomatoes and crème fraiche and stir through. Season with salt and pepper. On a large platter place the cooked spaghetti and mussels in their shells, add the mixture of all the other ingredients, garnish with more parsley and basil. Serve with lemon cheeks.



Favourite recipes lamb pasta

Pappardelle pasta with slow roast lamb

July 3, 2013

Pappardelle are large, very broad flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. The name derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up – love that! Pappardelle is my favourite pasta and thankfully we have a wonderful fresh pasta brand called pastamia which is made in Taupo by Angelo Tredicucci. Locally here at Waihi Beach you can purchase it from the farmgate deli.

One of my great sources of inspiration for food and food styling is Australia Katie Quinn Davies from Check her blog out and her books, Katie is nothing short of amazing! This is originally one of Katies recipes but I have changed it slightly and have not made my own pasta (shame on me) or used garden fresh peas (wrong time of year). However it’s the flavours that are sensational. And I firmly believe in slow cooking beef, lamb, chicken and pork roasts to maximise on tenderness, flavour and goodness.




1 x 250g pack fresh pappardelle pasta
1.5kg leg of lamb, bone in.
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 celery stalks, cut into about 3 pieces each
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 large sprigs of rosemary
Half bottle white wine
1 cup of water
2 cups frozen minted baby peas
Large handful parsley and mint, chopped
Zest and juice 1 lemon
Olive oil for cooking
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 120°C.

Place your lamb in a large lidded roasting dish, pour over the wine and water. Scatter the onion, garlic, celery and rosemary around the lamb. Pour a glug of olive oil over the lamb then season well with freshly ground salt and pepper. Place the dish in the oven and slow roast for 6 hours. Check the liquid level half way through and add water if needed.

Remove the lamb from the roasting dish and cover with tinfoil, rest. If you feel the liquid in the pan has too much fat in it put it into a container and place in the freezer for about 40 mins then you can easily lift the fat layer off and discard.

With a stick blender puree the liquid and vege contents of the roasting dish together with 1 cup of the frozen peas, parsley and mint. This is the basis for your pasta sauce.

Zest your lemon and then squeeze and add the juice to your puree, reserve the zest for serving. If you feel the sauce is too thick, add water. Season to taste.

Cook your parpadelle pasta in salted water till al dente and cook the other cup of frozen peas. While this is cooking shred the lamb, the meat should fall off the bone. If you have bone marrow add that to the pasta sauce. Strain your pasta and peas, mix together and stir in the sauce. Gently stir in as much of the shredded lamb as you wish, I usually leave some out to serve on top at the end.

Serve and top with more lamb, lemon zest and grated parmesan. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper. I also garnished with rosemary sprigs and Italian flat-leaf parsley.