Zucchini and Caper Spaghettini Recipe – Fast, Fresh and Vegetarian

After too much fancy festive food the past couple of weeks, I’ve been craving simple pasta dishes, preferably vegetarian, and this Zucchini and Caper Spaghettini recipe from the Marie Claire Fresh + Fast cookbook hits the spot.

The following serves four and you will need:

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 medium zucchini (courgettes), grated
  • 300g spaghettini
  • 10 oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons small salted capers, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 70g grated parmesan cheese

View the full recipe.

Pickles and Picnics at Annandale’s Cornersmith Cafe

In a leafy backstreet of Annandale is Cornersmith, a cafe I go out of my way for every week.

Recently crowned Time Out Sydney’s Best Cafe, it’s the sister cafe to the original in Marrickville but this one has the perk of a park across the road, in which you can enjoy one of their picnic boxes. Grab a rug and feast on a spread of delicious pickles, salad, cheese, fruit and bread.

Cornersmith pride themselves on using locally-sourced produce from small-scale growers and makers. In addition to eating in, you can buy groceries from Cornersmith suppliers, pickling equipment, and house-made products.  I highly recommend their pear, lemon and thyme chutney.

Cornersmith Annandale is located at 88 View Street, Annandale.

Image from broadsheet.com.au

Chilli Sin Carne – A Healthy and Fast One-Pot Vegetarian Recipe

This vegetarian one pot Chilli Sin Carne recipe from the Feel Good Food cookbook is fast, easy and healthy, making it the perfect midweek dinner. The majority of ingredients you can keep in the pantry so little planning ahead is needed.

It’s a cheap, low-fat, high-fibre and delicious dish. And it freezes well. The following serves four generously if you adhere to the suggested changes regarding the tomatoes and capsicum. It also works well without the guacamole if you’re wanting to keep it low fuss.

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 red capsicum, seeds removed, finely chopped (we throw an extra green capsicum in to up the veg intake)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes (the original recipe calls for one can but we prefer two)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 400g can lentils, rinsed, drained
  • Steamed brown rice, low fat thick Greek style yoghurt, guacamole and coriander leaves, to serve

View the full recipe.

Thanks to Paige for sharing this with me.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – A New Cookbook by Samin Nosrat

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a new cookbook by chef, writer and teacher, Samin Nosrat. Designed to be your compass in the kitchen, the cookbook demystifies the four elements of good cooking – salt, which enhances flavour; fat, which delivers flavour and generates texture; acid, which balances flavour; and heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food – and shows that if you can master these, anything you cook will be delicious.

I can cook but I’ve largely been a follow the recipe type person.  I have high hopes that this will be the book that transforms me into one of those people that say: “I’ve only got these three obscure ingredients at hand but I’m going to whip you up something sensational.”

Hungarian Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower Soup Recipe

This flavoursome cauliflower soup recipe is perfect if you’re bunkering down at home for the afternoon as much of the prep can be done ahead of time. I had no idea what nokedli were prior to eating this soup (they are Hungarian mini dumplings that are fried in butter and scattered on top of the soup) but I am delighted they are now in my life.

The following serves 4-6 people, involves around 40 minutes preparation and 80 minutes cooking time.

You will need:

  • 110 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg cauliflower, cut into florets
  • garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian paprika, plus extra, to serve
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
  • To serve: sour cream and lemon wedges
  • ¼ cup each (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley and dill 


  • 150 gm(1 cup) plain flour
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • For tossing: olive oil

View the full recipe.

Winter Warming Chestnut, Porcini Mushroom & Potato Soup Recipe

This rich and delicious soup recipe from Skye Gyngell is on high rotation in my house during winter. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine, preferably by a fire. The following serves 4 and you will need:

  • 60g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 eschalot, finely chopped
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.5kg small potatoes (such as desiree), quartered, chopped
  • 1.5L (6 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 10 roasted, peeled chestnuts, quartered (see how)
  • 1 1/4 cups (100g) freshly grated parmesan
  • Finely chopped parsley, to garnish

View full recipe.

Lamb and Haloumi Sausage Rolls – A Party Pleasing Recipe

I’ve been asked a couple of times for this party-pleasing recipe so here it is. The lamb and haloumi make a nice departure from traditional sausage rolls and given mint jelly is not something I usually have on hand, I grate some zucchini and/or carrot through instead. They are best served hot from the oven. The following makes 24 and you will need:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup mint jelly
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
  • 200g haloumi, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • Sliced red onion, mint leaves and tomato to serve (optional)

View the full recipe (recipe from Delicious Love To Cook


Spelt Salad with Squash & Fennel Recipe

This grainy and substantial autumn/winter salad recipe with roasted squash and fennel is from The River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It is a complete meal in itself but also works well as a side dish. Fennel is high on my list of favourite vegetables so I find it hard to experiment too wildly with this recipe but you could easily use other vegetables based on the season. The recipe serves 4 and you will need:

  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Fennel bulbs
  • Garlic
  • Walnuts
  • Pearled spelt (or pearl barley)
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese
  • Parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

View the full recipe.

Spaghetti with Clams, Saffron & Leek Recipe

Spaghetti alle vongole would be a top contender if I had to choose a last meal. This creamy (but not in an over-the-top way) take on it is one of many great dishes in a Gourmet Traveller Seafood cookbook from 2004. If vongole/clams are not available you could substitute with pippies. The following serves 4:

  • 20g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup pouring cream
  • Large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 1kg clams (vongole), soaked in cold water
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


View the full recipe.

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