Sunday, 31 July 2011

Recipes - Pal fil-forn

Pal fil-forn literally means 'like in the oven'.  This dish is typical of Maltese food and is often referred to as a 'peasant's meal', that is; few ingredients, of varying quality, cooked simply over a long period of time.  Cheaper cuts of meat are best and it can be made with pork, chicken, lamb or beef, however, the meat must be on the bone.  This dish is a favourite of mine, one of my signatures and has impressed many despite its simple nature.

Ingredients
3-4 brown onion, sliced thickly
3-4 potatoes, sliced thickly
4-5 pork chops
vegetable stock and water (amount varies, see step 2 of recipe)

Step 1 - In a large pot, layer the onions on the bottom, then place the pork in a layer and top with a layer of potato.  
Step 2 - Fill pot to just under potatoes with 1/2 water 1/2 stock and put lid on pot.
Step 3 - Place pot on high heat and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, season well with salt and  pepper and simmer slowly for 3-5 hours. 
Step 4 - To serve, put a few potato slices on bottom of plate, top with pork and spoon over onion broth.  Serve with thick slices of sourdough.

Did you know?

The warriors of Attila, king of the Huns, A.D. 450, preserved their meat by placing fresh meat under their saddles. All the bouncing squeezed fluids from the meat, and the horse’s sweat salted the meat and removed more moisture. When the warrior stopped to eat, they had a dried and salted meal.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake


This is the Chocolate Mousse Cake I made last weekend.  Photo does not do it justice!!  The cake is so delicious and recipe is available here

I don't remember a time I didn't cook

age 10...

Once a year during schools holidays, my sister and I were shipped off to our Aunt and Uncles house.  I really loved this time with them as we took lots of day trips into the city, visited museums and ate lots of exotic food.  My Aunt and Uncle are very well traveled and aimed to expose my sister and I to as much culture as possible.  

On this particular occasion I was let loose in their shoe box kitchen to cook anything I liked, under the watchful eye of my Aunt.  I decided to make hedgehog slice, a chocolate slice with chunky biscuit pieces, something I had made many time in the past and therefore, memorised the recipe.  It is not a recipe I remember now, but i do know there was a step where you melt chocolate, remove it from heat and quickly whisk in an egg.  My Aunt decided that it couldn't be right as the egg would scramble.  I assured her that was how it was made but she insisted she was correct (did I mention she is a high school science teacher?)  So this slice was made without the addition of egg.

Later that afternoon some other family members dropped by for a visit and my slice was served.  I went back to the kitchen to ice and cut the slice, and wouldn't you know it, the entire thing CRUMBLED!  Without the addition of egg, there was nothing to hold the other ingredients together.  So this giant mess was placed on the table and people were forced to pick up crumbling bite sized pieces and quickly get them from table to mouth before they disintegrated.   

It did taste pretty good and my Aunt proudly informed everyone that I cooked the entire thing while I sat there quietly resenting the fact she didn't let me cook it properly and therefore I was being held responsible for a total disaster!  

Friday, 29 July 2011

Pastizzi

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that pastizzi is the national food of Malta.  The crispy, flaky, cheese filled pastries are simply divine!  Making pastizzi is not something I have ever done, nor known my grandmother to do.  The pastry required is thin and layered like a filo, buttery like a shortcrust and flaky like a puff, in other words, difficult and time consuming.  Luckily, most supermarkets stock Pepe's Pastizzi; quality, hand made, traditional pastries just like what you find in Malta.  I recommend sticking to the cheese and fetta varieties as they are the traditional flavours.  Another favourite of mine, which is widely available in Malta, is a filling made from peas, anchovies and olives, but I am yet  to see Pepe's manufacture this variety.  


Just remember, the number one rule when buying pastizzi is to stick with Pepe's.  There are a number of other companies that offer pastizzi, but these are often a highly processed rendition of the pastizzi that are small, filled with semolina and taste absolutely appalling.  It's Pepe's for the win!   







Thursday, 28 July 2011

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Recipes - Cheese and Spinach Pie

This is another one of those recipes my friends keep me around for and one I have been watching my grandmother make since I was a child.  She sometimes uses broadbeans instead of spinach which is also delicious.  I've labelled it as being Maltese Cuisine.  I'm not sure if it really is, or if it is just something my family has always cooked.  Either way, tastes pretty amazing.  



