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Presto Pasta #174

What I love most about pasta and noodles is how versatile and flexible they are. And nearly every culture has its own version of it. I grew up slurping soup noodles and I’m pretty sure, there will be some other little girl out there, slurping a version of it somewhere on the othe. r side of the world. It may be shaped like a spaghetti, or baked in oven. Or perhaps soaked in kimchi in Korea. Either way, there is one version that someone WILL enjoy.

Without further ado… I bring you the PASTA PARTY OF THE WEEK…

 yummy pasta!

A fresh way to start the ball rolling, Catherine from Living The Gourmet fetches some fresh veges from her garden and came up with a brilliant Fresh Garden Veges with Pasta. Surely one will be jealous of her garden!

Next we have Claire from Chez Cayenne, who brought us this amazing looking Lasagna Bolognese. I agree with her that red wine is the key secret for rich sauce base! Would you also believe that this is vegetarian?

Joanne presents us with this fresh looking dish from Eats Well with Others. Fresh is the flavour for today’s presto pasta. I could nearly smell the sunshine from here. Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce features fresh tasting tomatoes, olives and basil. The best bit-fresh means more vitamins and minerals are preserved.

Sherra from Our Taste of life shares her version of Stir-fried Hongkong Yee Foo Mee with Shrimps and Vegetables. I like how the sprinkle of cashew nuts will create such texture to this dish. Most of all, it has heaps more veges, far less oil than the take out Yee Foo Mee for sure.

Another fresh summer dish! Denise from Oh Taste and See shares with us the secret of  Pasta Ponza– fresh grape tomatoes. Nothing more summer than tomatoes, cheese and pasta for sure!

Fresh tomatoes are certainly in season! Stash from The Spamwise Chronicles (dont you love the name?) allow the tomatoes shine in this dish. Penne with uncooked heirloom tomato sauce feature ultra fresh tomatoes and heaps of heaps. Summer is calling!

Next we have something slightly different! Anna from Morsels and Musing created  Tahnaboor & Mante (Armenian Yoghurt Soup w Chicken & Pistachio Dumplings). Just the look of the dumplings filled with goodness makes me drool!

Reeni  from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice whipped up this quick Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash– YUM! Love how she said it! “Sunshine on a plate!”

Next we have this awesome looking pasta salad from Debbi. Her blog Debbie Does Dinner features really healthy meals! Low calaries! My kind of thing. This dish has bacon (Hey, healthy means balance right?). Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Pasta Salad sounds so much like our BLT sandwich but heaps better.

and finally, my comfort of the day-  Black Bean Soba Noodles Soup.

Hope I didn’t miss anyone else! Do drop me an email if that is the case =)  

Great Carbolicious party peeps!!! Next week send your entries to the founder herself! Ruth from Once Upon a Feast  ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com!


Black Bean Beef Soba Noodles

A true cantonese girl, I like my soups. I grew up with them you see. Especially clear soup. In fact, I was told that as a toddler. I saw my uncle enjoying his huge bowl of soup-being jealous, I threw my ball into his bowl. Yup! Right from my cot (We stayed in a 2 bedroom small apartment so my cot was in the living area near to the dining table).

Alas, that aim has never been replicated.

My eyes twinkled when I say 200 Soups for sale at my work place (the have the book people come in every fortnight, some proceeds go to charity). For $6, that’s a bargain!

So here comes my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta. Black Bean Beef Soba Noodles caught my eye because it looks simple and hearty for a quick week night dinner. I was also intrigued by the addition of raw peanuts, which certainly add a texture to the beef and noodles. The 2 chili padi was also enough to give you the heat without a punch.  Ahh.. I think my $6 was well spent.

Black Bean Beef Soba Noodles (serves 2)
100 grams of soba noodles
around 600 ml of beef stock with 1 cup of water
200 grams of lean beef-sliced thinly
around 1/2 cup of raw peanuts
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 tsp of black bean sauce
1 tsp of garlic
1 knob of ginger sliced
1 chili padi chopped finely
1 red onion sliced
chopped spring onions

Saute garlic, chili, ginger and onion. Add in the black bean sauce. As it bubbles, add stock and water. Simmer for around 5 minutes and you have your stock base. Add raw nuts in first. Followed by noodles. Cook for around 3 minutes. As it boils, add the beef. Once the beef is done, taste and season. Serve with spring onions.

My entry to Presto Pasta. I’m the host this week! Send me your entries to daphnesu16(at)yahoo(dot)com and cc to ruth(at)4everykitchen(dot)com

Long/Snake Bean Omelette

There is something about eggs and long beans that gets me excited. Two such simple ingredients, but one that I always look forward to when Grandma makes it.

We weren’t well to do then, and I recall having rice porridge for lunch every single week day of the year (except for school holidays, which we have a grand total of FOUR meals of rice porridge during the week-we have wan tan mee instead on the other day!). Oh, and of course, having dace fish with rice for dinner.

It was one of those days that grandma made long/Snake bean omelette. 

