Pasta Parmigiana

Pasta Parmigiana

Today’s recipe is an absolute favourite of mine. It was a recipe that I adapted a few years ago from some fancy magazine. There is nothing particularly fancy about it, but it is something very simple, light, tasty, and very easy to prepare. I will often use it as a last minute meal for the family, or if I am craving something really nice for lunch I will whip up a single serve of it.

If I am having it on my own, then I will add the chilly, as I love a bit of heat. But the rest of the family doesn’t, so I will omit that. The dish is still very tasty without it.

It only takes about 20 minutes to prepare…


Pasta Parmigiana


½ pkt thin spaghetti pasta – more if you need (the thinner they are, the quicker they cook)
1 onion or 2 spring onions finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed (if you don’t have a garlic crush then peel the clove and with the flat
side of your knife lying on the clove smash the heel of you hand
down on it. Then slice it finely in strips one way and chop finely the
other way).
3-4 rashers of bacon sliced into thin 1” lengths (shaved ham can be used also)
1 ½ cups frozen peas
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese – best if it is freshly grated (but you can use
pre-grated cheese if you want).
Fresh chilly – seeded and chopped finely (Optional if you like some heat)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring 1/2  pot of water to the boil. Add pasta to boiling water and stir them around with a fork for about 30 seconds (this stops noodles from sticking together). Boil until ready (about 10-15mins).

While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a medium frypan cook the bacon strips for about 3 minutes. You can add a bit of olive oil to this if the bacon is lean. Add chopped onion, crushed garlic, and chilly to pan. Saute over medium heat with bacon for another couple of minutes.

At the same time place peas into a microwave bowl with a lid, or plastic wrap, on the top; microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Add peas to the bacon and onion mix. Cook for another minute or two.

Take frypan off the heat and wait till the pasta is finished.

Remove pasta from the boiling water once they are cooked. Rinse under hot water to clean off the starchy water. Drain the water off well. Place frypan with bacon, onion, garlic and peas back on the hotplate and throw the pasta on top. Heat for a minute or two to dry any water from the pasta.

Splash the pasta with a good amount of olive oil (about ¼ cup) and toss the pasta and other ingredients through. Heat through. Just before removing from the heat sprinkle ¾ of the Parmesan cheese on top and mix through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

If you have any recipes that you would like to share with MMM, then email me at

Printable Recipe:

Download Word Doc with colour image – Pasta Parmigiana with photo

Download Word Doc without colour image – Pasta Parmigiana without photo


Beef and Sweet Potato Burgers

Beef and Sweet Potato Burger

I feel really privileged to share this recipe today, as it comes from my good friend Naomi. Some of you may know her from her highly successful blog Seven CherubsShe is the mother of seven very cute kids, and she blogs about her adventures in that department.

Naomi is an extremely talented writer who, over the last few years, has managed to build her readership to an enviable size. I have discovered she is very organised, and has some really great ideas on how to run a happy and streamline household.

One of the most satisfying achievements of her online presence, and I am sure she would agree, was organising an online fundraising campaign for a close friend who lost both a son and her husband within 4 months of each other. Naomi single handedly raised almost $45,000 for her friend. An achievement that she should be very proud of. 

This recipe comes from her blog and is really scrumptious.

My kitchen became a testing ground this week, and I had several missionary aged girls around to give me their verdict. Result?…top of the list of our most favourite homemade burgers. The sweet potato adds such a rich full flavour to the meat. I don’t think I can ever make another burger without it.


Beef and Sweet Potato Burgers

Serves: 4, or 2 very hungry missionaries
Preparation time: 10 mins (prepare the mix and patties before you leave home in the morning, place them in the fridge, and they will be ready to cook when you get home).
Cooking time: 20 mins


350g (12oz) orange sweet potato, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g (14oz) lean beef mince
2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 zucchini, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
4 mediums sized mixed grain rolls
1 avocado, mashed
Sliced tomato, cucumber ribbons, soft lettuce and sliced red onion to serve
Beetroot slices (optional)


  1. Steam or boil sweet potato until tender. Mash. Combine with garlic, beef mince, parsley and zucchini. Form into 4 patties.
  2. Heat large non-stick frying pan. Add oil and heat. Cook patties over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked. Keep warm.
  3. Halve the rolls and spread with mashed avocado. Top with patties, tomato, cucumber, beetroot, lettuce and sliced red onion.

Take care not to overload the mix with sweet potato as it can make it very soft and difficult to keep its shape when cooking and eating. For this reason, I would suggest that you stick to making smaller patties and have two medium sized burgers, rather than a single larger one.

