Mexitalian fusilli

© mylunchanddinner

Lately I’ve been kind of lazy.  Perhaps is the proximity of my spring break. Maybe I’m just plain lazy…I was wondering what to have for lunch yesterday. I didn’t feel like cooking much, so I just looked around the pantry and fridge to see what I had. I discovered some fusilli which I had left from the first week of the Jamie Oliver Challenge, half a pack of tomato sauce and feta cheese. I decided to make some pasta adding a Mexican touch, so I went to get some of my jalapeño peppers as well. Additionally, I felt like eating some turkey sausage so I grabbed it as well.

I started cutting and working on a super delicious lunch (says me, but am I a good judge for my own food? mmmm, I do accept when something comes out completely wrong). I was really satisfied with the look of it at the end. The reddness of the sauce made the plate inviting, and the smell… oh the smell! I immediately took a photo because I felt like sharing this new invention. Then, I grabbed my  plate and sat in front of the TV to have my yummy pasta. It turned out to be delicious!! The tomato sauce and feta cheese had almost blended to make a light red sauce. The added italian spices gave it a nice touch. The jalapeño peppers were still crunchy so they added flavor and texture. And the sausage… well it added up to all the goodies I added…

Here’s the recipe…

© mylunchanddinner

What you’ll need:

1/2 medium onion chopped

125 mL (4 oz) tomato sauce

half jalapeño pepper chopped

70 g (2.5 oz) feta cheese in small chunks

1 turkey sausage sliced

2 table spoons olive oil

salt and pepper

dash of basil, oregano and thyme

1/4 teaspoon of Maggi sauce (or any kind of meat sauce)

OMG! almost forgetting!!!

100 g (3.5 oz) of fusilli pasta (or any kind you like)

Hot to play,

1. Cook the pasta as specified in the pack or until al dente

2. While your pasta is getting cooked prepare the rest of the ingredients.

3. Once the pasta is done, drain the water, keeping some of it in case your sauce is too thick, and live the pasta on the drainer.

4. On a hot pan, add the oil and immediately the onions. Cook until transparent. Add the sausage and stir until slightly browned. Incorporate the chopped jalapeño pepper and stir for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce and cheese and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and a dash of the other spices.

5. Toss the pasta in the pan and mix well. Add a little of the cooking water if you think your sauce is too heave.

6. Serve, add some freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!

If you like it, please tell me about it!!

© mylunchanddinner 2012

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Broccoli Orecchiette

© mylunchandinner

After receiving my Jamie Oliver cook book, I looked at the recipes. I wanted to cook something, but couldn’t really decide on what. My husband kept pointing at the pages he thought he would like, but then again choosing among combinations where each plate’s photo looks so good is extremely difficult. Thus, we decided to cook one recipe for dinner each weekend. In this way, we wouldn’t have to choose what we wanted for dinner, plus there will be no discussion about me wanting to eat meat instead of the chicken he wanted.

And so, it begins. Cooking one Jamie 30-minute meal every week, in the order the recipes are presented on the book. This week: Broccoli Orecchiette, zucchini and bocconcini salad, prosciutto and melon salad.

The day started with a the discussion that led to deciding on the challenge. After deciding on the order, we looked carefully at the book. We were going to make a list for the groceries, but were starving. We had gotten up really late and our breakfast had been too light in pursuit of lunch. The trip to the unhealthy meal I described yesterday was our next step. We took the book with us. I studied the recipe carefully, then figured which ingredients I was not going to find, and what would I do to minimize the problem.

After lunch, we went to the shopping mall near our house, and then to the Automercado, the local grocery store we liked. I rapidly wrote on a sheet of paper what we needed, and divided all the ingredients by two, given that we were going to eat dinner just the two of us. We also decided to pass on the prosciutto and melon salad because otherwise it would be too much food. I bought everything on the list that I could find. So this is what I couldn’t find and what I used instead:

purple broccoli sprouts –> used more regular broccoli

red chili –> used chili flakes

fresh thyme –> used dried thyme

fresh mint –> used basil

baby zucchini of different colors –> regular zucchini

Plus… I used fusilli instead of the orecchiette, not because I didn’t find the right kind of pasta, but because my husband love fusilli.

Ok, so after the unhealthy and yet delicious meal on Saturday, we were so full to have dinner, so we postponed the adventure for Sunday. We had a light breakfast and a light lunch, totally prepared to have a good dinner…

We started by taking all the necessary equipment described at the beginning of the recipe. I then proceeded to read everything. Hubby decided he wanted to participate so we were together making every dish. It was a bit messy, but quite fun! We were bumping to each other, which made us laught, and both of us were paying attention to details so nothing would be left out. When we were done, I felt really happy with the results. The pasta looked very similar to the photo in the book, and the zucchini salad had a lovely smell.

We then moved to the best part of the night… eating! The pasta was creamy, but with just the right amount of sauce. I find this to be very good given that I love Italian food, made by Italians.  The difference between actual Italian food and one that is not is that the fake pasta is usually swimming on sauce whereas the real one is not. Thus, I found this creamy enough for taste, but also the exact amount so you don’t get sick of the flavor. Delicious!

© mylunchandinner

The salad was really good. I had never made a dressing with lemons zest. The taste is really enhanced by it! Try it, even if you are not cooking a Jamie recipe. It is absolutely recommended! The zest was not the only thing that made the dressing good though. I think the right combination of ingredients was something special, even with my exchange of basil for mint. The only thing I didn’t like was the bocconcini mozzarella. There was something about the taste, that was just not good for me. My husband didn’t like it either. I guess it my be a problem with the brand, unfortunately that is the only one sold at the store. I will try a regular kind of mozzarella whenever needed.

I do owe you the prosciutto salad, but I guess that made with the right ingredients, it should be as good as the one I did make.

In conclusion, everything was extremely delicious, and I am looking forward to next week’s Pregnant Jools! I promise next time I will make all three dishes…

© mylunchanddinner 2012