Main Dishes

Fresh Garden Pea + Kale Pesto Pasta

Garden pea and kale pesto pasta | Hello Victoria

Now, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone likes pasta. (I mean, unless you’re celiac that is.) It’s always so warm and delicious… but often leaves me feeling a bit guilty. It’s not exactly health food, is it?

So when I saw this recipe from Waitrose, it felt like the perfect marriage of guilty pasta and veggies! This pesto is so vibrant and fresh tasting, with the garden peas… while also still feeling like a traditional pesto, with garlic and basil. It’s delicious, but also feels almost healthy.

Garden pea and kale pesto pasta | Hello Victoria

The perfect recipe to enjoy after spending the day gardening in the allotment 🙂 Which is pretty much what we do every weekend!

So if you’re looking for a quick meal on a weeknight, this is the jam! And you can easily swap out the kale for spinach, or another similar green. In fact, I actually prefer the flavor with the spinach as opposed to kale. It’s subtler, which allows the pea and basil to really shine.

If you’re the type to keep frozen peas on hand, it’s an easy fridge meal. That is, if you’re the type who keeps spinach or kale on hand. 😉 Enjoy!

Garden pea and kale pesto pasta | Hello Victoria

Fresh Garden Pea + Kale Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

  • 320g frozen peas
  • 150g kale, stems removed (or spinach)
  • large handful basil
  • 30g toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan, plus more to serve
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 300-500g pasta
  • chilli flakes, lemon juice, salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the peas in a bowl, and cover with just boiled water. Let sit for 30 seconds, then drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Blanche the kale/spinach in boiling, salted water for 1 minute. Drain, and pat dry.
  3. Transfer the peas, kale, garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese, and a healthy pinch of salt to a food processor. Mix until everything is chopped, and drizzle in just enough oil to keep it moving.
  4. Add a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, to taste. Add any more salt if desired.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and drain, reserving a ladle of the pasta water.
  6. Add a splash of the pasta water into the pesto, and whizz to combine. Stir together the pasta, and pesto, adding more water to give it a silky texture. Taste, and serve with extra parmesan or chilli flakes.
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Beetroot Ravioli: Making your own Striped Pasta

Beetroot ravioli recipe | Hello Victoria

When I used to work in Vancouver, BC, my office was right near Granville Island. Every now and then, when I forgot my lunch, I would wander over to the Granville Public Market to see what took my fancy. One of the stalls I always stopped to admire, was the fresh pasta from Duso’s. The flavour combinations were always inventive, and they would add stripes to their pasta! Ever since seeing them, I have wanted to make my own striped pasta.

A few years back, I was given a pasta roller as a Christmas present. It was a most unexpected gift, as it was from a secret santa exchange, and I didn’t know the person who had my name very well. It was absolutely perfect, as I had been dying to try my hand at making fresh pasta! And once you’ve mastered making plain pasta, striped or coloured pasta isn’t very far off! It’s not any more difficult, but it is time consuming – oh so time consuming…

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

Making fresh ravioli is only really worth it if you’re going to make unusual flavours. It takes so much time, that’s it’s not worth making regular cheese or spinach pasta. You have to mix together the dough, allow it to rest, make the filling, roll out the dough, fold + roll some more, then fill and cut the ravioli. Honestly, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m a masochist, or just love to cook and bake. It’s up for debate. 😉

To make your pasta striped, you have to mix together both regular dough, as well as coloured. While you could use food colouring, good coloured pasta is made with natural ingredients. Cocoa powder makes brown, beetroot powder for red/pink, spirulina powder for green, tumeric or saffron for yellow, and tomato paste for orange. All of those ingredients have intense enough colours, so you only need a little bit.  It means that they won’t alter the flavour of your pasta considerably. (But remember, the colour of the pasta will lighten when you boil them.)

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

As I was making beetroot filled pasta, I opted to add beetroot powder to 1/4 of the dough recipe, substituting for 5-10g of the flour. It gave it a lovely bright fuschia colour. You’ll need to experiment to see how much colour ingredient you need to get your desired shade.

How to make striped pasta | Hello Victoria

Okay, now the instructions for how to make fresh ravioli (using a roller). It’s a bit of a long explanation, but stay with me! If you already know how, and just want the recipe for the filling, scroll to the bottom! (more…)

Summer Borscht

Summer borscht recipe | Hello Victoria

It’s beginning to feel like fall over here, despite the fact that it’s still technically summer. The weather here in London definitely hasn’t received that memo 😉 The chill in the air has got me craving soups, casseroles, and all things cozy. But, as it’s still summer, I thought I would compromise with this summer borscht!

