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Tag Archives: pasta
  • Posted on September 7, 2017

    One Pot Tomato Pasta recipe

    September is here and that means harvest time, which also means lots of gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables. If you grow any of your own fruit or veg, you will know you can often find yourself with mountains of the stuff, so this month we’re focusing all our recipes for the weekend on tasty meals you can make with your harvest bounty.

    This week, tomatoes, and a pasta recipe so simple you have to try it to believe it!

    Pasta Secets One Pot Pasta

    As a traditionalist when it comes to pasta, once again I cannot take credit for this great recipe. This is an adaptation of the iconic Martha Stewart ‘one pan’ pasta. It is a brilliant invention indeed.

     

    350 g/12 oz. linguine or spaghettini

    350 g/generous 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

    1 onion, thinly sliced

    3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes/hot red pepper flakes

    4 anchovy fillets (optional, if not using, add an extra teaspoon of salt)

    a large handful of basil leaves

    2 tablespoons capers

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 teaspoons salt

    freshly ground black pepper

    a knob/pat of butter

    850 ml/3 ½ cups water

    4 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano

    Reggiano, to serve

    SERVES 4

     

    Place all the ingredients (except the Parmigiano to serve) in the bottom of a pan that is large enough for the pasta to not be broken.

    Bring to the boil over a high heat. Stir frequently until the pasta is al dente and the water has almost evaporated (about 9 minutes).

    Season to taste and serve immediately with plenty of Parmigiano.

     

    For more delicious pasta recipes, check out Laura Santtini's Pasta Secrets. Photography by Christopher Scholey.

    Laura Santtini's Pasta Secrets

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, tomato, quick, pasta

  • Posted on June 9, 2017

    Crab, chilli & lemon pasta recipe

    This is such a simple dish, but special enough that you could easily serve it at a dinner party! Second to the carbonara, this is the other most popular pasta served at Laura Santtini's restaurant. This recipe is loved because it is light, clean, fresh and super tasty.

    Crab Linguine pasta secrets

    Crab, chilli & lemon pasta

    200 g/7 oz. dried pasta

    200 g/7 oz. cooked picked white crabmeat*

    a handful of flat leaf parsley

    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed

    grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

    2 garlic cloves, squashed, peeled and halved lengthways

    1 red chilli/chile, deseeded and finely chopped

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    * You can use half white crabmeat and half brown for a fuller crab flavour.

    SERVES 2

     

    Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.

    Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. This is a fairly loose sauce; therefore add extra olive oil if it is too dry and season with salt and pepper.

    Drain the pasta but keep a cup of the cooking water.

    Tip the hot drained pasta back into the pan, add the crab mixture and a small splash of the retained pasta cooking water. Toss with gusto until creamy and well combined.

    Serve immediately.

    TASTY TOPPER Diced avocado and mango

     

    For more delicious pasta recipes, check out Laura Santtini's Pasta Secrets.

    Laura Santtini's Pasta Secrets

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, quick, pasta, seafood

  • Posted on April 20, 2017

    Spaghetti with broccoli, walnuts & ricotta recipe

    This week’s recipe is a shout-out to all the runners taking part in the London Marathon this weekend! It’s the perfect time to indulge in some carbs, but we’re keeping it healthy with some veg, plus walnuts and ricotta for some extra protein to get you ready for the big day! This dish is light and creamy and deliciously simple and quick to make. We hope you enjoy and GOOD LUCK!

    Spaghetti with walnuts, broccoli and ricotta

    spaghetti with broccoli, walnuts & ricotta

    100 g/2⁄3 cup walnut halves

    1 head of broccoli, about 400–500 g/1 lb.

    3 tablespoons light olive oil

    3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

    finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

    200 g/7 oz. fresh ricotta cheese

    400 g/14 oz. spaghetti

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Serves 4

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes, shaking the sheet occasionally, until they start to brown.

    To prepare the broccoli, trim off the gnarly part, about 2 cm/ 1 inch from the stem end, and discard. Thinly slice the stem until you reach the point where it starts to branch into florets. Slice off the individual florets. Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet, add the stems and cook for about 2–3 minutes, turning often, then add the florets and cook for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli has softened. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon zest and walnuts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and stir through the ricotta and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper and leave in the pan/skillet to keep warm.

    Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain and return it to the warm pan/skillet with the sauce. Stir gently to combine and serve immediately.

     

    This recipe is from Market Vegetarian by Ross Dobson, available here.

