As a mom, my first errand on weekends is usually preparing breakfast for the kids. I look forward to it because it's the only day where I can dedicate ample time for mommy duties. I have two different kinds of palate to please. One that's adventurous and another that belongs to the more challenging group of picky eaters. Hence, it's quite tough to come up with food varieties from time to time. Nonetheless, the challenge of preparing something in between is always a welcome dilemma.
This year, I'll be starting some food series for the blog and one of which is Weekend Breakfast. It'll basically chronicle all our weekend servings of good food at home. I just couldn't emphasize more on how important family meals are. With a big sigh, weekends are our only time to get the best shot of gathering our loved ones. That's why personally, these are really treasured days for me. So let me start this series with an Italian and French combo meal - Penne Alla Norma and Choco Banana Caramel Crepe.
Penne Alla Norma (Pasta Alla Norma is a a classic pasta recipe that originated in Sicily, Italy. It's named after an Opera - "Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini. It's usually made with tomatoes, fried eggplant, grated ricotta cheese, and basil). For this recipe, I used Penne Pasta and added it with mushrooms for additional flavor. I replaced the ricotta cheese with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
What you need:
1 cup pasta water reserve
1/2 cup olive oil
6 pcs large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 whole aubergine / eggplant, cut into squares
4 pcs swiss bworn mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
How to make:
1. Cook penne according to package directions. Do not overcook. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Fry the aubergines / eggplant until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Saute mushrooms in the same pan until tender. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, saute onion, garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add pasta water reserve and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 mins.
4. Add aubergines, mushrooms, basil and cooked penne. Toss well. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
Choco Banana Caramel Crepe (For the crepe, I tried Alton Brown's recipe but you can also use any basic crepe recipe that you may have)
What you need:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
extra butter, for coating the pan
banana, sliced horizontally
How to make:
1. Prepare the crepe a day in advance. Mix all ingredients in a blender for 10 seconds. Keep in the fridge for an hour or overnight for best results. It will allow the bubbles to subside to prevent the crepe from tearing easily.
2. Coat a non stick frying pan with some butter. Pour 1 ounce of prepared batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone.
3. Spread 1 tbsp of nutella on 1 piece of crepe. Layer with sliced bananas. Roll the crepe and drizzle with caramel syrup. Sprinkle with chocolate drops. Serve immediately.