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Category Archives: recipes with meat

Sexy Spaghetti Bolognese (gluten & dairy free!)

Sexy Spaghetti Bolognese (gluten & dairy free!)

Spag Bol, as it’s commonly known here, is a classic.  It’s simple, and everyone loves it.  I’ve often heard Gino D’acampo say that in Italy, you won’t have spaghetti with bolognese – but since I can’t seem to get gluten free tagliatelle, or fettuccine, gluten free spaghetti will have to do.  And it does, quite nicely!

Truthfully, I had never eaten spaghetti bolognese until I met B  7 years ago, and then, it meant frying some beef mince and onion, stirring in a jar of sauce, and putting it on some spaghetti.  If that sounds like your version, next time you’re at the shop, instead of buying that jar of ‘sauce’, just pick up a carton of tomato passata.  It couldn’t be simpler to make it from scratch, and surely far cheaper than buying a gluten free sauce.

I’ve been off work for a little while with a bad foot, so I seem to have watched a lot of daytime TV, and have picked up some tips too.  Gino alwas says that you never put the sauce on top of the pasta; you always put the pasta into the sauce. This might well be common knowledge, but it’s not the way I used to do it, and it seems to make on hell of a difference!  Anyway, I know most people have their own recipe for this family favourite, but incase, like me, you’d always made it using a jar of sauce, here’s my ridiculously easy yet amazingly tasty version of ‘Spag Bol”…

Ingredients:

250g lean beef mince

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 mini portabella mushrooms, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and pressed / finely chopped

500g tomato passata (sieved tomatoes, from a carton)

1 whole dried bay leaf

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp each of dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley

250g gluten free spaghetti (I used corn)

Method:

  • In a large saucepan, add about 1tbsp olive oil to the mince, and break it up with the back of a spoon, while on a low heat
  • Once the mince has started to brown, add the onion, mushrooms and red pepper
  • Once the veggies have softened and the mince is pretty much cooked, add the garlic and stir through
  • Now add the passata, and turn up the heat to bring it to a simmer
  • Mix in the black pepper, oregano and basil, and bury the bayleaf, whole, in the sauce
  • Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (add the parsley in for the last 5 minutes of cooking)
  • Meanwhile put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta (I don’t salt my water; I don’t see the need, but do so if you must)
  • Put your spaghetti into the boiling water, and cook for 8-9 minutes, until it is ‘al dente’ – cooked but firm
  • Drain your spaghetti, and put it into your bolognese sauce, mixing well
  • Give your spaghetti about a minute to soak up some sauce, then serve and enjoy!

Easy! So that’s how I do it.  I get 3 good servings from this, so it feeds me and B, with leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.  I use dried herbs, but if you have fresh to hand then use those instead.  One day I’ll have a little herb garden up and running, but until then, my dried herbs will serve me well.

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SaucySaturday: Smoky Salami Pasta (gluten & dairy free!)

Saturdays are meant to be fun, free and easy, yes? That’s why, on a Saturday, I like to make food that’s quick and simple.  It still needs to be tasty though, and it still needs to keep B happy, since he’s jumped on the gluten & lactose free bandwagon with me, to make life easier.  Tonight, we fancied pasta.  Pasta and olives.

I should probably explain that this isn’t strictly just ‘salami’ pasta – I used some smoked streaky bacon, too.  I had some salami left over from last night’s epic pizzathon, and some bacon in the fridge ready for the mandatory Sunday bacon sandwich, so I used a bit of both.

 

Ingredients:

5 slices of salami, chopped

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced / finely chopped

1 small green chilli, finely chopped (deseed for less heat)

500ml tomato passata

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp black pepper

175g dry GF pasta (I used Sainsburys corn penne)

 

Method:

  • Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta
  • In a drizzle of oil, heat the salami and bacon in a large saucepan for around 5 minutes over a fairly high heat, until they start to brown
  • Add the chopped pepper to the pan, turn down the heat, and stir through, allowing to cook for a few more minutes
  • Add the garlic and chilli, and heat for no more than a further 30 seconds (burned garlic will become bitter, and by this stage the pan will be hot so it will cook quickly)
  • Now stir in the passata, and season with the smoked paprika and black pepper

While the sauce simmers, it’s time to add the pasta to the boiling water.  Simmer for about 7 minutes, until the pasta is cooked but still firm – ‘al dente’

  • Drain the pasta, and quickly stir it into the sauce
  • Allow the pasta to heat in the sauce for about a minute, and then serve!

This made enough to feed 2 hungry people.  Me and B are always greedy hungry.

Of course, pasta loves a side of olives.  Stuffed olives, to be more precise.  I had bought a jar of ready-pitted olives, and really fancied stuffing them with lactofree cheese. Tonight was the first time I attempted the ancient art of olive-stuffing, and it was a bit fiddly, but turned out great, with the use of the back of a small spoon.  Then I dressed them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree, and about 1/2 a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.  They were yum, if I do say so myself!

