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Chinese food for dinner?

I love Chinese food! I love all the stir-fry dishes, I love the vegetable crepes that they serve as appetizer, I love the noodles, I love the chicken with almonds and those dishes that come in that hot plate!
Apart from a few specific ingredients (fish sauce and soy sauce) all the other ingredients in this recipe are used in countless recipes from other cuisines. The big difference is in how they are prepared.
If you don’t have a wok, you should think about buying one, because it’s a very practical tool, not only to prepare Chinese food.

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As a teenager, the first Chinese restaurants have opened here in Aveiro, so every friend’s birthday dinner, 99% of the time  was Chinese. It was a new thing … fortunately things have changed since then and now we find many more varieties of restaurants. Even so, I still love going to the Chinese, although I think that the menu was too adapted to western tastes, and any Chinese restaurant has pretty much the same dishes (at least here in Aveiro).

SERVES: 4
TIME: 50 min

INGREDIENTS:
garlic shrimp:
400g shrimp
2 tbsp vegetable oil
half chilli
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
salt

fried rice:
1 cup rice (I used steamed)
1/2 cup of frozen peas
2 slices of ham
1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil

vegetables with sweet and sour sauce:
half courgete
1 onion
1 carrot
half a package of white mushrooms
1 pepper (I used orange, but can use other)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp White sugar
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp soy sauce

shrimp with garlic:
Remove the heads and shells of the prawns and set aside. Chop the garlic cloves and also set aside.
Heat the wok (or skillet) and add the oil. Add the prawns, garlic and chopped chilli and stir the prawns until they’re fully opaque with an orange color. Remove, season with fish sauce and lime juice, stir and it’s ready to serve.

fried rice:
In a pot add water and salt. When it starts boiling, add the rice and peas and cook until the rice is almost cooked, but still a little raw. Drain the water and set aside.
Heat a wok, add the oil and the egg. Stir the egg. Add the ham and rice. Stir and add the soy sauce. Remove from heat and it’s ready to serve.

vegetables in sweet and sour sauce:
In a bowl place the cornstarch and dissolve it with vinegar. Stir in the ketchup, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reserve.
Peel the onions and cut them into wedges.
Clean the seeds of the pepper and cut it into squares.
Wipe the mushrooms with a wet paper towel and cut them into four wedges.
Also cut the courgette and the carrot into pieces.
You should have all the vegetables ready when placing the wok or skillet to heat.
Heat the wok, put oil and add the onion and carrot. Let them sauté for 30 sec.
Add the pepper and let it sauté another 30 sec.
Now add the mushrooms and zucchini. Stir and sauté for 1 min. Add the previously prepared sauce, let it simmer a few seconds and add the water.
Stir, correct the salt if necessary (adding more soy sauce), and let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency. Remove and serve.

Linguini with Roasted Butternut Squash and Ricotta Sauce

And here’s something I don’t usually make here at home … I don’t know why! Pasta is my favorite food, but I think it’s because of the convenience of dry pasta I use it more often. I think  fresh pasta has a different texture and taste and is much more versatile.

When I made this recipe, I wanted to dedicate more time to the pasta itself, and make a simple sauce. The sauce come out delicious, and even got my husband thinking it had meat, when in reality it was 100% made of vegetables and cheese.

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Fresh pasta is not hard to make, it’ll need some affection and undoubtedly becomes easier with experience. The ratio is always similar: 100g of flour per 1 egg. There are richer versions that are made with more egg yolks but I usually use the traditional version. The key is to knead the dough just enough to activate the gluten, and then let it stand for some time.
Do you need a machine to extend the mass? Of course not. They’re not expensive, but you can seamlessly use a roll dough to get the same result.
After getting some confidence remains appealing to creativity and start introducing new ingredients into the pasta: vegetables, herbs or spices.
You can replace the fresh pasta with dry one, on this recipe.

SERVES: 4
TIME: 60 min

INGREDIENTS:

for the pasta:
200g Flour
2 whole eggs

for the sauce:
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
1 Bunch of Thyme
1 tbs of Olive Oil
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
Half pumpkin (I used butternut squash)
1 Chilli
125g Ricotta Cheese

parmesan
Leaves of basil

Start by making the pasta.
Weigh the flour and put it in a pile on a suitable surface for kneading: stone or wood preferably.
Make a well in the center and place the eggs in this hole. With the aid of a fork, and circular movements, start incorporating the egg and flour. When you get a texture of wet sand, begin kneading by hand.
Knead until the dough begins to feel that’s acquiring some elasticity. Form a ball and wrap it in cling film. Let it stand in he refrigerator at least 1 hour.
After this time period, extend the mass, just enough to fit in the machine
Pass it on slit 1 until nicely uniform and soft.
Then move to the slit 4. Cut it with the help of the accessory.

For the sauce, nothing could be simpler.
Preheat oven to 180 °C.
Peel the onion, garlic and pumpkin. Clean the red pepper. Cut the vegetables into small pieces and place on a baking sheet.
Drizzle them with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the thyme leaves.
Add the chopped chilli.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
Place the contents of the baking sheet into a food processor, add the ricotta cheese and mash. I like to leave some texture, but you can grind the sauce completely.
Rectify seasoning if necessary.

Cook thepasta on boiling water for 2 minutes, drain it and wrap it in the sauce.
Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves and serve immediately.