Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

A Roman classic. The kids approved, we’ll cook it again

  • 350g Spaghetti or Bucatini
  • 800g San Marzano tomatoes (2 tins), put in bowl and break down with hand
  • 400g Pancetta
  • 1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh red chilli
  • Olive Oil
  • 50ml of white wine
  • 200g Pecorino Romano, fined grated
  • Basil leaves, chopped, torn or chiffonade

Cook pasta to more than al dente in salted boiling water. Reserve some pasta water.

While pasta is cooking, in a saute pain, fry the pancetta in some olive oil in a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to brown and a fond forms in pan. Add the chilli and cook for a minute. Add some white wine and deglaze. Then add the tomatoes and stir in. Slowly add half the Pecorino stirring well, avoiding clumping. Add basil. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkle with Pecorino.

Lemon Pasta

The kids weren’t convinced saying ‘save the lemons for the lemon drizzle cake’. That is until they tasted it. It is delicious.

  • 1 lemon
  • 340g spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 350ml heavy cream
  • 135g Butter, cold and cut in cubes
  • 120g finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place pasta in boing salted water and cook until very al dente. The pasta will finish cooking in the butter cream emulsion. Reserve some pasta water.

Use a peeler or sharp knife to remove a 3 cm long piece of lemon peel. On a board, and using a sharp knife, trim of the pith and them cut the peel into thin julienne. Remove the remaining zest from the lemon with a micro plane. Juice the lemon and reserve.

Place the zest and the cream in a pan and bring to simmer. Add cold butter, one or two chunks at a time and stir in quickly to get a good emulsion.

Add the pasta to the cream and stir. Add a ladle of the pasta water and stir. Add the parmesan and stir in. Add the lemon juice. Season with some salt to balance out the fat and lemon flavours.

Serve in hot bowls and garnish with lemon juliennes and black pepper.

Crispy Chilli Beef

Not a Chinese original, more a product of the takeaway I believe! Tasty though, and a family pleaser.

  • 600g Striploin Steak, cut into thin strips
  • 500g cornflour seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, fine chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, fine chopped
  • 6 fresh bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and cut in rings
  • 1 large handful of coriander, rough chopped
  • 8 green onions, white part cut in 2cm pieces, green part 1cm chopped
  • vegetable oil

The Marinade

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp large pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 egg

The Sauce

  • 1⁄2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons Chinkiang black rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Cut beef into thin strips and place in marinade for 1 hour. Meanwhile heat the oil in a wok to 180 degrees C. Place cornflour on a tray and coat beef completely removing excess and place on plate. Deep fry beef in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to kitchen paper. Remove oil, clean wok, reheat with a small amount of oil. Fry the garlic, ginger, chilli, white part of green onion for 1 minute. Add sauce and let thicken. Add the beef back to wok and toss to coat all the beef. Garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice.

Beef, Ginger, Green Onion in Oyster Sauce

  • 4cm Ginger, peel and cut into thin slices
  • 8 pieces Green Onions, cut white part into 2-inch length and green into 4 inch length
  • 750g Filet Beef, Cut across the grain into thin slices

Beef Marinate

  • 1 tsp Dark Soy
  • 1 tsp Veg Oil
  • ½  tsp Salt
  • ½  tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing Wine
  • Mix and set aside


  • 2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Soy
  • 2 Tbsp Stock
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cornflour
  • Mix and set aside
  • Jasmine Rice

Marinade the beef for one hour.

Stir fry ginger and white part of green onion in a little oil in a wok for 1 min. Add 1 Tbsp of Shaoxing wine around edge of wok and stir in. Add the beef and stir fry for 30 secs. Add sauce and stir in and let thicken a little. Add green part of green onion and stir in. Drizzle in a little sesame oil. Transfer to hot serving dish. Serve with some sticky Jasmine rice

Chicken Parmigiana

Another favourite of the family

  • 6 Chicken Fillet
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Panko Breadcrumb
  • Plain Flour
  • Egg wash
  • Tomato Pomodoro, see recipe here
  • Buffalo Mozzarella, buy the best one you can

Using a very sharp knife, cut the chicken filet in half, opening it like a book, season with salt and pepper. Take each piece in a Ziploc bag and hammer out to 1 cm thickness. Dredge in flour, shack off excess, dip in egg wash and cover in breadcrumb. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook each side of chicken for 3 mins until golden. Clean out pan and cook each batch of chicken in clean hot oil.

Spoon some pomodoro onto the chicken and then place some mozzarella on top. Assemble fillets on a grate and place under grill, melting the cheese.

Serve with some pasta pomodoro and plenty of parmesan.

