An Italian treat

An Italian treat

Nothing beats fresh homemade pasta with spicy sauce made from scratch. Find out the best ways to treat your family during these cold nights tucked away at home.


• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, diced
• 1kg ripe tomatoes, diced, or canned diced tomatoes
• 2 chicken-style stock cubes or 1 tablespoon faux-chicken style stock powder (recipe below)
• 3 teaspoons fine salt
• 2 cups (500ml) water
• 500g penne pasta
• ½ cup (120g) double cream or plant-based butter
• ½ cup (125ml) vodka


1. First, heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.

2. Add tomatoes, stock cubes or stock powder, salt and water. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

3. Four or eight hours later, give everything a really good stir. Add pasta, pushing down with the back of a spatula if necessary, ensuring that pasta is fully submerged. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on high (this is one of those times you need to be exact with time or you'll overcook the pasta).

4. Add cream and vodka and give the pasta another really good stir. Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes on high.

5. Test pasta for doneness – it should be cooked al dente, but if not, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes on high.

Now all that is left to do is simply enjoy.

The Blue Mountains Phoenix credit this recipe to

Smokey Black eye pea and corn tacos

Smokey Black eye pea and corn tacos

It’s the Mexican treat to spice up your weekend, find the easy-to-follow recipe right here:


• 220g (1 cup) dried black-eye peas, soaked in water overnight, rinsed and drained
• 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
• 1 onion, coarsely grated
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 220g (1 cup) dried black-eye peas, soaked in water overnight, rinsed and drained
• 2-3 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, finely chopped 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 bunch coriander, roots and stems cleaned, finely chopped, leaves reserved
• 12 corn or mini flour tortillas
• 100g feta cheese, crumbled
• shredded red cabbage and lime wedges, to serve

Two simple Steps

1. Combine the peas, corn kernels, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chipotle, cumin, 250ml (1 cup) water and coriander roots and stems in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours until the peas are tender. Season to taste with salt.

2. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas according to packet instructions. Serve the beans with the tortillas, feta, coriander leaves, cabbage and lime wedges.

We would like to credit this recipe to

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