Lemon Spaghetti with Chicken and Goat’s Cheese

Ingredients

 

300g Spaghetti
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200-300g Chicken Fillet
A pack Green Beans, around 170 – 200g, washed and trimmed
150g Goat’s Cheese or Feta Cheese, chopped or crumbled
1 Small Lemon, grated and juiced
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 150 degrees.

Whilst it’s heating, drain the tomatoes (the juice can be saved for a Pasta Sauce). Rub the chicken with a little olive oil or butter and wrap it in tinfoil. Put the Tomatoes and the chicken on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the Tomatoes with a little pepper and olive oil, then pop in the oven for about an hour. Check it, and turn it all over, after half-an-hour.

Meanwhile, cook the Spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 minutes. Add the green beans to the Spaghetti pan after a couple of minutes.

When the Spaghetti it is how you like it – ‘al dente’ or a little softer – drain it; the beans will be cooked. Immediately run cold water through the Spaghetti and beans to cool them down, and put them to into a large serving bowl.

Wash the lemon, then grate some of the lemon skin into a small bowl or jar. Squeeze the lemon juice into the same bowl. Add a pinch of salt & pepper, then a tablespoon of olive oil and whisk or shake to blend them well.

Check that the chicken is cooked in the middle and the Tomatoes are not burnt. (Remove the Tomatoes if the chicken needs longer.) When cooked, let them cool slightly, then slice or tear the chicken into smaller pieces, and cut the beans in half.

If serving straightaway, mix everything together in the serving bowl – Spaghetti & green beans, chicken pieces, Tomatoes, crumbled cheese and lemon dressing – until the Spaghetti is glossily coated in the dressing.

If serving later, let the chicken and the tomatoes cool completely, then mix everything together and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready.

Delicious on its own as a summery supper, and possibly even more delicious, kept in the fridge overnight for lunch or as part of a picnic tomorrow!




Spaghetti Meatballs with Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

300g Spaghetti
2 cans Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
6 Sausages, about 400g, such as good quality pork sausages
3 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
100g Baby Button Mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Cheese

Method

Make the meatballs by removing the skins from sausages. You can do this by running scissors under the skin, along the length of the sausage. Discard the skins.

Divide each sausage into 4 pieces and roll each piece gently to make small meatballs. Place them on a plate, covered, whilst you make the sauce.

Warm 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat, and then add the garlic and onion. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until the onion is softened and golden.

Add the oregano and mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée. Fry for another minute.

Carefully pour the Chopped Tomatoes into the pan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs for about 5 minutes, turning frequently until they are browned and cooked through.

Add the cooked meatballs to the tomato sauce and let it simmer for another 10 minutes whilst you cook the Pasta.

Cook the Spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 8 to 10 minutes. When it’s how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer, drain the pasta.

Serve the Spaghetti with a generous portion of meatball sauce. Sprinkle the Grated Italian Cheese over the top and serve immediately with black pepper for a final flourish.




Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Courgettes

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

350g Spaghetti
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Medium Courgettes, sliced
A handful Fresh Basil leaves, roughly torn
Up to half a teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (optional)
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Hard Cheese*

Method

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes.

Whilst the Pasta is cooking, warm the Olive Oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.

Add the sliced courgette and the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip the courgettes occasionally until they are browned evenly and soft enough to eat.

Add the tomatoes, and chilli flakes if using, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is hot.

Check the Pasta and when it is how you like it, ‘al dente’ or slightly softer, drain it and tip into the sauce. Stir well until Pasta is glossily coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle the roughly torn basil and the Grated Italian Cheese* (if using) over the top and serve immediately with black pepper for a final flourish.




