Recipe: The Best Tomato Sauce for Pasta Ever!

One of the things I have improved in is appreciating simplicity and clarity of flavours in cooking. This is probably the best example.

1 Can of diced tomatoes (or fresh, if you are willing to skin and seed)
1 eschallot
1/2 cup small diced pancetta (not round, but the flat variety – if you can’t find, substitute with quality speck)
1 tbs quality olive oil
1 tbs Fresh chopped rosemary
Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup quality red wine – robust, like Shiraz
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Reggiano parmesan cheese

pasta of choice


Separately prepare pasta.

1. Heat olive oil in a solid frying pan and saute eschallots, garlic and pancetta until well browned.

2. Add red wine and reduce, constantly stirring.

3. Add full contents of tomato can and the stock, stirring in sugar, chopped rosemary and two dashes of Worcestershire Sauce.

4. Cook on medium to high heat until reduced to a thick, but still runny sauce. Take off heat.

5. Spoon contents over pasta, and sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese.


Recipe: Chorizo, Fennel & Baby Spinach Risotto

Made a delicious risotto tonight, so I thought I would share it with you.

First and foremost, if there is any dish that benefits from quality ingredients, it’s risotto.

Serves 4.
20 min prep time; 40 min cooking

arborio rice
250ml Chicken Stock
50ml white wine.
2 chorizos (plain)
3  eschellots
half a fresh fennel (or 1 baby fennel) roughly chopped.
3 handfuls of baby spinach
1.5 cups of grated Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp fesh marjorum, finely chopped
garlic to taste
olive oil for cooking
olive oil for dressing (quality)

1. Slice chorizos, and then cut each slice in half. Fry until golden and then drain oil. Set aside.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a deep fry pan on high heat (I actually believe woks are best). Fry for a few minutes the eschellots (cut in halves, then sliced lengthwise). Then add several handfuls of arborio rice, marjorum and garlic. Constantly stir until arborio rice turns while, and some grains start to brown.
3. Add white wine and stir constantly until sizzling settles – then turn heat down to medium-high (enough to be able keep mixture boiling, even when adding small amounts of liquid.
4. Add a small amount of chicken stock, and continue to stir. At this point, keep stiring (the main thing is to avoid residue clinging to pan and also to ensure that all rice is folded into liquid). The rice should quickly start absorbing the stock. When it gets a bit gluggy or dry, add more stock. 
5. Repeat process until rice is half cooked – add chopped chorizos. Repeat adding liquid. You should run out of stock – replace with water.
6. When rice is three-quarters cooked, add fennel. Repeat stirring/adding liquid process.
7. When the rice is very near ready and the liquid is reducing to a point where there is only a small amount of runny liquid, add spinach and keep stirring. The spinach will wilt quickly.
8. Turn heat off and add parmesan cheese. Stir the mixture until the cheese is completely mixed with the rice.
9. Serve on plates and drizzle with a small amount of quality olive oil.