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Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I have been making this Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce every holiday season, for many years now.  I like to make this before or after Christmas and keep it stocked in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner.  This deliciously rich and meaty pasta keeps me going throughout the busy holiday season.  All the baking and cooking burns a lot of calories!  (Or, at least I’d like to thinks so…).  This dish is definitely an indulgence, which is why I only make it for special occasions.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I like to use rigatoni for this recipe because this type of pasta soaks up a lot of sauce, so you can really pile on the bolognese!  Packed with five types of meat, this recipe is dedicated to the carnivore lover.  Cooking the sweet Italian sausage in the rendered pancetta fat is simply divine, and is the heavenly base for this sauce.  Resist the urge to snack on all the crispy bits while cooking this recipe!  The sweetness from the balsamic, sausage, nutmeg and fennel helps to balance out the salty meats.  I really love adding balsamic vinegar to this dish, because the acidity adds another level of richness to the sauce.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I also like to the opportunity to use homemade ingredients when I make this recipe.  Earlier this year I canned tomatoes for the first time.  I love to use them in sauces and they taste so much better than store bought ones.  Fresh tomatoes are really the key to a tasty, light sauce.  I also started to make my own stock in my slow cooker after reading a lot about the health benefits of bone broth.  Making your own stock is so easy and I freeze them in 250 ml freezer containers for easy use.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

When I need to refuel over the holidays, I rely on this protein packed pasta dish.  This Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce is sinfully delicious and is packed full of salty meats balanced with a bit of sweetness.  Another rich indulgence for the holiday season!

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

51

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 large servings

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • sea salt
  • 1 pound (500g) rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages, links split open, casing removed
  • 1/3 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • coarse black pepper
  • 2 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 a fennel bulb, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock*
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes*
  • 5 tablespoons (or half a 156ml can) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 good balsamic vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water to taste and add the pasta, cooking until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot to keep warm. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  3. Add the pancetta to one half of the pan, and the sausage to the other. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon and brown while the pancetta renders, then combine and toss together for another minute.
  4. Remove sausage and pancetta with a slotted spoon. Add the pork, beef and veal. Brown and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook another 5 to 6 minutes until soft.
  6. Add sausage and pancetta back to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the good bits with a wooden spoon.
  7. Stir in the stock, then the tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  8. Add tomato paste, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes to taste.
  9. Simmer over medium low heat until the sauce has thickened, 10-15 minutes.
  10. Finish with balsamic vinegar, and check seasoning. Simmer for a few minutes more.
  11. Divide pasta into four large bowls and generously top with sauce. Mix the sauce with the pasta to coat evenly.
  12. Top with freshly ground pepper, parsely and parmesan cheese.

Notes

*I use my own homemade beef broth

*or one 28 ounce can of whole or diced tomatoes. I can my own tomatoes so I use the whole quart. I like my sauce on the chunky side so I find the whole tomatoes break down in the sauce and there's no need to dice them, but with your preference!

*the thicker (more expensive) balsamic vinegar, the richer your sauce will be!

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/12/12/rigatoni-balsamic-bolognese-sauce/

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

What is your favourite pasta sauce to serve over rigatoni?  Did you like the addition of balsamic vinegar in this bolognese sauce?

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

One of my most popular recipes on my blog is my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding. I had never tasted sticky toffee pudding before but now I actually prefer this to plum pudding.   This recipe has become one of my favourite desserts over the holidays and has since become an annual tradition.

The original post was written in the first year of my blog, and has consistently done well.   When I look back at this post, I’m proud of how far I’ve come!  But I cringe when I look back at those beginner photos.  Since this dessert is one of my favourite recipes, I wanted to do the post justice, so I decided to reshoot the sticky toffee pudding this year.

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I also modified the recipe a bit, as my current boyfriend is lactose intolerant.  I substituted the double cream with coconut milk and it worked out very well. The coconut milk adds a light, creaminess to the sauce, but needs to simmer a little longer to reduce and thicken.  I also omitted the cocoa for this version, I prefer letting the sweet flavour of the dates shine through.

