Tag Archives: Creme Fraiche

Smoked Salmon & Broccoli Penne

An extremely simple and extremely quick pasta supper for all the family today that’s oh so yum. Our kids love it, but then they really like fish, and broccoli’s interestingly both their fave veggie.

Unknowingly I think I may have used the last of our lovely Chez Foti broccoli in this dish. I went out to pick some more today thinking we had loads to eat up, only to find our new feathery residents have stripped all the heads bare!. They’ve also nibbled up all my baby savoy cabbages and uprooted the lovely beetroot. Hmmmm. Me thinks it’s time to fence off the veggie plot.

Enough for a family of four:

A smallish broccoli, separated into bite size florets

200g dried penne pasta, or similar

5 spring onions, sliced

olive oil

3 tbsps of creme fraiche

zest of one lemon, plus a little juice

a large handful of parsley, finely chopped

180g smoked salmon, cut into small strips

salt & pepper

grated Parmesan to serve

Steam the broccoli florets until they’re al dente – cooked but with a tiny bit of bite to them. At the same time, but in a different pan, cook the pasta to packet instructions, again so it’s al dente. Once cooked drain and set aside.

Meanwhile heat a frying pan or large saucepan and add the merest dash of olive oil and the diced spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Add the steamed broccoli florets, creme fraiche, lemon zest, chopped parsley and the salmon. Give everything a good stir around and heat until bubbling and allow to cook for a couple of minutes more.

Taste the sauce and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, salt if necessary (the smoked salmon’s pretty salty so you may not need to add any more), and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.  Taste again and add more of each to suit.

Stir in the pasta and serve immediately with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan over the top.

Simple as that!

Like this? Have you tried these other recipes – Kid’s Bolognese, Pumpkin Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggie Lasagne or Salmon Fishcakes?


Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Apologies for yet another pumpkin recipe today, but to be truthful this is about the extent of the Chez Foti diet of the last few days as everyone except me has been sick with a nasty flu bug!  This simple gentle soup has been the only thing anyone’s actually had an appetite for….good job we have lots of pumpkins!

Aside from illness, we seem to be eating some sort of squash or pumpkin soup every day for lunch these days.  This particular soup is lovely and extremely simple to make.  If you want to jazz up the flavour a little roast the pumpkin with half a chopped up chilli or some chilli flakes.  I tend to make this in pretty big batches so I can store in the fridge for the next few days, or in the freezer for a later lazy day.

As per previous blogs, a word of warning on using pumpkins.  Quite often when you buy the very big pumpkins in the UK for Halloween they can be very tasteless for cooking with, no matter how much roasting and flavouring you add they’ll never be great.  If you do have a pumpkin to use try roasting a little of it before using, just to have a taste check.  You always substitute Butternut squash as a more reliable tasty alternative.

To make enough for at least 2 family lunchtimes:                                                        

1 kg of pumpkin, skin removed and cut into roughly 2cm chunks

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 clove or garlic, finely sliced

500ml of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian soup)

2 heaped tbsp of creme fraiche

Begin by preheating the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark  .  Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and combine with about a tbsp of olive oil, a little salt and a generous grinding of black pepper (and some chilli if using).  Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes (turning the pumpkin about half way through) until soft and just starting to colour a little.

Meanwhile heat another tbsp of oil in a large high sided saucepan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes until softened a little, stir regularly to avoid catching.  Then add the roasted pumpkin, stir and cook for a further minute or two.  Poor in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.   Simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft.

Take off the heat and add the creme fraiche.  Blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy.


Kids 5-a-day Pasta Sauce

6-8 months +, Toddlers & Young Children

This is a great pasta sauce for babies, toddlers & kids.  It’s quick and easy to make, healthy, tasty and hides an umteen amount of veggies which has got to be good!  I literally throw in any veggies that happen to be lurking and handily clear out my fridge in doing so,  and as they’re all whizzed up with tomato and creme fraiche, they’ll never ever know exactly what you’ve put in it. Excellent if you have difficulty getting your kids to eat their veggies.

I tend to make my sauce in quite large quantities so that I can freeze all the leftovers (in tupperware portions that can be pulled out and made into almost instant dinners).

If making for young babies serve the sauce with an appropriate sized pasta, teeny weeny pasta stars are perfect for weening babies onto lumps in their food. Increase the size of the pasta as they get more accomplished and by the time they’re toddling around they should be eating grown up pasta sizes and shapes.

In this particular sauce I used a courgette, half an aubergine, a handful of french beans and surprise surprise a large slice of pumpkin (yep it really does go into anything and everything these days!).  You really can add a whole multitude of veg, peppers, carrots, squash, peas, celery, broccoli and mushrooms all work really well too.

Enough for several children’s meals
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
600g mixed veggies (see above list)
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
a bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp of tomato puree
100 ml water
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche

Add the oil, onion and garlic to a high sided saucepan and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is soft.  Meanwhile roughly chop your veggie selection into smallish chunks – don’t worry about them all being uniform and neat as you’re going to blitz the mixture later anyway.

Add the veggies to the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.  If they appear to be catching on the bottom add a splash of water to the pan.  After 5 minutes, stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 100 ml of water, bay leaf, oregano, pinch of sugar and maybe a little salt and pepper (if your child is very young then obviously don’t add any salt).

Cook the sauce for a further 15 to 20 minutes until all the veggies are soft and fully cooked through.  Take out your bay leaf, add the creme fraiche and blitz the sauce until smooth (and all veggies fully unidentifiable!) either with a stick blender in the saucepan or in a food processor.  Job done!  One huge pan of yummy pasta sauce.

Serve with whatever pasta your precious monsters like most and a sprinkling of cheese on the top.  And I promise you they’ll never guess what’s in it!


%d bloggers like this: