Posted in food

Ham Hock Mac and Cheese

Cheese and pasta, what’s not to like?!

I love a macaroni cheese, it is such a versatile meal. You can have it as a starter, a side dish or a main meal. And my gosh it is great!

I love to mix up the recipe a little adding different ingredients and making it something special each time.

For this recipe I added ham (forgot tomatoes) and a small teaspoon of yellow mustard. It tasted amazing and belles absolutely loved it. Paired with a side salad and some garlic bread this dish becomes a full on meal.

Ingredients

  • 375g macaroni pasta
  • 125g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1ltr milk
  • 2tbsp dijon mustard
  • 300g gruyere grated
  • 150g extra mature cheddar grated
  • 500g ham hock shredded
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs

How I made it

  1. Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until just tender. drain and toss in olive oil.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in flour and cook out for a few mins. heat the milk separately, then whisk into the flour and butter over a low heat until thickened. stir in the mustard and all the cheese keeping back about 5tbsp
  3. Heat the oven to 190c/ gas 5. mix sause into pasta add ham. Put into large dish and top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in oven for 20mins or until golden.

There you have it! My wonderful take on a macaroni cheese. Look out for more of my macaroni recipes as I explore this dish with more flavours!

Much love

Emma xxx

Posted in food

Creamy Leek and Kale Lasagne

A lasagne has been a family favourite for decades in my household, but I was beginning to get a little tired of having the same lasagne everytime. I decided to try and change it up a little, and this is the kind of lasagne that I created.

Ingredients

  • 300g Kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • juice of half lemon
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 200g ricotta
  • 150ml veg stock
  • 4 tbsp basil pesto
  • lasagne sheets
  • parmesan, grated

How I made it

  1. preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas mark 6. Grease baking dish with olive oil
  2. bring pan of salted water to boil. add kale. cook for 4-5 mins then drain. pat dry with kitchen paper
  3. heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. add leeks and season generously. cook for 8-10 mins
  4. add garlic and thyme and cook for 2 mins. add kale, lemon juice, mascarpone and ricotta (leave 4 tbsp for later. mix to combine well
  5. add veg stock to loosen into a thick sauce. remove from heat
  6. spread 1/4 of sauce into bottom of dish. dollop 1 tablespoon of pesto, then layer with lasagne sheets. do this until all sauce has been used. end with lasagne sheets.
  7. mix the last bits of ricotta with a splash of stock, spread over the top layer. add grated parmesan.
  8. bake for 20 mins until golden and bubbling.

There were mixed reviews about this dish, my little one decided it was “yucky” before even trying it but everyone else seemed to enjoy it as an alternative to the standard type.

Let me know what you think! Will you be trying this as well??

Enjoy xx

Posted in food

Chicken, Bacon and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta is such a simple dish to make, you can literally throw anything you like into it and it makes it something special.

I love to pack my pasta dishes full of veg and goodness, but sometimes I let us have a naughty binge with our pasta.

The Chicken Alfredo is my twist on a classic carbonara and is super delicious. Served with a side salad or a slice of garlic bread it is a wonderful treat for all.

Ingredients

  • 320g fettuccine or tagliatelle
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 6 streaky bacon rashers chopped
  • 4 chicken fillets
  • salt and black pepper
  • knob of butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 200g mushrooms sliced thickly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 220ml cream
  • 200ml whole milk
  • handful parsley
  • 100g spinach chopped
  1. Put the pasta on to cook according to package instructions
  2. heat olive oil in large pan over med heat, cook bacon until crisp and golden
  3. season chicken with salt and pepper add to pan which bacon was cooked in. cook for 3-4 mins each side until golden and just cooked through. transfer to plate with bacon, cover with foil to keep warm
  4. melt butter in same pan, add onion, cook for 3-4 mins until soft. add mushrooms and cook for 6-8 mins until golden. Add garlic and cook for around 30secs
  5. add cream and milk, summer for 8-10mins or until begins to thicken. add in chicken and bacon. season to taste.
  6. add cooked pasta, fresh parsley and spinach, stir to combine. warm through for 1-2mins.
  7. serve with parmesan

This is a really quick and simple dish that tastes amazing. My little girl didnt think so though! She much preferred the garlic bread, but you win some you lose some. X

Let me know what you think about this recipe and if you’re going to give it a try x

Enjoy! Xx

Posted in food

Tuna Pasta Bake

This is a dish that can be used as a packed lunch. I used to have Tuna Pasta Bake for lunch hundreds of times at school. It’s a sure fire way to make sure that little ones are getting a healthy meal, and is perfect for those busy days when school is over. On an evening when you have football, dance, piano, karate, anything that your children might do, giving them a meal at lunch means that they can have a lighter option for their dinner.

Nobody likes to have a hungry child.

As stated above, this is a recipe which I used when I was a child. My mum used to make it, and then she taught me.

That’s what cooking is about though, right? Finding a recipe which everyone likes and passing your version of it down generation after generation. You add in “secret ingredients” or you mix everything in a particular way to get the taste/texture etc, you desire.

Cooking is all about experimenting and that is what I do with my food everyday. I make sure to teach my little one (who’s only 3) the basics of cooking every time I make something, and as she gets older she will do more. Cooking is a fundamental skill which we all need in order to survive. It brings us joy, flavour, colour, and taste. It makes our lives brighter and better. More importantly, it keeps us alive.

So here is my recipe for a wonderful Tuna Pasta Bake.

Ingredients

  • Pasta (usually a cup of pasta per mouth, plus one for luck)
  • 2 tins of tuna
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 100ml milk (or more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • Cheese to serve
  • 1 packet of plain crisps crushed (optional)

you can also add peppers or mushrooms if you desire which makes a slightly different dish, just as delicious.

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. Put the pasta on to boil as per packet instructions.
  3. Melt the butter over a low heat, and add the flour in gradually. Heat through for around 3 mins.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer (but continuously stirring so the milk doesn’t burn) until a thick sauce has developed.
  5. Add in the tomato puree and heat through until completely mixed in.
  6. Add in Tuna and Sweetcorn until heated.
  7. Drain Pasta and mix into the sauce.
  8. Pour pasta into an oven proof dish. Top with Cheese and crushed crisps, place in oven for around 20 mins, or until golden and bubbling.
  9. Serve up with a salad.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. This is a super scrummy dish that I think is perfect for lunch, instead of always having sandwiches in different varieties.

Much Love xx

Emma x