Donal Skehan

Avocado, Parmesan and Rocket Pasta

As I may or may not have mentioned I am addicted to avocados! They are packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins so all the more reason to eat them. I have been coming up with different recipes just to stick them in to my diet and this is one of my favourites. Look for avocados which are slightly soft to the touch when you press them with your fingers. The only thing to remember about avocados is that, unless you give them a spritz of lemon juice they tend not to like sitting around, so always prepare them last.

Serves 4
250g of wholemeal pasta
70g of rocket leaves, roughly chopped
2 avocados
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
A good handful of grated Parmesan cheese
A good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according the instructions on the pack.

While the pasta is cooking, add the rocket, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and set aside. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then add it to the bowl. Pour in the vinegar and olive oil and stir the pasta until it is nicely coated.  You should end up with stringy cheesy green pasta- YUM!

Slice the avocados in half and remove the stones, slice thinly and add to the pasta. Serve straight away and devour!

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Rocket, Pear, Parmesan and Pine Nut Salad

Toast the pine nuts in frying pan for a minute or so until they turn a nice golden brown. Make sure to keep your eye on them as nuts cook really quickly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burnt a pan of nuts and I still haven’t learned my lesson!

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Perfect Parmesan Parsnips

Try to select interesting shaped parsnips, they look great when they’re roasted. I try and cut the parsnips as thin as possible because when they start to roast in the oven you should end up with tasty crispy ends and thick fleshy pieces.

Serves 4
1kg of parsnips.
3 tablespoons of wholemeal flour.
1 tablespoon of ground black pepper.
1 tablespoon of sea salt.
1 generous handful of Parmesan cheese.
2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 200oC/390oF/Gas 6.

Peel the parsnips and chop in half and then slice into four. You may need to slice the chunks in half again depending on what size you want them. Place the parsnips in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes.

Rinse with a little cold water and drain the chunks in a colander. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Tumble the parsnips into the bowl and toss to coat. Place in a large roasting tray, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

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