Risotto The Simplest Way

Risotto snobs say their way is the only way. They’re wrong, and they’re right. Cook it to the consistency you like. And stick with it.
The secret to success with risotto is to have two large, heavy-based pots, one for cooking the rice, the other for preparing and maintaining a stock at a simmer while you [...]

Squiggly Pasta With Carrots, For Kids

Carrots are an underrated treasure, the most consistently cheap star in any vegie shop. We should all praise the Lord they have never become trendy.
I have very fond memories of this dish: I love the memories of the flavour; I love the idea of using that underrated root the carrot as the star of the [...]

Pasta With Spinach and Fresh Tomatoes

Spinach is as popular in my household as carrots. Bugs Bunny and Popeye were not as silly as they looked.
Not all tomato sauces are made from cooking tomatoes for hours until they are desperately thick and all but free of any excess water. We don’t always have the time, and the freshness you get from [...]

A Pilaf With Smoked Salmon

Risotto or pilaf? Who cares? This is one of my favourites. The gentle joy of the infused rice, with the magic flavour of smoked salmon draped over the top, like a red robe.
There’s a flash brand of risotto rice labelled Ferron. It’s worth the extra. Try the Carnaroli type for this dish. It is truly [...]

A Creamy Cheese, A Creamy Sauce

Gorgonzola is a richly flavoured, creamy blue cheese. Just melted, it makes a creamy sauce of its own, especially with such chunky dishes as gnocchi. With pasta, I reckon it needs a few props, to cut down the fattiness of the dish.
The best pasta for the creaminess of this sauce is either a flat spaghetti [...]

Getting Fresh, With Prawns

Pasta with seafood is a universal favourite, and so it should be. The trick is to keep it simple. No need for splashes of all different types of shellfish and/or fish. Go with something strong. And stick to it.
There’s an argument to suggest that fresh prawns need no more than a barbecue to turn them [...]

Pasta With Praties

An Irish joke? Pasta with praties? Why not? I adore hot potatoes on bread as well. And chip sandwiches. And even, spare me, squashed potato crisps stuck between slices of bread.
Pasta with potatoes makes as much sense as cream with ice cream. But haven’t we all done that, and loved it? The funny thing about [...]

Risotto With Dried Mushrooms

With rice in the cupboard, you know you’re going to get a good feed. Sometimes you need to make do with lucky breaks, like that old packet of dried mushrooms in the back of the pantry.
Any decent, and not so decent, Italian deli will have a cache of dried mushrooms stuck in a dusty corner. [...]

Pasta With A Sauce Like Tapenade

Anchovies and olives and things like that… Strong flavours means don’t go overboard. This is a dish in which all sorts of flavours pop out at you, like spooks in a ghost train. For those who eat and sleep food, you will note this recipe is no more than deconstructed tapenade. Take a tick.

1 onion, [...]

Joseph Martin’s Oysters with Pasta

Lots of oysters, and a little cream. Fresh oysters, and fresh pasta is just as pleasant as it would seem, on paper. Add a little cream, to draw the flavours of the sea through every strand of the pasta.
The simplest of food is not always associated with restaurants, more’s the pity. But the first time [...]