Macaroni Amatriciana

Macaroni #Amatriciana

Macaroni #Amatriciana

I love traditional Italian pasta dishes and for Amatriciana you will need:

Macaroni or pasta of your choice, allow 75g -120 per portion, depending on appetites

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
120 g guanciale
A pinch of chili
1/4 cup white wine
1 can (450 g) tomatoes and juice, crushed
Pinch of sugar or stevia
freshly grated pecorino
A salt and freshly ground pepper
I use fresh basil for garnish

Add the pasta to a large pot of salted water and cook until still slightly firm to bite. This usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain when cooked.

Saute the finely chopped onion and garlic on medium heat in the olive oil. Stir continuously so that it does not brown. Cut up the pancetta or guanciale into small cubes and add together with a pinch of chili.. If you like it very spicy add more if you wish but traditionally it should only have a hint of heat !
Add the chopped tomatoes and pinch of sugar and wine and leave the sauce to thicken on a low to medium heat for 15 minutes.
Season with a very little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Pour over cooked drained pasta and garnish with fresh basil leaves and freshly grated pecorino cheese. If you do not have this, use Parmesan.

Serve immediately.

Beautiful Xghajra   Photo Benny Scerri

Beautiful Xghajra Photo Benny Scerri

Quick muffins with the kids

Making muffins with the kids #Malta

Making muffins with the kids #Malta

This week I made quick muffins with the kids during the show.

Baking with kids #Malta

Baking with kids #Malta

They specially loved decorating them and you can see the delight on their faces.

For the muffins you will need:

4 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
juice and grated zest of half a lemon
1 cup coconut
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
4 tablespoons honey or stevia or 2 of each

Sieve the flour and mix all the dry ingredients together. In a separate container mix all the liquid ingredients together. Use a metal spoon to fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Prepare muffin cases on a try. Spoon or pipe the batter into the cases. Bake in a pre heated oven at 170C for 20 minutes.

Out from the oven :)

Out from the oven ­čÖé

Allow the muffins to cool before decorating them.

To avoid more processed sugar in the form of sugar I brushed the muffins with warm honey

To avoid more processed sugar in the form of sugar I brushed the muffins with warm honey

To avoid processed sugar in the form of icing, I brushed the top of the muffins with warm honey and allowed the kids to decorate them to their liking.

Happily decorating and so colorful :)

Happily decorating and so colorful ­čÖé

For the recipe in Maltese, click here

Quick Foccacia made with yoghurt

You do not even need to measure your flour and yoghurt, simply add yoghurt and work it into the flour by mixing and without rubbing in. I prefer to use my hands. I also added some dried oregano and sea salt but you can also simply leave them out.

Foccacia ready to go !

Foccacia ready to go !

You will need:

450g self raising flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
400 ml yoghurt mixed with water (I use equal amounts of water and yoghurt)

And for the topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can artichoke hearts
Fresh basil leaves
Cherry Tomatoes, chopped into squares
Some sundried tomatoes
a few anchovies
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
More dried oregano to lightly dust

Preheat the oven to 220C. Brush a baking tray lightly with olive oil.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and oregano.
Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the yoghurt.
With your hand stiff and your fingers spread out like a claw, start mixing the flour into the yoghurt using a circular motion. Add the remaining yoghurt and keep mixing like this until you have soft dough. Do not knead it but work it very gently to bring it together.
Transfer to a floured surface and place on the baking dish. Spread it out by patting it gently with your fingers. Brush the top with some more olive oil.
Make dimples all over with your fingertips on the top of the dough.
Push a small piece of olive, caper, sun dried tomato and basil leaf into each dimple.
Then drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, Sprinkle some dried oregano.

No yeast Focaccia ready for the oven

No yeast Focaccia ready for the oven

Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes at 220 C until the bread is nice and golden on the top and bottom.

When the focaccia is cooked but still hot, brush just a little more olive oil over the top and allow to cool slightly before serving. I topped with more cherry tomatoes.

‘I use artichoke hearts, olives and tuna by 3 leaves, fresh vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh, anchovies by Rizzoli Emanuelli, flour by St Georges Brand, dried herbs by Schwartz, lactose free yoghurt by Alpro at Good Earth,kitchenware by Tescoma. ┬áMy fresh potted plants come from Callus Garden Centre’

Vegan Carrot Cake

Vegan Carrot Cake as seen on TV this week

As seen on tv this week, my recipe for a delicious carrot vegan cake:

This cake contains no animal derived products (no eggs, no added fats, processed sugar, no milk).

Everyone I tried it on loved it and it is ideal to cut into squares and add to children’s lunch boxes as a quick pick-me-up snack during the day. It is also a good replacement to cereal bars.

The consistency is dense but not heavy and the texture is very pleasing. Like most of my cakes, you do not require a mixer or food processor and the secret is not to overmix, just use a large metal spoon and fold in rather than mix. You will need:

1 cup grated carrot
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup water
1 cup non-dairy yoghurt or one extra cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup coconut
1 teaspoon powdered cloves ground
3/4 cup agave
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of Apple Organic Vinegar
3 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate
1 cup coconut milk

12 tablespoons aquafaba

Heat the oven to 160C.

In a saucepan mix the water, grated carrots, spices and the raisins. Bring the water to boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. Add the agave and salt and stir for about three minutes. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.

Place the aqua faba in an electric mixer and beat it until it forms stiff peaks.

In a large bowl sieve the flour and baking powder and bicarbonate. Stir and add the coconut and other dry ingredients. Add the coconut milk, non dairy yoghurt or water, cider vinegar to the raisin and carrot mixture. Stir well. Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a metal spoon. Do not overmix.  Then fold in the stiff aqua faba.  Pour the cake batter in a greased bake tin of 23 cm and bake for half an hour until the cake is golden. (If you wish scatter a fruit, seed and nut mixture on the surface before baking but this is optional).

Glaze the surface with a teaspoon of warm agave by using a brush. Allow to cool before removing from the cake tin.