How This Started and My Hope For This Experiment

My Husband and I are both big fans of Jamie Oliver. For Christmas I bought him Jamie's cookbook "Jamie's 30 Minute Meals: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast". As I read the preface of his cookbook I was inspired by his ideas. He felt that he was spending too much time cooking during the busy week and doing too much clean up. So he decided that for the week night meals there needed to be something quick and still healthy and yummy. He and his team did a lot of work and made the "30 Minute Meals". He has explicit directions for step by step getting the meal done in 30 min. He tells you what to do first, second, and third so that you have all dishes going at the same time, instead of making it dish by dish. Since we aren't doing once a month cooking right now I was captured by this idea and dying to start trying. I have been spending way too much time in the kitchen during the week and can't wait to be able to prepare good meals fast. My husband was all for it since he loves to eat great food and has a very particular palette. He will be making some of the meals on weekends when he isn't working because, this is after all, his cookbook :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trapani-Style Rigatoni, Griddled Chicory Salad, Rocket & Parmesan Salad, Lemoncello Kinda Trifle

Trapani-Style Rigatoni, Griddled Chicory Salad, Rocket & Parmesan Salad, Lemoncello Kinda Trifle p. 40

The actual meal I made was minus the Griddled Chicory Salad since I can't find Chicory yet. Still hoping Moore Willsons will have it but I haven't had the chance to check yet.

Here is what I started with-
Here is the beginning of the desert. One side I made with shortbread cookies and the other with the sponge fingers that Jamie uses. The sauce on the bottom is something I made up. It was supposed to be the juice of oranges and lemoncello, but since we don't drink alcohol I had to think of something to substitute. I saw the lemoncello at the Mediterranean Warehouse checkout and started asking Garrett if he though we should get some. I had momentarily forgotten that it has alcohol in it and the loud lady at the checkout couldn't say enough about how amazingly good it was. It was in a little bottle and I asked the lady if it would last a long time since it was $12 for a small amount. She laughed and said "not in my house". I laughed too and said does it have alcohol in it? She looked shocked and said "uh YEAH! that is why it doesn't last long. It's Vodka". When we left Garrett said "it would probably cook out". I mentioned that this particular desert isn't cooked at all and on top of that cooking with wine is one thing but cooking with hard liquor is quite another :) So I took a saucepan and put in some water, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon extract. I boiled it down to a syrup (the lemoncello is supposed to be very lemony and syrup like). I turned from the stove for a minute and then when I turned back it had burned slightly. It tasted OK so I used it anyway but it cooled VERY thick and sticky. Not good! So I used it anyway but it would have been so perfect if it had not been scorched.

Here is the salad. Not super great but ok.

The rigatoni was fast to make-full of almonds, garlic, red chillies, anchovies, and cherry tomatoes with parmesan cheese. Not as savory as the Pesto Alla Trapanese though so I might substitute that instead next time I made this meal.

This is the ciabatta bread. You drizzle olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with dried thyme on top and pop it into the oven. It was warm and crisp and so amazingly good. I could have eaten the whole loaf by myself and skipped the rest of the meal.

A little bit of everything together made a fantastic meal.

The salad is wild rocket, parmesan cheese and 1/2 a lemon. But since we didn't have the chicory salad I added some cucumber slices as well.

The desert is topped with mascarpone mixed with icing sugar, skim-milk lemon and vanilla, topped with blueberries, chocolate shavings and dusted with more icing sugar.

The meal took me 45 min, I think, but I can't remember for sure. I made it several days ago and can't quite remember all the details. bummer! But it was a good meal and worth trying again.


  1. Ashley, I am having so much fun following along on your cooking adventure! I have been so tempted to pick up a new cookbook, I can't believe I don't have a Jamie Oliver cookbook yet... yet being the key word :) We've decided to go vegetarian a couple times a week and had a fantastic sweet potato curry tonight with peanut and tamarind. If you try any recipes with tamarind paste, send them my way... I've got a lot and I love the flavor!

  2. OK, will do. I would love to have your sweet potato curry recipe and any other vegetarian ones you try that you love.

    I am so glad you are enjoying the blog :)

  3. Hi Ashley,

    I must add also that I'm really enjoying reading your blog! I bought Jamie Oliver's book a while ago and have been getting back into trying all the meals. This Trapani Style Rigatoni is my next adventure, and by reading your account of it, will hopefully help me do this right first time.
    I can't find Limoncello anywhere, but we do drink alcohol occasionally, so may try Rum instead (that's supposed to go well in trifle!).

  4. Steph, I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I haven't been able to post anything in a while because we have been all over the globe but we are finally settling down in one place now and there should been some new and wonderful posts in a few weeks. I have been taking pictures of the foods I have been making in the last few weeks in preparation for starting back up :)
    I would love to hear how yours turns out as well. If you have a Meditaranian Food store near you you might want to check for the lemoncello because I hear it's worth it ;)
    Be sure to post how it all worked for you and how long it took.