Ingredients
500g ricotta
150g feta
1 bunch silverbeat or 1 bag baby spinach, stalks removed and roughly chopped
3 eggs
1/4 pine nuts, toasted (optional)
puff pastry
salt and pepper, to season




Step 1 - Preheat oven to 220°C.  Grease a medium sized oven proof dish.
Step 2 - Place spinach in a colander. Fill kettle with water and bring to boil. Pour boiling water over spinach.  Squeeze water out of spinach and set aside to cool.
Step 3 - Place feta in a large bowl and mash with a fork.  Add ricotta, eggs and pine nuts and mix until combined.  Then, add the cool spinach, season with salt and pepper and mix in well. 
Step 4 - Line the oven proof dish with puff pastry and prick all over with a fork. Pour mixture in and smooth to form an even layer.  Place more puff pastry over the top and gently pinch sides and top together to seal the pie. Prick top with fork.
Step 5 - Transfer to hot oven and bake for 20 minutes then turn heat down to 180°C and bake for a further 40 mins.  
Step 6 - Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Serve with a simple salad.

Notes:


Puff pastry can be bought ready made from supermarkets.  I buy the cheapest home brand sold in pre-cut sets of 6 sheets (I used three sheets for this pie).  Pastry needs to be kept frozen and removed 10 minutes prior to use.  Sit individual sheets on the bench and allow to thaw to the point where they are pliable.  Over thawing will cause the butter to melt and the pastry will become sticky, difficult to use and will not puff properly when cooking. Pastry can be cut and crimped together with a fork to fit any size dish. 

I don't brush pastry with egg wash, but feel free to do so if you prefer.  

Any variety of feta can be used.  For an extra cheese pie, grate some tasty, mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese into the mix.

Pies can be made in any size.  Muffin tins are great to create individual treats, just reduce the cooking time.

Birthday Pressies



Just wanted to share some of the great birthday pressies I received from friends and family. I love getting new stuff for my kitchen and was stoked to receive my first ever granite mortar and pestle.  I am currently going through the motions of oiling and salting it to prepare it for future use.  I also love the measuring cups that are shaped like Babushka Dolls. The tops are the 1cup, 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup and the bottoms are the 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 cup measurements.  The onion thingy and toast bags were a fabulous gag gift from a friend and my sister gave me the lime green silicon utensils and utensil holder.  I think they look swish!  Can't wait to use everything.

Recipes - Hobz biz-zejt

Hobz biz-zejt literally translates to Bread with Oil.  It is a traditional Maltese lunch, similar to the ploughman's lunch that originated in the UK and is more construction than cooking.  The mere thought of this dish sends me back to my ten year old self, sitting in my grandmothers kitchen with my sister and my cousins, fighting over the best tomatoes (straight from the vine) and the best cuts of bread (fresh from the oven).  Top quality ingredients are essential for this dish.

Ingredients
olive oil
sourdough bread
ripe tomatoes. halved
tomato paste
tuna
salt and pepper, to season

Optional
anchovies
olives
capers/caperberries 

Step 1 - Place tuna, tomatos, tomato paste and optional ingredients on a plate.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2 - Rip off pieces of bread, dip in oil, rub with tomato then use to scoop other ingredients.  Enjoy. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Did you know?

During the Middle Ages, a lemon slice was served with fish because it was thought the juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed.



Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Glee Coffee Roasters - Tuggerah, NSW

I adore coffee.  I covet coffee.  I respect coffee.  I would say that I love coffee, but that would be an understatement. I would rather drink nothing than drink a bad coffee. My desire to drink only to best is behind my driving past 15 odd cafes every morning to reach Glee Coffee Roasters at Tuggerah.  

These guys KNOW coffee!  They buy green beans, roast onsite and serve fresh coffee made to perfection.  I often joke that they are the John West of coffee cause it's the shots that Glee rejects that make Glee the best.  If they pour a shot that is not perfect, they make your coffee again.  Quality is important.  For this reason, they only serve coffee in one size and do not offer flavour syrups or even sugar (there is some sugar under the counter but your name gets put on the black list if you ask for it). 

