Tag Archives: tomatoes

Margherita Penne

27 Nov


I love the Milk Calendar. I’ve been kind of obsessed with it since I was younger and I would read all of the recipes over and over again and ask my mom which ones we could try. Since we were vegetarian, there were only a few recipes we could try, so it was pretty easy to pick them out!

I was excited to get a copy of the 2015 Milk Calendar this year, even more so because I once again had the opportunity to try one of the recipes, with ingredients generously provided by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The test recipe this time was Margherita Penne and I knew I would enjoy this dish as soon as I saw the ingredients list. Tomatoes, bocconcini, basil…..yum!

Margherita Penne

Link to the original recipe from the 2015 Milk Calendar recipe site (please note that I have not changed the original recipe, I’ve just included my own notes below) – http://www.dairygoodness.ca/recipes/margherita-penne

Course – Main Dishes

Prep. Time – 10 mins

Cooking Time – 13 mins

Yields – 4 to 6 Servings

This yummy pasta is based on the classic pizza margherita, which is topped with tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil – sometimes the simplest things taste the best.

Sandy’s notes:

-The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme but I’m not a huge fan of thyme in pasta dishes so I only added a 1/2 tsp. It was more than enough to flavor the dish nicely in my opinion. I think 1 tsp of dried oregano would be a great substitute as well.

-If you want to be able to see the bocconcini in the dish then add it in seconds before serving it, otherwise it will melt into the pasta.

-While I enjoyed this pasta hot, I enjoyed it even more after I reheated it the next day. I just needed to add a few tablespoons of water to get the sauce going again.

-See additional tips from the Dairy Farmers of Canada below the recipe.


12       oz  (375 g) penne pasta

2          tbsp  (30 mL) butter

4          cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2  tsp       (7 mL) dried thyme

1/2     tsp       (2 mL) salt

1/4     tsp       (1 mL) hot pepper flakes

2          tbsp    (30 mL) all-purpose flour

2 1/2  cups    (625 mL) Milk

2          cups    (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2     cup      (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan

12       1-inch (2.5 cm) mini Canadian Bocconcini

1/2     cup      (125 mL) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Canadian Parmesan, for serving


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 11 min or until al dente, or according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook 1 min. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Stir in tomatoes and Parmesan.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in sauce; toss, stirring 1 to 2 min over medium heat to coat pasta. Stir in Bocconcini, basil and salt to taste, if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan.









Tips from the Dairy Farmers of Canada:

-Bocconcini come in different sizes, so if you need to cut the balls, the pieces should be about ¾-inch (2 cm) in size.

-Try cubes of Mozzarella instead of Bocconcini.

-Add some of your favourite pizza toppings to the sauce, such as pepperoni, olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Or use your favourite short pasta in place of penne.

To check out the rest of the recipes from the 2015 Milk Calendar, please visit – http://www.dairygoodness.ca/milk/my-milk-calendar/recipes/year/2015



Cauliflower and Peas Curry (Phoolgobhi Aur Mattar Ki Kari)

15 Oct

Sometimes, the best dishes come together because a vegetable called my name at the grocery store. Well, it didn’t really “call” my name but you know what I mean. Today, it was a beautiful, insanely fresh cauliflower! Now, some of you might not get excited by the thought of this but as soon as I see great cauliflower the first thing I want to do is munch on it raw, dipped in ranch dressing, with a few carrot sticks on the side…mmm…okay I’m getting off topic here : )

One of my favourite ways to have cauliflower is to make it Indian style, where it gets to hang out with some other great ingredients like garlic, onion, tomato, cumin…yum….just thinking about makes my mouth water! This recipe sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty easy. You just need a little bit of patience while it cooks!

Cauliflower and Peas Curry (Phoolgobhi Aur Mattar Ki Kari)

(Inspired by Tarla Dalal’s recipe at http://bit.ly/pfIrvk)

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 6

Spice paste – grind the following ingredients into a paste (I used a mini chopper for this):

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of grated coconut

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 teaspoons coriander seeds (dhania)

2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1/2” piece of ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon turmeric

5 dried red chillies (or less if you want a less spicy dish)


3 tablespoons of melted butter

3 tablespoons of oil (canola oil or olive oil)

2 cups small cauliflower florets

2 bay leaves

2 tomatoes

1 cup frozen green peas

2 tablespoons chopped cashew nuts

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

4 tablespoons of plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream


Using a mini food processor, make the spice paste by grinding the onion, coconut, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, turmeric and dried red chillies together until they form a rough paste. Note: You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to get things moving.

Heat the ghee or oil on medium heat in a non-stick saucepan, add the cauliflower florets and gently fry for 5 to 8 min. Remove the cauliflower and keep aside in a bowl.

Heat the oil on medium-high heat in the same pan, add bay leaves and the spice paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Puree the tomatoes (you can use the mini food processor for this too!). Add the tomato puree to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add the cauliflower, green peas, cashew nuts, sugar, turmeric, 1/2 cup of water and salt to the pan. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft – stir occasionally to allow the vegetables to cook evenly. Note: You may want to cook it covered on medium heat for the 10-15 minutes and then lower the heat to medium low and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt or sour cream until well mixed. This gives the curry a rich, creamy flavour and appearance.

I enjoy this curry with rotis or naan. It would also taste great with basmati rice.

Like many Indian curries, this tastes even better reheated the next day, after the amazing spices, tomatoes and garlic have had a chance to soak into the cauliflower. Yum!


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