Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe and Italian-Australian History of Spag Bol According to Matt Preston

What to Cook This Weekend from Cape Malay Curry and Cambodian Congee to Chicken Stroganoff 

What to Cook this Weekend is a new-ish weekly series that we’ll publish with suggestions for often easy but mostly memorable weekend meals from our recipe archives. Meal ideas might include dishes we’re making at home that we think you’ll like, feasts to cook for holidays, along with the occasional recipe we’re testing that you might like to try.

Our new What to Cook this Weekend series came about because our other new recipe series What to Cook this Week, which we launched a few Sundays ago, has been so well-received by readers – thank you – so we decided to try a weekend edition, hence What to Cook this Weekend. As both have proved popular, we’re going to continue them, so look out for What to Cook this Week on Sunday night.

Each week What to Cook this Weekend will comprise a round-up of meal suggestions for this weekend from the Grantourismo recipe archives – which are heaving with hundreds of recipes for dishes from around the world, beginning with decade-plus-old recipes from our first recipes series The Dish.

We launched The Dish on recipes for the quintessential dishes of places we travelled to when we launched Grantourismo and our 12 month global grand tour back on New Year’s Day 2010. Many of our most popular recipes on the site come from that series.

Readers who’ve been with us from the start might recall our Moroccan Moroccan lamb tajine with prunes and almonds which we learnt to cook in our Marrakech riad and shot in Essaouira; the classic Toulouse cassoulet that Terence prepared for our new French friends in Ceret; and the côte de bœuf recipe courtesy of French chef Pierre Gagnaire Pierre Gagnaire which we made in our Montmartre flat in Paris.

Suggestions for recipes you could make might include meals to cook for holidays, dishes that we’re cooking in our kitchen that we think you might also like, and meals based on seasonal ingredients. As with our What to Cook this Week series, we’d also like to use What to Cook this Weekend to occasionally share recipes we’re developing for our cookbooks that we’d love you to try out and share feedback.

Before I share our suggestions for what to cook this weekend, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo and what we do here by buying us a coffee (we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing) or making a donation to our epic, original Cambodian cookbook and culinary history on Patreon. You can also shop our Grantourismo store for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s photography.

Another way to support the site is by using our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide, or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We might earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.

Now let’s share some ideas as to what to cook this weekend.

What to Cook This Weekend from Cape Malay Curry and Cambodian Congee to Chicken Stroganoff

Friday Night Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognaise Recipe

While I adore Terence’s authentic ragù alla Bolognese with tagliatelle from Bologna in Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy – and I love his lasagne alla Bolognese, which we usually make the next day. even more – I’m going to make Matt Preston’s spaghetti bolognaise recipe, which we just published. The recipe, along with its fascinating Italian-Australian history, comes courtesy of the food writer, from his recently-released World of Flavour, The Recipes, Myths and Surprising Stories Behind the World’s Best-Loved Food. The book is a cookbook as much as a myth-busting culinary history that sets the record straight: ‘spag bol’ is an Italian-Australian dish or maybe Italian-British. Regardless, it’s a dish of the Italian diaspora. This recipe makes the kind of spaghetti Bolognese our mums in Australia made when we were kids.

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe and the Italian-Australian History of ‘Spag Bol’ According to Matt Preston

Saturday Breakfast – Breakfast Salad Recipe

For a healthy start to the weekend, you could make our breakfast salad recipe, which is this week’s Weekend Eggs recipe. Start with Terence’s guide to how to boil eggs perfectly, and if you don’t have any pickles in the fridge, one of our favourite weekend cooking projects is to do some quick-pickling. We have recipes for Mexican escabeche (pickled vegetables), pickled jalapeños, pickled onions, and pickled red cabbage, which will brighten any dish. They’re all recipes for refrigerator pickles so they’re quick and easy. If you make those on Saturday, then perhaps push this recipe to Sunday and if the Mexican pickles have got you in the mood for huevos rancheros or huevos con chorizo, browse our Mexican breakfast recipes collection for ideas, or make our breakfast nachos recipe. Not Mexican, more Mexican-American or Tex-Mex but incredibly delicious and fun all the same.

