Category Archives: Recipe of the Month

Our September Recipe of the Month






2 x Garden Vegetables with Parsley & Bay
Stock Pots
400g orzo pasta
100g defrosted frozen peas
a glug of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
150g leeks, finely sliced
50g celery, finely chopped
50ml white wine
50g Parmesan, grated
a big squeeze of lemon juice, or to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Bring 3 litres water to the boil in a large pan.Add the Garden Vegetables with Parsley & Bay Stock Pots. Add the orzo and simmer for 10 minutes, adding the peas for the final 2 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, then
add the leeks and celery, cover and cook for afurther 5 minutes, until softened.

3 Pour in the wine and bubble it down for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Drain the hot orzo,
retaining a few ladlefuls of the cooking stock, andadd the orzo and peas to the softened vegetables.

4 Stir well and add the reserved stock a little at a time, until you have an oozy, risotto-like consistency. Stir in the Parmesan, check the seasoning and add a big squeeze of lemon juice
and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, before serving immediately.

This speedy and easy risotto-type dish is made not with rice but with orzo, the tiny rice-shaped pasta often used in soups or salads. Serve with a simple green salad
for a weekday supper or weekend lunch.

If this mouth watering recipe has inspired you to try some more recipes from The OXO Cookbook then head over to our giveaway page to win a copy. Alternatively, you can buy your copy HERE for £7.18 (RRP £15.00) + Free UK delivery.

Credit info:The Oxo Cookbook from Oxo (Published by Quadrille) Photography © Ria Osborne

Our August Recipe of the Month

Nonna Michelina Gagliardo’s

Rigatoni with Fried Eggplant

Rigatoni alla Norma


I’ll never forget the day Nonna Michelina, or Zia Michelina, as I call her, came over to make this recipe on the Cooking with Nonna show. By the end of the day my face hurt so much from laughing, but this flavorful pasta made it all better. The eggplant takes on a creamy, almost buttery texture when fried, and it absorbs the light sauce beautifully . The nutty ricotta salata, which is a dried, salted ricotta, is the perfect topping to finish this Sicilian powerhouse dish .

4 baby Italian eggplant (you can substitute 2 medium eggplant)
1½ cups (350 ml) olive oil, for frying (or any frying oil you like)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can (28 ounces, or 794 g) crushed tomatoes
2 fresh basil leaves, torn
½ teaspoon salt Black pepper, to taste
16 ounces (454 g) dried rigatoni Grated ricotta salata, to taste

1 . Cut the baby eggplant into round slices ½ inch (13 mm) thick . If using the larger eggplant, cut them into 1-inch (2 .5 cm) strips . Do not peel .
2 . Heat the frying oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat . Fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch . Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel–lined plate to drain . Set aside .
3 . Heat the 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat . Add the garlic and cook and stir until it begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes .
4 . Add the tomatoes, basil, salt, and black pepper . Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon .
5 . Set aside a few pieces of eggplant to decorate each bowl and add the rest to the sauce . Cook for an additional 10 minutes .
6 . While the sauce finishes cooking, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, drop in the rigatoni, and cook until al dente .
7 . Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan with the sauce . Toss for 1 to 2 minutes and serve in warm bowls with a generous sprinkle of ricotta salata .

Nonna Michelina Says To save time, I usually fry the eggplant the night before and refrigerate it.

Credit info:Cooking with Nonna -Celebrate Food & Family With Over 100 Classic Recipes from Italian Grandmothers By Rossella Rago.

If this mouth watering recipe has inspired you to try some more recipes from Cooking with Nonna,   then why not head over to our giveaway page to win a copy. Alternatively, you can buy your copy HERE for £12.13 (RRP £19.99) + Free UK delivery.