Friday, 27 May 2011

Pasta, asparagus and cake

A few weeks ago I won a cookbook (yes, I won!!) after leaving a comment on a give-away post over at Kelly-Jane's blog 'Cooking the Books'. The book I won was Audrey Gordon's Tuscan Summer. The book itself is a comedy really, perhaps a bit too much sometimes, but I admit to laughing out loud a few times. In-between the silly stuff are recipes, and my eyes fell on 'Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta' immediately and I decided this was going to be the first dish to try out.

Verdict: Totally delicious! This is one of those 'heaven-on-a-plate' meals for me. I started off with heating olive oil in a pan, then adding garlic (bit more than stated, I am a real garlic person), nutmeg and a little butter (1tsp for me as I halved the recipe). Then I threw in some finely sliced spinach leaves and left that for a few minutes before I seasoned with salt and pepper, then spooned in ricotta and double dream with a bit of cooking water from the pasta. Left this to simmer for about 5 minutes. When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added it to the pan and stirred in some freshly grated parmesan. Lovely! Master 10 and Miss 1 both finished their plates.

Asparagus quiche:

I thought I might as well try something else with asparagus. It was very nice, but I do pefer them either steamed and dressed with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper..perhaps a bit of parmesan, or in a risotto. Cooked it a bit long here as you can see. No harm done though.

Carrot Cake - Dan Lepard:

I had been craving carrot cake for a while and decided to try a new recipe. I have developed a recipe myself which is the one I make most often, but I thought a bit of new input would be good and saw this recipe on Dan Lepard's forum:

It was easy to make and nice and moist. Wasn't too keen on the icing with lemon flavour, which is kind of strange as I normally adore lemon, but on a carrot cake it just didn't do it for me. I still think mine is better, but I'm obviously a bit partial to that one... :)

We are entering June soon and I am planning a 'Junk Free June' after it was suggested on the food forum I don't really eat much junk to be honest, except for the odd chocolate on a weekend. It has been agreed that if one must eat chocolate it should be fairtrade or organic in June and that's totally fine by me. I have also chosen to limit the intake of a few things to make it a 'Junk Free June'. I might not be able to shut these out completely, but I will try. That is no sugar (so no baking in June!), no cream or sour cream..and the likes, no full fat milk in cooking (dont drink it anyways), no bread with less than 50% wholemeal and no white pasta. Since I'm in charge of cooking and bread baking it shouldnt be too hard.

Hmmmm... I better hurry up and bake something this weekend then before June comes! Not terrific timing wise to have ordered two new baking books off amazon...


  1. The pasta looks so creamy and delish! I love carrot cake and that slice looks so scrumptious.

    Junk free June sounds like a great but hubby wouldn't be happy without my bakes. What baking books did you order? I am now wanting River Cottage Handbook No8 Cakes after seeing a Chocolate Bounty Bar Cake on a blog today!


  2. Sounds as though you got these in just in time - Good Luck with June. The pasta sounds delicious, just the sort of thing I love - simple to make too.

    I have just bought the RCH Cakes book Maria and am looking forward to making that Chocolate Bounty Cake too.

  3. Mmmmmmmm, to all of those! I love the sound of that pasta. I was thinking yes, I could give up junk for June, say crisps and chocolate, but then it got a bit mch even for me! No Baking !!! *shudder*