Linguine with sausage meatballs and chard

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This seasonal pasta dish will be on the table in under 20 mins. A great dish for this weekend if you have guests coming over. It has a velvety sauce that will wow your guests but it’s not too filling. It’s also great for a quick midweek meal when you have a couple of sausages left in the fridge.

It can be adapted if you can’t get the lovely seasonal chard either to spring greens or cavolo nero ( dark kale ). Maybe a friend who has an allotment or veggie patch will gladly give you some.

I think sometimes chard can be pushed aside slightly. Many people I speak to shy away from it as they aren’t sure how to use it. It sometimes can confuse people with its large leaves and stems. I personally love the veg and feel it should be showcased more. It’s beautiful colours are a delight to look at. Especially as we are in Autumn now. Mine are still growing well in the kitchen garden, some have bolted as I want them to go to seed but the others are fine.

I may even grow some more over the coming months.

Listen here where you can hear me cooking this super simple, quick and inexpensive recipe for Ben Jackson on BBC Radio Leicester.

 

Linguine with sausage meatballs and chard:

 

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Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

Sausage Meatballs:

  • 3-4 pork sausages ( Meat taken out of the skins )
  • A small handful of fennel fronds/tops chopped
  • A sprig of sage chopped ( 4 leaves )
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Pasta:

  • 200g, linguine ( I used dry )
  • Good glug of Rapeseed oil ( I use cold pressed )
  • 1 medium sized red onion diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic chopped, use 2 if very small
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • A good pinch of chilli flakes or you can use fresh.
  • 2 large handfuls chard chopped roughly, stalks a little smaller. If you can’t get chard, use spring greens or cavolo nero.
  • 1/4 gel pot of chicken stock
  • 2 ladles hot water from the pasta
  • Slug double cream
  • fresh parmesan grated

 

 

Method: 

  • Cook linguine to packet instructions
  • Mix together the sausage meat, herbs and seasoning and create small meatballs. This will make roughly 16 small sized ones.
  • Whilst that is cooking, fry of the onion in rapeseed oil on a medium heat for a minute, then add in the mushrooms. You may need to add a little more rapeseed oil.
  • After a couple of minutes bring your mixture to the sides of the frying pan.
  • Add in your meatballs into the middle and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring as you go.
  • After a couple of minutes, add in the garlic and toss all together.

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  • When the meatballs are starting to brown slightly, pop in the chard.
  • As it cooks down, add in your chilli flakes and chicken stock.
  • Add in the water from the pasta and reduce down for a minute or two.

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  • Drain off your pasta, keep some water if you feel you need to add a little more.
  • Add a slug of double cream and a little grated parmesan

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  • Add your pasta to the sauce using tongs or a spaghetti spoon so you don’t add too much at once. Fold the velvety sauce through the pasta.
  • Serve into large pasta bowls and add a sprinkle of grated fresh parmesan.

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Going "WILD" For Wild Garlic

Last year when the lovely season of the Wild Garlic came upon us, I didn’t actually find any until, sadly, the end of the season.  I tried my best with what I did find but it had grown a bit too far on and the true flavour wasn’t there anymore.
  However, this year I found a great spot, practically on my doorstep! I was thrilled as you can imagine.
  However it has come to that time of the year where it has either gone, grown too big or has overgrown weeds over it.  I almost feel quite sad as there’s so much you can do with Wild Garlic, I absolutely LOVE its unique flavour and the prettiness of the flower buds. So now it is fizzling away till next year, if you can get hold of some still around. Do try a pesto with it. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks at least, or even do a pickle/vinegar?
  I realise that many people will have done this with Wild garlic and rightly so as we do it with other leftover herbs, so why not this? 
  Here is just a couple of things that I did with mine this year.  I do plan another recipe if my last batch lasts! 

Wild Garlic Pistachio Pesto:
(Makes 1 small Jar):

One thing I must add about this recipe is that pretty much whenever I do pestos’s I always like to use either pistachios or cashew nuts rather than Pine nuts. I find the pine nuts are more bitter, but that’s just my preference.

Ingredients:

(These ingredients depend on the size of your jar and also your taste) – Be as Flexible as you want with it! 

–  50g of Wild Garlic Leaves
–  20g of Pistachio nuts (shelled )
–  20g of Parmesan Cheese
–  Sprinkling of Pink sea salt (any good sea salt will do) and cracked black Pepper
–  1 Tbsp of Fresh lemon juice
–  2 Tbsp of Rapeseed oil ( olive oil can be bitter )

– Simply Place all ingredients into a Blender/Processor and Blitz! Add extra seasoning, oil or cheese if you need to.

This Pesto is great in all sorts of recipes, the list is endless! Once you have done this, you will never turn back.

And the result of this pesto? An obvious choice to pair with Pasta but this dish is what I keep devouring myself with lately. I am eating bucket loads of it as I love it! It’s such a quick Pasta dish to rustle up when you’ve had a busy day and can kick back with a large Glass of Wine. Perfetto!

