Some years ago we were spending Christmas at a holiday house on the NSW south coast and our son decided to bring his girlfriend.  That was no problem until it came to cooking Christmas lunch – she was a vegetarian……….  Vegetarian Christmas recipes were few and far between in those days and I ended up serving her a stuffed eggplant.  I just wish I’d found this recipe as it’s much more colorful and I suspect she would have enjoyed it more.  Especially as the power went out due to a bushfire in the area and we ended up cooking the entire meal on the bbq – it was a very Australian Christmas.


This is another of my minestrone soup recipes.  It differs from the other one in just a few small ways.  It has potato, cabbage and Haricot beans and also less pasta, but the same rule applies about making it up to the marked area before adding the pasta. Either version works really well.



I’m deviating from Mum’s recipes this week because I made a pot of this minestrone soup for my family last Sunday and everyone said I should add the recipe to the collection.  I always make it the day before up to the marked area, then reheat it the next day and add the pasta.  If you add the pasta too early it can get a bit gluggy.


This is a nice meaty pasta bake with carrot, celery and mushrooms cunningly hidden to fool those picky eaters.  I like that you can make it and freeze it as it’s always great to have something in the freezer for those busy or lazy nights when you just don’t have time or feel like cooking.

Beef & Pasta Bake


Meatballs must have been one of Mum’s favourite meals as I’ve found lots of recipes for them in her collection.  This one must have been a later one as it uses a bottle of pasta sauce and fettucine, ingredients that weren’t around when she was cooking for us as children.

Pork Meatballs


I was really surprised to find this recipe in the collection.  For many years Mum made a sausage dish that consisted of beef sausages, bacon, onion, corn, tomatoes and noodles.  Although it was quite simple it was always a great hit and I’ve made in many times myself.  This printed recipe is a bit fancier with chicken sausage, salami and garlic, but it’s basically the same idea.  Either version is worth trying out.

Sausage Pasta



Mum used whatever pieces of paper came to hand to write down recipes. This piece had someone’s address on it, but there was still lots of blank space to add a recipe!!

Chicken & Tortellini Salad cropped


  • 300g tri coloured tortellini
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 4 single chicken fillets
  • ½ bunch English spinach shredded
  • 1 large ripe tomato finely chopped
  • Lemon rind to garnish


  • 2 teaspoons French mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup light olive oil

Add pasta to a large pan of boiling water. Boil uncovered till tender. Drain. Rinse pasta under cold water, drain well. Meanwhile, heat oil in non stick pan, add fillets, cook 5 mins on each side or until cooked. Cut diagonally into 2 cm strips. Make dressing – combine all ingredients in jar, shake well. Combine, pasta, fillets, spinach and tomato in large bowl, add dressing toss well. Garnish with lemon rind.