    Market Vegetarian by Ross Dobson

    Photographs by Richard Jung, ©Ryland Peters & Small

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, quick, pasta, healthy

  • Posted on June 3, 2016

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Yesterday was the Festa della Repubblica in Italy and we don’t know about you, but after the dreary week we’ve had here in London, we’re just about ready for some Italian comfort food. So we turned to Laura Santtini’s At Home with Umami and her take on a classic Carbonara. Just how good does this look?!

    Carbonara

    There is nothing more mellow and comforting than a bowl of creamy, umami-packed pasta, served with a glass of chilled white wine. It makes having a bad day almost worthwhile… Carbonara’s dreamy, creamy combination of Parmesan and pancetta is a worldwide favourite. This recipe serves 4 and makes enough to coat 400 g/14 oz. spaghetti.

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    150 g/5½ oz. pancetta or bacon, cut into strips

    4 fresh egg yolks (use only very fresh eggs)

    splash of double/heavy cream (optional)

    4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    freshly ground black pepper

    1 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet. Add the pancetta or bacon and fry until it is browned but not too crisp. Set aside.

    Place the egg yolks, cream (if using) and cheese in a large serving bowl and a generous grinding of black pepper.

    Mix well with a fork.

    Drain your pasta and add immediately to the cheese and egg mixture. Add the pancetta or bacon and parsley, and toss well until all is well mixed and creamy.

    At Home With Umami by Laura Santtini is available here. If you’re after some Italian sunshine food, make sure you check out this delicious crab salad from Ursula Ferrigno’s Flavours of Sicily.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK and was tagged with savoury, italian, recipe for the weekend, cheese, quick, pasta, 2015, umami

  • Posted on March 11, 2016

    Recipe for the Weekend

    We’re going back to basics with today’s recipe. A good Bolognese sauce recipe is something every home cook worth their salt should have in their repertoire, and (although we might be a little biased), we think this is a particularly good one. Taken from our new book, A Handful of Herbs, it’s infinitely adaptable and after the grey drizzle that seems to have descended on us lately, we’re definitely in the mood for something hearty!

    Spaghetti Bolognese

    The addition of chicken livers along with fresh bay leaves and thyme brings a great depth of flavour to this Italian classic. Other than pairing with spaghetti, you can use the sauce as the base for lasagne or other baked pasta dishes.

    125 g/4 oz smoked pancetta, diced

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 large onion, finely chopped

    2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

    750 g/1½ lb minced/ground beef

    50 g/2 oz chicken livers, diced

    300 ml/1¼ cups red wine

    two 400-g/14-oz cans chopped tomatoes

    2 tablespoons tomato purée/tomato paste

    a pinch of caster/granulated sugar

    2 fresh bay leaves

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    500g/1 lb. 2 oz. dry spaghetti

    Serves 4–6

    Heat a saucepan and dry-fry the pancetta for 3–4 minutes, or until browned and the fat is released into the pan. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the olive oil to the pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and thyme for 10 minutes, or until softened. Increase the heat, add the minced/ground beef and livers and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until browned.

    Add the wine and bring to the boil, then stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato purée/tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves and seasoning. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1–1½ hours, or until the sauce has thickened.

    Cook and drain the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Discard the bay leaves from the sauce, season to taste and serve with the pasta.

    A Handful of Herbs by Barbara Segall, Louise Pickford and Rose Hammick is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, Recipes, UK and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, beef, tomato, quick, pasta, Louise Pickford, herbs, 2016

  • Posted on August 1, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend: Summer Vacation edition!

    Happy Friday everyone! To finish up our week of fun activities to keep you busy during the vacation, we’ve got a Recipe for the Weekend taken from Susan Akass’s brilliant My First Cookbook! This book is packed full of great recipes for you to impress your friends and family with. It's also a great introduction to cooking however old you are! This yummy summery pasta dish will look impressive and taste great. Why not practice it on your family this weekend?

    Pasta Butterflies with Zucchini

    If you are vegetarian, or you are cooking for vegetarian friends or family, this is a really useful pasta recipe to learn. You don’t need many ingredients, and there’s a good chance you already have things like golden raisins (sultanas) and pine nuts in your kitchen cupboard. You will have two pans cooking together in this recipe, which will test your cooking skills!

    You will need

    2 tablespoons golden raisins (sultanas)

    1 unwaxed or organic lemon, washed

    3 medium zucchini (courgettes)

    2 garlic cloves

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    14 oz (400 g) dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

    3 tablespoons pine nuts

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

     

    2 large saucepans

    grater

    garlic crusher

    colander

    (serves 4)

     

    1. Put the golden raisins (sultanas) into a little dish. Ask an adult to help you boil a kettle and cover them with hot water. Leave them for about 15 minutes.