Creamy Tagliatelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Wild Garlic pesto:

(Serves approximately 1-2 people)


Ingredients:

–  Approximately 200g of Tagliatelle Pasta
–  1 Tbsp of Rapeseed oil (no more as there is oil in the pesto)
–  2 Spring Onions finely chopped
–  1/4 of Leek finely sliced
–  3-4 Chestnut mushrooms sliced
–  100-150g of Cooked Roast chicken shredded 
–  1/2 chicken stock cube crumbled into sauce
–  1 Tbsp of the Wild Garlic pistachio Pesto (as above ) more if you like it to be more of a garlic Flavour.
– A Good Splash of Dry White Wine (100ml)
–  150ml of Double cream

Method:

–  Cook the Tagliatelle to packet instructions.

–  Fry off the leeks and mushrooms until starting to soften.

– Add the Shredded Chicken, Spring Onion and chicken stock and cook for a further couple of minutes. 

– Add the Pesto, coating all of the mixture.

– Pour in the Wine, reduce a little and then add the cream. 

–  Drain the Pasta but use maybe 2 Tbsp of pasta water into the sauce. Place Pasta into the sauce and serve into warm bowls.


Finally, You may recall my recipe for St George’s Day when I made the Wild Garlic and fennel bread. 
 That bread actually lasted me a full week, which was great. They were some leftover and I didn’t have much room in the freezer so I decided to do a Panzanella, which is a traditional Tuscan summer salad.  There have been many different versions of this and mine isn’t very traditional, I added meat, mine was more dry and I added Wild Garlic, a kind of Italy meets Leicestershire’s Hedgerows! However it was a very lovely Lunch the day I made it.

Panzanella with Salami and Wild Garlic:




Ingredients:

(Approximately for 2 people)

–  A couple of slices of Wild garlic and fennel bread, torn into chunks for croutons
–  A handful Selection of Peppery Salad leaves (Rocket, Mizuna, Red Chard etc…)
–  1 Yellow Bell Pepper 
– 1 Red Bell Pepper
–  120g of Ripened well baby plum tomatoes
–  1-2 Tbsp of baby capers from a Jar 
–  Few slices of Italian Salami torn into pieces 
–  3-4 Basil leaves torn
–  1 Tbsp of Good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil
–  10 Wild Garlic flower Buds (already started opening) 
–  Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to season

Method:

–  Take your Bell peppers and either Roast in the oven until skins are starting to turn black or Burn onto a Gas flame (If confident) *Note, as I am a qualified and trained chef, I have done this many a time*

– Once black, peel off the skins revealing a lovely soft sweet flesh and slice lengthways 

–  Coat the Bread for croutons in a little Sea salt, Black Pepper and olive oil and either pop in a dry frying pan to toast or again you could place in the oven.

–  Arrange all of the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with Olive oil and Serve. A simple, But impressive salad.























My warming beef stew with a hint of the med

Over The weekend in The Uk…As the “High meets the Low”, and brings in the Snow…I decided to cook a warm Hearty meal again but not too heavy.  I personally Do not mind the snow, as I have mentioned before that I love seasonal change and of course the food brought with it.  But maybe some of my readers would appreciate a bit “more warmth”. As some might have that thought of the Lovely foods abroad as we start looking at those Flights and Hotels and jetting away for summer. (I know You are out there!).

 So My perfect recipe I thought for this is…

 My Warming Beef Stew with a hint of the med.(Half English Stew and Greek Beef Stifado).


ChezJ9 © 2013.



Recipe : 

(Serves 4)

Beef Shin or Chuck diced 400g
Olive oil 
2 Onions roughly chopped
Plain flour to coat the meat
seasoning 
approx 250ml good quality Beef Stock (strong) any questions on this please comment me?
Red wine (Chianti) 250ml
2 tblsps of Tomato puree 
A good pinch of oregano I had dried but if fresh, use half at the beginning and half at the end.
2 or 3 Bay leaves dry or fresh again
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
2-3 Carrots
2-3 Parsnips
1 medium sized Leek sliced very chunky 3/4 inch thick
2 chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
Fresh Basil and Parsley to serve.


Pat Your meat with a good quality kitchen towel or Tea towel as your meat needs to be nice and dry to help it brown.  Then coat it lightly in plain flour with some salt and cracked black pepper. Not too much salt as you can always add later on.
 In a hot Deep stewing/casserole pan start to brown off the meat using the olive oil. Once it has a nice browning around the edges take out and place on Kitchen paper. 
 Start frying of half of the chopped onions until starting to brown. Add the Bay leaves, oregano, Beef, Tomato puree, dash of balsamic vinegar, Beef stock and the Red wine. Give a good stir and keep on a simmering heat. Always keep checking your stew to take off any scum from the flour also in fear of drying out. if so just keep tasting and adding water and if need be more wine and beef stock. 
 Once the meat is starting to become soft add your carrots, then after 8 minutes your parsnips and about 5 minutes after, your leeks and mushrooms go in.

If you find at any point it’s too tart, then add a touch of cinnamon.  When it is ready to serve add the chopped Basil and Parsley.

As this is such a versatile dish, you could serve with Crusty Bread, Polenta, Rice or In my case…Mashed Potato (Maris Pipers). I added Cream, Butter, seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of Horseradish sauce (The best you can find). 

Please at any point if you feel you don’t understand somethings on this recipe? just contact me? as it sounds a long, complicated dish but once you get the hang of these sorts of dishes…they will come as a breeze to you 🙂