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Authentic Bologna Bolognese

Gennaro Contaldo’s recipe, goes perfectly with my fresh pasta

Ingredients

  • 250g beef mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2tbsp puree
  • 900ml-1ltr beef stock

Method

  • Heat 2-3tbsp olive oil in a high sided frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the mince, season with salt and pepper, and use a whisk to break it all up. It will stick to the pan at first but it will come off as it cooks.
  • Cook for 5mins, then add the rosemary sprig
  • Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is brown and golden
  • Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute
  • Add the vegetables and stir, then add the puree. Let this cook for 2-3mins.
  • Add the beef stock and stir.
  • Turn down to a low simmer and cook for around 90mins or until it’s thickened up.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta 🙂

Simple Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic granules (optional)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • A good pinch of sugar
  • 900ml-1ltr vegetable stock

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 170C/150C Fan
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and place them skin side down in a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper, dried basil and optionally a light dusting of garlic granules.
  • Get these in the oven and slow roast for around 30mins.
  • In the mean time prep your vegetables – peel and dice the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces.
  • With around 10mins left on the oven, heat 2tbsp of olive oil on a low heat, then add the onion, carrot and celery.
  • Cook on a low heat for around 10mins until soft.
  • Add 2tbsp of puree and stir until coated.
  • Add the tomatoes, sugar and a good amount of black pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for around 10mins until the tomatoes are softened and have released their juices.
  • Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 25mins.
  • Use a stick blender or food processor to smooth the soup.

Fresh Pasta Dough

Serves 2-4 people

Ingredients

  • 150g ‘Tipo 00’ flour (some supermarkets call it pasta flour)
  • 50g fine semolina
  • 2 large eggs

Method – mixer

  • Assemble the mixing attachment, add all of the ingredients and mix on a low speed (2-3) until it forms a ball of dough.
  • If it’s struggling, add a tiny dash of water.
  • Swap the mixer for the dough hook attachment and use a low speed to knead the dough for 5-10mins.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and rest it for at least 30mins.
  • When ready, use a rolling pin or pasta machine to roll out the dough super thin.

Method – hand

  • Mix the flour and semolina in a large bowl, then make a well in the middle
  • Break the eggs into the well
  • With a fork or your hands, gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs until well mixed
  • Knead (stretch and roll) until it’s a soft smooth dough
  • Wrap in clingfilm and rest it for at least 30mins.
  • When ready, use a rolling pin or pasta machine to roll out the dough super thin.

Chilli Con Carne

Serves 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 500g beef mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1tsp cumin seeds OR 1-2tsp cumin powder
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml stock made with one beef stock cube (or try 300ml water with 1 cube plus 150ml red wine)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans
  • 3tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Put a large non-stick saucepan on a medium heat with a little oil and add the mince.
  • Once browned, add the garlic, 1-2 teaspoons of chilli powder (depends how hot you want it), the cumin and coriander. Cook together for another 2mins.
  • Sprinkle over the flour and stir well
  • Add the wine/stock slowly, stirring constantly.
  • Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, puree, sugar, oregano and bay leaf.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and stir it all together.
  • Bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat and put a lid on it.
  • Simmer gently for 45mins, stirring occasionally until the mince is soft and the sauce is thicker.

The Perfect Jacket Potato

Ingredients 

1x large baking potato per person – you might want to try a floury potato like a King Edward or Maris Piper if you can find them big enough.

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan
  • Rub the potato skin with a little bit of oil and season with salt
  • Place on the middle shelf in the oven and cook for 1hr-1hr30 depending on the size.
  • Check the potato with a fork to check if it’s cooked all the way through and serve with butter and as many toppings as you can handle 😉

Date and Almond Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 50g pitted dates
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 25g coconut oil, melted
  • 100g oats
  • 1tbsp almonds (whole or ground)

Method

  • Line a plate or tupperware with baking paper
  • Place dates, honey and coconut oil in a blender, mix until it forms a paste
  • Add the oats and almonds to the blender and mix until you have a combined sticky dough
  • Roll the mixture into balls with your hands and place on the baking paper
  • Refrigerate for at least 30mins before eating

Delicious Roast Beef

Chef’s Tip: serve with my Perfect Roast Potatoes, plenty of veg and some Yorkshire Puddings 🙂

Ingredients

  • Roasting joint of beef (silverside/topside/small roaster)
  • 2 onions
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 240C/220C Fan
  • Peel the onions and cut them in half. Place them face down with the garlic (unpeeled) in a roasting dish
  • Place the beef joint on top, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Add about 50-100ml of water to the bottom of the pan to stop the veg from burning
  • Put it in the middle of the oven and turn down the heat immediately to 200C/180C Fan
  • Check the cooking time of your joint but generally follow the rule of 20mins per 450g/1lb for rare and then add an extra 10-15mins for medium and another 15mins for well done.
  • Make sure you baste the beef with the juices at least twice during cooking and add more water if necessary.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let it stand for 10-15mins before carving.

Flourless Oat Pancakes

Chef’s Tip: delicious served with warm berries/honey/yoghurt 

Ingredients

  • 100g/3½oz porridge oats (not instant)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100ml/3½fl oz oat milk, or any other sort you wish
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

Method

  • Put the oats and salt in a mini blender/food processor and whizz until they resemble a crumby heavy flour.
  • Tip into a bowl and add the baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Mix up the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug.
  • Slowly add the liquid to the dry mixture, mixing as you go, until it’s all mixed in.
  • Add a tiny drop (about half a teaspoon) of oil to a large non-stick pan and use a piece of kitchen towel to wipe it across the whole surface.
  • Use a ladle to spoon the batter into small circles in your pan, no more than 4 at a time.
  • When the surface starts to bubble, use a spatula to turn them over and let them cook for another 2-3mins.

Gooey Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes: 16 square brownies

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g high quality dark chocolate (I use 85%)
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 100g white OR milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Method

  • Chop the butter and dark chocolate into chunks and add to a glass bowl.
  • Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, sit the bowl on top and melt over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the bowl once it’s all melted and mixed and set aside to cool.
  • Get a shelf ready in the middle of your oven and preheat to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
  • Line and grease a shallow 20cm square tin
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, ensuring any lumps are gone.
  • Chop the white and milk chocolate into small pieces
  • Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy like a milkshake.
    You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. Another check is to turn off the mixer, lift out the beaters and wiggle them from side to side. If the mixture that runs off the beaters leaves a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two, you’re there.
  • Pour the cooled melted chocolate over the eggy mousse and gently fold with a spatula. The idea is to mix the two without losing the air so do this very gently and as slow as you like.
  • Add the cocoa/flour mix and fold gently again until it’s all mixed in. Make sure you don’t over-mix it.
  • Add the chocolate chunks and stir them through evenly.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared tin and use a spatula to gently even out the top so it’s level.
  • Put in the oven and set an alarm for 25 minutes. When the time is up, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin before cutting it into squares.

Slow Roast Half Shoulder of Lamb

Chef’s Tip: Delicious with my creamy potato bake or perfect roast potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 4-6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
  • 1 half shoulder of lamb (around 800g)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven to the highest setting (usually 230-240C).
  • Roughly cut the onion into wedges and place in the bottom of an oven dish with the garlic cloves
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Place the lamb on top of the veg, drizzle it with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and rub it all over
  • Loosely cover it with foil and pop it in the oven, immediately turning the heat down to 170C/150C Fan/Gas Mark 3
  • Cook for 1hr20mins.
  • Remove the foil, baste the lamb with the juices and cook for another 1hr 30mins