{The Nest Cooks} 12 minute pantry mystery dinner

I hate those days when you have no idea what to cook for dinner and are left scouring the pantry for ingredients that kinda/maybe/probably go together.

Here is our latest creation:

12 minute pantry mystery dinner


Things you will need:

  • Chicken (about 500 grams)
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped
  • 1 capsicum (red or green) sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbs vegie stock paste (from Thermomix) – optional
  • Basil/Oregano/Parsley – doesn’t really matter just something to add some flavour!
  • Pasta of choice (we mixed spaghetti and fettuccine because we didn’t have enough of either one!)
  • Olive oil


  1. Cook the onion in a pan until it becomes translucent
  2. Add garlic and your cubed chicken and cook until golden
  3. Add capsicum and canned tomatoes and stock paste and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta according to packet instructions
  5. Serve pasta with chicken mix on top.

*You could add olives/sundried tomatoes/bacon or anything you have in the cupboard or fridge. This is essentially our ‘use the leftovers’ dish.

A bit plus of this dish is that the little birdies LOVE IT!

What’s your family’s go-to?


{Locally Found} Little Italy is cooking up a storm in Bathurst

We have stumbled across the finest taste of Italy this side of the mountains. Little Italy in Bathurst was created by Pina Verzino last March for fun. She offers cooking lessons that are given in a very friendly and fun way.

tavola italy

Pina, a wife and mother to two growing boys moved to Australia with her family and saw the opportunity to start her very own business offering her Italian to the people.

What’s not to love about traditional Italian food in little ol’ Bathurst New South Wales?


Little Italy in Bathurst offers cooking lessons of one hour, once a week. Each class includes one recipe, instructions and all the ingredients needed. Plus, at the end you get to taste the finished product!

What an excellent reason to grab a girlfriend, book in to learn some new skills, meet a lovely lady and to fill up your tummy.

For more information you can contact Pina on her facebook page -> Little Italy Bathurst NSW

Handmade pasta with pesto alla genovese

Masterchef silk handkerchief pasta with pesto alla Genovese

This recipe is simply delicious and quite easy. It was our first experience at making pasta from scratch and we succeeded (much to our amusement). The only thing we changed was the amount of salt we added, I would recommend adding about half the amount. Definitely recommend this recipe.

masterchef pasta

Cooking time: 30 min
Serves: 4


  • 200g”00″ flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2eggs
  • 40g coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tbsolive oil
  • 1 large bunch small-leaved basil, leaves picked, plus extra for garnish
  • 10g coarse sea salt
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 80g pecorino or parmesan, finely grated
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 Tbsgreek or natural yoghurt


  1. For the pasta, place flour in a bowl or on a work surface, and make a well in the centre. Add eggs and start to combine with a fork to a rough paste. Dusting with flour, knead dough until smooth but not sticky.
  2. Divide dough into quarters. Set a pasta machine to the widest setting and lightly dust pasta dough and rollers with flour. Dusting with flour throughout, feed dough through the machine, folding the pasta in half before feeding it through until you have a well-combined and strong sheet. Gradually narrow settings until the dough is about 1mm-thick. Tear sheets of pasta into 15cm pieces, and dust with flour to prevent them from sticking together.
  3. For the pesto, pound basil and salt in a mortar and pestle until the leaves have broken down. Add pine nuts and garlic and pound to a fine pulp, then stir in pecorino. Gradually add oil and continue pounding until the mixture is smooth, then add yoghurt and stir to combine.
  4. To cook the pasta, bring 4L of water to the boil. Add salt and oil. One by one, add pasta sheets to pan, cook for about 1 minute or until al dente.
  5. Gently heat pesto and add 1/3 cup boiling pasta water in a frying pan over low heat. Remove pasta sheets from the water using a slotted spoon and transfer to the pesto sauce, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with basil leaves to serve.


Full credit to Antonio Carluccio (Masterchef) for this recipe.