Fusilli with Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

350g Fusilli
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Cook Italia Tomato Purée
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
A teaspoon Dried Oregano
A good sprinkling Black Pepper and Salt
A handful Fresh Basil leaves, roughly torn
125g Mascarpone Cheese (so, half a 250g tub)
A sprinkling of Cook Italian Grated Italian Cheese*

 

 

Method

Cook the Spirali pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Whilst the Pasta is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat then add the garlic and fry, stirring gently, for about a minute, until it is lightly golden but not burnt.

Carefully pour in the Chopped Tomatoes, then add a scant half can of water, the Tomato Purée & oregano and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper, and stir well.

Turn the heat down to a simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the Pasta is ready.

Now take a spoonful of the Pasta water and put it into the Tomato sauce, then drain off the rest of the water from the Pasta – you don’t need to keep any more of the Pasta water.

Add the Mascarpone cheese and torn basil leaves to the tomato sauce too, and stir well.

Tip the cooked, drained Spirali into the tomato sauce, and gently mix them all together so that the pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce.

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Grated Italian Hard Cheese* (if using) and a twist of black pepper for the truly Italian touch.

Hints & Tips:

For a bigger portion of sauce, add another can of chopped tomatoes instead of the half-can of water, or half a jar of passata, to the pasta sauce as you are warming it.

For added protein, add left-over cooked chicken, or fry off sliced sausages or Italian Pepperoni and stir these into the sauce as you combine them all together with the pasta.




Fusilli Pasta Bake

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

350g Fusilli Pasta
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Large Red Onion, chopped
2 cans Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
100g Fresh Spinach Leaves, or 6 cubes frozen Spinach, defrosted & drained
1 ball (approx. 120g) Mozzarella
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Cheese*
25g Grated Cheddar Cheese

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200oC, 180 oC fan, gas mark 6.

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, and gently fry the garlic and onion for 5 minutes until soft, but not browned.

Gently add both cans of Chopped Tomatoes, the Tomato Purée and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan, and stir well.

Cover and leave to simmer for a few minutes whilst you check the Pasta.

Check the pasta and when it is how you like it – ‘al dente’ or slightly softer – drain it and tip the hot, drained pasta into the sauce.

Add the spinach and the sliced Mozzarella and mix until the Pasta is coated in the sauce.

Put the mixture into an oven-proof dish and sprinkle the Grated Italian Cheese* (if using) and the grated Cheddar cheese over the top.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned.

For best results, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Join in the enjoyment as your dish disappears!




Sausage & Bean Casserole

Ingredients

400g Sausages
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion
1 clove Garlic
2 cans Mixed Beans such as Cannellini or Borlotti, drained & rinsed
1 can Cook Italia Chopped or Plum Tomatoes
300ml Beef Stock, or a stock cube dissolved in 300ml hot water
1 tablespoon Dried Basil or a handful of fresh Basil
A pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Hard Cheese
Slices Fresh crusty bread to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC.

Prick the sausages, place on an oven tray and cook on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes.

Whilst the sausages are cooking, warm the Olive Oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry, stirring, for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and fry for another minute, still stirring.

Tip the drained and rinsed beans into the pan together with the can of Tomatoes, the stock and dried basil if using. If using whole Plum Tomatoes, break them up a bit with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

When the sausages are ready, add them to the sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the fresh basil if using, and stir well.

Spoon the Casserole into bowls, giving each bowl their fair share of sausages! Sprinkle with Grated Hard Cheese and serve with crusty bread.




Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

Ingredients

Half a full head Garlic, cut across the bulbs
5 Red Peppers
1 bottle Cook Italia Passata
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
500ml Stock, or a stock cube dissolved in 500ml hot water
A teaspoon Sugar
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A handful Fresh Basil leaves, roughly torn
4 spoonsful Crème Fraiche to serve, optional

Method

To roast the garlic: pre-heat the oven to 200OC, 180OC fan, gas mark 6. Slice through the whole garlic head so that the bulbs are exposed, rub the half-head all over with Olive Oil and roast on a tray in the oven for about 20 minutes until it has softened.