    2. While they are soaking, carefully use the finest holes of a grater to grate the zest (yellow skin) off the lemon into a saucer.

    3. Wash the zucchini (courgettes) and chop off the ends. Throw the ends away and cut the zucchini into thin slices using a small sharp knife—remember to keep your hand in the claw position.

    4. Peel the garlic cloves and put them into a garlic crusher ready to use later. The golden raisins (sultanas) should be nice and plump by now, so drain them through a colander.

    5. Now you are ready to cook. Ask an adult to help you heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then put the zucchini to fry over medium heat for 6–8 minutes, until they are golden; you will need to give them a good stir now and again.

    6. Once the zucchini are cooking, ask the adult to help you put a large pan of water to boil ready for the pasta. Add a pinch of salt. As soon as the water boils, pour in the pasta, give it a stir and keep the heat high until the water comes to a boil again, then turn it down a little so the water doesn’t boil over the top of the saucepan—but make sure it keeps boiling. Set a timer for the cooking time shown on the package.

    7. When the zucchini are ready, add the pine nuts and cook for another 2–3 minutes, until they are golden.

    8. Crush the garlic into the zucchini and cook for just 2 minutes; you don’t want it to cook so much that it browns, which is when it becomes bitter.

    9. Add the golden raisins (sultanas) and lemon zest to the pan. Stir them into the mixture. Season the mixture with some salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat from under the pan.

    10. When the timer pings, take out a piece of pasta with a slotted spoon. Let it cool for a moment and then taste to see if it is cooked. It should be “al dente” which means soft with a slight firmness in the middle. If it is still hard, cook for a little longer and test again. When it is cooked, ask an adult to help you drain the pasta through a colander.

    11. Tip the pasta into the zucchini mixture and toss everything together using two wooden spoons/spatulas.

    My First Cookbook by Susan Akass is available here. Don't forget also that for the little ones we also provide a range of My First books which they will love!

    We hope you have a great weekend and happy cooking! Keep a look out for more fun activities on the blog during the summer vacation!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, US, What's new and was tagged with cico kidz, recipe for the weekend, 2014, my first series, pasta, Susan Akass, activities for kids, keep busy this summer, keep kids busy

  • Posted on August 1, 2014

    Recipe for Weekend: Summer holidays edition!

    Happy Friday everyone! To finish up our week of fun activities to keep you busy during the holidays, we’ve got a Recipe for the Weekend taken from Susan Akass’s brilliant My First Cookbook! This book is packed full of great recipes for you to impress your friends and family with. It's also a great introduction to cooking however old you are! This yummy summery pasta dish will look impressive and taste great. Why not practice it on your family this weekend?

    Pasta Butterflies with Courgettes

    If you are vegetarian, or you are cooking for vegetarian friends or family, this is a really useful pasta recipe to learn. You don’t need many ingredients, and there’s a good chance you already have things like golden raisins (sultanas) and pine nuts in your kitchen cupboard. You will have two pans cooking together in this recipe, which will test your cooking skills!

    You will need

    2 tablespoons golden raisins (sultanas)

    1 unwaxed or organic lemon, washed

    3 medium zucchini (courgettes)

    2 garlic cloves

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    14 oz (400 g) dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

    3 tablespoons pine nuts

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

     

    2 large saucepans

    grater

    garlic crusher

    colander

    (serves 4)

     

    1. Put the golden raisins (sultanas) into a little dish. Ask an adult to help you boil a kettle and cover them with hot water. Leave them for about 15 minutes.

    2. While they are soaking, carefully use the finest holes of a grater to grate the zest (yellow skin) off the lemon into a saucer.

    3. Wash the zucchini (courgettes) and chop off the ends. Throw the ends away and cut the zucchini into thin slices using a small sharp knife—remember to keep your hand in the claw position.

    4. Peel the garlic cloves and put them into a garlic crusher ready to use later. The golden raisins (sultanas) should be nice and plump by now, so drain them through a colander.

    5. Now you are ready to cook. Ask an adult to help you heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then put the zucchini to fry over medium heat for 6–8 minutes, until they are golden; you will need to give them a good stir now and again.

    6. Once the zucchini are cooking, ask the adult to help you put a large pan of water to boil ready for the pasta. Add a pinch of salt. As soon as the water boils, pour in the pasta, give it a stir and keep the heat high until the water comes to a boil again, then turn it down a little so the water doesn’t boil over the top of the saucepan—but make sure it keeps boiling. Set a timer for the cooking time shown on the package.

