Buzo’s lasagne in MC magazine…omit the prosciutto if you prefer vegetarian. I replaced the truffle paste with a sprinkle of truffle salt (from Gewurzhaus) over each layer of  mushroom filling – yum!

Serves 6


120g butter, plus extra, to grease
20g dried porcini mushrooms
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
500g field mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
500g Swiss brown mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
60g prosciutto, roughly chopped
50g truffle paste (or use truffle salt or omit altogether if you prefer a less rich version)
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
750ml (3 cups) milk
250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or a good sprinkle of the spice rack variety)
1 bay leaf
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
360g fresh lasagne sheets
80g (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm x 30xm (2.6L) ovenproof dish with extra butter.

Place dried porcini mushrooms and 250 (1 cup) boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving porcini liquid. Rinse porcini mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit, then finely chop and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tbs oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook half the field and Swiss brown mushrooms, tossing occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden, then add to porcini. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tbs oil and mushrooms. Add prosciutto, truffle paste and parsley, seasono with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

To make white sauce, combine milk, cream, nutmeg, bay leaf and 125ml (1/2 cup) reserved porcini liquid in a saucepan, then bring lamost to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. In a second saucepan, melt 100g butter over medium heat, then stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture is grainy.

Remove pan from heat, then gradually whisk in milk mixture until smooth and combined. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf, then season. Makes about 1L.

Stir half the white sauce into the mushroom mixture, then spread half the remaining white sauce over the base of the prepared dish. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting to fit if necessary. Spoon over half the mushroom mixture, then scatter with one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Add another layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining mushroom mixture and one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining white sauce and one-quarter of the Parmesan. cut remaining 20g butter into small cubes and scatter over the top.

Bake lasagne for 1 hour or until top is golden (cover dish with foil if over-browning). Cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Divide lasagne among plates, scatter over remaining Parmesan, drizzle with extra oil and season with pepper to serve.


Spaghetti puttanesca

April 25, 2011

Another ’30 Minute Meal’ from Jamie Oliver, this puttanesca sauce is great because you can vary it to your liking or if you haven’t certain ingredients in your store cupboard.

Serves 4


500g dried spaghetti
1 x 225g tin of tuna in olive oil
1 x 30g tin of anchovies in olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs capers, drained
1-2 fresh red chillies
1 700g jar of passata or 2 400g tins of tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
handful of pitted black olives
ground cinnamon
1 lemon


Place a large frying pan on a low heat and fill a saucepan with the boiled water and a pinch of salt.

Put the spaghetti into the saucepan and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Pour the oil from the tuna into the frying pan, keeping the tuna in the tin. Crush in 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic and add the capers, anchovies and their oil.

Finely chop the chillies and parsley stalks and add them to the pan.

Roughly chop the parsley leaves and put them to one side. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring well, then add the tuna, breaking it up as you go and the black olives. Stir in a large pinch of ground cinnamon and the passata or tinned tomatoes.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve some of the water. Add the pasta to the frying pan, then squeeze over the juice of a lemon, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and add most of the parsley, mixing well. If the sauce feels very thick add some of the reserved spaghetti water to loosen it up. Pour the spaghetti into a large bowl and finish with the remaining parsley.

Veg Lasagne

April 10, 2011

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is getting a workout at the moment and this lasagne is another winner. If you need some protein add crispy pancetta to the pea mixture. I used fresh ricotta instead of cottage cheese which worked beautifully. Serve with cherry tomatoes doused in balsamic vinegar or rocket salad.

NB the 30 minute version of this is cooked on the stove top and under the grill. If you’re not in a hurry you can cook in a conventional oven on 180 for approx 40-60 minutes.

Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry!)


a bunch of spring onions
1/2 a 30g tin of anchovies in oil
6 cloves of garlic
700g asparagus
500g frozen peas
300g frozen broad beans
a large bunch of fresh mint
300ml single cream
1 lemon
300ml organic vegetable stock
2 x 250g tubs of cottage cheese
500g of fresh lasagne sheets
Parmesan cheese
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

Half-fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Turn the grill on to full whack.

