Creamy mascarpone, pesto and aubergine bake at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve… Part 1 of 3

With a “ready to blog file” overflowing I need to jump right into it and preserve these recipes before they get lost…

Rietfontein.. as the directions read… drive down the main road of Matjiesfontein, at the end of the Main Road is a white gate, open, and continue to drive for 7 kilometres… a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Karoo…

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house...

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house…

As you enter the Rietfontein farm yard you realise… this is a one of a kind special place, looked after to the finest detail…

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For a printable PDF recipe card click on this link: 34. Creamy pesto pasta aubergine bake……… RECIPE CARD

Start off by pouring everyone in the kitchen a nice glass of chilled wine..

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For the Creamy Aubergine bake you will need:
1 x packet (500g) spiral or small size pasta7E0A5027
1 x tub (200g) pesto
1 x tub (250g) mascarpone
3 x large grated zucchini
6 x small aubergines
+/- 500g small red tomatoes
grated mozzarella, 3 hands full
finely grated parmesan.. 3 hands full

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We started by frying the sliced aubergine, batch by batch in a little bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.. put aside. Yes we did have a little fire in the kitchen, nothing to worry about.. and nope we did not put it out… we shouted.. where’s the camera??

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After putting out the fire with a littttle splash of wine.. we could continue..

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just tender, drain and immediately add the tub of mascarpone to the very hot drained pasta, gently stir until the mascarpone is melted without breaking up the pasta spirals.

Add the tub of pesto and coarsely grated zucchini… the zucchini will melt away while baking and form part of the creamy texture of the baked dish.

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Season with salt and black pepper and spoon pasta mixture into an ovenproof dish pretty enough to grace your lunch table.

Scatter with a combination of mozzarella and grated parmesan and top with one layer of fried aubergine in one pretty overlapping layer.

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Top with halved baby tomatoes, cut side up and give it a light dusting of coarse salt and a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan.

Bake for +/- 45 minutes or until the cheese and tomatoes are lightly browned on the edges.

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And the difficult part… is to wait for lunch…

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Lunch is served… at the oval table … with glasses filled with crisp cold wine and the early winter sun baking on our backs…

Life is good at Rietfontein…

And after lunch… maybe a little walk … or … lie down..

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To follow in part 2 of 4 … Easy Chocolate Fudge…

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Pesto chicken kebabs at Somerset Gift Farm Getaway….. part 1 of 3

Welcome to 2015 and the first of loads of new posts after my year of gathering new recipes and visiting beautiful places.

Let’s kick this year off with a 4 part post of Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… 16 km’s outside Swellendam on the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. We booked Fish Eagle Lodge, which comes with 3 large on-suite bedrooms, a lovely open plan living / dining area and a near wrap-around covered veranda with outside braai. The house looks onto the towering Langeberg Mountain range that looks so close, that it feels as if it flips over your head.

 

Late afternoon view from the "stoep"...

Late afternoon view from the “stoep”…

We usually arrive late afternoon just in time to see “the light”… for a couple of seconds before the sun sets, it flouds the little valley and then complete darkness sets in…

Fish Eagle Lodge at night....

Fish Eagle Lodge at night….

Over the next 3 posts I will post our lunch menu recipes… it was a big family morning prepping and having fun … with me and my mom cooking, the kids fishing buckets full of small fish in the pond in front of the house and Liezel creating the most amasing crochet blanket…. happiness  ….

 

Lunchtime...

Lunchtime…

For the Pesto Chicken Kebabs you will need:
RECIPE CARD > click on this link30. Pesto chicken thigh fillet sosaties……. RECIPE CARD
2 deboned thigh fillets (Elgin Free Range of course) per kebab (chicken breast fillets can also be used but the thigh fillets are more tender)
3 small rosa tomatoes per kebab
Basil pesto, enough to “wet” the chicken pieces
Kebab sticks
Salt and Pepper

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Cut each thigh fillet in 2 and marinade the cut chicken pieces for at least 2 hours in the Basil Pesto in a fridge.IMG_6431

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen...

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen…

Soak the skewers in water while the chicken marinades and skewer the kebabs alternating between the chicken pieces and rosa tomatoes. Jip this is a bit of a messy job so … deligate..

Braai the kebabs until “just” cooked and serve….

 
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LUNCH TIME !!

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Do remember to “braai” the kebab’s until JUST cooked, you want them deliciously tender..

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Serve with a slice of Spinach and Ricotta loaf (recipe following – part 2 of 4 ) and a Nectarine green salad with a yummy pear and rosemary dressing (part 3 of 4)….

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And then we go fishing…

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No 20. somerset

No 22. somerset

To follow… Part 2 of 4… Spinach and Ricotta loaf…

LIFE AT SOMERSET GIFT FARM GETAWAY…

Crushed pesto potatoes….. Let’s cook for 50 at a good friend’s 50’th….. part 6 of 9

Let me start by saying “I can have a whole plate full of this right now….” filled with luke warm crushed pesto potatoes, topped with crunchy macadamia nuts and shavings of parmesan, sorry but have to say it, with a sprinkle of coarse maldon salt… ok, lets get back to this recipe.

We needed a “starchy” veg to bulk up our lunch, and Evelyn suggested and made these ultra yummy luke warm crushed pesto potatoes for the party.

For the Crushed pesto potatoes you will need:
(can be made up to 2 hours before the time, but still needs to be luke warm)
1 kg small baby potatoes
60 g basil pesto, or more… (we used the small tub mediteranean pesto from spar)
1/2 cup roasted crushed macadamia nuts (or roasted pine kernels)
shavings of parmesan cheese
Olive oil (+/- 1/4 cup)
Maldon salt and black pepper
Basil leaves for decoration, not really needed

Boil the baby potatoes until soft, they need to be really soft….. drain the water and add the pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper to the warm potatoes. Cover with a lid and let it rest at room temperature until needed.

Just before serving, re-heat the potatoes, and slowly stir in all the ingredients that’s been resting on top of the potatoes…. they don’t need to be heated for long, you just want them semi warm, and some of the potatoes will “crush” and break up but that is what they need to do.

Serve on a flat platter, and top with shavings of parmesan and roasted (roast in a dry pan until light brown) macadamia nuts.

Double click on the RECIPE CARD LINK below to open a pdf format printable version of this recipe
Crushed pesto potatoes RECIPE CARD