So that was my Saucy Saturday.  Now sat with B, sipping a GF lager, and watching the Bodyguard.  Perfect weekend :)

 

SomethingForTheWeekend: Homemade Katsu Curry (gluten & dairy free)

Katsu curry is always someting I’ve loved at Wagamama’s – but theirs isn’t gluten free and always results in me going home doubled over in pain! Here’s a recipe for you to try that won’t leave you in pain and is seriously less complicated than it looks!

The original recipe I used is here: katsu curry, but below is my adapted recipe, to make it gluten free as well as dairy free, and I’ve halved the quantities because I was only cooking for me and hubby (and to suit what I had in the cupboard)

For the sauce:

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1 cardamom pod

1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1 onion, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

2cm piece ginger, chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced,

1 green chilli, sliced

200g chopped tomatoes (from a tin)

125ml free range chicken stock

1/2 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp GF tamari sauce

2 spring onions, chopped

For the Katsu:

2 free range chicken breasts, cut into strips

75g gluten free plain flour (rice flour or any GF flour)

100g gluten free breadcrumbs (I used mrs crimbles)

1 free range egg (lightly beaten)

4 tbsp vegetable oil

(and some long grain rice – 75g per person – for serving with)

Method: (it’s easier than you think!)

  • Toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom for 1 or 2 minutes (until they smell amazing) and then finely ground in a pestle and mortar, and add the turmeric and fenugreek
  • In a large pan, heat the onion, pepper and ginger in a little oil for 6-8 minutes, untl softened.
  • Add the garlic and chilli, stirring through and allowing to heat for no more than 30 seconds, or the garlic will become bitter.
  • Add the ground spices and tinned tomatoes, followed by the stock
  • Simmer genty for 20 minutes

Meanwhile…

  • Get your flour, breadcrumbs and egg laid out in separate plates / shallow bowls
  • Coat your chicken pieces firstly in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs, and set aside on a clean plate

Back to the sauce…

  • Once the sauce has been heating for around 20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
  • Pour back into the pan and mix in the honey and soy sauce
  • Keep it on a very low heat until ready to serve

To Finish…

  • If serving with rice, add it to boiling water now (long grain rice, depending on the type, takes between 10 and 20 minutes)
  • Add a few tbsp oil to a frying pan, heat, and add half the breaded chicken (not to overcrowd the pan)
  • Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes each side,until golden brown & coked through ( cut a large piece open if you’re not sure) then put aside on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil (and repeat for the rest of the chicken)
  • At the last minute, add chopped spring onions to your curry sauce and turn off the heat
  • Serve, a mound of rice, pour over the curry sauce and top with the breaded chicken.

Yum.  It looks like a lot of work, but it’s not if you follow the steps in the right order. It’s such a satisfying curry, perfect for a Friday Night, and who’s to say you can’t change the chicken for another meat… or vegetables (Wagamamas do a fantastic veggie katsu curry with breaded sweet potato, squash and aubergine!) Go on, give it a try!

Food for Lovers: Spicy Chorizo Pasta (gluten & dairy free)

This is what I made for myself and hubby last night, our Valentine’s dinner. It’s the simplicity of Italy married with the fire of Spain. I don’t have a picture of it because, truthfully I got carried away eating it, but if you imagine; pieces of orange pepper and spicy sausage peeking out from under the penne pasta, smothered in blood red sauce with flecks of green basil running through it… you’ve got the idea. There were many reasons why I chose this. Firstly, tomatoes are red; the colour of love & passion. Secondly, meat is a supposed aphrodisiac, and there is little sexier than chorizo.  Lastly, a bowl of pasta is quick to make – which means more time to spend with your OH :)

Ingredients:

200g gluten free pasta (dry weight) – I used corn penne pasta

250g chorizo (chopped however you like)

1 red or orange pepper

5 (approx) medium mushrooms (chopped)

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic (peeled & minced)

400ml tomato passata

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp basil

Method:

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil (for the pasta)
  • In a large deep pan, heat chorizo in a little oil, for 4-5 minutes (it will sizzle and spit so be careful)
  • Add the mushrooms, pepper and celery and continue to heat until they soften
  • Add the garlic at the last minute, stir through before adding the passata
  • Season with paprika, cayenne, and basil, then allow to simmer while you cook the pasta
  • Add pasta to the boiling water, and cook until al dente – firm (this is because you will finish cooking the pasta in the sauce)
  • Corn pasta is usually al dente after about 7 minutes, so then drain it and quickly throw it into the sauce, stir through and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes longer
  • That’s it, serve, and enjoy!

This worked well with a little tapenade of olives and cheese, a mocktail of white grape, elderflower, pomegranate & blueberry juice, followed with strawberries & cherries dipped (seductively of course) in melted dairy free chocolate. Who am I kidding – you can’t dip anything seductively in chocolate because it ultimately ends up all over your face, but it was a nice touch.

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