Trim and finely slice the spring onions. Pour the oil from the tin of anchoves into the frying pan with half the tin of anchovies, add the spring onions, crush in 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic and toss well.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and finely slice the stems, leaving the tips whole. Set the tips aside and add the stems to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a splash of boiled water. Keep stirring so nothing catches.

Add the peas and broad beans to the pan of asparagus and stir occasionally. Pick and roughly chop the mint leaves and add to the pan with the cream. Finely grate in the zest of 1/2 a lemon.

Roughly mash and squash everything in the pan, tasting and tweaking if necessary. Cover with stock and bring back to the boil. Add 1 tub of cottage cheese to the vegetable mixture. The consistency should be quite creamy and loose.

Put a large deep sturdy roasting tray (approx. 30 x 35cm) on a medium heat. Spoon in about a quarter of the veggie mixture to cover the bottom of the tray. Top with a layer of fresh lasagne sheets and a really good grating of Parmesan. Quickly repeat the layers til the vegetables run out, finishing with lasagne.

Mix a splash of water into the second tub of cottage cheese and spread it all over the top layer of lasagne. Toss the asparagus tips in the empty frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Tip on to the lasagne. Push everything down with the back of a spoon to help compact it, and finish with the thyme leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a generous grating of Parmesan.

Turn the heat up under the tray until bubbling, then place under the grill on the middle shelf for 8 minutes or until golden and gorgeous.

A quick tasty pasta. I prefer the goats cheese marinated in oil and herbs such as Meredith Dairy. You could also use Persian fetta. Add bacon for those who need some meat!

Serves 2


olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, chopped finely
6 artichoke hearts in oil, chopped roughly (but not so as mashed up!)
1 cup frozen peas
150g marinated goats cheese
250g fresh tagliatelle


Boil water for the pasta in a large pan.

In a fry pan, saute the red onion until transparent.

When the pasta is almost cooked, add the artichoke hearts and peas to the fry pan. Cook gently for a minute or two. Turn off the heat.

Drain the cooked pasta and add to the vegetables mixing together well.

Stir through the goats cheese, drizzle with a little of the marinating oil and serve.

Salsa verde

November 2, 2010

I make this (or a variation of depending on herbs I have at home) to serve with eye fillet steak or fish done on the barbeque. You could also stir it through pasta for a quick sauce – add a squeeze of lemon and grate some parmesan on top.

Makes approx 1 cup


2 large handfuls flat leaf parsley,
1 large handful coriander
1 tablespoon capers
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece bread (can be stale), torn into small pieces
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a small food processor and blitz (or you could use a handheld blender). Start with a good drizzle of olive oil and add more to get the desired consistency: you want the salsa to hold together enough to put into a bowl and serve, and not be too oily. Season to taste.

A quick and easy pasta using delicious Spring greens.

Serves 2


1 red onion, chopped finely
2 large handfuls English spinach, washed well and sliced finely
1 bunch asparagus, sliced finely
2 handfuls basil
olive oil
Spaghetti (approx 200-250g)

Boil water for spaghetti. Add pasta and prepare sauce while it cooks.

Saute red onion in a good splash of olive oil. Add asparagus and spinach and saute for 1-2 minutes until just cooked/wilted. Drain and add cooked spaghetti. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle basil leaves and toss.

Serve with grated parmesan.


A quick easy mid-week meal that even the children eat! The sauce goes with any pasta – last night we tried it with ricotta ravioli.

Serves 2


Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3-4 rashers bacon, chopped finely
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large handful semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
250-300g spaghetti (approx)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan, grated

Boil water for pasta. Saute onion and bacon for 5 minutes over medium heat until bacon starts to colour. Add grated zucchini and stir through for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add semi-dried tomatoes and turn down heat. Cook pasta and drain. Add pasta to sauce pan, drizzle with olive oil and stir sauce through. Season to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan.