James Martin moules marinière

My fiancé loves moules marinière, so I wanted a classic recipe for two, and came across James Martin’s brilliant recipe.

I’ve found that cooking with shellfish is really simple – the rules are there to follow, and when you do, you can’t go wrong.

You can access James’ recipe by clicking here.

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Tagliatelle con funghi

A delicious recipe, that feels meaty because of the array of mushrooms, Antonio Carluccio’s tagliatelle con funghi is one we will do again.

His book Simple Cooking is a really nice read with some great recipes.

Grandad’s mussel linguine (Linguine con cozze di Nonno)

Another Jamie Oliver recipe that is simple quick and delicious – however, the recipe on the website is slightly wrong.

The website tells you to get 1kg of mussels for two, but then only uses a handful. 1kg of mussels for two is fine if that’s all you’re having with a sauce, but 1kg on mussels with pasta is far too much, so make sure you get a smaller amount.

Glitch aside, mussels are beautiful, so easy to cook and not too expensive. We will make this again.

Spaghetti vongole

I’ve wanted to cook this dish ever since watching Gennaro Contaldo cook his version on YouTube. Jamie has his own version which is exactly the same but with an addition of tomatoes (I went without ala Gennaro).

This is one of the simplest and delicious dishes you could ever make, so no wonder ‘This delicious Venetian clam pasta started life as peasant food, and has become an Italian classic…’ 

The key here is to have everything ready: ingredients out, wine opened, stalks of parsley chopped and leaves set aside. The actual cooking time and method is extremely quick and simple, with many things happening at once in no longer than ten minutes from board to bowl.

If you are looking for a new pasta dish to try at home, pop down to your fish monger, get 400g of clams (that’s enough for two) and give this a go.

Jamie Oliver’s steak with ratatouille

Jamie Oliver’s brilliant book has a steak and ratatouille recipe.

I made mushroom rice instead of the saffron, but this is a great recipe that has become a favourite of ours. Plus I love basil so pile it on!

Blushing steak, too!

Plus, the ratatouille makes a great lunch to heat up at work the next day!

Jamie Oliver’s chicken Milanese with spaghetti

I’ll start by apologising for taking the cooking of the chicken a bit too far in patches, and for the dreadful plating of the spaghetti.

This is a brilliant meal for two. It’s breaded, crispy chicken, with th tang of parmesan, alongside spaghetti with a tomato sauce which on it’s own or with a garlic bread would be fantastic.

The recipe says it takes 45 minutes, and unlike many recipes, that is true!

One thing (this is for Novice chefs like me!) is that it is vital to bash the chicken properly. Flattening the chicken means that you can cook it through without burning the outside. I just about got away with mine, any fatter and I’d perhaps have been in trouble.

Genuinely this is a delicious dinner, and the recipe can be found on Jamie Oliver’s website.

Antonio Carluccio’s spaghetti carbonara

I used to wonder how best I could get my carbonara not to scramble; then I stumbled across Antonio Carluccio’s guide on YouTube. Follow his simple (and engaging) recipe and you will never cook your carbonara like this for the rest of your life! The residual heat from the saucepan is the key, plus, it means you retain some pasta water in case you want to loosen it all up slightly. Thanks, Antonio…