Tag Archives: food

Sausage Pasta Bake

Sausage Fest

So I’ve been living a bit outside my comfort zone where it comes to food in recent weeks. Last week I decided to do a pasta bake for the first time. Following on from the success of that one, I opted to do another last night.

The sausage pasta bake.

For the ingredients: 5 decent sausages ( mine were with onion to begin with ), 1 onion, 1 large carrot, 1 tin of tomatoes, 1 stock cube, 200grammes of spinnach, pasta and 1 glass of wine (and 1 for yourself). Cheese (emmental) grated . For the white sauce 30g of butter, 300ml of milk and 50g of flour. All ingredients are approximate.

Chop your onion rather fine and get it browning nicely on the pan. Take the sausage meat out of the skin of the sausages. You could just buy sausage meat as well from your local butcher if you want I guess. There’s generally a pack of sausages in the fridge here though so you make do.

Chop up the sausage meat into small thumb size or smaller pieces and get it browning on the pan as well.

Around about now throw some spinach into a boil to cook. I will nearly always use frozen as it’s one of the things we’ll always have in our freezer.

Get your penne pasta on ( The tube ones )

Go back to your onion / sausage mix and grate a carrot into it. Add the stock cube and mix in some water and throw in your tomatoes. Add in a glass of wine if you have one handy. Let it bubble away for a bit and season. I mixed in some parsley and a herb de province mix.

Now you’ll want to start on your white sauce. Quantities are really going to vary and I tend to wing it by ear these days. 300ml of milk give or take … a lump of butter …and get that almost bubbling away … throw in some flour, whisk to remove and lumps and start to thicken it up slightly.

Once your spinach and your pasta are cooked … drain and mix together. Place half the mixture into an oven dish. Layer in your tomato sauce and flatten it out. Sprinkle in some grated cheese of your choice. My choice is¬†emmental.¬† I proceeded to mix the remaining pasta / spinach mix and the white sauce and layer this in on top. Did I mention you’ll probably want a deep enough oven dish.

Finally sprinkle some more cheese on top. It’s around this stage that I thought to myself, hang on this is almost a lasagne. Place in the oven for 20 or so minutes at 200C until it looks golden brown on top. Take it out and leave for 5 minutes to cook down a bit before eating. Serve.

Hopefully you’ll have the same reaction as there was in our house, with little people saying “C’est tres bon papa!” and second and third helpings being asked for.

Lack of photos due to the camera batteries dying!

Pumpkin seeds in a dish

Pumpkin Seeds you Say …

It was a few weeks ago (though quite possibly a month or two at this rate as the weeks are flying by) that Jenny from I code and I cook mentioned roasting pumpkin seeds. I immediately went WHAT! started doing a quick search online and yes it’s obvious. Roast the pumpkin seeds and eat them. They are the bits of the pumpkin I’m always scooping out and throwing into the bin and thinking to myself what a waste, what a waste.

So I’ve not seen that many Butternut Squashes recently and it has been a surprisingly warm winter so we’ve not been over doing the stews too much but I did throw a Pumpkin and Kale pot on tonight and thought to myself why the hell not. I did a search for a recipe / how to and found http://ohsheglows.com/2012/09/17/how-to-roast-perfect-pumpkin-seeds-easy-crunchy-addictive/. Perfect, To Work!

OK cleaning up the pumpkin seeds is hell, it’s time consuming picking out all the little bits of pumpkin ( I’m assuming we don’t want any innards on the seeds as it’ll burn in the oven.

Pumpkins in a colendar

Washing / cleaning the pumpkin seeds takes time.Pumpkins in Boiling Water

Once they are clean boil in some salted water for 10 minutes give or take.Grind up some salt

You’ll want some fine salt to sprinkle over them in the oven.Dry the seeds

Once they’ve been boiling for 10 minutes dry them off with some kitchen towel.