Best Breakfast Salad Recipe with Soft Boiled Eggs, Bacon, Avocado, Sautéed Mushrooms, and Pickles

Saturday Lunch – Cambodian Num Pang Recipe

I’m making Cambodian num pang, cousin to Vietnam’s bánh mì, with French-style baguettes from the bakery next door for Saturday lunch. If you live outside Southeast Asia, you can’t go wrong with this num pang recipe I cheekily call num pang barang – ‘barang’ means ‘foreigner’ in Khmer. Created years ago to use leftover Christmas turkey, you could fill your baguettes with chicken or cold cuts instead. Our American readers might like to keep this in mind post-Thanksgiving for turkey leftovers. Instead, if you made our meatball num pang with juicy pork balls last week, this week try our num pang pâté, spread generously with rustic French country-style pâté, fresh aromatic herbs such as coriander, basil and mint, and creamy our mayonnaise. It is very Cambodian. Terence’s homemade Sriracha sauce and sweet chilli sauce work on num pang. I’m making Cambodian coffee with condensed milk, too. No recipe on the site yet, but you can make Vietnamese coffee instead. They’re practically the same. And there, in one sentence, I’ve probably started a drink food war.

Num Pang Pâté Recipe – How to Make the Cambodian Version of Vietnamese Bánh Mì

Saturday Dinner – Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe

Friday nights are typically #currynight but I’m up for pasta instead so for Saturday night I’m going to cook this wonderful rich Cape Malay chicken curry recipe from Cape Town, South Africa. We’ll keep things simple for dinner on Saturday and do an aromatic Cape Malay yellow rice, some vegetable sambals, and perhaps some flaky roti (recipe coming).

Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe for a Richly Spiced Curry from Cape Town, South Africa

Sunday Breakfast – Cambodian Chicken Congee Recipe

If you enjoyed Australian chef Christine Manfield’s recipe for pork and crab congee with XO sauce, which we shared in last week’s What to Cook this Weekend compilation, then for breakfast on Sunday morning why not try this Cambodian chicken rice porridge or Cambodian chicken congee? It may not be as luxurious, but it is just as comforting. We also have a vegetarian congee which is very versatile and can really be made with any vegetables. Or if you’ve had enough Asian food this weekend – variety is the spice of life, right? – then how about my over-the-top bacon and eggs breakfast congee? Or if you’ve had enough rice for one weekend, you could make my Russian buckwheat porridge if you didn’t make that last week? You’ll need to soak the buckwheat the night before.

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge Recipe for Borbor Sach Moan, Cambodia’s Congee

Sunday Lunch – Yum Chee Salad Recipe

So what to cook this Sunday for lunch… well, I’m planning on cooking up a storm on Sunday evening, and Sunday breakfast was big, so we’re going to keep things simple and make something fresh and light and easy for Sunday lunch. I’m thinking I’ll make this ‘yum chee’ aromatic herb salad by chef Chalee Kader of 100 Mahaseth, one of our favourite Bangkok restaurants, which I’m itching to get back to. If that’s not filling enough for you, do peruse our collection of salad recipes.

Fresh Herb Salad Recipe for Yum Chee from 100 Mahaseth Restaurant Bangkok

Sunday Dinner – Chicken Stroganoff Recipe

And what to cook this Sunday night? I love making my Russian family recipes for dinner on Sunday as I channel my family while I cook and recall Sunday dinners when the family gathered around my grandparents’ dining table. My dearly-missed dad, uncle, and baba and papa left us long ago, but I find cooking Russian food and the act of remembering enables me to spend precious time with them, even if it’s only in my memory and imagination. I suggested you cook my Russian beef Stroganoff recipe earlier this month, so will you join me in making my equally rich and spicy chicken Stroganoff this Sunday – or creamy mushroom Stroganoff? This classic garden salad is a great companion, especially if you’re in the southern hemisphere and it’s starting to get warm. As are our Russian dill pickles, if you made some last week. (The small jar of sliced pickles should be tangy enough for you.) If you’re cooking for family, you could start with my baboushka’s borscht and do some traditional cabbage rolls. For dessert, we have pancake recipes.

Chicken Stroganoff Recipe for a Rich, Spicy, Tangy Old Shanghai Style Stroganoff

Please do let us know if you’ve made any of our What to Cook this Weekend recipes in the comments below as we’d love to get your feedback and hear how our recipes turned out for you.


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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