Grandma was always look out of ways to make me eat more veges (now, I’m the one nagging her to buy the extra bunch when I’m back). Chopped finely, it provided the additional crunch when bitting into a soft, oozy omelette.

If only these veges are in season every week!

Long/Snake Bean Omelette
5 eggs
1/4 cup of milk (I use soy milk)
1 bunch of snake beans-chopped finely
seasoning (pinch of salt and white pepper)

 Lightly whisk egg with milk. Season with some pepper.
 Heat pan with a little oil. Saute chopped snake beans for around 3-4 minutes. Add eggs. Cook till set. Turn off heat. Let it sit for a while. Season with salt. Serve with rice.


Calling all carbolicious lovers out there!

I’m the host for Presto Pasta this week. Please send in your entries by the 29th of June for an awesome carb party on Friday the 30th of June.

Here are some guidelines (copied and paste from the fabulous website)

1) The dish must have some sort of noodle, it doesn’t have to be traditional Italian type pasta, it can be hot, cold, salad, soup, main, dessert, or anything else, but it must have some kind of noodle;

2) You must mention Presto Pasta Nights and link to it and since 3 of 4 weeks per month, there are guest hosts, you need to mention and link to them too. This is where you find out who’s doing the hosting for the week you want to enter.

3) Email your entry to the host and a cc to Ruth with the link to your post no later than Thursday evening so the host can have the roundup ready on Friday.

4) As for photos: – it’s best to attach a jpeg of your dish in your email. Although I usually just copy the one on your post. If you wish to use a PPN logo, just copy it from the top of this post.

email it to me at daphnesu16(at)yahoo(dot)com and cc to ruth(at)

See my previous round ups of  #91,  #118 and #159!

Spicy Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Since I am on a winter high, I decided to make another soup for dinner. I love love love soups! I can have them for lunch and dinner. Paired with a good bread roll, it doesn’t take much to make me a happy gal.

I like my soups really chunky though. It’s like I need to bite into something. If I’m not biting, my tummy doesn’t feel satisfied! Surely there is some form of research out there that says chewing helps sends messages/signals to the brain that one is eating or full!? hmmm…

I’m not sure where I get the inspiration of this soup from. Personally, I love a good puree soup. It gives you the creamy feeling without the fat! What I have added this time though, is chorizo. I used the Spanish chorizo which gives it a spicy flavour. This soup freezes well. Two portions were frozen and tasted wonderful even after 2 weeks.

Spicy Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup (Serves at least 6)
2 spanish chorizo sliced
1 red onion sliced
around 1 kg of sweet potato diced
1 ltre of chicken stock-reduced salt
another 500 ml of water 
1 can of chickpea

Saute sliced chorizo. Drain on paper towel. Cook onions till soft and add sweet potato. Add stock and simmer till sweet potato are nearly cooked. Add 1/2 of the chorizo sausages. Cool.

Blend the mixture up-2 batches if needed. Pour mixture back into stock pot. Simmer again with chickpeas. Taste and season accordingly. Serve with slices of chorizos. 

Baked Spring Rolls

Most people will know of spring rolls as deep fried entrees in a party or in your local chinese take away shop. I decided to experiment with the spring roll wrappers and baked the rolls instead. The result is a slight crisp parcel with heaps of goodness inside. Although not as crunchy as the deep fried version (I wonder if my filling was too wet?), it was certainly a healthy meal!

Another twist in this rolls, I added some left over rice in them. Just a way to add some carbs without over doing it. I served these babies with some side veges and my favorite chili dipping sauce! 

Baked Spring Rolls 

around 10 pieces of medium size wrapper defrosted

300 grams of pork mince
1 onion chopped finely
1 tsp of minced garlic
3 stalks of finely diced celery
1 finely diced carrot
2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoon of soya 
1 tablespoon of dark soya
1/2 cup of hua tiao jiu 
1/2 cup of left over rice
1/2 tsp of sugar
heaps of pepper!

Saute garlic and onion. Add pork and cook till done. Dont forget the veges! Add in all sauces. Toss in rice. Simmer for around 10 minutes. Season with sugar and pepper. Taste to see if it is salty. Set aside to cool.

Wrap rolls up with cooled mixture. Spray with some oil. Bake in a 200 C oven for 15-20 minutes.

Tender Lamb Chickpea Casserole

The good thing about winter weather is that we get to consume hearty comfort food. I guess back in the days when I was residing in Singapore, the thought of having casseroles and hearty stews often in the hot weather will be uncommon. A positive in staying in Australia (or anywhere with 4 seasons), food choices increase.

Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have classify casseroles as “my kind of food” say 10 years ago. Certainly one thing I realized is that the palate change. And what I didn’t like before may be what I enjoy having now.