Off their coffee menu are some gorgeous teas, of the same impeccable quality and standard as their coffee.  If you're a chocolate lover, give their Fat Chocolate a go.  It's the consistency of chocolate custard with the flavour of decadent hot chocolate.  

They open 8:30-3 Mon-Fri and 8:30-1 Sat.  Go see them. They'll ruin you for other cafes. 

Check out their facebook page and their website.  

Monday, 25 July 2011

Recipes - Broccoli Soup w Chorizo and Parsley Oil

I love broccoli in all its forms and when I planned to serve a broccoli soup at my Five Course Dinner Party I got straight onto taste.com.au to find a recipe that would pimp my soup.  The recipe I found is very similar to my own but the addition of parsley oil and chorizo provided a unique and modern twist on an old classic.  

Ingredients
3-4 x broccoli heads, stalk removed and florets separated
2 x small potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 x brown onion, finely diced
1 x clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
100mL olive oil
1/2 cup parsley
Chorizo

Step 1 - Heat a slurp of olive oil and a knob of butter in a large saucepan.  Sautee onions and garlic until cooked, but do not allow to colour.
Step 2 - Add potato, stock and water and bring to boil.
Step 3 - Add broccoli, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until broccoli is tender.
Step 4 - Remove from heat and blend with a stick mixer.  
Step 5 - Season with salt and pepper, add cream and stir until combined.
Step 6 - Place oil and parsley in a food processor and process until combined. Pass through a fine sieve. 
Step 7 -  To serve, fry chorizo in a grill pan, pour soup into bowl, top with chrizo and drizzle with parsley oil.  

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Recipes - Chocolate Mousse Cake

This rich, decedent cake is a great way to impress people with minimal effort!  The recipe goes against all my cooking instincts and needs to be followed to the letter.  I found the recipe on taste.com.au, read through all 160 ratings and comments and made it twice before posting just to make sure I had it right.  Enjoy.  

Ingredients 
500g dark chocolate
125g butter
2 tbs golden syrup
4 eggs
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs plain flour 


200g Mascarpone
2 x double ristretto shots
1 tbs icing sugar



Step 1 - Preheat oven to 220°C.  Grease and line a 20cm spring form pan.
Step 2 - In a bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup. Set aside to cool.
Step 3 - Beat eggs and sugar for 10 minutes.
Step 4 - Fold flour gently through eggs then fold in chocolate mixture.
Step 5 - Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 12 minutes.
Step 6 - Remove from oven and transfer directly to fridge.  Refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24.  
Step 7 - Beat mascarpone, coffee and icing sugar together until thick and well combined.
Step 8 - To serve, slice cake with a warm knife and serve with a dollop of coffee mascarpone. 

Notes:


The timing of this recipe is really important.  Eggs need to be beaten for 10 minutes, timed and cake needs exactly 12 minutes in the oven.  


When removed from the oven, the centre of the cake will be very runny.  Do not return to oven, move cake directly to fridge to set.  

Up to half the dark chocolate can be substituted for milk chocolate to cut the richness of this cake.

Double ristretto shots can be replaced with 2 x regular coffee shot or (if desperate) 2 tbs instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbs hot water.  

Top 5 - Pasta Dishes

There is so much you can do with pasta, it can be eaten hot or cold, baked, used in salads and soups, even fried.  Ingredients used in pasta dishes range from the most expensive in the world, to those anyone can afford.  For a quick meal, my Nan likes to mix vegemite, butter and grated parmesan through cooked spaghetti, it's actually quite tasty. 

It was difficult for me to narrow the list down to my top 5 but here it is! 


Recipes - Moroccan Lamb Stew

This is not a traditional Moroccan recipe, it is merely my understanding of Moroccan flavours turned into a stew.  While researching in preparation for this recipe, I read close to ten different Moroccan Stew recipes and chose my favourite elements of each one.  I served this as the main of my Five Course Dinner Party and plates were (practically) licked clean.

