Conchiglie Pasta with Pumpkin and Mozzarella Butter

Conchiglie means 'shell' or 'seashell' and this shell shaped is wonderful to use with rich, creamy sauces or to fill and bake in your favourite sauce. This recipe which includes pumpkin and mozzarella is a new and slightly unusual way of using one of Italy's favourite cheeses.

Serves 2

600g butternut squash
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
1 small bunch sage
1 clove garlic
200g conchiglie pasta
1 lemon
50g grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons olive oil
20g butter
salt and pepper

Preheat an oven to 200˚C. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into 2 cm cubes. Place in a roasting dish with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes.

Finely chop the garlic cove and pick the sage leaves. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes and ensure the butter is at room temperature. Grate the zest from the lemon. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.

Heat a small pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry the garlic and sage leaves for 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Keep a few sage leaves back to finish the dish off and place the garlic, remaining sage, butter, mozzarella, lemon zest and juice in a jug or food processor and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta for about 9 minutes. Keep a cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain off the pasta, returning it to the pan. Mix the mozzarella butter through the pasta along with the pumpkin and half the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and add some of the pasta cooking water if necessary.

Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and sage leaves. Serve straight away.



voor 2 personen

600gr flespompoen
1 bol buffel mozzarella
1 klein bosje salie
1 teentje knoflook
200gr conchiglie
1 citroen
50gr geraspte Parmezaan
3 eetlepels olijfolie
30 gr boter
zout en peper

Verwarm een oven voor op 200˚C. Schil de flespompoen, verwijder de zaadjes en snijd 1 blokjes van 2 cm. Doe ze in een ovenschaal met 2 eetlepels olijfolie, zout en peper en rooster ongeveer 25 minuten.

Snijd de knoflook fijn en pluk de salieblaadjes. Snijd de mozzarella in kleine stukjes en zorg dat de boter op kamertemperatuur is. Rasp de schil van de citroen. Breng een pan met water en zout aan de kook.

Verwarm een pannetje op medium vuur met 1 eetlepel olijfolie en bak de knoflook en salieblaadjes 2 minuten. Laat even afkoelen. Bewaar een paar salie blaadjes en doe knoflook, resterende salie, boter, mozzarella, citroenrasp en sap naar smaak in een beker of keukenmachine en blend. Breng op smaak met zout en peper. Doe in een kom en zet in de koeling.

Kook de pasta ongeveer 8 minuten in de gezouten water. Bewaar 1 kopje van de kookvocht en giet af. Doe de pasta terug in de pan. Meng de mozzarellaboter door de pasta met de pompoen en de helft van de Parmezaan. Breng op smaak met zout en peper en voeg wat van het kookvocht toe, indien nodig.

Verdeel de pasta over 2 borden. Bestrooi met de resterende Parmezaan en salieblaadjes en serveer.


As we near the end of summer, tomatoes are at their ripest and best. Keep cool yet satisfied on a warm day with this delicious and flavourful salad Italian bread salad.

Serves 2

1 tin tomatoes
2 red peppers
700 g mixed coloured tomatoes
2 ciabatta rolls or 1 ciabatta bread
1 bunch basil
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
4 tablespoons olive oil (4 tablespoons)
red wine- or Sherry vinegar (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 220 °C. Place the peppers in a roasting tray and roast until black. Alternatively, blacken over an open flame on a gas stove. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to stand for a few minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 180 °C. Cut the ciabatta into rough cubes. Place them in a roasting tray and bake in the oven until they have dried out and are crunchy. Set aside to cool.
Place the tinned tomatoes in a bowl and blend until smooth using a stick blender. Season with salt, pepper, red wine- or sherry vinegar and the olive oil. This dressing should be slightly too sour.
Peel the peppers; discard the seeds and slice into strips. The juices that have been released from the peppers can be added to the dressing. Slice the tomatoes into wedges.
Pick the basil leaves from the stalks. Tear the mozzarella into pieces. Mix the ciabatta cubes, tomatoes, peppers and basil in a bowl with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the salad between two plates and top with the torn mozzarella.

Filled Focaccia

We're all thinking of ways to enjoy summer eating, whether that be in our outdoors. Here is a great recipe/idea for summer eating. You can practice your bread making skills and use your favourite vegetables or whatever is season.

Make a batch of focaccia.

Use an array of your favourite vegetables. We like a combination of peppers, courgettes, aubergine and red onion. Cut each into bite-sized pieces. Toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill in a grill pan until the vegetables have bar marks and are tender and cooked through. You can also finish them off in the oven to get them more tender.

Once they and the bread have cooled down, slice the bread in half. Spread with pesto (either homemade or shop bought). Top with the grilled vegetables and then tear some buffalo mozzarella over. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Dot a few fresh basil leaves over and a handful of rocket leaves. Close the bread to form a giant sandwich. Cut into pieces and serve.

Pappardelle with Chorizo Ragu

One of our favourite cookery writers and stylists, Donna Hay, has inspired this recipe.

Serves 4

400 gr dried chorizo
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
1 red chilli
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
good glug of red wine (about 100 ml)
1 x 400 g can peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
400 g pappradelle
250 g buffalo mozzarella
green salad, to serve

Remove the cases from the chorizo and roughly chop. Place into a Magimix (foodprocessor) and process until finely chopped, resembling minced meat. Set aside.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil for the pasta. Finely chop the garlic, deseed the chilli and finely chop half of it (or more depending on how spicy you like it). Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Strip trip the leaves from the rosemary stalks and chop them roughly. Add the rosemary to the pan and cook for 30 seconds until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add the chorizo, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy, stirring often.

Add the wine and cooked cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes. ( If you find that too much oil has come from the chorizo, you can also spoon a little off). While the chorizo is cooking, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain and reserve 100 ml of the cooking liquid.

Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to the chorizo mixture to start with, making sure ragu has a nice consistency. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls. Top with the chorizo ragu and tear the mozzarella over. Sprinkle over the crispy rosemary, drizzle with some of the chorizo oil in the pan and serve with a green salad simply dressed with olive oil.