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

Pea and Bacon Soup for a #thriftyorganic challenge

In case it has escaped your attention, September is the month where people make a fuss about organic; aptly named Organic September. I have to admit that the majority of food that I buy is already organic so for me I wanted to try some new organic ingredients that I hadn’t tried before. I loaded up my weekly veg box with tomatillos, Homity pies and all sorts. I was challenged as part of Organic September to make an all organic three course meal, Read more

Summer Green, Smoked Bacon and Potato Bake

Potatoes, sliced and baked with cream have to be one of the best things ever. At least in my opinion. Maybe a little bit of garlic, or some sliced onion, even some smoked bacon added for extra deliciousness. Although undeniably tasty they always feel more suited to the colder months than in the middle of summer. Don't worry though, I've found a way round this; and I had a swanky new baking dish to try out. By adding some summer greens and using a Read more

Smoky Cowboy Beans

I knew what I wanted these smoky cowboy beans to taste like before I made them. The thing I had to do was to work out which ingredients it was that I needed to mix together to make something that tasted like I wanted it to. After a few attempts, a bit of this, less of that and more of the other I have cracked it. Wonderfully smoky, sweet and sticky with a few spices and plenty of beans to make something substantial from ingredients you probably already Read more

Sausage and Bacon Toad in the Hole

I had a grand vision. A toad in the hole to rival all others; one that brought together two of my favourite parts of a Sunday roast in one delicious meal. Pigs in blankets meet Yorkshire puddings sounds pretty amazing to me and so sausage and bacon Toad in the Hole was born. One slight issue with the version that I made was that it was almost a total failure. However, I decided to post this anyway (I think these posts are just as useful as those that 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

Swedish Style Burgers

You would have thought that a burger lends itself well to good photo-ability. For some reason when it comes to taking a picture of a burger it never looks quite how I imagine it will. No matter what I try the burgers always shrink leaving even the smallest buns looking far too big. There is either too much or not enough salad so although I make them sort of regularly I rarely blog about them or take a picture. However, when the below recipe came through Read more

Feed 4 for £6: Creamy Pea and Bacon Pasta

After my last £6 supper on BBC Radio Berkshire, Paul Ross was quite disappointed that the recipe included no frozen peas. It got me thinking that actually there's plenty to celebrate in the humble frozen pea. They're cheap, you can always keep some in the freezer and they are a welcome shot of greenness and sweetness at this time of year. This quick, easy and cheap meal is a little mid-week fanfare of the frozen pea. You will need: 300g Read more

Feed 4 for £6: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Bacon and Cheese Pasta Bake

It's a bit weird here at the moment. The days are warm but the nights are surprisingly cold; light lunches but also still comfort food dinner season. The purple sprouting broccoli season is upon us and as much as I like it cooked simply, maybe with a butter sauce, I am craving carbohydrates and big warming meals at the moment. My bacon, purple sprouting and cheese pasta bake is ideal. You will need: 300g dried pasta (fusilli, Read more

Potato, Swede and Bacon Dauphinoise

Roast potatoes are important in any roast dinner. Sometimes I find I can pay them a bit too much attention and end up spending less time on the other vegetables. This dauphinoise recipe is a great way to use some swede to make a great side dish and also incorporates potatoes so you can do a two in one. Not to be greedy but there's no reason you couldn't have this and roast potatoes for a roast! You will need (for 4 as a side): 350g potato, Read more