My grandma used to make two kinds of borscht, summer and winter. And my favorite was always summer, hands down. I loved the fresh dill flavor, slight tang from the sour cream, and the salty ham. And not only does this meal taste good, but it looks kind of fun too! Depending on how much beetroot you add, or how bright their colour, it can turn out almost pepto-bismol pink!

Summer borscht recipe | Hello Victoria

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Homemade Pizza Dough

Home made pizza dough recipe | Hello Victoria

Every pizza is a personal pizza if you believe in yourself

A couple of years ago I found myself working at a little cafe in Victoria. It was a great job, as there were only two of us in the kitchen, and we had plenty of freedom in terms of our hours etc. One of the other great perks of this job was the lunch! Most restaurants etc. have free food as part of the job, but from my experience it’s almost always unhealthy! Pasta, pasta, pasta… pretty much cheap carbs every day. But here we could make our own lunches with salads, sandwiches, and the occasional pizza!

They would make these individual pizzas for lunch each day, with different toppings. And boy, were they good! They would also sell the pizza dough for people to make their own at home.

Home made pizza dough recipe | Hello Victoria

Easy pizza dough recipe | Hello Victoria

As the baker, it was my job to make the pizza dough in large batches, and then we would defrost a few each day. These small balls made perfect thin crust personal pizzas – so you can imagine I decided to make them at home! I adjusted the recipe a little bit for myself (I’m not super into whole wheat flour), and then would make a batch and freeze them. Then, all you need to do is pull a couple little pizza dough balls out, and let them prove/defrost for a couple hours. You can even bring them out first thing in the morning, and let them defrost in the fridge. (more…)

Salmon Burgers with Basil Lime Aioli

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

When I was originally planning this post, I had intended to do both the squid ink brioche and burger recipes. But see, I’m not convinced that the brioche recipe is a winner yet. I might try doing it again with different ink (I bought one that was more of a paste, and another that was really liquid) and then see if I can make a good enough bun to justify the extra effort of making them. This recipe was a bit difficult to work with, and the resulting burger was a tad crumbly.

For now you can simply enjoy the look of black burger buns, and the recipe for these amazing salmon burgers.

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

I first had these burgers at a friend’s house, for a potluck BBQ dinner party. The only salmon burgers I had ever had prior to that, were just salmon steaks, not ground salmon. I’ve made these plenty of times now, and never deviate from the original recipe, because it’s just that good!
The sauce really makes it too… something about the combo of basil and lime really works with salmon. It also makes a mean dip for chips/fries! (more…)

Authentic Chicken Korma

Authentic chicken korma recipe | Hello Victoria

Who doesn’t like a man who can cook?

One of the best things about Richard is that he not only enjoys cooking, but is quite good at it too! Since I am a baker by trade, he told me that he won’t bother trying to get really good at baking/breads/etc. – that’s my thing. But he does want to have something that he’s better at than me, something that our future kids will request (“dad’s —-“).

To that end, he has decided he will work on being the best at Asian cuisine. Right now, he’s focusing on Indian curries, and bought the cookbook Rick Stein’s India. You should have seen how excited he was when it arrived! It’s a really great cookbook, full of truly authentic dishes. The best part is that it’s not like recipes you find online, where you’re using store bought pastes or spice mixes – this book has you grinding cardamom pods, making your own coconut cream, etc.

Rick Stein's India - Authentic chicken korma | Hello Victoria

So far, we’ve made three recipes from the book, and are excited to try more! (The masala chai tea is quite delicious!) (more…)

Mushroom + White Wine Risotto

Mushroom and white wine risotto | Hello Victoria

I know that I should really be trying all of the recipes that I already have saved on Pinterest, but for some reason I keep adding new ones. I’m pretty sure we all have the same problem, no?

I found this recipe after racking my brain for something new to make for dinner – I had recently bought a box of arborio rice and been itching to finally try my hand at making risotto. Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to eat, and while I don’t enjoy drinking white wine (red all the way!), it does add a wonderful flavor to the dish.

The instructions for the recipe were really easy to follow, and worked out beautifully. I’m pretty sure that if he didn’t want to take some for lunch the next day, Richard would have finished the whole pot!

Mushroom and white wine risotto | Hello Victoria

The only things I changed were the amount of cheese I added (less than it called for, as I didn’t want to use too much expensive cheese!) and more mushrooms. I had bought waaay more than necessary by accident, but figured another cup wouldn’t hurt. (more…)