Aunty Doff’s Easy Weet-Bix Fruit Cake

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.” ~ Giada De Laurentiis

 

I was given this recipe by Aunty Doff, who was my Nana’s beloved sister. We stayed at her home on the Central Coast of NSW once when I was in primary school and she made this cake to welcome our Dad and us after a long drive. Of course, I asked for the recipe! This is a terrific simple bar loaf and I made it countless times during my school and university days. It could be whipped up for afternoon tea, and have enough left for our lunchboxes the next day. Better yet it’s the kind of cake that is pulled together from humble pantry staples.

There’s nothing fancy about this cake, but it is moist and flavoursome and easy for kids to whip up on their own. You just need a large bowl and wooden spoon, some boiling water and an oven.

Don’t be afraid to substitute the fruit for whatever dried varieties you have to hand. I’ve also used drained canned fruits such as pie apples, apricots, peaches and two fruits chopped into pieces and that’s delicious too. If you use canned fruit feel free to substitute half the boiling water for the juice from the can for extra flavour.

if you want to add chocolate chips or nuts to your cake add them at the end of making the batter so they don’t go soggy.

This cake is great on its own, served warm with ice-cream or yoghurt as a simple dessert, or served cold and spread with butter. It will keep well if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about five days. If using canned fruit in your cake keep the cooked cake in the fridge. Enjoy!

The Heppell Family, early 1940s, Sydney. Dorothy (Aunty Doff) is 2nd from the left, and Joyce (my Nana) is on the far right.

Weet-Bix Maths

*If you’ve only got Weet-Bix crumbs don’t let them go to waste. One Weet-Bix biscuit crumbled is about 1/3 cup. So 1 and 1/3 cups is equivalent to 4 Weet-Bix, or about 65 grams. If you don’t have Weet-Bix substitute a similar breakfast cereal. I’ve used Sultana Flakes and also All-Bran with good results.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 Weet-Bix, crushed (*See note above)
  • 1 cup of raw sugar (I often use half a cup, and yes you can use plain sugar or brown sugar or you favourite sugar substitute too)
  • 1 cup of mixed fruit, chopped into small pieces if fruit size is large. For today’s cake I used a mixture of sultanas, dried apricots and dates.
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter (60 grams)
  • 1 cup boiling water (250 ml)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional – your choice of 1/2 cup of chopped nuts or seeds for top of cake. Today I used Walnuts and Sunflower Seeds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).
  2. Place the Weet-Bix, fruit, butter, sugar and boiling water in a large bowl. Mix well and stand for five minutes.
  3. While the Weet-Bix softens line a Bar Tin (8cm x 25cm) or cake tin of your choice with baking paper. Don’t get too fancy. No-one ever died from having an imperfectly lined tin!
  4. Add all other ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir well.
  5. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan. Using a wet hand pat the mixture into the corners of the tin and flatten it gently so that the batter is evenly distributed. If you are using nuts or seeds sprinkle them onto the cake and press them in lightly with a clean hand.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed or a skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Cooking time will vary depending on what size tin you use, and what kind of fruit and flour you choose.
  7. Cool for five minutes and then remove from tin and place on rack to cool.
  8. Enjoy eating your delicious cake, courtesy of Aunty Doff’s great recipe!

Look below for the step-by-step pictures…

 

How To Soak Dried Fruit For Your Christmas Cake!

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” 
Calvin Coolidge

Do you make your own Christmas fruitcake each year? If you do it’s time to soak your fruit, in preparation for a flavoursome and moist cake. If you don’t why not join us and make your own. I promise it’s easier than you think, and the taste of a homemade Christmas cake will always surpass a store-bought one. My grandmother Marga taught me the importance of fruit soaking for a great-tasting cake, and I think of her every year when I prepare my fruit.

