Lizzie's Recipes

A collection of easy to make recipes

Archive for the tag “parmesan cheese”

Chorizo & Spinach Spaghetti Carbonara

We love Spaghetti Carbonara and eat it a lot as it’s probably the easiest pasta dish to put together.  When hubby suggested adding chorizo sausage instead of bacon that sounded very interesting and combined with the spinach it was really delicious… Nutmeg is the best friend of spinach and I always add a pinch when cooking it as it gives a lovely little zing to this wonderful green vegetable…

The amounts here make about 4 serves – depends how greedy you are feeling…

Chorizo & Spinach Carbonara



Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cured chorizo sausage skinned and chopped in small pieces

350g bag of pre-packaged spinach leaves

I clove of garlic grated

1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

4 fresh free range eggs

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt & ground black pepper to taste


Cook spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente

In the meantime heat a generous lug of olive oil and gently fry the garlic and chorizo until slightly coloured

Throw in the spinach and stir until wilted

Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg

In a large jug, gently whisk the eggs and fold in the parmesan cheese

When spaghetti is ready drain well and tip back into the pot over a very low heat

Add the chorizo and spinach mixture coating all the strands of spaghetti well

Add the egg and cheese mixture and toss well – the heat of the spaghetti will cook the egg

Be careful not to have heat up too high as the eggs will scramble if too hot.

Serve in a warmed bowl with additional ground black pepper to garnish


Bon Appetit!  🙂

Pumpkin Au Gratin

Pumpkin is one of Australia’s most versatile vegetables.  We make soup with it and puree it into pasta sauces.  It’s part of a traditional roast dinner and the wife of a dodgy ex politician even made her pumpkin scones the most famous in the southern hemisphere!

Butternut is the most delicious and I found this recipe on a TV show many years ago hosted by an Irish chef called Paul Rankin.  He was the first of the glamour chefs who made it all look so easy and I have been making this version for nigh on 30 years…

Chopped Pumpkin

Don’t be alarmed if the amount of cream doesn’t look it will coat all the pumpkin – it spreads out and combines with the parmesan cheese into a wonderful sauce…  This is the best side dish you will ever eat…

Pumpkin Au Gratin


2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 kg butternut pumpkin

250 ml cooking cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (use a pinch of dried if fresh not available)

Handful of finely chopped parsley

½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Salt & pepper

1 clove of garlic split in half

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 180c

Peel the pumpkin and chop into even sized cubes

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and toss the pumpkin until it starts to turn golden and a bit browned

In the meantime bring the cream gently to the boil in a small pot and throw in sage, parsley and nutmeg

Rub a large casserole dish with the garlic clove halves (use a little salt to assist in the rubbing)

Tip all the pumpkin into the casserole dish and spread it out evenly

Pour the cream over covering as much of the pumpkin as you can

Sprinkle with a generous layer of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bake uncovered for around 40 minutes or until gold and bubbling on top



Bon Appetit!   🙂

Roasted Green Beans

We love our vegies and try to eat as many and as varied as possible.  I am always on the lookout for a new way to cook vegetables and I recently stumbled across this tasty way to present green beans.  Roasting the beans creates an intense flavour and you can play around with the seasonings if required.  This one was a big winner…


They look very pretty presented in a glass...

They look very pretty presented in a glass…

Crispy roasted green beans with crunchy parmesan

Crispy roasted green beans with crunchy parmesan


½ kilo fresh green beans, topped & tailed

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon paprika


Preheat fan-forced oven to 180c

In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the olive oil

Add the parmesan, salt & pepper and paprika

Pour onto a baking sheet lined with paper and bake in a single layer until crisp for around 15-20 minutes


Bon Appetit!    🙂

Creamy Garlic & Chilli Prawns with Pasta

Who doesn’t love creamy garlic prawns?  Who doesn’t love pasta?  Well here’s the best of both worlds.  This delicious pasta sauce takes only minutes to make and looks wonderful.  The pasta I used this time was a mixture of linguine and curly fettuccine – a lovely combination of textures…

We always have a big bag of frozen prawn cutlets (they are the really big ones) in the freezer to add to pasta, risotto or stir-fries.  When some unexpected visitors drop by they are your best friend as you can always make something with them to impress and delight…

This recipe makes enough for two hungry people…

Creamy Garlic & Chilli Prawn Pasta


12 large raw prawn cutlets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large clove of garlic, grated

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds in for hotter taste)

6 spring onions, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons light sour cream

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Addition parsley for garnish

Spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine cooked al dente


Place a large pot of salted water to the boil and throw in pasta

In the meantime, heat the olive oil, garlic, spring onion and chilli in a large frypan and gently fry for a few minutes until coloured

Add in the prawns and fry until pink and just cooked

Gently add in the parmesan cheese and sour cream and bring to the boil

If the mixture is too thick add a little pasta water to the pan

Season with salt and pepper

Just before serving throw in the parsley

Gently toss through the drained cooked pasta and serve piping hot

Garnish with some additional parsley to serve

Bon Appetit!   🙂

Baked Chicken, Mushroom & Leek Risotto

We love risotto but I find it a labour of love to prepare.  Standing over a hot stove ladling hot chicken stock into rice while stirring constantly is not my idea of a quick meal…  This easy and quick recipe only takes 25 minutes and is absolutely delicious.  I basically threw the casserole dish into the oven and set the timer then forgot about it until the bell rang – the texture was lovely.

