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.
I am fortunate enough to have a KitchenAid. I received it as a gift for my wedding. It is my favourite kitchen appliance and sits proudly on my bench all of the time. My mother and mother-in-law always stare at it when they visit and ask me if I use it much. Ha! I find a use for it almost every day! It is always being useful and is so very beautiful, and that, to me, earns a space on my premium bench space.
As part of my KitchenAid kit, I have a pasta dough roller attachment. This is amazing! It makes the process of making fresh pasta a breeze. Although, I must agree with my husband that attempting a new recipe at 6pm on a Monday night, was not the best idea. Not when it had to fit in with bedtime for the little one. However, the process definitely paid off as this dish is spectacular!
A twist on the classic spinach and ricotta, because silverbeet is something we get a lot of in our veg box and it makes a beautiful spinach alternative for this purpose. And a bacon crumb for texture and umami.
Even if you have a hand operated pasta machine, I promise this is not difficult at all! And totally worth the effort.
The pasta recipe is adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s basic pasta recipe, found in the Cook’s Companion.
Silverbeet and ricotta ravioli with bacon crumb
For the pasta:
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
For the filling:
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 bunch silverbeet (just leaves), shredded
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 375g ricotta
- Zest of a lemon
- Salt and pepper
For the crust:
- 1 rasher bacon
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Parmesan cheese, to serve
- To make the pasta, combine the flour, salt and eggs in a mixer with a dough attachment. Once it has come together into a ball, knead for a minute or two, adding a little extra flour if too sticky (it should be quite sticky). Then cover with plastic wrap and leave on the bench to rest for an hour.
- To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the silverbeet and spring onions on a medium heat until the silverbeet has wilted and is soft (approx. 10 mins).
- Take off the heat and stir through the lemon zest and ricotta.
- Divide the pasta dough into four and roll each amount out using a pasta roller to one of the thinnest settings (I used a KitchenAid attachment and rolled out to ‘7’). You may need to dust the pasta sheets with a little flour whilst rolling to ensure that it does not stick. Avoid using too much flour so that it does not clump when cooking the pasta.
- Lay your pasta sheets out on the bench, and place 1 tsp of filling along the bottom half of each sheet, leaving about 3 cm in between each dollop.
- Lightly brush the bottom edge of the pasta with water (not too much or it will get very sticky!) and in between each dollop of filling. Fold the pasta over and pat to seal the edges well. Cut using a knife or a crinkle cutter. When setting aside before cooking, lightly dust with flour once again to ensure that the ravioli do not stick to each other.
- To make the bacon crumb, fry the bacon in a frying pan. Once crispy, whizz in a food processor with the breadcrumbs.
- Cook the ravioli in a large pot of salted boiling water for 3 minutes or until floating.
- Serve the ravioli drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of the bacon crumb.
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.