Pasta Pomodoro

  • Olive Oil
  • Tomato Puree
  • Anchovy
  • Onion, fine chopped
  • Mixed herbs
  • Garlic, fine chopped
  • Chilli flakes
  • Tinned tomatoes, blitzed
  • Basil, some whole, and some cut into chiffonades.
  • Pappardelle, spaghetti, penne or rigatoni

Sauté onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil. Add the anchovy and let it melt in. Add chilli flakes and mixed herb, cook a little. Add tomato puree and stir in, let the puree cook until it starts to leave a fond at bottom of pan. Add the tomatoes and whole basil and let simmer for 30 mins. Remove the basil and discard.

Cook pasta in salted water. Drain and add the pasta to the tomato sauce. Stir in allowing time for the sauce to be absorbed into the pasta. Add the chiffonades of basil and serve in bowls with plenty of parmesan cheese.

Italian Sausage Pasta

Easy dish and a favourite in our parts on a wintery evening.

  • Stock, 250ml
  • Cream, 250ml
  • Rigatoni, 1 kg pack
  • Italian Sausage, 2 packs
  • Parsley, finely chopped

Marks and Spencer or Tesco both stock Italian sausage. (Otherwise use Irish pork sausage, with some ground fennel and garlic. Grind the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar. Fine chop the garlic. Sauté the garlic in a pan, add the fennel, stir in for a minute, then add the sausage.)

Cooks pasta in salted water to al dente, or firm to the bit, the pasta will cook further in the sauce so definitely under cook. Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside until needed for the sauce.

Cut open then sausage and remove the meat, discard the skin. Add to a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook allowing a Fond to form at the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and deglaze the pan. Add the cooked pasta and stir in. Then add the cream and stir in. Move to medium heat and stir until the sauce reduces and thickens and coats the pasta. Add the parsley.

Serve with plenty of parmesan cheese.

Feeds 7 people.

Butter Chicken

  • 1 Kg Chicken Breast, cut in chunks
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Salt

  • 400ml Natural Yogurt
  • 5 tsp Ginger paste
  • 5 tsp Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion, large fine chopped.
  • 5 Green cardamom
  • 5 Clove
  • 8 Black peppercorns
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 3 tsp Ginger paste
  • 3 tsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 2 tin chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Kasoori methi
  • 500 ml Fresh cream
  • 100g Butter
  • Basmati Rice

Heat oil in a pan. Add the spices and heat for a minute. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 mins. Add the tomato puree, stir and cook until bottom off pan starts to brown a little. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer for 30 mins. Remove and cool a little before blitzing in a blender. Reintroduce to the pan and add the cream, and then the butter, stir and reduce a little.

Place chicken in a bowl and mix in lemon juice, chilli powder and salt. Mix well, cover and place in fridge for 30 mins. Then place chicken in marinade and leave in fridge for 3 hours.

Take chicken from fridge, place on metal skewers and cook under a hot grill, turning once it starts to brown.  During grilling, remove and baste with melted butter and lemon regularly.

Add the chicken to the sauce. Serve with Basmati Rice, poppadoms, and naan bread.

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 700g minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp Plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of thyme roughly chopped
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 75g butter
  • 6 green onions, finely sliced
  • Sea salt
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 Egg, beat to make egg wash

Mix a little flour in with the lamb mince and set aside.

Sauté the onion and the carrots in a pan in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the lamb and brown. Add the thyme and stir in. Add the tomato puree, stock and Worchester sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for c 45 mins. Take off heat and let cool.

Steam the potatoes. When done, place in bowl and mash with butter and a little salt. Add in chopped green onion.

Place the mince in a dish. Layer on the potatoes. Sprinkle some cheddar on top. Baste with some egg wash. Place in oven for 30 mins.

If you have left over leg of lamb, use instead of lamb mince. Trim the lamb and chop to desired texture. Make as per above.

Stir Fried Noodle

  • 2 Packs Medium Egg Noodles
  • 3 x Peppers, one each green, red, yellow. Cut length ways, thinly.
  • 5 x Green Onions cut length ways and thinly.
  • 6 x Cloves of garlic, fine diced
  • 2 x inch Ginger, grated or fine diced
  • 1 x Red Chilli, deseeded, thin sliced
  • Hand full Coriander, rough chopped
  • 500 ml Chicken Stock.
  • Sesame Oil

Soften the noodles in boiling water for about 15 mins. Drain and cool with cold water. Set aside.

Heat a little oil in wok. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli for a 1 min. Then add the rest of the vegetable and fry for a few mins. Add noodles to the vegetables. Mix well. Add stock a little at a time and let the noodle absorb as you stir. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Add a sauce is optional.

Sauce for Stir Fry

  • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Fine chopped
  • 1 Inch Ginger, Grated
  • 250 ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 tsp Sugar or Honey or Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • Sesame Oil
  • Slurry of corn flour and water

Mix well. Add to noodles on a high heat, stir in, let thicken. Take of heat and serve.