If you find the patties are too soft and they break up when cooked then next time add some fresh breadcrumbs and an egg to the mix to help it bind.

I added the beetroot to the ingredients list (it wasn’t part of Naomi’s original recipe) because here in Australia we rarely have a burger without it. So I urge you to try it at least once.

While I still have several recipes to share over the next few weeks, I invite you to send me any that you may have. Please email me at

Printable Recipe:

Download Word Doc with colour image – Beef and Sweet Potato Burgers

Download Word Doc without colour image – Beef and Sweet Potato Burgers

Taco Rice Salad…Ole’

This weeks ‘Food Friday‘ Recipes come from two good friends of mine. Firstly, the Taco Rice Salad was shared by Nadia. She and I worked together in the Primary Organisation quite a few years ago. I loved working beside her and I learnt a lot from her. We have managed to keep in contact over the years.

Nadia is a pretty good cook, and I have used a number of recipes that she has shared in the past. This is just one of those many great recipes.

The Guacamole recipe is compliments of Alisa. Alisa, who hales from Utah, is currently living here in New Zealand with her husband and three small children. She was raised in LA, and managed to learn a lot about traditional mexican food (LA style). 

Alisa is a blogger like me, so if you are interested then you should have a look at Rusted Sun. It is here that she documents some of their experiences in New Zealand.

Both these recipes were tried and tested by our family this week and it was a bitter battle for the leftovers. These recipes definitely fit into the framework of quick, simple, inexpensive and, of course, delicious.


Taco Rice Salad
Serves 2-4 


1 taco mix sachet
1 pkt corn chips
1 cup rice
4-5 lettuce leaves  (more if you want)
3-4 tomatoes chopped (more if you want)
1-2 cups cheese
Sour cream
Guacamole – (see recipe below)
1 jar salsa – can be homemade, or bought
500g (1 lb) mince beef (ground beef)


Place rice into 2-3 inches of boiling water. Stir with a fork for 30 seconds, to stop the rice sticking together. Bring back to the boil. Take pot off the heat, put the lid on and let it sit for about 15 minutes (the rice will absorb the hot water and cook through in this time).

Prepare guacomole (see recipe below), and place in the fridge.

Place ground beef into a small fry pan and cook till brown. Add taco seasoning and ¼ cup water. Stir until it thickens and boils. Remove from heat.

Chop up lettuce and tomato. Grate cheese.

Layer Order:

Place rice on the bottom, taco meat mix, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and top with corn chips.



1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and mashed
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced onion – red onion is nicest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 roma (plum) tomato , diced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


In medium bowl, mash together the avocado, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in pepper. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Printable Recipes:

PDF File
with colour image – Taco Rice Salad


PDF File
without colour image – Taco Rice Salad 2


**Do you have any recipes that are similar, or that would be good to add to our ‘Food Friday’ list? Please let me know by commenting below, or send me an email at

Scrummy Baked Potatoes

Scrummy Baked Potatoes

Today I am going to start off with something that I often have in our home on those nights when we just want something quick and easy. Usually it will be on a Saturday night after being out somewhere together as a family, and we are all just too tired to do anything too complicated. I can have this meal on the table within 15-20 minutes. It is healthy, delicious and can be varied to suit anyone’s taste.


Scrummy Baked Potatoes


2 large potatoes – with skin on, but scrubbed clean (leaving the skin on maintains a lot of  the goodness that a potato has. Most of the vitamins are contained in and around the skin).
Hand full of cheese for each potato (more if you like it)
Sour Cream
2-3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (any kind of frozen veges will do)
½-1 cup chopped ham (optional)


Using a fork, puncture the potatoes on both sides (this stops the potato from exploding in the microwave). Place potatoes on opposite sides of the microwave plate and cook on high for around 3-4 minutes. Turn potatoes over and cook a further 2 minutes. Keep cooking like this till the potatoes feel soft all the way through when pierced with a fork – decreasing the cooking time each time you do so.

Place frozen veges in a microwave proof bowl. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Cook on high for around 4 minutes – more if you have more veges.

Cut, mash, or chop potato into pieces on the plate. Sprinkle most of the cheese over potatoes; add butter and/or a dollop of sour cream. Spoon veges and ham over the cream and cheese. Finish off by sprinkling the remaining cheese over the top.

**This recipe can be varied by adding just about anything you like. My son loves it with last night’s leftover chilli and cheese, or spaghetti meat sauce.

Printable Recipes:

PDF File
with colour image – Scrummy Baked Potatoes

PDF File
without colour image – Scrummy Baked Potatoes 2