Here are my two favourite Christmas Cake Recipes. Both use 1.2kg of mixed fruit. Good combinations include raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, glace cherries, cranberries, prunes and dates – but use what you prefer. I often buy a kilogram bag of mixed dried fruit and then add a 200g bag of glace cherries. To soak this much fruit I use a cup of liquid – either alcohol or black tea. Don’t use a fruit juice to soak over time as it can ferment or go moldy!

This first recipe is for a traditional ‘Make and Mature’ cake. This involves creaming together eggs and butter, sifting in the flours and spices and fruit and then slow baking. The texture and aroma of this cake are so incredibly good. (It’s the cake that is featured in the picture at the top of this post.)

Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake

The second is my ‘Last-Minute’ Christmas fruitcake. You literally melt and mix this cake in a big saucepan on the stove. It has no eggs and is a condensed milk fruit cake. So good! I know, it’s a recipe that can be made in a hurry if you didn’t have time to soak your fruit and ‘feed’ your cake, but it will taste even better if you’re organised enough to soak your fruit in advance.

Last-Minute Christmas Cake

No matter what recipe you choose, or even if you already have a recipe of your own to follow, the first step is to soak the fruit to make it plump and flavoursome.

What To Soak With And For How Long
You can use alcohol or black tea. With alcohol use dark rum, brandy, sherry or whiskey. My choice is usually a dark rum or brandy. Soak with alcohol for up to one month.

With black tea you can use a standard cup of very strong plain tea, but it also tastes amazing to use a flavoured black tea. I have used a vanilla-scented black tea, and also a chai tea and both of these added depth of flavour. If using tea soak for up to two weeks.

Note: If you live in an especially hot place fruit can ferment. Make sure to keep it in a cool dark place (away from pets, small children and thieving partners) while it is soaking.

Cut Up Your Fruit First

Prepare the fruit by cutting any larger fruits into bite-sized pieces. Remove any pits or small stalks that you find. I usually leave cherries whole if small or cut them in half if they are super-big because I love the visuals of them studded through my cake, but feel free to leave whole or to cut as small as you desire.

Then make one of two choices.

1. Place your chopped and sorted fruit into a large ceramic bowl. Pour the alcohol or tea over. Stir well. Cover the dish with some kind of lid. Don’t let any metal touch the fruit.

2. Try my jar method. Take a large glass jar, big enough to fit your fruit. Layer the fruit or mix together and then spoon into jar. Add alcohol or tea. Place lid on tightly and then turn jar upside down a few times to distribute liquid.

Stir or upend the jar occasionally until the fruit is plump and moist and ready for your cake.

If the liquid is completely absorbed you can add a little more, a tablespoon at each time, every few days. This is known as ‘feeding your fruit’.

When you are ready to bake your cake take the fruit out of the bowl or jar and reserve any syrup that is left behind. This can be used to brush over the cooked cake (which is known as ‘feeding your cake’ but it is also good on ice-cream!

Sending kitchen happiness your way, Nicole ❤ xx

 

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Recipe

“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ” 
Mich Ehrenborg

This simple rice-based gluten-free dessert is a modern twist on a family favourite. The pudding is sweet, creamy and has that salty more-ish kick.

It can be easily made using your favourite kind of milk, so vegans and people with food intolerances can enjoy a dessert that everyone else in the household will love too. I often make this recipe with coconut milk, but have also made it with soy milk, rice milk and almond milk. It works well with cows milk too if your tummy likes that kind of milk.

The pudding can be enjoyed warm or cold.

PS – I have also been enjoying adding a few spoonfuls of collagen powder to this recipe. I have a connective tissue disorder, so adding gelatin or collagen hydrolysate to my soups, stews, smoothies and other recipes has helped me to improve my joint, cartilage and ligament health, skin elasticity, gut function, nails and hair. (Obviously, if you are a vegan you would avoid this step as collagen is an animal product.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup short grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 litre of milk of your choice
  • 1/4 cup of coconut blossom sugar (If you can’t find this then use palm sugar or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Extra salt and sugar to taste. Optional: Coconut yoghurt to serve.

Method:

  1. Bring the rice and water to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add milk, a little at a time, stirring well.
  3. Add sugar and stir well. If you are adding collagen powder put it on now and stir well so that it dissolves.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally so that rice does not stick to bottom of pan.
  5. When rice is thick and creamy, and grains of rice are soft add vanilla and salt. Taste and then add more sugar or salt if necessary.
  6. To serve spoon into bowls. Top with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a drizzle of cream, or your favourite fresh or canned fruits.

This will keep well, covered and refrigerated for up to four days – if it lasts that long!

 

Retro Party Food Catering For the Non-Cook

Carly and me and the Retro Seventies Pineapple ‘Horses Doovers’ Tower

“It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier.” 
Lemony Snicket, The Slippery Slope

 

Are you a party-goer who can’t cook?

Or perhaps you are thinking of a retro-themed get-together with some family or friends? And you are also a domestic disaster or perhaps completely lacking any kind of kitchen equipment beyond a sharpish knife.

Never fear, we have the solution!

My dear friend Carly and I lost a friend suddenly some years ago. Kate was hilarious, madly individual, and the most horrendous cook I have ever met. Nothing she made ever turned out. She mostly lived on fruit, minute noodles, cheese and bread. But she has two dishes for which she was famous – a gala savoury creation she called her ‘Horses Doovers (Hors D’oeuvres)Tower’ which is a Retro 1970s pineapple studded with canapes, and ‘Cupcake Kebabs’.

In honour of Kate’s life and friendship Carly and I recently whipped these up for a very special celebration, and they were very well received.

So, if you can’t cook to save your life but still want to impress at your next party, try Kate’s recipes. You and your food will be a hit!

Sending big Retro hugs to you, Nicole ❤ xx

 

Horses Doovers Tower

Ingredients:

  • one large fresh pineapple that stands up nicely without wobbling
  • cubes of cheese (Cheddar or Colby is good)
  • kabana cut into rounds
  • small pickled onions
  • stuffed olives
  • small dill pickles/cornichons
  • cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • tinned pineapple pieces
  • toothpicks

Method:

Thread toothpicks with a selection of ingredients, one of which must be cheese. Leave space at either end of the toothpick. Press toothpick into pineapple. Cover entire surface of pineapple and then add some additional filled toothpicks to the serving plate at the base of the pineapple. Serve with your favourite party drinks, music and disco dancing.

Cupcake Kebabs

Ingredients:

  • assorted mini cupcakes
  • small wafer biscuits
  • jam roll cakes cut into slices
  • any other small cakes or cake pieces of your choice
  • marshmallows
  • kebab sticks

Method:
Thread cakes, wafers and marshmallows onto skewers. Pile onto a platter and serve with champagne or cups of tea.

 

Best Easy Chocolate Mudcake Recipe

“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.”
Michael PollanIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

A friend on the other side of the world asked me for a foolproof but yummy chocolate cake recipe with easily obtainable ingredients that she could bake for her sister’s informal impromptu wedding, which just happens to be tomorrow.

My friend is not a baker, but she wanted to make a from-scratch cake in honour of love. I totally support that, don’t you?

This cake recipe fits the bill – it’s simple to make, and virtually foolproof. Plus soooooo yummy. (PS – Congratulations to Susanne and Adesh. I hope your wedding celebration is magical, and we all send our love!)

The picture above of is a double recipe.  This cake is a triumph – so easy, and it never fails to please.