You can also add some light cream of milk if you prefer instead of parmesan cheese.  Another tip is I slightly warmed the casserole dish so I wasn’t tipping boiling liquid into a cold dish – always nervous it might crack…

Vegetarians can omit the chicken and add a variety of mushrooms or vegies – replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock – voila!

Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

By the way – the leftovers can be turned into delicious Risotto Balls or Arancini Balls by rolling the cold rice mixture into balls and coating with flour, egg and breadcrumbs.  Deep fry in Canola oil for the crispiest results and drain on paper towels….  If you want to be really adventurous, try poking a cube of Mozzarella cheese into the centre before sealing the ball – when you bite into it the oozy cheese runs out…  Perfecto…

Risotto Balls


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks thinly sliced

1 garlic clove grated

2 cups button mushrooms sliced

2 cups Arborio rice

100 ml white wine

4 cups of chicken stock

5 chicken thighs (about 500g) cut into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 lemon zested

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon finely chopped

Seasoning to taste


Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add leek, garlic and mushrooms, cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes.

Add rice, stir for another minute so rice is coated, then add the white wine.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Season with salt & pepper to taste

Transfer to large casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

In the meantime melt one tablespoon of the butter in a pan, and cook chicken over a fairly high heat until golden and cooked through – approx. 10-15 minutes

Remove pan from heat, cover and keep warm until rice is ready

Remove risotto from oven and gently stir through lemon rind, tarragon, parmesan cheese and chicken.

Add the additional tablespoon of butter to make a lovely glossy texture



Bon Appetit!  🙂


Sicilian Style Curly Fettuccini

I found this recipe on a Jamie Oliver Youtube channel – he cooked it on camera and I was salivating just watching him eat it.  It is so very simple but so tasty – it’s actually surprising how delicious it is considering there are few ingredients…

The crunch of the pinenuts and the sweetness of the raisins contrast wonderfully with the tang of the garlic and anchovies.  Curly fettuccini is another lovely discovery.  The sauce clings to the beautifully textured ribbons of pasta…  Jamie’s recipe called the breadcrumbs Pangrattato but his version didn’t have oil or garlic included.  They were just dry crumbs so I did the same but used panko crumbs.  The result is a lovely crispy crunch added to your pasta.  We added some parmesan to the top but it is optional…

Sicilian pasta


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

50 g anchovies (small tin or jar), finely chopped

1 small tub tomato paste (about 3 tablespoons)


1 tablespoon pinenuts

1 tablespoon raisins

1 teaspoon sugar

pepper to taste

½ cup breadcrumbs

Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Curly fettuccini



Gently fry the garlic and anchovies in the oil until the anchovies break down

Stir in the tomato paste and a little water to soften the sauce

Throw in a handful of pinenuts and raisins

Add sugar and pepper to taste

In the meantime cook some curly fettuccini until al dente

Add a ladle of the pasta water to the sauce if too thick

In a dry pan, toast the breadcrumbs until golden brown

Toss the sauce through the drained pasta

Serve topped with a generous sprinkling of breadcrumbs

Add some parmesan cheese if required


Bon Appetit!  🙂



Baked Chicken Parmigiana

I have been making Chicken Parmigiana like this for over 30 years.  It’s not your dry crunchy one that every other pub or club provides.  This one is tender and moist and baked in the oven.  The sauce penetrates the chicken and the whole dish is just delicious.

It’s ideal for a large gathering as the fillets can be scooped out in smaller portions because it is so tender.  With a salad, baked potatoes and some garlic bread it’s a terrific meal for a cold winters night with a big glass of red…

I use tasty grated cheese but you can use mozzarella if you love the stringy effect…  The amount of cheese is your choice too…




4 large chicken breasts

Plain flour for coating

Breadcrumbs for coating (I use Panko crumbs)

2 beaten eggs

Salt & pepper to taste

Couple of tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese for coating

Olive oil for frying fillets

I large can tinned tomatoes chopped or crushed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 generous cup of grated cheese –  or more – depends how cheesy you like it!



Coat the chicken fillets with the crumbs by first dusting with the flour

Dip into the beaten eggs which have been seasoned with salt & pepper

Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and press firmly all over the chicken

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a non-stick frypan and fry the chicken fillets on a fairly high heat until golden brown. You don’t want to cook the chicken – just brown the outside coating…

In a large ovenproof dish layer the fillets by topping each with crushed tomatoes, a pinch of oregano and a light sprinkling of cheese I usually do layers of two or three depending on how big your chicken pieces are…

Finish off with tomato and oregano and a good sprinkling of cheese

Bake in 180c fan-forced oven for around 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling on top and the fillets are cooked through.

Serve with garlic bread and a green salad…


Bon Appetit!  🙂

Spaghetti Carbonara

Who doesn’t love a deliciously creamy Spaghetti Carbonara?  It is one of the quickest and easiest pastas to make as we always have eggs and bacon and parmesan cheese in the fridge…

My recipe has been honed over the years and this is our favourite version.  If you don’t have spinach it is also wonderful with peas – just throw in a large handful of frozen peas in with bacon mixture and stir through – they defrost in no time.

Pancetta is also the choice of most people which I always use if I happen to have some but I find bacon does just as well as a substitute.  I never add cream to my Carbonara as I find the eggs are rich and creamy enough and the cream can make it a bit stodgy.

The only tip I will advise you to follow is always use dried pasta for Carbonara.  It can be Linguine or Fettucine but avoid using fresh pasta.  For some reason the fresh pasta doesn’t stay firm when mixed with the eggs and it tends to go a bit gluggy…

Again – it’s your choice – there are no absolute rules – whatever tantalises your taste buds!  I have also cooked this for vegetarians (ones who eat eggs) and omitted the bacon – it’s just as yummy…

Spaghetti Carbonara




Extra Virgin Olive Oil

200 g of good quality streaky bacon sliced in batons

150g box of prepackaged baby spinach

I clove of garlic grated

1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

4 fresh free range eggs

Salt & ground black pepper to taste


Cook spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente

In the meantime heat a generous lug of olive oil and gently fry the garlic and bacon until bacon is slightly crisp

Throw in the spinach and stir until wilted

In a large jug, gently whisk the eggs and fold in the parmesan cheese

When spaghetti is ready drain well and tip back into the pot over a very low heat

Add the bacon and spinach mixture coating all the strands of spaghetti well

Add the egg and cheese mixture and toss well – the heat of the spaghetti will cook the egg

Be careful not to have heat up too high as the eggs will scramble if too hot.

The egg should be creamy like a sauce.

Season well with salt & pepper

Serve in a warmed bowl with additional ground black pepper to garnish


Bon Appetit!  🙂

Risoni Meatball Bake

There’s not much that can’t be improved by the addition of some meatballs.  And when the meatballs are stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese it’s even better!

I came across this recipe in a newspaper and it has immediately become a meal I will make over and over.  So easy and very, very tasty…

The meatballs are prepared and browned all over first and taken out of the pan.  Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and pop the meatballs back in.  Thirty minutes later you have the most delicious dish.  All it needs is some garlic bread or a green salad to serve with it..



50g mozzarella cheese

2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped

1 sprig of fresh rosemary left whole

600g of pork & veal mince

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1 lightly beaten egg

¾ cup panko crumbs or fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium brown onion chopped

1½ cups chicken stock

2 x 410g cans of tomatoes & paste (Ardmona brand is excellent)

1 teaspoon sugar (the sugar takes the tartness from the tomatoes and gives a lovely flavour)

¾ cup dried risoni pasta

grated Parmesan cheese and oregano leaves to serve


Cut the mozzarella into 8 even sized pieces

Combine the mince, garlic, finely chopped rosemary, oregano, egg and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Using your hands, mix well

Season with salt & pepper

Roughly divide into eight balls and flatten each one to form a disc

Place a piece of cheese on each disc and roll up to make a ball

(At this stage these can be placed on a baking paper-lined tray and refrigerated for use later if required)

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 190/170c fan-forced.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based flameproof roasting pan over a medium high heat

Cook the meatballs, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned all over

Transfer to a plate

Heat remaining oil and add the onions

Cook for 5 minutes or so until softened

Add remaining rosemary sprig, chicken stock and tomatoes

Bring to the boil and add the risoni

Stir well and add salt & pepper & sugar to taste

Return the meatballs to the pan and gently stir to coat them in the sauce

Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring gently about halfway though cooking, or until the risoni is tender and the meatballs are cooked through.

Discard rosemary sprig

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and oregano leaves

Bon Appétit!  🙂

Perfect Pesto Pasta

I love the fresh taste of Basil – it’s one of my favourite herbs.  Whenever I find a lovely fresh bunch I make pesto – it’s so easy and only takes minutes in the Ninja or food processor.


I assemble everything I need and put it all in the Ninja – it whizzes it up in a few minutes…  The result is a beautiful, vibrant, fresh pesto.  You can also play around with the flavours and add chilli or vinegar or lemon juice – it’s up to you…

IMG_3824This can now be used as a dip with vegetable crudites and it’s delicious smeared over grilled meats or seafood.

The best use for pesto of course, is with pasta.  We love this quick and easy pasta dish – so tasty and simple…  We use spaghetti but it is also lovely with penne or a filled pasta like vegetarian ravioli or tortellini…


1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked

1 clove of garlic

1 handful of lightly toasted pine nuts

1 handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese

olive oil

sea salt


Place basil, pine nuts, a pinch of sea salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds

Add parmesan cheese and drizzle in olive oil to soften the mix

Pulse until smooth adding more oil if required to reach a creamy consistency

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary

In the meantime cook your favourite pasta until al dente

Drain lightly leaving a little pasta water in the pan

Throw in the fresh pesto and toss until mixed though and piping hot – the pasta water will help emulsify the sauce

Serve topped with a little additional grated parmesan cheese

This will make about 4 serves

Bon Appetit!  🙂

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