This is one of my favourite weekend meals, perfect for the family but equally perfect for guests. It's one of those amazing recipes I keep in my back pocket, because it contains the holy trio of criteria; cheap, easy and impressive! You can buy ready made polenta at any supermarket these days for under $2. You literally toast it up in a pan with some butter or olive oil and top it with anything you like. One of my favourite ways to eat it is as a brunch dish with eggs. There's something about the taste combination of corn and eggs that is pure magic! I love to top the polenta with pancetta pieces - which is just a fancy name for Italian bacon. You can buy packets of pancetta cubes in the grocery section where you buy packaged processed meats and just toss into a pan and heat until a little crunchy. Add some eggs and you are done! If you want to get a little creative, add some toppings like your favourite cheese, cherry tomatoes or some sautéed onions, but this dish is delicious as is. Here's an added bonus - start to finish - you can have this dish on your table in under 15 minutes. Superstar rated in my house, you have to give it a try.
1 loaf ready made polenta
1-2 eggs per person
1 package pancetta cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Pat of butter
Roughly cut up polenta into chunks or slices.
Heat a pan on high with a little bit of butter or olive oil. Toast polenta.
Over medium heat, fry up the pancetta pieces until crisp.
Cook 1-2 eggs per person, sunny side up and serve over polenta.
Top with pancetta and serve.
This salad puts the best of summer flavors on a plate. The chickpeas are toasted to give a nice crunch, the cherry tomatoes are blistered to bring out all their juiciness, the peaches provide a sweet note and the arugula provides the perfect peppery base. Delicious! Make some extra chick peas to have on hand in the fridge - they are a great protein boost for lunches and snacks.
handful chick peas
handful cherry tomatoes
large bunch arugula
a firm peach, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Season chick peas and toast in a frying pan over medium heat until scorched and crunchy. Remove.
Add a little olive oil to the pan. Sear tomatoes on high heat until blistered, 3 minutes.
Assemble your salad; dress arugula with salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Top with peaches, tomatoes and chick pease and serve.
Weeknights are always a bit chaotic at our house. Dinnertime can be a bit of a moving target and there is always pressure to get dinner on the table in a hurry. This is one of my staple go-to recipes when I need to rustle something up in a hurry and make sure there are leftovers that make a great lunch too. I usually make a big batch of the pesto to have on hand. This recipe makes about 1.5 - 2 cups of pesto that you can store in your fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months. I usually make the pasta in the morning or the night before. Dressed with a little bit of olive oil, it heats up nicely in a frying pan in about 5-10 minutes. Basically the magic formula calls for pasta + pesto + cheese equals fast and yummy!
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
300 gr pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup ricotta
handful of parmesan cheese
Make pasta according to package directions.
Once cooked, dress with olive oil. You can make pasta up to 3 days ahead and store in an air tight container in the fridge.
To re-heat, cook on high heat in a frying pan until warmed through and a little scorched.
Prepare pesto; combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined and thick.
Serve pasta with a generous dollop of ricotta and pesto and top with a little parmesan.