I like this dish because it represents a different side of my cooking. It’s not Asian, neither is it truly western. In fact, it’s probably a mixture of what I read in various cookbooks! I dare say this is a combination of Jamie Oliver and The Australian Women Weekly! 😉

Tender Lamb Chickpea Casserole 
600 grams of lamb stir fry or lean cuts of meat-sliced (Season lightly with pepper and salt)
1 can of tomato diced
2 tsp of tomato paste
2-3 tsp of chili flakes
1 tsp of garlic 
2 stalks of celery diced
1 carrot diced  
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
3/4 zucchini diced
1 can of chickpea
1 cup of stock or water
optional -1/2 cup of red wine (Omitted) 

Saute garlic. Quickly fry up the lamb.  Add all veges and tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, adding water when needed. Add tomato paste and chickpeas. Season. Cook for another 20 minutes or so. Serve with couscous. 

Satay Chicken Triangles

Back in Singapore and Malaysia, Satays are a treat! Skewers of tender tasting meat, marinated for hours…cooked on a flamed grilled bbq and served with spicy nutty sauce. ooo.. just thinking about it makes me drool!

The version of Satay appears to be different in Australia. When I first saw satay on the menu, I was mortified to see “Satay chicken”, “Satay lamb”..etc. And they are pretty much just meat simmer in a nut sauce. Not the tender tasting skewers of meat that I was used to!

Still, the casserole version tastes fairly decent. It’s pretty much just peanut butter chicken casserole! (That sounds sooo mid western!). I wrapped the mixture in some puff pastry and viola! A pie is formed!

Satay Chicken Triangles  

1 chicken breast sliced thinnly
1 cup of peanut butter (i used the chunky kind)
1 red onion chopped finely
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 carrot diced
1 cup of frozen corn
2-3 tsp of chili flakes

3 puff pastries-defrosted
1 egg yolk

Saute onion till soft. Cook chicken till nearly done. Add chili flakes, stock and veges. Simmer for around 10 minutes. Add peanut butter. Stir till it melts and the casserole turns creamy. Do a taste test and season accordingly. Cool

Cut each pastry up to 3 squares. Spoon mixture into each square and fold across. Seal with egg yolk. Brush each pastry with some egg yolk. Bake in a 180C pre heated oven.

Chicken Noodle Soup

You have heard it. Chicken soup is for the soul. It warms you up! It’s the miracle medication that helps patients feel better. It’s comfort food.

Growing up in Singapore, my parents/grandmother would probably not consider this as their comfort food. I remembered reading all about it in Teenage novels, magazines…etc very US influenced of course! But oddly enough, I have NEVER tried it.

Unless you count those instant cream of chicken soup packets- but even they are not the “if u r sick, have a bowl of chicken soup” category.

Perth is going through a massive storm at the moment. Before that? It was REAL cold. I’m talking 0C or below cold. I wake up to frost on my car window. This is PERTH! It’s not suppose to be that cold!!! With the cold, I’m finding that I’m making more soups this winter to keep the chill away. Not to mention, most of the soups are freezer friendly, which makes it time friendly too!

Chicken Noodle soup is a classic for sure. I added some chili for heat but otherwise, I just “assume” the steps and made it as I go along. I did purchase a soup pack. Another first for me! It consisted of a few potatoes, carrot, parsnips, a turnip and an onion. I added more peas and corns to the mixture. Certainly beats the chill and I can totally understand why it is comfort food…something about it that just makes one feel good, warm and comforted.

Must be all those novels that I was reading donkey years ago were right afterall!

Chicken Noodle Soup 
1 soup pack chopped in mini sizes
1 chicken breast
1 lt of chicken stock
2-3 cups of peas,corn, other veges
2 cakes of noodles

chili flakes

Saute onion and other veges till slightly soft. Add stock. Taste- I added some chili flakes for heat. Season chicken breast with some salt and pepper. Poached chicken breast in the soup mixture for around 10-15 minutes. Lift chicken breast up and cool. Simmer soup.

Meanwhile, shred chicken.

Add cakes of noodles in the soup mixture. Stir in chicken. Do a taste test and season accordingly. Serve hot.

Sharing some comfort with friends at Presto Pasta Nights, founded by Ruth. This week it is hosted by Pam from Sidewalk Shoes! Drop by her blog on Friday to view the round up!

Chorizo Prawn Salad

I think it is a huge myth that salads can’t be tasty. One of my favourite Sunday lunches would be a quick salad filled with ingredients. Now, Chorizo isn’t exactly the healthiest sausage around but it’s strong tasting- which means less is more. I used a cold pan to fry slices of chorizo in, which helps the fat melts. I drain the fat away (although if you want more flavour, you can always retain it) and place chorizo on paper towels to further absorb more oil.

Chickpeas, grilled red onions, juicy prawns- what’s not to love!  Although it’s winter now, a warm salad sorts of break the monotonous meals of stewed meat, casseroles, soups…etc. It’s light and hearty at the same time.

Tell me what are your favourite combination of salads?

Chorizo Prawn Salad
1 Spanish Chorizo sliced
1 red onion sliced finely
1 can of chick peas
around 150 grams of shelled prawns
2-3 cups of baby spinach leaves

Grill chorizo slices till done. Drain oil and place chorizo on paper towels. Using the same pan, grilled red onions till nice and done! Toss in the prawns and then chick peas. Add chorizos. Spoon mixture onto baby spinach. Sprinkle some black pepper of needed. EAT =)