Fettucini Amatriciana

Fettuccini Amatriciana

The alternative title to this post is “I can’t believe it’s not Adelaide”.

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon. You’ve slept in well past the time where it’s even remotely acceptable to have breakfast (and you don’t have any milk for cereal anyway). But now there’s is a rumbling in your stomach that’s sending all the dogs in the neighbourhood mental, expecting the next earthquake. A quick glance into the pantry shows pasta… this is a good sign. A check of the fridge shows half an italian sausage, some tomatoes, and most of an onion. You’re in business.

The sweetener in this scenario for me, is that I also found a small jar of olives. Made specially by local olive nut and wild food lover Kamran of Fiori Coffee. I won’t give away all the secrets, but suffice to say, there is a lot of food around if you’ll willing to look for it. These little gems have been marinaded in oil, and are delicious on their own, but also add substance and depth when added to pasta and other dishes. A wonderfully complex saltiness that really gives it a lift.

Now bearing in mind that I cannot guarantee that this dish can be legally called Amatriciana (or if I’m even spelling it right), here is my version of the ultimate quick and easy dish. It really doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Fettucini Amatriciana

  • 1 Italian sausage (mine was hot cacciatore)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Tomato passata, or lots of fresh tomatoes, or a can of crushed tomatoes
  • black olives
  • a splash of red wine
  • Fettucini

How I saved Saturday

Slice the sausage up into thin pieces on an angle, and the slice those slices into mini slices. Then slice the slices of slices … actually no, that’s enough. Chop up your onions and mince the garlic, then fry all of that in a bit of olive oil, and splash over the red wine at some point for tasty goodness. Add the tomatoes / passata to the pan and stir the mixture through well, letting it simmer away nicely and reduce a little.

While you’re doing all this, cook your pasta. I cook mine in as big a pot as I can find, with a little olive oil, and intermittently with a pinch of salt. I’m not sure whether that makes any difference, but it feels right… so I go with it.

Once the pasta is almost al dente, take it out and drain it. Then add a little more tomato passata to the pan, add the olives, stir them through well, and then toss the pasta through. Give it a minute or so for the pasta to absorb a little of the sauce and soften up a bit until it’s just the texture you prefer, then serve it up.

Suddenly Saturday is starting to look a whole lot more productive :)

Beef & Red Wine Ragout: Video Vanity

So for now here is the next episode in the egotistical world of my video blogging adventure.

Feel free to skip watching the video, as it’s basically 5 minutes or so of me cutting up vegetables and then throwing them in a pan. For those less inclined to listen to direct requests, or who have a particular love of 90’s French house music… then play on !

Here’s some photos in the meantime.

Family dinner

Beef & Red Wine Ragout

Beef & Red Wine Ragout

Beetroot Fettucini with King Prawns in Creamy Peccorino Sauce

Beetroot Fettucini with Prawns in Creamy Peccorino Sauce

Possibly my longest recipe title to date, and a very tasty one at that.

This dish is basically the result of getting inspired by the ever inspiring Anthony of Spiceblog. Whilst some cooks take simple homely recipes and tart them up into some kind of quasi-faux gourmet dish (ala Jamie Oliver), I tend to do the reverse. That is, find recipes that are original and inventive and then find a way to bring them down to my level :)

So while Anthony used grated fresh beetroot in his version, I substituted a can of beetroot slices in juice to get the dark purple colour that so often stained my fingers as a child. This was actually the main reason I made the dish, because I was hunting in the back of the pantry, came across the can of beetroot and thought a) what the hell is this doing here ? and b) what can I do with it ?

A quick check of the internet and it was go time. I had some nice ’00’ rated pasta flour and picked up some prawns and few fresh herbs, and it was all good to go.

So… Ingredients:

* Beetroot Slices (Or fresh if you’re not inclined to use anything that comes in a can)
* Pasta flour
* 2 Eggs
* King Prawns – Shelled, Deveined
* Cream
* White wine
* Cheese (Anthony used Gorgonzola, I substituted Peccorino)
* Basil
* Cracked Pepper
* Red Onion

The directions are pretty simple. If you like, you can go and look up some websites that tell you how to make fresh pasta, I won’t be offended… My procedure is pretty simple, so you may want some other options.

Basically take the pasta flour and make a mound out of it, make a hole in the middle and crack the eggs into it. Slowly work the eggs into the flour and when they’re completely worked in, add the beetroot. In my case, I blended the beetroot slices into a puree, which turned into a dark purple viscous concoction. Seeing as it has a lot of liquid in it, you won’t need any more water to get the dough to the right consistency. So at this point I started slowly adding the beetroot puree to my pasta dough, mixing it in slowly to take up all the flour. This was a pretty slow process as the puree was a lot wetter than I thought it would be, so I kept having to add flour to get it back to a nice firm springy level.


Once it feels right start kneading the ball to get some elasticity into the dough. Add more flour to the sticky patches as necessary. Then once you’re happy with how it feels, roll it out flat and work it through your pasta roller and cutter… No pasta maker I hear you say ?? Then just roll it as flat as you can with a rolling pin, or bottle, or vaguely cylindrical shaped object and then use a knife to slice strips off for fettucini.

And thats the pasta done.

For the sauce I fried the onion and garlic in olive oil until it was soft, then added white wine, let it reduce, added cream, let that reduce, added the prawns (which need no time at all to cook), added the peccorino, added the basil and some cracked pepper and let it all simmer away nicely for a few minutes.

Then cook the pasta (which also takes no time at all for fresh pasta) in salted water, plate it up, and cover with the sauce.

Then you can optionally fumble around for a few minutes trying to take a photo of it, and rave to your girlfriend/wife/significant other/pet at how well it turned out… as I did, or you can just eat it and let the creamy goodness work its magic.

Red is the new White

Fettucini with Cherry Tomatos & Tuna

sharons-fettucini 001

Another pretty simple recipe. Sharon wanted to have a go at making pasta, so I did my best to impart the benefit of all my years of surfing the web and stealing other peoples recipes.

A simple set of directions would be:

Start with a mound of really fine flour ’00’ rated is good, add an egg, mix it in… add a bit of salt, mix that in… then gradually add water until you’ve got a nice firm ball of dough. Then roll it out… knead it for a while so it’s nice a soft and consistent… then put it through the pasta roller or roll it really flat with a rolling pin. Now you’re ready to turn it into whatever else you like. We put it through the cutter that comes with the pasta roller, and it made us nice fettucini strips.

So after about half an hour of “instruction” we had some nice freshly made fettucini.

Then we had to work out what we wanted to do with it… So this recipe was basically determined by what i like to call the refridgerator gamble ™ (actually thats the first time i’ve used that term, but it sounds catchy).

I opened the fridge, looked to see what could be used, what needed to be used, and what i wanted to use.

So what we found was:


* Cherry Tomatos
* Mushrooms
* Basil
* Garlic
* Red Wine (no this wasn’t in the fridge)
* Tomato Puree
* Tuna covered in Japanese Mayonaisse (left over from sushi).

The idea then was simple. Sautee all the ingredients together til there was a nice rich creamy sauce, boil the fettucini in a deep pan of water with oil and a little salt (fresh pasta cooks so quickly… probably only took about 3 – 5 minutes). Fold the fettucini into the sauce… Serve !

sharons-fettucini 004

I can’t say it’s the prettiest thing we’ve ever made… but it was tasty and healthy… and economical, and no animals were harmed during the making of this meal… unless you count fish as animals of course…