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Tag Archives: Parmesan


Well, this blog hasn’t been updated for some time now, mainly because I think there are far better things out there. Anyway, a few people have said I should update it, so here we go.

Annoyingly my last recipe was also a tart recipe, but I am still going for this one – courgettes are in season and I have many in my garden, it is quick and easy, so this is what I have been cooking.

My friend Julia put me onto this recipe a year or two ago, it is an adaptation of one she found on Good Food. A great way to use up courgettes and very tasty hot or cold.

Serves 4 with a salad or 6 with a side dish

Freezing – No freezing


Puff Pastry – 1 pack of pre-rolled (or make your own) – I used the reduced fat version

1  Whisked Egg (optional)

Mascarpone – 4 Tablespoons (low fat soft cheese will also work)

Grana Padano or Parmesan grated – 2 Heaped Tablespoons 

Medium Courgettes x 2

Garlic Cloves x 4

Red Chilli x 1 (or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)

Olive oil x 1 dessert spoon

Small Red Onion x 1

Salt and Pepper


  • Heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200c, 400f
  • Line a large baking tray with some baking paper or grease and flour it
  • Place your pre-rolled pastry on the tray
  • Mark an inch (2cm) border round the edge
  • Optional – Brush the border with the whisked egg. (This will give the pastry a shine but is not imperative to the dish, milk could be used or nothing at all)
  • Take the courgettes and slice them very thinly, putting them in a bowl
  • Peel the garlic cloves and crush them into the slices courgettes
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste (I used about a 1/4 tsp of each)
  • Slice the chilli and add it to the courgettes along with the olive oil
  • Coat the courgettes by tossing the ingredients, I find it easier with my hands as the courgettes can break with a spoon
  • Very finely slice the red onion, put to one side
  • In a separate bowl mix the mascarpone and about 3/4 of the cheese
  • Spread the mixture on the pastry leaving the border clear
  • Place the courgettes on the mascarpone base overlapping them slightly
  • Once complete tip any excess chilli or garlic on top
  • Place in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes and bake
  • After the 15 minutes, add the left over cheese and sliced red onion
  • Bake for another 15 minutes until the courgettes start to brown
  • Remove from the oven, leave to sit for 5 minutes and serve. Or serve cold if you prefer
  • This is great with a salad




As we are in January and probably all attempting to eat more healthily, here is a lighter alternative to Carbonara – I find it just as satisfying.

To reduce the calories further I often use a cream substitute such as Emlea because you can’t  really taste the difference, I also grill rather than fry the bacon. The peas are cooked for a long time, such is the way with a lot of Italian cooking, that they take on a lovely flavour and softness which makes them especially palatable for kids.

This is a very cheap dish, so great all round.

Serves 4


Can be frozen then re-heated in microwave or pan, but you may find you need to add a little extra liquid such as milk or water.


Rigatoni 400g

Pancetta or smoked bacon 150g

Red onion x 1

Olive oil – 1 tbs

Frozen petit pois (or normal peas) 150g

Single Cream 250ml

Chicken Stock 250ml

Back pepper to taste

Grana Padano (or parmesan) 50g


  • Grill the bacon on a medium heat until crispy – set aside on kitchen roll to absorb the excess fat
  • While the bacon is grilling, finely chop the onion
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan on a medium heat
  • Add the onions to the oil and cook until translucent and soft
  • Cut the bacon into 1cm squares, it find this easier with scissors (I also remove all the fat, but that is up to you)
  • Add bacon to the onions once they have softened
  • Put in the peas and then heat until no longer frozen
  • Season with black pepper and then add stock  – I find this to be enough seasoning considering saltiness of the bacon, but do add salt if you prefer
  • Cook on a medium, stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid had absorbed (just a bit should remain) this will take around 25 minutes. Once it reaches this stage add the cream and heat it until it simmers
  • In the meantime boil some water, cook the rigatoni until al dente and drain
  • Add the pasta to the cream sauce and stir in half the cheese
  • Serve immediately sprinkled with the excess cheese