I’m still a Gordon Ramsay fan and have reviewed a few more of his recipes over the years, like his scrambled eggs.  These days I’m busy creating my own recipes and look to him more for tips and techniques.  I love how easy this recipe is, and his sticky toffee pudding continues to impress my friends and family.  Light and fluffy, this slightly bittersweet pudding soaks up the lightly salted toffee sauce perfectly.  This sticky toffee pudding makes for a delightful dessert to indulge in over the holidays.

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients

    For the pudding:
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp espresso, cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • For the toffee sauce:
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    For the pudding:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a sponge cake mold and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper as well, ensuring that all the sides are properly covered. Instead of a sponge cake mold, 8 x 175ml-200ml pudding basins can be used as well.
  2. Make espresso.
  3. Place the dates, sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the dates are soft. Let cool.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In two batches, fold into the wet mixture with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Blend dates in a Magic Bullet or similar food processor until smooth.
  6. In a separate large bowl whisk together the dates, butter, vanilla and espresso. Add eggs and whisk again until well blended.
  7. Carefully pour into the prepared baking dish of choice and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick emerges fairly clean when inserted in the thickest part.
  8. For the toffee sauce:
  9. Place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar have dissolved and the sauce is smooth. Reduce sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes. Keep warm and give it a stir every once in a while to prevent a skin from forming on top.
  10. When the pudding is cool enough to handle, but still warm, run a small knife along the sides, then invert onto a serving plate. Peel off the baking parchment. Pour a generous drizzle of warm toffee sauce over the puddings and serve immediately.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/12/05/gordon-ramsays-dairy-free-sticky-toffee-pudding/

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

What dairy free desserts do you like to make over the holidays?  Did you like this dairy-free version of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee Pudding?  Let me know!

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are perfectly moist and are totally addictive!  Gingerbread is my favourite holiday flavour and over the years I’ve made lots of gingerbread recipes.  Everything from gingerbread bacon cookies to gingerbread stuffing, I love experimenting with this flavour.  Surprisingly, I had yet to make cupcakes, so for an upcoming holiday party I decided to bring a vegan dessert.  I love the richness of vegan treats and adore a cream cheese frosting (the best kind!).  I also had to make them dairy free for my boyfriend, so with that in mind I set out to make these ultimate vegan cupcakes.

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These spiced vegan cupcakes are spongy and stay moist because of the baking soda combined with the coconut oil, which also added to the sweetness.  I used homemade apple sauce as a natural sweetener as well as a binder and it worked like a charm.  I find it so satisfying to bake without processed sugar.  For the topping,  I chose Daiya cream cheese as this brand really tastes like the real thing.  The frosting turned out amazing!  Dairy-free, creamy and fluffy, I actually prefer this to the regular version.  I couldn’t stop eating the leftovers!

These to-die-for, oh-so-moist Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are full of spiced flavour, with a kick of citrus and are topped with a velvety, tangy frosting.  A nice light, low sugar dessert for the holiday season!

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These to-die-for, oh-so-moist Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are full of spiced flavour, with a kick of citrus and are topped with a velvety, tangy frosting. A nice light, low sugar dessert for the holiday season!

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup pure molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the frosting
  • 1 container (227 g) of Daiya cream cheese (or similar dairy free cream cheese)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 12 small pieces of crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a twelve cup muffin tray with liners. Heat orange juice in a small pot until it boils.
  2. Into a medium bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and the salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer mix apple sauce, coconut oil and molasses until combined.
  4. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/4 cup heated orange juice and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the juice into the molasses mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time until evenly combined, making sure to scrap the sides with a spatula.
  6. Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't worry if the cupcakes are flat or slightly indented on top. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, apple sauce, coconut oil and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, gradually increasing the speed of the mixer until all the sugar is mixed in. Beat on high until smooth and fluffy.
  8. Beat in the orange zest and juice and the chill the frosting for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  9. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and top each one with a piece of ginger.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/21/vegan-gingerbread-cupcakes-orange-cream-cheese-frosting/

What is your favourite vegan cupcake recipe?  Do you love gingerbread and cream cheese frosting as much as me? 

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting