Victoria's Kitchen

Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini Soup

This soup is the perfect for the spring, with all the fresh green vegetables, but also somehow heart-warming for when it’s a bit cold out. Perfect for a Belgian summer!

It is largely based on Nigella’s recipe, but with some tweaks.

Basic rules of thumb:

  1. High quality Parmesan required
  2. Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini Soup
    Serves 4
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. 3 glugs of olive oil
    2. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    3. Leaves from a few fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp. dried thyme
    4. 1 large handful of frozen peas
    5. 2 leeks, washed well, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    6. 1 potato, peeled and finely diced
    7. 1 celery stalk, finely diced
    8. 1 zucchini, half-peeled and finely diced
    9. 1 handful green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
    10. 2 litres cold water
    11. 1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
    12. 250g fresh spinach-and-ricotta tortelloni
    13. Leaves from 1 small bunch fresh basil (about 1 cup, packed)
    14. A handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    Instructions
    1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy saucepan, stirring in the thyme.
    2. Add the peas and garlic, and stir around in the oil, then add the leeks, potato, celery, zucchini and green beans and stir in the pan.
    3. Pour in the water, add the salt, put the lid on the pan and let come to a boil, then remove the lid and let everything bubble until the vegetables—check the potato particularly—are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
    4. Remove 3 ladlefuls of the soup mixture, trying to scoop up more vegetables and less liquid, and place in a large bowl. Add in the basil and the Parmesan cheese, and blend with a hand blender. It doesn’t have to be smooth, but well blended enough to bring a new texture to the soup.
    5. Add the beans to the pan and bring back to a boil, then add the tortellini and bring to a boil again. Turn off the heat.
    6. Scrape the basil, Parmesan and pureed vegetable mixture back into the pan, stirring it into the soup. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes before eating.
    Adapted from Nigelissima
    Adapted from Nigelissima
    Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/
    A drizzle of olive oil never goes amiss.

Most importantly, it’s served in the most adorable bowl which was a recent gift from Paris from a very close friend. Arguably the soup is out of focus because I was so concentrated on the cute bowl.

Spaghetti with Pesto

The night before a 20k run, it’s important to binge on pasta. It won’t save you from hating every minute of the run but allegedly it gives you some energy.

Note: I didn’t run the race, but I was in the company o

Spaghetti with Pesto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic, chopped (unless you are weak in which case you can add a half clove)
  2. 4 large handfuls fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
  3. 1 handful pine nuts, lightly toasted (in an un-oiled pan)
  4. 1 good handful high quality parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  5. Extra virgin olive oil
  6. Salt & Pepper
  7. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In a blender, or with a hand blender, puree the garlic, salt, basil leaves, and toasted pine nuts. Add half the parmesan and give it another blend while drizzling in the olive oil. Taste, add salt and pepper, and then add the rest of the cheese and stir to combine fully. Add a squeeze of lemon (to taste). I like a lot of lemon.
  2. Serve on spaghetti with more parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/
f the racing team last Saturday, and this coincided with my recent inheritance of a giant unruly basil plant.

Pesto.pasta.night.

Sriracha Macaroni & Cheese

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most delicious macaroni and cheese recipe you’ll ever find. It comes from this speciality cookbook all about Mac and cheese: HYPERLINK.

It could serve 4 people who like to eat in moderation, or two people who are comfortable with not moving for the rest of the night and not looking to impress anyone. Christian and I were of course, the latter #noregrets.

The concept of Mac and cheese night was born when I attempted to make my own Mac and cheese recipe and wound up with something edible at best. Christian introduced me to this gem of a recipe and I’m a changed woman.

