Fettuccine Primavera

I’ve been asked to write a guest post for Café Cat because Mum’s currently in Chile on a business trip. With a bumper crop of both broad beans (also known as fava beans) and snow peas in my garden, I thought I’d share a recipe for Fettuccine Primavera.

Crop of broad beans and snow peas
As with most things I cook, this is a hybrid of recipes found online and from cook books, picking and choosing the bits I thought sounded good. Since making it last week I have cooked it again making a few variations, including adding smoked salmon, and will add it to our summer rotation as a delicious way to use any green legumes.

Fettuccine Primavera
500g fresh fettuccine
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbs wholegrain mustard
1 lemon (zest and juice)
200ml thickened cream
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, then halved
100g snow peas, trimmed, thinly sliced
½ cup broad beans (fava beans), peeled
½ cup frozen peas
4 yellow squash, trimmed, thinly sliced
3 shallots or chives, thinly sliced
Parmesan cheese, shaved

Boil salted water for pasta in large saucepan. Fry garlic in olive oil before adding lemon juice, zest and mustard, combine before stirring through cream. Season to taste, then leave to simmer gently. Cook pasta as per directions. Two minutes before pasta has finished cooking, add vegetables to allow them to cook, but remain crisp. Drain and return to saucepan before stirring through sauce and half of the shallots. Serve with remaining shallots and sprinkle with cheese over the top.

Serves 4

Spaghetti Bolognese

Everyone has a recipe for spaghetti bolognese, or “spag bol” as it’s fondly known in our family. My Mum taught me to make it when I was about ten, so I could probably make it with my eyes closed.  This version includes lots of mushrooms, which in my view are an essential ingredient.  I know it’s a bit “retro” to use an oxo cube, but it’s one of those recipes I’ve been making forever, it works, so why change it?  I usually double the recipe which makes enough to freeze some for another day or you can use the leftovers to make a small lasagne.

Spaghetti Bolognese

2 Tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
250g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
500g minced beef
1 400g can peeled tomatoes, chopped
water
1 beef oxo cube or beef stock cube
1 Tbs tomato paste
3 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbs fresh chopped oregano or marjoram
3 Tbs dry sherry or red wine
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook onion and garlic until soft but not brown.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook and stir for a few minutes until the mushrooms have softened and are starting to brown.  Add the mince and continue to cook and stir, breaking up any large bits, until the meat is browned all over.  Add tomatoes, a can of water (using the empty tomato can) and remaining ingredients.  Simmer the sauce, stirring every five minutes or so, for 30-40 minutes, adding more water whenever the sauce gets too thick.  You will probably use about 3 cans of water altogether.  Serve with cooked spaghetti or fettuccine, grated cheese (Parmesan or cheddar or a mixture) and a mixed salad.

Serves 4