Ingredients
500g lamb, cut into small cubes
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 clove garlic, fine chopped
2 tbs ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp ground chili 
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 x oranges, juice and zest 
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved 
1 x large carrot, chopped
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
flaked almonds 


Step 1 - Soak raisins in hot water.
Step 2 - Heat a small amount of olive oil in frying pan and seal lamb in small batches.
Step 3 - Heat a little more oil in the pan, add onion and garlic and sautee until tender, but not coloured.
Step 4 - Add ginger, cumin, coriander seed, paprika, cinnamon and chili and fry off for 1 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add tomato paste and sugar and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes.
Step 5 - Return lamb to pan, coat with spiced tomato mix then add tin tomatoes, water, stock and carrot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 hours, stirring periodically.
Step 6 - With one hour to go, drain raisins and add to pan along with orange juice, apricots and chickpeas.
Step 7 - To prepare couscous, place in a large bowl with 1 cup boiling water and a pinch salt. Mix quickly with a fork and cover with a lid or plate for 5 mins.  Remove lid, fluff with a fork and mix through orange zest, coriander and a good whack of olive oil.  Season well with salt. 
Step 8 - To serve, place couscous and stew in a plate and top with toasted almonds. 


Notes:


The slow cooking is essential for this dish.  If the stew looks like it is drying out, add more water.  

Recipes - Slow Roasted Romas w Basil Pesto Pasta

When I asked my friends husband for this recipe he said 'I can tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.'  So it has to stay a secret, shhh don't tell anyone.  Slow cooking is required for this dish but it is well worth it.  

Ingredients 
Roma tomatoes
Brown Sugar
Fettuccine 

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 140°C. 
Step 2 - Halve tomatoes and place, cut side up, in a baking dish lined with baking paper. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Bake for 4-6 hours until tomatoes start to blacken around the edges
Step 3 - Transfer tomatoes and caramel in the pan to a bowl and cover with cling wrap.
Step 4 - Cook fettuccine, drain and mix through basil pesto. 
Step 5 -  Serve by piling a mound of pesto pasta on a plate and top with a few slow roasted tomatoes.  Drizzle with the tomato caramel syrup.






















  

Recipes - Basil Pesto

Who doesn't love a good pesto?  Great as a dip, mixed through pasta, served with meat or fish and even stuffed inside chicken.  It is so versatile and delicious. 




Ingredients
4 cups basil, stems removed 
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, to season








Step 1 - Toast half the pine nuts in a dry pan or under grill
Step 2 - Combine basil, garlic, all pine nuts and parmesan in food processor and process until well chopped. 
Step 3 - Add oil, season with salt and process until well combined, scraping down sides half way through.
Step 4 - Taste for seasoning and add more salt or olive oil if required. 

Notes:


Good quality ingredients, especially olive oil is imperative for this dish


Do not season with pepper.


To store, transfer pesto to an airtight container and drizzle with a thin layer of olive oil before attaching lid.  Store in fridge for 2-3 days. D not freeze.

Recipes - Roast Beetroot, Carrot and Sweet Potato Salad

This just works.  I served this as the first course of a Five Course Dinner Party and it was the meal that received the most compliments and clean plates.  




Ingredients 
2 x beetroot
3 x large carrots, cut into eighths 
1 x large sweet potato, peeled and cut into pieces 
200g baby spinach
75g feta, preferable goat's milk feta
Dukkah, I used Hazelnut and Lemon Myrtle from A Taste of the Bush
Balsamic Glaze
Olive Oil



Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180°C 
Step 2 - Wrap each beetroot in foil and place in a baking tray with carrot and sweet potato. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 hour.
Step 3 -   Remove vegetable and set aside to cool slightly.
Step 4 - Wearing gloves, unwrap beetroot and peel skin.  Cut into eighths. 
Step 5 - Spread baby spinach leaves over a serving dish and crumble feta on top.  Arrange the roast vegetables on the feta then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic glaze and a generous sprinkle of dukkah.  

Notes:

Pierce wrapped beetroot with sharp knife, if tender, the knife will easily penetrate and the beetroot is cooked.

All ovens are different.  Vegetables may cook in as little as 45 minutes, or they may take up to 1 hour 30 minutes.  

How To - Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic glaze is thick, sweet and tangy.  It is a great way to jazz up a dish and goes really well with vegetable, meat and fruit.  Super simple to make but requires a good quality vinegar.

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
  • A small heavy bottomed saucepan 
Pour balsamic vinegar into the saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce to low and slowly simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  

2 cups vinegar will make about 1/2 cup glaze.  



Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Did you know?

The Arabs invented Caramel.  It was used as hair removal for women in the Harem.  Ouch.

Birthday/Thank You For Helping Me Move Dinner

Two days to go until my five course Dinner party for myself and 9 friends.  The Dinner is a thank you to those of my friends who helped me move and also a chance to celebrate my birthday!

My grocery list is written (shopping in the morning), my timeline has been planned (first dish commences cooking at 6pm Thursday night) and my house is undergoing a thorough cleaning (hopefully I can get it all up to standard)!  So, lots and lots to do in the next two days.  

Wanna know what we're having?

The menu - 
I've only made two of the dishes before and only one time each, so finger crossed (really tightly) that it all works out!!

Photos and recipes will be posted by Monday night

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Recipes - Maltese Spaghetti

This recipe is the reason most of my friends keep me around.  It's probably not traditional but is my interpretation of the recipe my grandmother makes and is a good representation of Maltese Cuisine. The ingredients may seem a bit odd, but trust me, I have not met one person who has not enjoyed this.


Ingredients
600g middle bacon, diced
1/2 head garlic, about 8-12 cloves, roughly chopped
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
4 heaped tbs tomato paste
1tbs sugar

Step 1 - Heat oil in a large frying pan.  You need lots of olive oil, enough to cover the base of the pan in a thin layer.  Fry garlic and bacon until they are cooked and slightly coloured, but do not allow the garlic to burn.
Step 2 - Add tomato paste and sugar and fry off for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Step 3 - Add tin tomatoes and 1 cup water, reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2-4 hours.
Step 4 - Serve with spaghetti and freshly grated parmesan.

Notes:

The long, slow cooking of this dish is essential. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Lightbulb!

I'm thinking lamb burger, seasoned with cumin, on a toasted turkish role with eggplant, spinach, tomato, sour cream and sweet chili sauce.

Did you know?

Chilies contain more Vitamin C than oranges. 

Lotus - Wamberal, NSW

Sunday mornings, you'll find me here.  This cafe is so comfortable and one of the only places I've seen the 'Beach Theme' perfectly executed.  The owners and staff are friendly and the atmosphere is a bit laid back and casual, but in a good way.  They use Toby's Estate coffee (my second favourite brand) and their food is delicious and incredibly good value for money.

Phone - (02) 4385 9260
Address - 127 Ocean View Dr, Crn Dover Rd.

Apologies for the poor picture quality - will get some better ones next time I'm there.

Bacon and Egg Turkish Roll - $8

Veggie Breakfast - $16 (with sausage $2)






































































I don't remember a time I didn't cook

age 9...

This was my first time catering a party - my own 9th birthday party!  The menu was pretty typical of a kids birthday party, a garden salad, sausages, chicken skewers, noodle salad (my own recipe - 2 min noodles mixed with mayo, sour cream, peas and cheese - it's actually really yummy!) and no 9th Birthday Party would be complete without duck liver pate in vol au vents w a green olive to garnish.   

My mum helped me make the pate and, needless to say, my guests steered clear of them.  Even when their parents came to pick them up, I offered them some and I think only one brave parent gave them a go.  

Mum and I had the best dinner that night.  

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Recipes - Parmesan Gelato

This was supposed to be one of two starters for the Vegetarian Feast.  I found the recipe on taste.com.au, one of my favourite websites for sourcing new recipes, however it did not work!  When reading the recipe, it didn't make a lot of sense in my head but I thought I would give it a go anyway.  Bad idea, total fail! 