Sriracha Macaroni & Cheese
Serves 2
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 cup flour
  4. 2 tsp kosher salt or 1 teaspoons table salt
  5. 1/2 lb macaroni
  6. 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  7. 2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  8. 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  9. 2 tbsp sriracha
  10. 1 cup sliced green onions (green and light white parts only)
  11. 1/2 cup panko
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400f/220c.
  2. Cook the pasta in salted water until a little less than al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
  3. Mash together the ginger and butter in a small bowl until fully combined, set aside.
  4. Heat the milk in a pot over medium heat until it just starts to bubble, but don't let it boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Heat the butter over medium heat in a separate pot. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown (roughly 3 minutes). Remove from the heat.
  6. Slowly pour the warm milk, about 1 cup at a time, into the butter flour mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Once the milk has been added, put the pot back on the medium heat and continue to whisk constantly. The sauce should thicken- if it doesn't slide off a spoon dipped in, it's ready.
  8. Add the sauce, cheese and ginger butter to a large pot and cook over medium heat. Stir until the cheese is barely melted, about 3 minutes. Add the sriracha and the cooked pasta and continue cooking while stirring continuously until the dish is nice and hot, another 5 minutes. Add the green onions and stir to fully combine.
  9. Pour the mixture into a 14 inch casserole pan and sprinkle with Panko. Bake 20 minutes.
  10. Serve topped with more sriracha!
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Fusilli with Italian Sausage & Basil

This was an off the cuff dinner made with the leftover pasta from the Spinach and Leek Soup with Sausage. That’s right- 5 days later. I think everyone should be a little more flexible about leftovers. When in doubt, eat it. If it’s bad- you’ll know. 

If you don’t have leftover sausage you can of course make it within the recipe, it’s written below as such. 

Fusilli with Italian Sausage & Basil
Serves 2
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Italian sausages (they should have fennel seed in them)
  2. 200g fusilli or another small pasta (about a third of a box)
  3. 1 onion
  4. 2 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 can crushed tomatoes
  6. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)
  7. 1 tsp oregano
  8. 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Sauté the sausages in a  pan. Once browned all over, slice and throw back in the pan to brown all over. When done, add the onion and garlic and continue to stir.
  2. After a few minutes, add the can of tomatoes, and the spices. Continue to stir on a low flame as the pasta cooks. A minute or so before the pasta is done, stir in the basil.
  3. When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of pasta water, strain the pasta, and throw it into the sauce. Add the reserved pasta water in small amounts until the dish reaches your ideal consistency. I prefer my pasta saucy!
  4. Remove from the heat and add the parmesan.
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Shrimp Otsu

This recipe is inspired by the version on Heidi Swanson’s blog www.101cookbooks.com. It is fresh and light, and perfect for a light summer meal or a picnic. Who doesn’t love picnics. 

Soba noodles are also incredibly healthy. They have less calories, more protein, and more fiber than regular pasta, and they are also gluten-free. 

In the version photographed I forgot the shrimp *sigh*. 

Shrimp Otsu
Serves 3
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  2. 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  3. 1 tbsp honey
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like spicy)
  5. 3/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  8. 1/3 cup shoyu soy sauce
  9. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  10. 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  11. 1 package soba noodles
  12. Handful of frozen shrimp (optional)
  13. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  14. 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
  15. 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  16. 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a blender. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the blender running, drizzle in the oils. Set aside.
  2. Cook the shrimp in boiling water (don't overdo it- frozen shrimp don't need to be cooked until they taste like rubber bands). Peel & clean and set aside.
  3. Cook the soba in plenty of boiling salted water until just tender (usually 4 minutes), drain and rinse under cold water. Be sure it is really not warm and no longer cooking !
  4. In a large bowl, combine the soba noodles, the cilantro, the spring onions, the shrimp, the cucumber, half of the sesame seeds, and 2/3 cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined, Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and more sesame seeds.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Cauliflower & Olive Pasta with Za’atar

For those of you who have just made the ‘Coconut cauliflower and leek soup‘ and are looking for something to do with that second half of a cauliflower and the rest of that package of fresh egg noodles… make this! I was complaining about the monotone white of the last recipe and now we’re going to do it AGAIN, but it’s worth it.

Cauliflower & Olive Pasta with Za'atar
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 225 g of fresh egg noodles
  2. Half a head of cauliflower
  3. 15 green olives, chopped (ideally castelvetrano, but all that matters is that they are green and not canned)
  4. 3 tablespoons creme fraiche + more for serving
  5. 1 teaspoon of za'atar
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When done (if before you are ready with the sauce), rince and set aside.
  2. In a pan, sautée the cauliflower with olive oil and salt, until the edges brown.
  3. About 30 seconds before the cauliflower is cooked, throw in the olives.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and the za'atar.
  5. Throw the noodles on top and fold everything together.
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more za'atar.
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

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