Fresh Parpadelle with Mushroom and Thyme Sauce

I read a book the other day, the author made a comment about completing tasks, and how the results are always better when you give the task love and attention.  She used food as an example, saying that every time she cooked a meal she wasn't excited about it didn't taste very nice.  I thought about that, about some meals I have cooked for my family where I knew even before I put it into my mouth that I was not going to like it. These meals all had something in common, I wasn't in love with what I was cooking, I didn't give it any attention and just slopped whatever I had available into a pan and didn't care about it.

There are other nights, where I may be cooking something as simple as spag bol. But with a bit of care,and love. That spag bol can sometimes taste better than a four course meal at a restaurant. It is so cliche and something that must be heard regularly on food blogs around the world but when cooked with love, food can be outstanding.

I started maternity leave recently, and before our little Miss Mila arrived I had alot of time on my hands so whipped out the pasta machine and got cracking on making some simple parpadelle. Using a recipe from The Great New Zealand Cookbook and adapting it slightly. It was simple, delicious and made with love. The pasta was silky and complimented the woody mushrooms and fresh thyme, with a zest of lemon it would have been delicious on it own. To please the caveman in our household, I added a grilled chicken thigh fillet, seasoned with salt.

Simple, delicious and made with love, these are the meals that we should strive everyday to cook our family.


One portion of fresh Pasta 
300g Portobello Mushrooms
50g butter
zest of half a lemon
6 sprigs of thyme
Chicken thigh fillet per person if you do not want vegetarian


  1. Roll out your pasta sheets and cut into strips about 1-2cms wide. 
  2. Flour and set aside.
  3. Boil a large pot of salted water.
  4. If adding chicken, season thigh fillets and heat frypan to a high heat, brown both sides of chicken and turn down the temp, to medium and cook chicken through.
  5. Heat a large saucepan, and add butter. 
  6. Once melted and bubbling add mushrooms, zest and thyme, and then season to taste. 
  7. Cook pasta for 2 mins until aldente.
  8. Toss through the sauce.


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