    7. When the zucchini are ready, add the pine nuts and cook for another 2–3 minutes, until they are golden.

    8. Crush the garlic into the zucchini and cook for just 2 minutes; you don’t want it to cook so much that it browns, which is when it becomes bitter.

    9. Add the golden raisins (sultanas) and lemon zest to the pan. Stir them into the mixture. Season the mixture with some salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat from under the pan.

    10. When the timer pings, take out a piece of pasta with a slotted spoon. Let it cool for a moment and then taste to see if it is cooked. It should be “al dente” which means soft with a slight firmness in the middle. If it is still hard, cook for a little longer and test again. When it is cooked, ask an adult to help you drain the pasta through a colander.

    11. Tip the pasta into the zucchini mixture and toss everything together using two wooden spoons/spatulas.

    My First Cookbook by Susan Akass is available here.

    We hope you have a great weekend and happy cooking! Keep a look out for more fun activities on the blog during the summer holidays!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with summer holidays, cico kidz, recipe for the weekend, 2014, my first series, pasta, Susan Akass, activities for kids, keep busy this summer

  • Posted on March 6, 2014

    Keeping it simple in the kitchen!

    We’re looking forward to the release of two new Easy Kitchen books next week, The Easy Kitchen: Asian Food and The Easy Kitchen: Pasta Sauces. With plenty of delicious straightforward recipes, you can keep the mid-week meals exciting and the weekend feasts simple so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen! If you need an idea for dinner tonight or inspiration for planning your meals next week then here are two recipes, one from each of the new books, that you’re bound to want to cook!

    quick-fried teriyaki salmon with bok choi

    This is a great prepare-ahead weekday supper – simply marinate the salmon with a gingery, honeyed teriyaki sauce the night before, then stir-fry with crunchy pak-choi for a nutritious and delicious meal in under 15 minutes.

    650 g/11/2 lbs. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 2-cm/1-inch pieces

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    3 spring onions/scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced on the diagonal

    350 g/12 oz. miniature or baby pak choi/bok choy, leaves thickly sliced and stalks thinly sliced

    marinade

    1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

    3 tablespoons shoyu or tamari soy sauce (or light soy sauce)

    3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)

    2 tablespoons honey

    serves 4

    Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, then add the salmon pieces and mix well. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight, if possible, or for 10–15 minutes.

    Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan/skillet until hot, then add the salmon in 2 batches – shake off as much marinade as possible and reserve the marinade. Stir-fry the salmon over high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sealed all over but the inside is still a little pink. Remove the salmon from the wok and set aside.

    Add the spring onions/scallions to the wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the pak choi/bok choy and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the reserved marinade and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the leaves have just wilted and the stalks are cooked through but still crunchy. Return the salmon to the wok and gently stir through.

    Divide between 4 bowls and serve.

    For more information about The Easy Kitchen: Asian Food, see here.

     

    aubergine, sausage and zinfandel sauce

    This is a really robust pasta sauce that’s perfect to serve in cold weather. The wine gives a richer, more warming flavour than the usual tomato-based sauce. Use Italian sausages with 100 per cent coarsely ground pork filling for the best result.

    350 g/12 oz Italian sausages

    4 tablespoons olive oil

    1 aubergine/eggplant, cut into cubes

    1 onion, finely chopped

    1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and cut into small cubes

    1 tablespoon tomato purée/paste

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    175 ml/3⁄4 cup Zinfandel or other full-bodied, fruity red wine

    175 ml/3⁄4 cup chicken or vegetable stock, as preferred

    4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    freshly cooked pasta of your choice to serve, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water

    serves 4

    Slit the sausage skins with a sharp knife, peel them off and discard. Roughly chop the sausage meat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet or wok, add the sausagemeat, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon, and fry until lightly golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

    Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the pan, add the aubergine/ eggplant and stir fry for 3–4 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the remaining oil and the chopped onion and fry for1–2 minutes. Add the red (bell) pepper and fry for 1–2 minutes more. Return the sausage meat to the pan, stir in the tomato purée/paste and cook for 1 minute.

    Add the garlic, oregano and wine and simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the stock and let simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile cook the pasta. When the pasta is just cooked, spoon off a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water and stir it into the wine sauce. Drain the pasta thoroughly, then tip it into the sauce. Add 3 tablespoons of the parsley and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 2–3 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

    For more information about The Easy Kitchen: Pasta Sauces, see here.

     

    We hope you're all having a great week and enjoy the recipes!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with aubergine, salmon, feast, simple, wine, 2014, quick, sausage, pasta

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