Ingredients for cake:

250 grams unsalted butter (I’ve used salted and that’s fine if it’s all you’ve got), 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, 1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup soft brown sugar, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup self raising flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, or one shot of espresso, 1 1/3 cups of water (a teensy bit less if you used espresso), 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and dump into a large saucepan.  Add in the chopped butter, sugar, water and coffee.  Melt together until all ingredients are dissolved and then cool.
  2. Sift flours and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Gently mix through the cooled chocolate liquid by hand with a large spoon.
  4. Finally, beat the eggs together to combine, then gently fold the eggs into the cake mix.
  5. Pour the batter into a double lined 20cm deep cake tin, and bake at 150 degrees celcius for 1 and 3/4 hours. **check cake towards the end so it doesn’t overcook.
  6. Allow to cool in tin before removing

Chocolate Ganache:

Melt together 250grams of broken dark chocolate and 1/3 cup of cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it thickens, stirring occasionally and then pour/spread over cake.  (Don’t leave ganache in fridge and forget about it or you’ll have to eat the lot!)

I also made some chocolate leaves by melting dark chocolate and using a clean paint brush to paint camelia leaves.  Just peel the leaf away carefully when the chocolate sets.  Ivy leaves also look brilliant but any non-toxic leaf will work. I used smarties (chocolate beanies) to make flower patterns, although it looks a bit like I channelled my inner 1950s housewife, don’t you think!

♥ Serve in small slices (be warned – this is rich!) with some vanilla ice-cream or a good double cream.  It keeps well, but never seems to last.  Enjoy! xx

 

Fun With Friends!

“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” ~ Richard Branson

 

Hi Lovelies,

I’m in Adelaide right now, which is cold and wintery and wonderful. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to my channelling event on Monday night. I love being able to hug people and put a name to the face of friends I have only known online.

This week I have a balance of work and fun, and I’m lucky to have one of my favourite families taking me around the sights and to delicious eateries and magical places.

Yesterday included private appointments in the morning followed by bookshops, pop-up crab spaghetti restaurants (no – that platter in the pic was not all for me!), ice-cream and lots of laughter, hugs and sharing. After dinner I had an early night back at my hotel room with meditation, a hot shower and then a long sleep beneath clean sheets.

July is a month that focuses on relationships, heart connection and soul nurture, and I’m certainly getting plenty of that right now! I hope you’re managing to find some connection time too.
Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

    

 

Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe

“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ” 
Mich Ehrenborg

I love this tasty quick rice dish – it’s one of our favourite ways to use up leftover cold rice and cooked vegetables. It’s delicious warm and also great served cold as a salad. It’s also super economical and much better than take-away. The pineapple gives it a wonderful freshness and zing too.

Please don’t keep for longer than a day once made. But that shouldn’t be a problem because it’s so yummy you’ll want to gobble it all up.

I’ve given you a basic recipe below but feel free to make it vegan or vegetarian. Throwing in a handful of cooked prawns (shrimp) is divine, and a handful of lightly toasted cashews or almonds is also a great addition.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked cold rice
  • 1/2 cup diced ham or cooked bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 cloves of crushed or finely chopped garlic
  •  3 to 4 eggs, whisked with a tablespoon of water
  • 1 large green pepper, diced,
  • 1 cup of other sliced fresh vegetables cooked leftover vegetables or frozen peas/carrot/corn
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh or tinned diced pineapple
  • 3 spring onions sliced, or a handful of chopped up coriander – or both!
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, two tablespoons of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice and a dash of chilli sauce (if that’s your thing)- mixed together in a cup

Method:

  1. Select a large deep frypan or saucepan and place over moderate heat.
  2. Add the oil to cover the bottom of the pan and then pour the egg into the pan and allow it to cook as one flat sheet. When it has cooked through roll up and remove from pan. Cut into small pieces.
  3. If you are using bacon fry the bacon off first. Then add in the onion, ginger and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant.
  4. Now add in the vegetables if they are uncooked and stirfry gently for another two minutes.
  5. Add in all other vegetables (except herbs), pineapple, egg, ham if using, and rice. Stirfry for two minutes or until heated through.
  6. Add the soy mixture and stir through the rice.
  7. Fold through the spring onion and/or coriander.
  8. Serve on its own or with the protein of your choice.