Ingredients
1 cup parmesan, grated
1 1/2 cups cream
pinch paprika
1 cup balsamic vinegar 
1/2 cup red wine
1 baguette, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, halved
olive oil




Step 1 - Put parmesan, cream and paprika in a bowl over simmering water.  Season and stir until parmesan has melted. Strain through a fine sieve, pushing down well. Set aside to cool then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 2 - Place vinegar in a pan, bring to boil then reduce to simmer until reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
Step 3 - Using an ice cream scoop to place small scoops of the parmesan mixture on a lined tray and return to the fridge.
Step 4 - Preheat oven to 170°C.  Drizzle oil with red wine, brush with oil and place on a baking tray.  Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown, rub with garlic while still warm, then set aside to cool.
Step 5 - To serve, place scoop of gelato on bread and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Notes:

Balsamic glaze can be purchased from most supermarkets and is an alternative to making it yourself.   

Recipes - Caramel Brie



Oh My Goodness!  This is so good it should be illegal!  I found this recipes on taste.com.au and used it as the starter for my Vegetarian Feast.  I'll be making this again....and again....and again! 




Ingredients
Wheel of Brie, I used King Island Dairy Double Brie
Pecans or walnuts
2 cups sugar


Step 1 - Place Brie on a rack over a foil lined tray.  Arrange nuts on top.
Step 2 - Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy bottomed saucepan on low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.  Increase to medium heat and cook without stirring until mixture turns golden.
Step 3 - Remove from heat and sit until bubbles subside.  Pour caramel over cheese.  Allow caramel to harden before removing from rack.  

Notes:


If you are not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate.  Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to serving. 



Recipes - Roast Vegetable Stack

This was the Entree of the Vegetarian Feast.  As a meal on its own, it is great for lunch or dinner and is an impressive meal for something so simple!


Ingredients - Serves 4
4 x large field mushrooms, peeled and stalks removed
1 x large red capsicum
1 x large yellow capsicum
2 x large zucchini
1 x small eggplant
200g ricotta
1 x packet baby truss tomatoes on the vine
20 kalamata olives
rocket 
Balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.  Place a wire rack in one tray.
Step 2 - Brush mushrooms with balsamic vinegar.  Place them on the rack, cup side up, and give each a good splash with balsamic vinegar.  
Step 3 - Cut thick slices of eggplant, cut sides off capsicums and cut zucchini on a diagonal into thick slices.  Distribute vegetables over baking dishes, in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.  
Step 4 - Spray a 12 hole mini muffin tray with oil and line a small tray with baking paper.  Spoon ricotta into mini muffin tray.  Cut truss vine into 4 equal portions and place on tray with olives scattered around.  Bake both in top of oven for 15 minutes (last 15 mins of vegetable cooking time).
Step 5 - To serve, place a handful of rocket of each plate.  Put mushroom cup on rocket and layer capsicum, eggplant and zucchini.  Top with ricotta, sprinkle with olives and serve tomatoes on the side.  Drizzle generously with balsamic glaze.  

Recipes - King Prawn Puttanesca

This is one of my favourite pasta dishes as it contains some of my favourite things; olives, capers, anchovies, tomatoes, pasta, chili - need I say more?  It takes five minutes to throw together and can be left to simmer for a few hours.  I served this as the main of my Vegetarian Feast

Ingredients
300g Green Prawns, peeled
2 x 400g tin tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small red chilies, seeds & pith removed & finely sliced
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup capers, drained & rinsed
12 anchovy fillets 


Step 1 - Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add garlic, chili, olives, capers and anchovies.  Fry until garlic is cooked but do not allow to colour. 
Step 2 - Add prawns and fry for 1 minutes, then add tomato paste and sugar.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Step 3 - Add tin tomatoes and 1 cup water and stir well. Season with freshly ground black pepper, put lid on pan and simmer slowly for 1-4 hours.
Step 4 - Serve on spaghetti with parmesan cheese on the side.

Notes:

If you like some heat to your chili, do not remove seeds and pith. 

The anchovies are really important in this dish and they 'melt' into the sauce so you won't be eating chunks of anchovy.  The flavour they provide adds a great depth of flavour.  As anchovies are salty, do not season with salt to start with.  Towards the end of the simmering time, taste sauce for seasoning and adjust as required.

For those who cannot eat prawns, omit them from the sauce.  To please everyone, prawns can be fried in a grill pan just before serving and placed on top of the dishes for those who can eat them.