Once in a while, BBQ Man’s Dad breaks out of character and does something rather unexpected. (Like pocketing some interesting bouncing rocks from a national park, but we won’t get into that…) This weekend he coolly turned out 4 perfect pizzas as if he’s been making them all his life! They were so good that I ate far too many pieces and could barely move from the table. And looking at the pics now…groan…I want some for breakfast!! Thanks Dad, they were deeeelicious!

First up, grab yourself a ready-made pizza base. Squeeze a sachet of tomato paste on.

Swirl the paste around with the back of a spoon. When you get tired,

hand the task over to an eager assistant.

Top the pizza with assorted goodies…

such as pan-fried chicken breasts, cherry tomatoes, ham, fried red onions and mushrooms

Don’t forget the cheese!

Pop it in a hot oven until the cheese melts

Slice, top with baby spinach leaves and serve.

(I LOVED the spinach leaves, it gave a new and entirely delicious dimension to pizza.)

When can we come over for pizza again, Dad?

Advertisements

Let’s face it. There’s nothing quite as irresistible as a pasta bake. Pasta ranks right up there on the comfort food stakes, and when it’s served all simmering and snug under a blanket of melted cheese…moan… (Great! Now all I’m thinking of is the leftovers in the fridge. Argh!) I love pasta bakes with chunky veggies, which cleverly absorb all the lovely, herby tomatoey flavours in the sauce, while it bakes. I threw this together for dinner with the vegetables that I had in the fridge – mushrooms, zucchini and carrot. Feel free to change the veggies to suit your tastes. There’s a vegetarian alternative given in the recipe. Enjoy!

josashimi’s pasta bake

Ingredients:

200 g bacon, chopped OR 200 g sun dried tomatoes, chopped

300 g zucchini, sliced into batons (about 3 medium-sized zucchini)

200 g carrot, grated (about 2 medium-sized carrots)

200 g mushrooms, sliced

2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

200 – 300 g cheese, grated (more, if you like!)

150 g sour cream

400 g canned tomatoes

1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs

500 g pasta

Chopped parsley, to taste

Method:

Heat oil in pan and fry garlic, stirring, for 3-4 minutes (make it  5-8 minutes for the vegetarian option).

Add bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add zucchini and mushrooms to pan for 5 minutes, then add carrot and dried herbs (and sun dried tomatoes). Cook for further 3-5 minutes, stirring.

Add tomatoes and sour cream, mix thoroughly and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta a minute or two less than packet instructions. (This will give you a tastier pasta bake, because the slightly undercooked pasta will then finish cooking in the oven, and will better absorb the sauce)

Toss the pasta with the sauce and pour into a baking dish. Top with grated cheese and bake in a 200C oven for 30 minutes, or until the top just begins to brown.

Serve with a generous topping of chopped parsley.