Beef vermicelli cake

This is one of the cake I cut for my birthday the other day. Sure was a treat, as we at home love Italian.  With that gooey cheese on top and the meaty inside, this is nothing less I would want on a special day. Happy day! GIORNO FELICE!

You need –
  • Vermicelli – 200 grams
  • Grated parmesan cheese – ½ cup
  • Grated mozzarella cheese – ½ cup

 To make the meat sauce –
  • Onion – 1, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 1 clove, finely chopped
  • Minced/ground beef – 250 grams
  • Canned chopped tomatoes – 400 grams
  • Ground oregano – ¼ teaspoon
  • Dried basil – ¼ teaspoon
  • Red wine – 1.5 tablespoon
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the white sauce
  • Salted butter – 50 grams
  • All-purpose flour – ¼ cup
  • Milk – 1 cup

How to –

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Grease a round 8 inch spring form cake tin.
Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water till al dente. Drain well and set aside.


Heat oil in heavy bottom pan, add the onion, garlic and cook till tender. Add the minced beef. With a wooden spoon break up the beef and cook till brown. Add the tomato, wine, basil and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Reduce the heat and cook for 15- 20 minutes. Set aside.

To make the white sauce, heat a sauce pan and melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook till pale. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and stir constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and simmer for a minutes.  Turn off the heat.



To assemble –


Spread half of the vermicelli into the cake tin as the base. Layer half of the meat sauce over to form the second layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and press down with your palm of your hand. Top the remaining meat sauce, pour the while sauce and sprinkle the cheese.  Into the oven and cook for 15 minutes.  Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges  to serve.


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Free-form mushroom lasagne and a little of my daughter…


I love Italian! Infact it’s one of my favorite cuisine. All of us at home love Italian especially my 5 year old daughter who asks for pasta or risotto every other day:) She  is not much into spicy food but makes an effort in tasting anything new before saying no or yes.   I am happy she is getting to be more interested with cooking and food in general. Sits with me to watch some of the shows on TV; Giada and Nigella are her favorites. Why? Because they both look like fairies 🙂 .

               

Daughters are beautiful… She is my best friend now and I am her’s at least she tells me that now 😉 it’s a beautiful relationship! She speaks what I think.. She understands my silence.. She is growing up to be a beautiful daughter…!!! But then let me warn you she is loudness personified and loves to talk non-stop. Ask her why she talks so much and so loud ?! Because her dad has asked her to speak her mind..;) LOL. Well then sometimes it’s an absolute embarrassment like the other day  as we were checking out of the super market, Saana (BTW that’s her name) picked up a bar of chocolate and told me she wants to pay herself. I gave her 5$ and she ran to the check-out counter; in her loudest best she asked the staff at the counter “are you the pay girl..?!!” The staff went red on her face and people who heard her burst into laughter… N i stood there frozen not knowing what do n say!!! She goes again” are you the pay girl at the cash register? I need to pay for my chocolate…!” Sign!! ah! 

And yes I missed, she is absolutely crazy about cars. Loves to watch the Auto shows and knew all the car logos when she was 1.8 years old. Here’s a video I would like to share 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbYr3Ms3oGM

And the recipe, I think this is just perfect if you want to have a light lunch. Its simple and easy to make. Actually I think any leftover stir-fries in the fridge you if you have, would be a good idea to fill in too… 

You need –
  • Button mushrooms – 250 grams, thinly sliced
  • Salted butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Small onion – 1, thinly sliced
  • Chopped fresh thyme – 2-3 sprigs
  • Egg Yolk – 1
  • Thick cream – 50 mls
  • Parmesan cheese – grated, 3 tablespoons + extra for garnishing
  • Lasagne sheets – 4

How to –

Heat the butter in a frying pan. Cook the onions till soft. Add the thyme and mushrooms. Cook till soft. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with pepper and set aside.

Beat the egg yolk, cream and 3 tablespoons of cheese in a bowl.  Cook the lasagne sheets in boiling water till al dente. Drain well and toss the sheets through the egg mixture while hot. Be gentle so you don’t tear the sheets.

To serve, place the sheet on a plate, place some mushroom mixture on half of the sheet and fold the sheet into half gently. Drizzle the remaining egg mixture and sprinkle grated cheese over the lasagne and serve.



Fettuccine with shrimps and veggies

These days prefer my food with lots of fresh veggies and  trying to make it more colorful too!
 
You need –
  • Fettuccine pasta – 200 grams (I have used spinach fettuccine)
  • Shrimps – 200 grams, cleaned
  • olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • garlic cloves – 2, finely sliced
  • Broccoli – 1 medium size. Cut into small florets Steamed until crisp and tender
  • Capsicum – thinly sliced length wise, 1 cup
  • Butter – 1 tablespoon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
 
How to –
 
Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. In saucepan, heat oil and add garlic, shrimp and salt. Let simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the capsicum mix well. Cook for 2 minutes, covered. Add the pasta, steamed broccoli, butter, salt and pepper. Toss well. Turn of the heat.  On to a serving plate drizzle the lemon juice. Garnish with cheese.
 
 

Pasta alla Carbonara

Who invented this dish??!! Well who ever did, has sure invented a classic. The art of making a perfect carbonara is finding the right point when raw eggs are added to the cooked pasta, are no longer liquid but yet cooked and creamy.

Pasta alla Carbonara
You need –
  • Bacon slices – 150 grams
  • Spaghetti (you also use linguine, fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) – 500 grams
  • Eggs – 4
  • Heavy cream – ½ cup
  • Grated parmesan cheese – 3/4 cups
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoon or as required.
  • Salt and pepper – as per taste.

How to-
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until done.
  • In pan heat oil and cook the sliced bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  • Beat the eggs, cream in bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese and combine.
  • Drain the pasta and add the bacons. On a low heat, add the egg mixture. Mix vigorously to coat the pasta evenly and the eggs cook but still creamy.

Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

Pasta alla Carbonara

Please note – as soon as you add the egg mixture, work quickly to toss everything together. Ensure you don’t let the eggs cook too much otherwise they will start to scramble. Eggs should be at room temperature to start. I have used linguine.

Macaroni eggplant bake

Macaroni eggplant bake
You will need-
  • Macaroni – 125 grams
  • Eggplant – big 2 – 3. Thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoon or as required
  • Onion – 1 chopped
  • Garlic – 1 clove crushed
  • Minced chicken – 500 grams
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes – 425 grams
  • Tomato paste – 2 tablespoon
  • Frozen peas – 1 cup
  • Grated mozzarella cheese – 1 cup
  • Grated cheddar cheese – ½ cup
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1 beaten
  • Salt and pepper as per taste
How to – 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 C or 350 C
  • Grease a round spring form cake tin
  • Bring water to boil in sauce pan and cook the pasta and drain well.
  • Arrange the sliced eggplant in a colander or a large strainer. Sprinkle generously with salt. Leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse well. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan (2 tablespoon) and fry the eggplant in single layer until light brown (fry in batches) remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Add onion and garlic in the same pan and stir until soft. Add the chicken and cook until it browns.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, season with salt and pepper. combine well and cook for 15-20 minutes on low flame.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the peas, macaroni, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, egg, half the Parmesan and combine with the chicken.
  • Place a slice of the eggplant in the center of the cake tin. Now arrange the sides of the tin with slices in a overlapping pattern. This will cover the base and side of the tin.
  • Sprinkle ½ of the Parmesan. Spoon the meat filling into the eggplant shell pressing it down gently. Arrange the remaining eggplant on the top to cover the filling. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or till golden brown.
Macaroni eggplant bake
Let it rest for 5 minutes before you set into a serving plate.