Thyme Tomato Chilli Mussels

Come on baby light my fire…

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For a working couple that loves to eat, mid-week meals need to be all about convenience and oodles of flavour. What if I told you this recipe is ridiculously easy, packs a real punch of flavours and can even light your fire mid-week! Yes, you read that right – Mussels are not only full of flavour but also a natural aphrodisiac. So come on baby!

This combination of mussels with plenty of garlic, parsley, tomatoes and white wine was inspired by the Venetian soup zuppa de peoci. I have added some rosemary and thyme to elevate the flavours of this dish further.

You can simply serve the mussels in the tomato broth or make them a bit more substantial by adding pasta or make them utterly indulgent by serving the mussels pasta with a side of crusty sourdough bread.

So think no more, read the recipe below and light your fire mid-week.

Ingredients: 12  Serves: 4

Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • One kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 400 gms of crushed canned tomatoes
  • 125 ml of white wine (I used a reisling)
  • Three to four pods of garlic, coarsely sliced
  • One medium brown onion, finely sliced
  • One to two red chillies, finely chopped
  • Half a cup of continental parsley (leaves and stems), finely chopped
  • One teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • Four to five sprigs of thyme
  • 250 gms pasta, cooked al dente
  • Four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and cook until aromatic. Now add the onions, parsley stems and red chillies, cook until the onions are translucent. 

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Add crushed tomatoes, followed by white wine, thyme and dried rosemary. Cook until the wine has evaporated and the sauce slightly reduced. Then add the fresh parsley and season with salt as required.

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Finally add the mussels, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook until the mussels have opened. To serve simply scoop the mussels and tomato broth over the pasta and serve alongside some crusty bread. 

Enjoy this utterly simple yet simply flavourful dish and come on baby light my fire.

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Zucchetti with Lemon Parsley Prawns and Pangratato

The taste of spaghetti the calories of zucchini…

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Have you ever thought how amazing it would be to be able to eat spaghetti without worrying about the calories? In today’s increasingly health conscious world the need for healthy food options is insatiable. Slowly but surely everyone is joining the ‘healthy eating’ bandwagon and LSD is no exception.

We all know eating carbs in moderation is ok, but why eat in moderation when you can choose healthier alternatives and eat in abundance. In ode to this today’s recipe is a twist on the Italian classic spaghetti with prawns.

For this recipe you will need to invest in a julienne peeler, they are readily available in super markets. I recently bought myself this gadget and my world has never been the same again. The little pocket rocket converts your everyday vegetables to pasta alternatives and with a little LSD inspiration you can makes these dishes taste just like or even better than real pasta (no offence to the Italian Nonnas).

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Ingredients:  12    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Two to three green zucchinis
  • One onion finely sliced
  • Three to four pods of garlic finely chopped
  • Two to three red chillies finely chopped
  • Two tablespoons of Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • One dozen prawns shelled and deveined
  • Stale baguette to make pangrattato
  • 100 gms of crumbled feta
  • One teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lets start by making zucchetti which is nothing but peeled zucchini. Peel the zucchini lengthwise with your julienne peeler and keep aside.

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Next step is making the pangrattato – break up the stale baguette (by stale I mean old and crusty not fungus laden) into a food processor, with a pinch of dried oregano leaves and blitz it coarsely. In a pan add a teaspoon of olive oil followed by the coarsely pulsed bread crumbs. Keep tossing the pan until the crumbs aren’t golden brown, continuously tossing the pan will prevent the crumbs from burning. Pangrattato is ready place it aside.

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Time to make the zuchetti – Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, once the oil the hot add the sliced onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Now add garlic and red chilly, stir all the ingredients until you don’t start smelling that beautiful garlicky aroma.

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Add the peeled zucchini to the aromatic onion and garlic mix, then with a set of tongs toss the zuchetti to evenly coat it with all the flavours. Cook the zucchini for seven to eight minutes, remember you want it to be crunchy and not overcooked.

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While the zuchetti is cooking lets get the prawns ready. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the dried oregano leaves. Now add the prawns and toss them to evenly coat them with the oregano, then add the chopped parsley and lemon juice. Cook the prawns for about five minutes or until fully cooked.

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Now the zucchetti is cooked, add the crumbled feta and give it all a good mix. Time to assemble the dish. Divide the zucchetti among the serving plates, top it with the prawns and sprinkle the pangrattato on top. Tada! your lip smackingly delicious zuchetti with prawns is ready to be devoured and remember you can eat all that and more.

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