When I was in my early twenties I took my little brother to 9 weeks of Italian cooking classes. Particularly to perfect a risotto and learn to make great pasta. I highly recommend doing this! A recipe can only do so much but you can only know when pasta dough is ready by the touch. I hope I can explain it simply enough for you to cook it like a pro!
6 Farm Fresh Eggs.
600g Tipo ‘00’ Flour.
Place the flour in a bowl, make well and add the eggs. Using a fork slowly mix incorporating the flour. Once folded through tip out onto a well floured board. Start kneeding the dough. This will take some arm muscles. Kneed until smooth. Shape into a disc, insert your thumb. If it comes out clean and not sticky it’s ready!! Otherwise keep kneeding guys. You’ll get there.
Shape into a disc, cover in cling film and rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Bring it out of the fridge and divide into 6 even pieces. Follow your pasta makers instructions.
Lay the paster sheets out on a floured table and allow to completely dry out before storing in sealed containers.
Ok, ok…. you need to step away from the bottled Pesto sauce in aisle 5 of the supermarket! I’m serious. There is no excuses after you read how fast you can make you’re own sauce up. And do yourself a favour, double, triple my recipe and freeze up large batches. If you’re kids are anything like mine it will soon become a fast week night meal.
2 large bunches of Basil.
Juice of 1 Lemon.
2 Garlic cloves.
Salt and Pepper.
Handful of your favourite nuts. The traditional version uses pine nuts.
A good lug of Oilve Oil.
Lightly grill nuts until golden.
Place all ingredients in the blender and blitz to your liking.
Freeze up in portions for a fast meal. Pesto sauce is also delicious with chicken and steak.
*Note: Nut options are roasted Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews. DO NOT BUY THEM SALTED.
We have a Friday night tradition in our family. Taco and movie night! And it’s the best. I wait all week for snuggles on the lounge with my little people and big one! ha!! Watching a movie and relaxing together. But before the movie we love a good Taco. It’s such a family friendly, cost effective meal. I love how we gather around the table together and chat with the side remarks of ‘pass the cheese please’. or ‘Can I please have the sour cream?’ SOOOO sweet.
James’ favourite seasoning is Fajita. And there are no rules when it comes to tacos (except you must have Guac) and different Mexican seasoning. So who cares that we use Fajita seasoning with Taco shells.
Recently I threw a luncheon Mexican style, so our humble Taco night was vamped. It’s so easy to throw a Cactus on your table or mix and match bright colours to delight the eye. Mexican is always a lot of fun. Have a look around the house and grab bits and pieces to set the table just right. And the idea is to literally have items that don’t match. How easy is that!
This is a child friendly recipe, also good for those people who struggle with chilli. I find with seasonings and curry pastes all you need to do is add fresh chilli yourself to make it your own. Have a bowl of fresh chilli’s diced on the table. Those heat loving fanatics can go for it! That way everyone is covered.
5 teaspoons chili powder. (optional or less)
5 teaspoons paprika.
5 teaspoons garlic powder.
5 teaspoons cumin.
3 teaspoons dried oregano.
4 teaspoons sea salt.
3 teaspoons fresh ground pepper.
Place into a sealed jar and shake well before using.
I have made many a pizza in my time and was never wowed by them. In 2010 I took my first trip to Italy and I remember the taste of a REAL wood fire pizza. I watched the nonna’s mix and kneed simple ingredients. Simple yet so hard to master. I was convinced I could make the same pizza just as good when I arrived home. BUT, I didn’t. It just wasn’t as good. No where near. A beautiful friend of mine, Jacqueline gave me a recipe that worked for her. I tried it and absolutely loved it. So delicious! Light and crispy edges. Yet for me it was still lacking something. I found that if I made one pizza and left the dough in the fridge for a few days before making a second pizza that one was substantially better. The fermentation was the key. It was fermenting itself. I now make my dough 2-3 days prior to pizza night. Then last year I was star struck meeting The Worlds Top Chef (!!!!) Massimo Bottura and I told him what I was doing and he actually CONFIRMED WITH ME! WOW!! So, that’s it for me. I’m not changing a thing. Allow it to rise 3 times before popping it into the fridge. This creates those
bubbles you want in your pizza!
500g Pizza flour
300mls Tepid water
1 Teaspoon of Dried Yeast
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (you can try garlic oil or I’ve even used Truffle Oil).
A good size pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, then kneed until smooth. Or I like to use my bread maker, it kneed’s it for me so I can get on with the million other things I need to do. ha! Let is rise in your bread maker 3 times punching it down before placing it in an oiled bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Best to use in 3 days.
When it’s time to use, take it out of the fridge 3 hours before rolling out. I like to keep it near my oven in winter so it can come back to room temperature quickly and start to rise again.
Divide it evenly into 2 discs. Roll out and place your desired toppings on it. Cook in a wood fire pizza oven or your oven at 225 degrees! Nice and hot. But keep an eye on the pizza.