sun-dried tomato

woop woop, a healthy crowd pleaser for the weekend..

This is another easy pasta salad that is perfect for the heat.  Whenever I have a small gathering, this is a must make dish.  Everyone does it differently and I have my ways of making it as well.  You hold the liberty to add whatever veggies you like, don't need to follow everything I do here.  ;) Have a lovely weekend ahead.  

italian pasta salad

my little trick is just frying the garlic and sun-dried tomato to add fragrance and flavor to the oil.  

Servings: 4 persons

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

350g cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 small shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic cloves

4 tbsp fresh pesto ( I made it with around 100g fresh basil)

4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup olives

150g feta 

400g pasta, cooked according to the package label

1 lemon zest

1 handful toasted pine nuts

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil, cook the chopped garlic with sun-dried tomatoes for about 2-3 minutes on low heat.  

2) Add the cooked pasta, cherry tomato, olive, shallot, pesto, feta, garlicky sun-dried tomato, toasted pine nuts and olive oil in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Season, garnish with lemon zest and serve.

italian pasta salad 

here is a vegetarian version of carbonara and an easy recipe to use up the excess herbs sitting in your fridge :)

In this recipe, I basically substitute the sun-dried tomato for bacon.  Another special twist I made is to make some fresh garlic breadcrumbs with herbs.  This is a good way to finish your old herbs and breads.  :) 

Ingredients for the garlicky breadcrumbs: 

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 sprig sage, chopped

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan(parmigiano reggiano)

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with a little olive oil on medium low heat, add garlic and sage.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes until they turn golden. 

2) Add breadcrumbs and reduce heat if needed.  Please make sure not to burn the crumbs and cook for 1-2 minutes max.  Heat off.  

3) Season and add grated cheese.  

Ingredient list for ms carbonara :) 

2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 egg yolk, seasoned and add 1 tbsp grated parmesan 

1 tbsp parmesan (parmigianno reggiano)

1/2 lemon zest

1 tbsp garlicky breadcrumbs

1 ladle vegetable soup stock* (or you can use pasta water)

100g spaghetti, cooked according to the package label in salt water, remove from water 1 minute before it's cooked

extra-virgin olive oil 

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium low heat, add the chopped sun-dried tomato and cook for 2 minutes. 

2) Add a ladle of vegetable stock and the cooked pasta,  stir and reduce to low heat for 30 seconds.  Heat off. 

3) Add the seasoned egg yolk and mix well.  

4) Transfer the pasta to a plate, garnish with some garlicky breadcrumbs, lemon zest, a little more grated parmesan, and a drizzle of oil.  Ready to serve.  

a summery pasta is on the way...

Another summer dish that is packed with love.  This dish is high in fibre and low in calorie.  If you are concern about your carbo intake or weight, maybe you can consider having it for lunch.  As a vegetarian, a pasta dish usually fills me up and provides enough energy throughout the day.  I don't normally feel hungry until much later in the evening.  Oh, I also made a fresh juice with beetroot, orange, apple, lemon, ginger, and celery to go with my meal.  Not so shabby today.  ;)

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

4 large tomatoes, skin removed*, chopped

4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp caper, rinsed

1/2 lemon zest

1/2 lemon juice

1 bunch fresh parsley or basil, chopped

200g spaghetti, cooked according to the package label

extra-virgin olive oil

* To remove the skins of the tomatoes, I used a knife to mark an X at the bottom of each tomato.  Place them in hot water for a couple of minutes then peel off the skins from the bottom.  

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium-low heat, add the chopped garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.  Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes on preferably low heat to avoid burning.  Heat off after the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes are cooked. 

2) Add the capers, chopped shallots, and tomatoes.  Mix well and season. 

3) Add the cooked pasta with the tomato mixture and mix well.  Transfer to a serving plate.

4) Transfer to a serving plate.  Garnish with some chopped parsley and lemon zest.

5) Add a splash of olive oil and a twist of lemon juice before serving.