Penne Rosse

Ingredients (for 4 people)

500G Dry penne pasta
400G Beetroot (chopped)
75G Mozzarella
50G Spring onions (white parts only)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt/Pepper
2G Fresh Oregano
80G Salami Milano (thinly sliced strips)

Method

In a pot bring to the boil 1.5 ltr of water, add a pinch of salt and then add the pasta until it is al dente (firm on the bite), drain it and set aside. In a bowl combine the beetroots, cubed mozzarella, spring onions, oregano, salami and a little extra virgin olive oil and mix, add the warm pasta and serve at once!

Ham in Coca Cola

Ingredients

Ham
2kg mild-cure gammon
1 onion peeled and cut in half
2 litre-bottle coke
The glaze
Handful cloves
1 heaped tbsp black treacle
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Serves 8

Directions

1. If you know that you’re dealing with a salty piece, then put it in a pan covered with cold water, bring to the boil then tip into a sieve and start from here. Otherwise, put it in a pan, skin side down if you can, add onion then pour on the Coke. Bring to boil, then simmer and put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for slightly less than 2 1/2 hours. If your joint is larger or smaller work out timing by reckoning on an hour a kilo altogether, remembering that it’s going to get a quick blast in the oven later. If the gammon’s been in the fridge right up to the moment you cook it, you will have to give a good 15 or so minutes’ extra so that the interior is properly cooked. Near the end, preheat your oven to 240C.

2. When the ham’s had its time take it out of the pan but DO NOT THROW AWAY THE COOKING LIQUID (great stock for soups or gravy) and let cool a little for ease of handling. (Indeed you can let it cool completely then finish off the cooking at some later stage if you want).

3. Then remove skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes, and stud each diamond with a clove. Then carefully spread the treacle over the bark-budded skin taking care not to dislodge the cloves. Then gently pat the mustard and sugar onto the sticky fat. Cook, in a foil lined roasting tin for approximately 10 minutes or till the glaze is burnished and bubbly.

4. Should you want to do the braising stage in advance and then let the ham cool, clove and glaze it and give it 30-40 minutes, from room temperature, at 180C/gas mark 4, turning up the heat towards the end if you think it needs it.

Spiced vegetable curry

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 125g fine green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 175g baby corn, halved lengthways
  • 1/2 small cauliflower (about 375g), broken into small florets
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 410g can green lentils, drained

The Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Stir in the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.

2. Add the coconut milk, stock, beans, potato, corn and cauliflower. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

3. Season to taste, then stir in the ground almonds and lentils. Simmer for a few minutes more until warmed through. Serve with plain boiled rice

Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake

Ingredients
  • 2kg  cherry tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, rosemary and bay (each)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • Good-quality Cumberland or coarse Italian pork sausage (12)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

The method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put in all your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages in a roasting tray. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together, then make sure the sausages are on top and pop the tray into the oven for half an hour. After this time, give it a shake and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how golden and sticky you like your sausages.

2. The result should be an intense, tomatoey sauce. If you find it too thin, lift out the sausages and place the tray on the hob to cook it down to your liking – then put the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve either with a good-quality loaf of bread, warmed through in a low oven for 10 minutes (great for mopping up the sauce!), or with mashed potato, rice or polenta, a green salad and a nice glass of wine.

Chilli-Con-Carne in a rush

A great quick Chilli recipe – if you have time, use the Chilli Deluxe recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes. If you can throw in some whole tomatoes that have ben roughly chopped it will improve the texture.
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½-1 tsp hot chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 rounded tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300ml/1 pint beef or chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper to season
  • roughly chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
  • soured cream or crème fraîche, to serve
  • Tortillas chips

Method:

This doesn’t really need instructions – just chuck in the onion & garlic, brown the mince and bung everything else in, and spice to taste. Job done 🙂