Layered Ragu and Aubergine Pasta Bake

I think I’m part Italian. More likely, I like to think I’m part Italian. The reason for this recent realisation is that Italian food is the food I crave the most; when I’m looking for inspiration I invariably turn my attention to that most wonderful of countries. Pasta is the obvious Italian ingredient to inspire meals but the rice dishes, salads, marinades, stews, cheeses, meats and sauces always make me feel like I’m having a little Italian Read more

Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto

I do like a tin of food. There's something very humble about tinned fruit and vegetables particularly; and I am not one to overlook anything that comes in a can. My favourite canned good of all is the artichoke. That's how this recipe for Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto came about. Artichokes are very expensive, covered in oil (normally sunflower rather than nice olive oil) and quite small if you buy them chilled or in a jar; but in Read more

Easy White Bean Stew with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Wholesome food always makes you feel good; it's made from humble ingredients and is full of good things like beans, vegetables and whole grains. I normally eat slow cooked, what I would describe as wholesome, meals in the autumn and winter but this easy white bean stew with purple sprouting broccoli is the perfect dish for this time of year. It's quick and easy to make, is full of seasonal vegetables and is absolutely delicious. Using seasonal veg Read more

Keema Rice – Feed 4 for £6

I don't know about you but during the week when it comes to cooking dinner I want something quick, easy and full of flavour. It's also a winner if it's cheap to make and uses up a few bits and bobs I have hanging around in the fridge too. Keema rice is one of my guilty pleasures; I love the heavily spiced lamb, golden onions and fragrant rice. I thought it was about time I attempted to make it at home. You will need (for 4): 250g easy cook, Read more

Feed 2 for £3: Sweetcorn Chowder

I always like seeing sweetcorn growing in the fields near where I live; it's one of my absolute favourite vegetables. The only thing that is a little irritating is the inevitable corn-stuck-in-the-teeth situation which ensues after consuming corn from the cob. Particularly irksome if surrounded by unfamiliar company. Worth it though; especially if you're lucky enough to have a 50:50 butter to corn ratio. If you're looking for something different to Read more

Beef Braised in Beer with Onions and Carrots

As I rent a house I am in the unfortunate position of being lumbered with the oven and hob that I’m given. Don’t get me wrong; having a hob and an oven is certainly one up from having no heating implements at all but they definitely leave a lot to be desired. As such a roast dinner is not something I can easily make; a small oven, an untrustworthy thermometer and a lack of appropriate oven dishes being the main reasons. A casserole or stew however Read more

Review: Barber’s 1833 Cheddar and Twice Baked Cheddar Soufflés

Who doesn’t like a bit of cheese? Over the last couple of years I think Cheddar has been getting a bit of a bad name. Indeed ‘cheddar’ can be used to describe any cheese where the cheddaring process had been used to make it; hence, a piece of chewy, nasty, plastic cheese can be called Cheddar along with lovely, crumbly, exemplary artisan Cheddars. Barber’s kindly invited me to the BBC Good Food Show last year in Birmingham and I really enjoyed Read more

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken and the leftovers

A beautifully roasted chicken is hard to beat; with crispy skin and succulent meat there's nothing quite like it. Having a whole roast chicken is a rare thing for me, indeed this is the first chicken I have roasted in a very long time and I wasn't about to waste a scrap of it. The chicken that was to fulfil my roast chicken dreams was a local, free range, corn fed bird. This post is about my perfect Sunday lunch and making the most of the leftovers.   Lemon Read more

Golden Beetroot Soup

The beetroot is a vegetable of many guises. I have been fortunate enough to obtain, consume and even grow some of the purple, the pink and white striped and the golden. There's nothing quite like a beetroot; so earthy and yet so sweet. Growing beetroot has been, in my experience, immeasurably easy. I think it helped that I slightly cheated and bought plug plants rather than seeds but irrespective of this they were all a success. If you were to grow Read more

Purple Cabbage Soup

Cooked cabbage and a wet flannel have an unfortunate amount of textures in common. Particularly if, like me, you were put off cabbage at school where it was boiled to what can only be described as wallpaper paste. Things have moved on since then and I wanted to give the cabbage a chance. I've baked it, boiled it, steamed it and fried it. Apart from frying, none of these yielded any spectacular, life changing results. Nevertheless I wasn't about Read more