Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta



The other day I was in Waitrose and bought some Italian spicy sausages and was wondering what to do with them, Seeing as they were Italian I thought it has to be with pasta then – yeah I know original….NOT :-). Rather than just cutting up the sausages I thought it might be good to just use the meat. I removed the skin and put made clumps of sausage rather then neat meatballs, to try and give it a more rustic feel.



  •  4 Spicy Italian Sausages (or any other spicy sausage)
  • Big splash of extra virgin oil
  • 2 Small onions finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 3 Peppers (use a mix of colours)
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Remove the skins from the sausage and make balls or clumps of sausage meat

Heat a pan and gently brown the sausage meat. Do a few at the time so they brown and not cook. Once done remove to a plate and do another portion.

Cooking Sausage Meat


Once completed throw in the extra virgin oil into the pan and add the onions. Cook for about three minutes and then add the garlic and chilli (the chilli is optional – but I like the extra kick the chilli provides)

Once the onions are soft add the mixed peppers and cook for a few minutes.

In The Pan

Add the tomatoes, sausage meat, bay leaf and season

Cook for about 10-20 minutes and serve with pasta.

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Moroccan Chicken Stew

Chicken in BowlI was asked to go to Dubai for 2 months in October 2012 and ended up staying two years. But as I was so busy I didn’t write much on my blog, even though I was being exposed to some amazing foods and great restaurants. My passion never left, but I just didn’t have time to write much

So, what is my first post about, is it about the local Emirati food, or the spicy flavours from the large Indian or Pakistani population or even some exotic Filipino recipe – no of course not, although this is a middle eastern dish, but it’s roots are more Moroccan than Emirati.

It’s a very simple recipe – but it does need at least an hour to cook and as I’m using dried chickpeas, they need to be cooked for about 90 minutes after soaking for 8 hours. So this recipe needs a bit of planning.

  • 75g dried chickpeas
  • 75g blanched almonds
  • 500g diced, skinned and boned chicken
  • 50g butter/margarine
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 Spanish onions (red onions if you can’t get Spanish)
  • 900ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 Cinnamon stock
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • lemon juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to season

Put the dried chickpeas in water and soak over night or a minimum of 8 hours

Once soaked, drain and rinse. Take the chickpeas and blanched almonds and place into a pan of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes and then turn down the heat and simmer for another 80 minutes. Once cooked, drain and place to one side.

Place the diced chicken, butter and half the saffron into a casserole dish and heat until the butter has melted.

Place in the onions and stock and bring to a rapid boil

Once boiling add the chickpeas, blanched almonds and cinnamon stick.

Chicken in Pot

Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes.

Once cooked, take out the chicken and place to one side and keep warm, being careful not to carry on cooking them as the chicken will dry out.

Turn up the heat to a rapid boil and bring the liquid to half the amount.

When you have reduced the liquid, throw in the chopped parsley, the other half of the saffron and lemon juice.

Put the chicken on a plate and pour over the liquid.

Place the chicken back in and serve, with rice, couscous or as I am doing roasted vegetables with quinoa.

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Poached Mackerel

Poached Mackerel with VegetablesSince I am on my own in Dubai I have been able to eat lots of foods that I would find difficult to be able to eat when at home because my partner would not like them. One thing that I have really been enjoying is fish and I’ve been making the most of it. In the UAE, like the UK the array fish is vast and but most of I’ve not heard of before, like milk fish, king fish to name a couple. So it was nice to see Mackerel in my local supermarket as it reminded me of home. Although these mackerel where smaller, they still had the beautiful marking as the ones in get in the UK.

When I get to cook a wonderful fish like Mackerel I like it plain and simple. I would just place the fish into foil sitting on some lemon slices, add some seasoning and then just throw into oven for about 10-15 minutes. This time I wanted to do try something different and decided to try poaching which I have never tried before. This is a very simple recipe and works well with Mackerel. I’m serving it with grilled potatoes wedges (a healthy version of chips) and steamed vegetables, as I wanted simple accompanying flavours to allow the fish to shine. Apologies for the photos – not my strong point.

Two things though, do not steam the vegetables over the poaching fish and it’s mackerel so expect a LOT of bones – but worth the pain :-)

  • 4 small or 2 large mackerels
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • (serves 2)

Just place all the ingredients in a pan with cold water.

Mackerel Poaching

Bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer for 15 to 30 minutes and serve.

See I said it was easy…..

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