Tag Archives: pasta

Artichokes, Asparagus and Another Interesting Pesto

I’ve always had an obsession with artichokes.  I never knew how to prepare them until recently. I must say, it is a bit of a painstaking process, but it is definitely worth all the effort!

Besides their unique taste, I love artichokes for resembling a primal version of my favourite flower – the Protea!

They’re in season now, and really cheap at Dunkeld Fruit and Flowers! ( no..they are not paying me to advertise:( ..)

I prepared these artichokes and bathed them in lemon juice and olive oil, so they came in handy when I needed to prepare a quick lunch for my very hungry family!

Check out this link on how to prepare artichokes: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-prepare-an-artichoke-ho-108587

I’m also trying to test out my photography skills. I’m in dire need of some training! My goal for the rest of the year is to pay more attention to my photography. I spend time on preparing my meals, and always rush the styling and clicking..it is just unfair on the blog. If you have any suggestions, please don’t be shy!

Now, lets eat!


500 grams spaghetti

1 punnet (6-8 small artichokes)

1 punnet asparagus ( 2-4 good handfuls I suppose)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

3 cups fresh spinach

3 cups fresh rocket

2 tsp crushed green chilli

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 tsp cracked black pepper


Drizzle the asparagus with a table spoon of olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over it and grill in the oven for 15 minutes, until cooked.

While the asparagus is in the oven, saute the artichoke hearts in olive oil, and finish with a drizzle of lemon and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Blitz the greens in a food processor, add olive oil, pine nuts, black pepper, salt and chilli.

Don’t worry too much about getting a smooth pasty consistency, it is a  lot more fun to have bursts fresh greens here and there! Your pesto is ready before you know it:)

Toss the veggies and pesto with hot spaghetti.

Dress the dish with a final lashing of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

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Pistachio Pasta


A very dear friend of mine (you know who you are) inspired me to make this surprisingly refreshing pasta, with a pistachio pesto sauce!

The recipe is adapted from Nate Hamilton’s original Pistachio Pesto recipe.

Ingredients (serves 6)

500g spaghetti

1.5 cups shell roasted, unsalted pistachios

1.5 cups fresh mint leaves

5-6 Cherry Tomatoes

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1-2 tsp Pimento chilli powder ( alternatively, crushed red chilli flakes will do)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Pulse all the ingredients ( except the spaghetti ofcourse! Haha!) in a processor, until a course puree is formed.


Toss with hot spaghetti. Garnish with  mint.


This is my new favourite pasta dish!

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My Mother’s Secret Sauce

I’m not sure what to say about this sauce. It is just so magical. 


It can be used as a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, sandwich spread, nacho dip, chutney, it can be added to stir frys, soups, casseroles…and the list goes on.

Basically, this sauce, can do ANYTHING! Or rather, ANYTHING can do with this sauce:)

I don’ know why I just can’t seem to get it exactly like my mum. She made a whole load of it today for my sister in Cape Town.

Give it a try: ( It’ll be just as delicious, or, you can borrow her for a few days;))

To make 1- 1.5 litres:

10-12 ripe tomatoes ( I try not to be fussy about the type, I use a mix of Pomodoro + Israeli)

4 small peppers – (paprika, capsicums, red, yellow, green , anything is fine!)

2 tins chopped tomato

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp taj laving masala ( ground clove and cinnamon)

2 tsp crushed green chilli

a sprig or two ( or five) of fresh Oregano. Otherwise 2 tsp fresh oregano will do.

a handful of basil leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp black pepper

+- 3 tsp salt

+- 5 tsp sugar ( yes I know it seems like a lot)


Liquidize the tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves to a medium – fine puree. Depends on how you like it!

Heat the olive oil, fry the cumin seeds and the crushed green chilli for 30 seconds.

Add the puree, and allow to simmer for ten minutes.

Add the black pepper, taj-laving masala,sugar and salt to taste. At this stage I usually need to add more chilli and a drizzle of olive oil, just for fun!

Simmer simmer simmer.

Simmer until you notice a change in volume – the sauce should reduce about 1/4.

The key to the sauce is the balance between the salt and the sugar. Sounds strange, I know.

It’s true .

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