If I could eat pasta for dinner every day, I would do just that! I blogged about a slow-cooked zucchini pasta bake here and homemade ravioli here.
I decided to try something different with my sauce for this recipe, and it is so easy! Simply stir the sauce ingredients together straight in the baking tray, before adding the pasta and vegetables. I have chosen veggies that are in season and readily available, but you could use whatever you fancy or have in your kitchen.
Baking the risoni in the eggy sauce gives it a rather pudding-like texture with a pleasing crunchy topping. A lovely dish full of springtime flavours!
Baked risoni with corn, tomatoes and zucchini
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 tomatoes, halved
- 1 zucchini, shaved into thin slices
- 500g dry risoni
- 1 egg
- 500g creamed cottage cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 15g grated parmesan
- Fresh basil, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
- Heat a griddle pan and chargrill the corn, tomatoes (face down) and zucchini for 5-10 minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, cook the risoni in salted boiling water according to packet instructions.
- Grease a deep roasting tray and break the egg into it. Add the cottage cheese and mix well. Add cooked risoni and vegetables and stir to mix well.
- Top with a layer of finely grated parmesan and bake for 20 -25 mins until golden and crusty on top. Sprinkle a few leaves of fresh basil on top to serve.
My husband actually has a food blog buried in his past. Not in his long-ago past, but he no longer updates it. And on it, he shared a recipe for a baked risotto. It was his specialty recipe. As soon as he discovered how to bake risotto, rather than loyally stand at the stove stirring, he has never looked back. For a lazy weeknight, the baked risotto option is definitely a winning method that I support.
I have rejuvenated my husband’s recipe with different flavours. Salmon and leek, a classic combination. And this recipe is packed with springtime vegetables. It is nice to know that you are sitting down to a well-balanced meal. No sides required
This recipe uses one-pot, is super simple to prepare, and then just let the oven do its thing. Enjoy!
Baked salmon & leek risotto
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek, halved and sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 salmon fillets, skin off
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Knob butter
- Lemon juice, to finish
- Salt and pepper
- Grated parmesan, to serve
- Heat olive oil in an ovenproof heavy based casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
- Fry the leek, carrot and zucchini for 5 minutes in the casserole dish until vegetables have softened.
- Add the rice and mustard and stir to coat the rice evenly with the oil.
- Add stock and allow to boil. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 20 mins or until the liquid has all been absorbed.
- Meanwhile, place salmon fillets on a greased baking tray, season and bake for 12 mins or until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and flake the cooked salmon over the risotto. Stir through with the peas, butter and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with grated parmesan.
My go-to cookbook is the amazing The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. Whenever I’m not sure what to do with a vegetable, particularly if I have a lot of something, I refer to the chapter in Stephanie’s book and pick out an always-delicious recipe. The other week we had a lot of zucchinis delivered in our vegetable box and I did just that.
This recipe is inspired by Stephanie Alexander’s Slow-cooked Zucchini. I love the idea of cooking zucchini for a long time to create a glossy and unctuous texture. It makes this simple ingredient so luxurious.
I decided to turn the zucchini into a creamy pasta bake, because how can you go wrong with a creamy pasta bake?
This is a great comfort food dish. I happened to make this dish on a night when bedtime for the little one was particularly trying, and dinner was eaten tag-team between my husband and I. This is the perfect dish for solo eating. Decadent, rich and luscious. Enjoy!
Creamy slow-cooked zucchini pasta bake
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 4-5 zucchinis, cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 250g fusilli
- 20g parmesan, plus extra
- 200g crème fraîche
- 30g butter, melted
- 50g breadcrumbs
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat and add zucchini and garlic. Lower heat and cover. Cook for 20 mins, stirring frequently until the zucchini has become squidgy and will mash easily.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mash the zucchini with a fork or potato masher, and add the lemon juice, chilli flakes and anchovy fillets. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven at 180° Celsius.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
- Add ½-1 cup of pasta water to the zucchini mixture to loosen, along with the crème fraîche and parmesan. Add cooked pasta and stir.
- Put pasta mixture into a roasting tray and top with breadcrumb mixture. Grate an extra layer of parmesan over the top of the breadcrumbs.
- Cook in the oven at 180° Celsius for 15-20 mins until golden and crunchy.
With a young baby in the house, early evenings are now very busy times. At 6pm our house is go-go-go! Bath time is happening and bedtime is approaching. So… dinner preparation has had to become super-slick. The less time required in the kitchen, the less multi-tasking for this tired mama!
I wanted to create a dish that would eliminate the crazy from our evenings. Something that involves minimal effort to put together. Something that I can whack into the oven and forget about until my husband and I are ready to eat. Our ‘dinner time’ varies from one night to the next and it is nice to be able to sit down to eat together as soon as bub is asleep.
I LOVE cauliflower. It is seriously one of my favourite vegetables. My all-time favourite dish growing up was a luscious cauliflower cheese to accompany a roast lamb. This, sadly, is one of the few ways I know how to cook this delightful vegetable. Given cauliflower is in season at the moment in Melbourne, I decided to try cooking it a different way. I have also been loving almonds in savoury dishes and thought that they would provide an interesting crunch. The overall effect is one of major scrumptiousness. I love this recipe – not only are we set up for a yummy dinner, but also a peaceful evening, and who can complain about that?
Spiced Chicken Bake with Cauliflower and Almonds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt & pepper
- ½ cup almonds, crushed
- ½ tsp of chilli flakes
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- ½ cauliflower, cut into florets
- 6 black olives, pitted and sliced
- ½ bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
- Couscous, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Preheat oven to 220° Celsius.
- Combine olive oil, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, lemon juice, salt, pepper, almonds and chilli flakes in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken drumsticks to the marinade and toss to ensure an even coating.
- Place the chicken in a roasting tray with the red onion and cauliflower.
- Bake in oven for 20 mins.
- Reduce heat to 180° C and baste with juices. Bake for a further 40 mins.
- Add olives to the roasting tray 10 mins prior to the end of the cooking time.
- Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with couscous and lemon wedges.