Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes
Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Over the years I realized that the best pasta dishes I’ve made were the ones where I didn’t have to use a recipe. Once I’ve learned the 4 basic steps, it becomes easy to experiment with different kinds of ingredients and flavours.

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Shooting for Miss Delaney #1 Spiced chicken thighs with roast broccoli salad

Delaney's spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad
Delaney’s spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad

This wonderful pair of recipes came out in the April 2014 issue of FishHead magazine under Delaney Mes‘ My Kitchen column. She creates recipes, I cook and shoot for her. She lives in Auckland and I live in Wellington but in this day and age of email and DropBox, distance doesn’t matter.

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Chicken kare-kare (Chicken stew in peanut sauce)

Chicken kare-kare
Chicken kare-kare

THE VERY FIRST DISH that came to mind when I was contemplating to become a vegetarian for the sake of love was kare-kare. It would be very difficult to give up. But love prevailed and I never had kare-kare since then. This was two decades ago. As fate would have it, the love was eventually lost and I had since gone back to eating meat (poultry, yes. four-legged animals, no.)

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Cinnamon chicken tagine

Cinnamon chicken tagine

For Valentine’s Day, I received three gifts from my gorgeous partner-in-crime JD. First, a flower garden he cultivated in the backyard at 6AM in the morning of Valentine’s Day.

JD and Dolly's Valentine's Day Dinner

Second, a Jamie Oliver-inspired candlelit dinner for two in our kitchen (he cooked 3 dishes in 30 minutes!) and last but not the least, a huge gift-wrapped box. Inside was an orange tagine.

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Turkey bolognese

Turkey Bolognese
Turkey Bolognese

I have been cooking different variations of turkey mince spaghetti for as long as I can remember and they were all good, but this is the best of the best I’ve ever made. Perhaps it’s the grocery-bought tomato sauce with red wine, or the mix of fresh herbs, or the grated carrots, or the red wine vinegar. Whatever it is that made the difference, I’m sticking to the recipe and I’m sharing it with you!

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Simple joy #18 Leftover turkey pie

Leftover turkey pie
Leftover turkey pies in ramekins
Leftover turkey pie
Leftover turkey pot pie

A week after Christmas and we still had leftover roast turkey lurking in the fridge. Most people would just throw away whatever was left clinging to turkey bones and stuff. But not me. I don’t waste anything worth salvaging. That’s why I love second hand stores.

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Spaghetti with minced chicken and Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce

Spaghetti with minced chicken and Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce

I have to thank Jessica of http://brownpaperbelle.com for introducing me to Marcella Hazan’s classic Italian tomato sauce recipe. Jessica used the tomato sauce for her Pizza On The Run. The moment I read about it, I just had to make it (Not the pizza dough, just the tomato sauce!) It is the simplest, easiest to make tomato sauce ever. Although it took 45 minutes to cook it, it’s the throw-everything-in-the-pot-and-forget-about-it-while-you-do-something-else kind which is so sexy if I may say so.

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