Ginger Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwich Recipe

“…stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. ” 
Robert J. Hastings

You’ll love these tasty ice-cream treats. They are easy enough for the kids to make, and sophisticated enough that you could serve them as a dessert at your next grown-ups dinner party.

A few weeks ago a girlfriend came to stay down here at the farm. She’s working on a novel with a rural setting right now so we hooked her up with a friend of ours – an old country gentleman in his early eighties who is full of stories and bush yarns – so she could get some character and story ideas.

Whenever Geoff comes to visit I always make sure that my biscuit tin is full and that I have ample remaining to send some home for he and his wife. These crispy ginger cookies were quick to rustle up, and a single batch was enough to feed us well over a cuppa, put a good quantity in a care package and still have some left to play with.

Quite by accident we discovered that they make a fabulous foundation for ice-cream sandwiches. Happy-happy!

I hope you love them as much as we do 🙂

Cookie Ingredients

  • 250 grams salted butter
  • 250 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon treacle, molasses or golden syrup
  • 2 and 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger (or more – to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).
  2. Line some baking trays with baking paper or lightly grease them.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. I use an electric mixer for this beating on low to combine and then on high speed until butter is pale and creamy.
  4. Add egg and syrup and mix well.
  5. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Roll spoonfuls of mixture (I used a dessert spoon) and place on the trays. Flatten slightly with your fingers or a fork dipped in flour to prevent it sticking to the dough.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cool on trays for five minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. We made about thirty cookies, maybe a few more. This is not including the ones we ate warm or the dough that got eaten directly out of the mixing bowl… 
  10. Store the cooled cookies in an airtight tin for up to ten days.

You could just go ahead and enjoy these ginger cookies plain, but oh my how good they are when you turn them into ice-cream sandwiches.

Ginger Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwich

Two cookies and a couple of tablespoons of ice-cream per sandwich . Make sure to make up cookies that are roughly the same size!

Take some slightly softened ice-cream (I used vanilla because it was all we had) and place it on the centre of the bottom cookie so that it almost to the edges. Place another cookie on top and then use a spoon to smooth the ice-cream level with the sides of the cookies. Wipe any excess ice-cream off the cookie with the spoon, a clean finger or clean soft cloth.

Eat straight away or return to freezer until needed.

Top Tip: If you want your ice-cream sandwiches super-fancy roll the soft ice-cream edge in chocolate sprinkles, toasted coconut, crushed nuts or grated chocolate.

PS – I love this hilarious pic of our two dogs, Harry and Rufous eyeing off that ice-cream sandwich with serious intent gazing adoringly at me!

 

Chunky Choc-Chip Oat Cookies – Easy Recipe!

“Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.” ~Sandra Lee

 

School holidays are almost here, and this is a great recipe for kids in the kitchen. They are tasty, easy and use simple ingredients.

We love these chunky cookies here at the farm – they go well with a cuppa, a tall glass of milk, or a bowl of ice-cream. They are robust enough to hold their shape if they are bouncing around in a tin in the back of the ute while we’re out mustering and fancy enough to please the neighbours when they drop in for a chat and a cup of tea.

The biscuits will store in an airtight tin for one week but never last that long around here. The cookie dough can also be frozen in a log and used at a later date.

This recipe bakes up perfectly well with gluten-free flour if you need that, and is versatile enough that you can substitute raisins, nuts, cornflakes or dried fruit for the choc-chips if preferred. I have sometimes substituted muesli for both the oats and choc-chips if that was all I had to hand.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams of softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar (or ordinary sugar if that is all you have)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of choc chips (I like to use a couple of different types) or a 200-gram block of chocolate broken into chunks

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to moderately slow (160 degrees Celsius or 325 Fahrenheit)
  2. Line two trays/cookie sheets with baking paper.
  3. Beat butter, condensed milk and sugar together until pale and creamy. I use an electric mixer for this and it takes a few minutes.
  4. Dump remaining ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. You can do this on low speed in the mixer or use a wooden spoon. 
  5. Use a dessert spoon to scoop up mixture and roll into balls. Place balls on tray with a little space between them because they will spread when they cook. Press down to flatten the balls slightly with your fingers.
  6. Bake for fifteen minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove for oven and cool on trays for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack until they are completely cool. 

Serve to your friends and family, or eat them all on your own with Netflix for company!

PS – Pop Up Shop and June Workshops:
If you’re looking for some extra support for your spiritual journey check out my upcoming Pop Up Shop, Channelling Night and One Day Workshops in Brisbane 29 June to 1 July.

The Pop Up Shop runs over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Workshops are over Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday June 30 I’ll be teaching Foundation Spiritual Practices (the things I used to develop my own psychic and intuitive skills, self-awareness and compassion), and on Sunday July 1 I’ll teach Meditation and Mala Making (this second workshop is brilliant if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stuck or suffering from anxiety or depression). No matter what level you’re at I’ll have something for you on my program. More details here!

All details are on my EVENTS tab at the top of my blog post or here at this link.

Quick and Easy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta Recipe

“People just adore pasta. It’s a simple fact.” 
Marc Vetri

I’ve had a girlfriend staying with me for a few days. And for those few days it has been cold here at the farm. Both of us have been unwell, so our days have been napping, reading books in front of the fire, writing, doctor visits and more naps.

One night we were both exhausted and Ben had gone back to the city for the evening to check on his elderly mum, leaving us to our own devices. Suddenly it was dinner time and we were starving but exhausted – a difficult combo when you don’t have much energy but still want something a bit more elaborate than egg and toast.

Solution? Pasta!

In the cupboard I had some egg fettucine noodles – the lovely tri-colour ones that cook in six minutes.

In the fridge I had some locally raised and cured free-range streaky bacon rashers and vegetables.

We put it all together and in less than ten minutes we were eating the most delicious bowl of pasta with a little grated parmesan on top. Bellissimo!

How to make this dish fit your special eating requirements:

  • If you’re vegan swap out the bacon, butter and cheese, use vegan substitutes, or use a little tempeh for the bacon-y taste.
  • Vegetarians omit the bacon and add extra mushrooms
  • Use gluten-free pasta if you need to
  • Low-carb diet? Use a high protein pasta or substitute spiralised zucchini
  • Cow’s milk free? Use a little goat or sheep’s milk cheese on top – feta is awesome!

Ingredients (this fed two people REALLY well)

  • Egg fettucine (if you use another kind of pasta adjust your cooking time)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Olive oil
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 generous teaspoon of crushed garlic (fresh or jar)
  • 1/2 red onion roughly diced
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 large handfuls of green spinach
  • water

Method:

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil and add salt to the pot. I use a heaped teaspoon.
  2. Place a large frypan on low heat and add a slug of olive oil. Chuck the bacon in and then increase heat to medium. Fry for a minute or two until soft, fragrant and a little browned.
  3. Your water should be boiling now so chuck the pasta in and give it a poke with a wooden spoon to make sure it all becomes submerged. Bring it back to the boil and cook according to instructions on your packet.
  4. Add your sliced mushrooms to the pan along with the tablespoon of butter. Fry for a minute and then add the onions and garlic. Continue to stir. If it gets dry add a splash of water to moisten things up again. Season with a grind of pepper and a little salt.
  5. Now add the tomato and cook that down. It should be smelling fantastic by now. Add another splash of water if needed. 
  6. When the pasta is a minute or two off done thrown your chopped broccoli in the pot too. 
  7. A minute to go – add your big handfuls of spinach leaves to the frypan and wilt them down.  
  8. Drain your pasta and broccoli and then add into the frypan if it’s big enough. If not add back to the pot and dump your frypan contents in on the top. Stir to combine. 
  9. Place pasta and sauce into bowls, add a little grated parmesan and enjoy your easy, yummy meal!