Meanwhile check on your Kale and Pumpkin Stew / Add the Kale

Mean while check on your pumpkin / kale / sausage fest :)

Pumpkin seeeds baking on a tray

Put the dried seeds onto a tray and lightly drizzle some olive oil on and sprinkle some salt. (I’m guessing I used a bit too much of both so will be reducing next time) 10 minutes at 160C give or take and check on them after that and keep on trying one every minute or two after this.Pumpkin seeds in a dish

Hey presto when it’s right it’s right. I had to dry off a bit of oil from them but they are VERY tasty and most definitely going to be a new favourite whenever we’re having pumpkins.Pumpkin Seeds the end product


Baking with Val

10 years and 1 day…

8 years and one day after meeting Val, Charlotte was born. Longest pregnancy or what? :)

Joking aside Charlotte just turned 2 today. It’s the winter solstice and also her birthday so thinking about it one way the world just gets brighter when Charlotte has her Birthday :)

Start the day with pancakes you say? :)

Start your day with Pancakes

It has been a kinda lazy day of presents / nice food and of course we played with some lego. Is she addicted to lego? no but she does like helping me out and playing with the pieces in her own way. She was driving the little truck around after it was finished as well.

Christmas Lego Time with Charlotte

She got to bake cookies with Val.

Baking with Val


I ended up cooking her my favourite dinner ever. Chicken nuggets curry and rice all home made. I grew up having this meal every Saturday for as long as I can remember. I loved Saturdays and who knows maybe it’ll become a bit of a tradition now. We don’t have a deep fat fryer so they were done in oil and a bit of butter, while not quite the same as a deep fat fryer it was still really lovely and a complete blast from the past. I’ve probably not done that since well before my mother passed away.

Home made Chicken Nuggets

Of course the main dish doesn’t look that amazing but trust me when I tell you it was out of this world. A blended curry really has a totally different flavour to a normal chunky curry.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Curry And Rice

Little people are now asleep and it’s time to relax with a movie and a beer …

Relax With A Beer


2 Potes Au Feu Logo

2 Potes au Feu Nantes

2 Potes Au Feu Logo

I have to admit that I’m constantly blown away by the food at this restaurant. It’s the closest decent restaurant to my place at just 1 tram stop away so it’s well worth it.

2 Potes au Feu Restaurant Nantes

It has some very stylish deco which while I’m not a huge fan of it, it really does work for the place.

2 Potes au Feu Menu du Jour

You can see the pricing above for the Plat du Jour … very reasonable for the food and quality they offer.

Knife and Fork

They keep it consistent and take care of the little details as well

Leffe de Noel

It being christmas at the moment they’ve got some nice Leffe de Noel on tap. They generally have two menus the above which is the Menu du Jour and is great value for the quality of the food or their normal menu which works out at around 18.90 for a starter / main or main / dessert. I’m not a huge dessert person so I always opt for the starter / main. The Menu Du Jour menu works out at I think 12.90 for a starter / main or main / dessert and maybe 15.90 or thereabouts for all three.


For the starter I opted for a marscapone with beetroot something or other … so weird so rich so tasty … the only thing I’d have loved on it would have been a few walnuts!z2Starter2 z2Starter3

For my main I opted for the house burger and dear god is it nice. I’m just always confused as to how one is meant to eat it. Burgers for me are things you pick up with your hands and munch into but it’s HUGE so it might get messy!

Burger you say

The house fries end up looking very greasy and they are to a certain extent but it really works for them.z2Burger

Perfect portions / Perfect food. I’ve yet to have a bad experience there.

If I had one complaint it’d be that the service can take a while, especially when you’re ducking out on your lunch break and have to take a tram there and back. Will it stop me from going there? Not on your life.

Did I mention how nice it is for the owner to come over and shake your hands when you get there and ask how you’re doing?

Want to know more? Go eat there or check out their website. I should add it’s not anywhere near the city centre. You’d need to take a tram from Commerce 10 stops which would take about 10 – 15 minutes. You’d then need to walk for about 5 minutes from the tram stop. I’d highly recommend it though.

What do other people think of it?

Well I know my wife loves it as well so apart from that I can’t vouch for other people.