Whilst the garlic is roasting, remove the skin from the peppers – this is an Italian way:

Rub the peppers with Olive Oil.
Place under a hot grill and turn regularly so that they blacken all over.
Quickly remove them from the grill and put them into a large bowl.
Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and let them sweat for 10 minutes or so.
At this stage they’ll be cool enough to handle and the skins will slip off easily.

When the garlic is soft, remove it from the oven and squeeze the garlic out of its skin and put aside.

Whilst the peppers are cooling, warm the Olive Oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft but not burnt.

Add the Passata, skinned peppers, sugar and garlic and stir well. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to so that it bubbles gently for 25 minutes.

Pour the finished soup into a blender and whiz for a few seconds until it’s as smooth as you like it.

Drizzle the torn basil with a little Olive Oil, scatter over the soup with an optional spoonful of crème fraiche. Serve immediately, offering freshly ground black pepper for a final flourish.




Penne Arrabbiata

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

350g Penne Pasta
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder or flakes or 2 deseeded, chopped fresh Chillies
1 can or carton Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
1 large handful Fresh Basil or a teaspoon of dried Basil
A good sprinkling of Cook Italia Grated Italian Hard Cheese*

Method

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes. 

While the Pasta is cooking, make the sauce:

Warm the Olive Oil in a pan on a medium heat, and then add the crushed garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute, until it is softened but not burnt.

Add the chilli and cook for a further minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the Chopped Tomatoes and Tomato Purée, and if you are using dried basil, add that now too. Then when it’s bubbling gently, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.

Check the Pasta… when it is how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer, drain it and tip the hot, drained Pasta, and the fresh basil if using, to the pan with the sauce.

Stir well until the Pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle with Grated Italian Cheese* (if using) for the truly Italian touch.

Serve immediately, and enjoy the results – and the praise!




Penne Pasta with Mushrooms ‘Alla Boscaiola’

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

350g Penne
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Shallot or small onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, chopped or crushed
200g Mushrooms, cleaned & chopped, or 100g mushrooms with 100g (re-hydrated) porcini mushrooms for a stronger ‘woodland mushroom’ taste.
A handful Flat leaf parsley, chopped
Leaves from a sprig Rosemary, finely chopped
½ glass (about 75ml) White wine or water
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Hard Cheese*

Method

Warm a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat then add the shallots & garlic and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until they are softened but not coloured.

Add the remaining olive oil, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the rosemary, and the porcini if using, and cook for 2 minutes more.

Gently pour in the Chopped Tomatoes, then add the Tomato Purée and the white wine (if using) or water and stir well.

Turn the heat down to a simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, whilst you cook the Pasta. Add about a tablespoon of water if it is looking too dry at any point.

Meanwhile, cook the Penne pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes. When it’s how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer, drain the pasta.

Add the cooked, drained Penne, and the fresh parsley to the pan with the sauce, and stir them together so that the pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce.

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Grated Italian Hard Cheese* (if using) and a twist of black pepper for the truly Italian touch.




Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

(*omit for vegetarians)

100g Cook Italia Ditali Pasta (or other pasta broken up, such as short pieces of Spaghetti)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 Medium Carrots, diced into small cubes
75g Green Beans, sliced
2 sticks Celery, sliced
1litre Water
1 Stock Cube
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Cheese*

Method

Warm the Olive Oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add onions & garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not burnt.

Add the cubed potatoes and vegetables, Chopped Tomatoes and Tomato Purée, the water and stock cube, and stir well.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer with the lid partly covering the pan for at least 30 minutes so that soup starts to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add the Pasta with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to the boil for about 10 minutes until the Pasta is soft enough. Add a little boiling water if the soup looks too thick.

Serve it from the pan or a bowl, ladling it generously into bowls and sprinkling with Grated Italian Hard Cheese* (if using).

At Hallowe’en your Minestrone will look frighteningly striking in a pumpkin from which the seeds and stringy bits have been removed.