Tagliatelle with roast nduja and tomato sauce

Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from Calabria, Italy.  In flavour, it is similar to chorizo and it can be indeed quite spicy as it’s made from pork and chilly. It’s fantastic spread over crusty bread and can liven up a simple tomato sauce. It usually comes in a jar and you should be able to find it in most Italian delis. I got mine from Carluccios where you can also get good quality Pappardelle or Tagliatelle to go with this pasta sauce. The original recipe from Delicious magazine uses Pappardelle, but I used Tagliatelle as it’s easier to find and it’s available in most supermarkets. I do recommend sticking to using long, flat pasta as the sauce clings beautifully to it.

The below recipe is from Delicious magazine and I adapted it slightly to make use of veggies that needed using up. This is a spicy sauce so if you prefer to tone the spice down, I would suggest putting a little less nduja paste. If you want to make it spicier, just add a chopped fresh chilly or two to the veggies when you roast them.

Tagliatelle with roast Nduja and tomato sauce

Serves 4 | Prep time 15 mins | Cooking time 25 mins |Easy
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You’ll need:
  • 2 peppers (red, yellow or orange), deseeded and thinly sliced;
  • 500g mixed baby heirloom tomatoes;
  • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler;
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves;
  • 60ml olive oil;
  • 90g Nduja;
  • 400g tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta;
  • Parmesan, shaved, to serve;
  • Fresh basil leaves, shredded, to serve.

First, prepare the veggies. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Put the peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and garlic cloves in a large roasting tin. Mix well with the olive oil. Add the Nduja and some seasoning and toss until the Nduja has mixed well with the vegetables. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to collapse.

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Meanwhile, cook the pasta following the pack instructions. Drain and reserve 60ml of the cooking water. Remove the vegetables from the oven, squeeze the garlic out of the skin (take care, though, it will be hot!) and stir back with the vegetables. Add the pasta and reserved cooking water and mix well.

Serve in pasta bowls, topped with the fresh basil and Parmesan.

Original Recipe, Delicious Magazine, available here.

Sea bass with potato and tomato bake

This is a very nice and light supper which I adapted from a recipe I found in the June edition of myWaitrose magazine. The original recipe uses Waitrose’s ready to cook sea bream instead of using sea bass, but the sea bass I saw in the fishmonger looked so good that I decided to use it instead. It worked really well and is perfect for a summer dinner.

Sea bass with potato and tomato bake

Serves 4 | Prepare 15 minutes | Cook 45 minutes | Gluten-free, Meat-free | Easy

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You’ll need:
  • 550g new potatoes, sliced;
  • 6 tomatoes, sliced;
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped;
  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 50ml dry white wine;
  • 4 sea bass fillets;
  • large knob butter;
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced.

To make the potato and tomato bake, preheat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7. Toss the sliced potatoes and tomatoes in a large bowl with the garlic and the oil and season. Arrange evenly in a baking tin, pour over the wine and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden and cooked through.

For the fish, when the bake is almost ready, heat the butter in a large pan over a high heat. Season the fish, put into the pan skin-side down and cook for 3 minutes, until golden and crisp. Flip the fillets over and cook for 1 more minutes on the side. Pour over the lemon juice.

Serve the fillets along with the potato & tomato bake, and some green salad if you’d like.

Original recipe from myWaitrose magazine, issue June 2018, available here.

Slow-roast pork belly with celeriac & pear mash

Continuing with my trend of posting weekend food, here is another fantastic roast recipe. This time, the start of the show is a slow cooked pork belly, which is first roasted on high heat, then low, then high again which helps to dry out the crackling on the top while the rest of the meat is melt-in-the-mouth soft. In this BBCGoodfFod recipe, the pork belly is served with contrasting celeriac & pear mash which adds a sweetness which compliments the roast. The only thing which will improve this recipe is a nice serving of gravy to go with it!

I have two really good butchers that I use near me. This time, I got the pork belly from Rodger Butchers who are really good, knowledgeable butchers based on Byres Rd in the West End. Their meet is really good quality and in this case the pork belly joint was quite lean which made for a fantastic taste!

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Slow-roast pork belly with celeriac & pear mash

Serves 4, with leftovers | Prep 20 minutes | Cook 2hrs and 30 minutes | Easy | Gluten-free
You’ll need
  • 1 1/2 kg pork belly, skin scored;
  • 3 rosemary springs, leaves picked;
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt crystals;
  • 10 black peppercorns;
  • 750g celeriac, cubed;
  • 1 large potato, cubed;
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and cubed;
  • 3 tbsp double cream;
  • large knob of butter;
  • purple sprouting broccoli, to serve.

For the pork. Take the pork out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. When ready to cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pat the pork skin dry. Put the rosemary leaves, salt and pepper in a mini chopper and grind together (or do this with a mortar and pestle). Rub the rosemary salt all over the pork, making sure it gets into the cuts in the skin. Sit the pork in a large roasting tin, ideally on a rack, and roast for 30 mins.

Reduce heat to 170C/150 fan/gas 3 and roast for 1½ hrs more. Turn oven back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and roast for 20-30 mins to crisp. Leave to rest on a board for 10 mins before carving.

For the mash and broccoli. In the last 10 minutes of the pork cooking, put the celeriac and potato in a large pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 10 mins until just tender. Add the pears and cook for 2 mins more. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, until just tender.  Drain well, then mash until smooth. Beat in a splash of cream and some butter, and serve with the pork and broccoli.

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Tip: Prep everything for the mash while the pork is cooking. You can leave the cubed celeriac & potato in cold water until you are ready to cook it.

Recipe from BBCGoodFood, issue March 2012, available here.

~Em