Novice pepperoni pizza tart

I love a pizza, but it isn’t always practical to make the dough from scratch.

By getting yourself a packet of ready made puff pastry, you cut down so much time, and it’s really easy to divide the tarts into the sizes you want.

For this recipe, we made two tarts out of one pastry, and topped with the ingredients we wanted to replicate a pepperoni pizza – but you can fill it with whatever combinations you like!

Ingredients

  • x1 ready rolled puff pastry sheet
  • Basic tomato sauce for the base
  • Half a red onion diced
  • Half a standard Mozzarella ball
  • Six-eight slices of pepperoni (or as much as you want!)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Chilli flakes options

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c
  • Roll out the pastry, leaving it on the paper it comes with, and place it on a baking tray.
  • Slice the pastry in half (or quarters if making four)
  • Score (but don’t cut clean through) around a one CM boarder on each tart
  • Now build…
  • First spoon on your sauce (maybe some pasta sauce you made yesterday) and next add the onions
  • Dot on the mozzarella
  • Finally add the meat so this crisps up a bit
  • Add a little salt and some pepper and the chilli flakes if using
  • Cook in the top shelf of the oven for around 15 minutes but keep an eye on it
  • After 15 minutes, use a spatula to gently lift under the pastry to see if it feels cooked.

Jamie Oliver’s quick crispy chicken with tomatoes and asparagus

If you were to compare the image alongside Jamie’s recipe to mine, you would not think they were the same dish. I did plate it differently, as well as far less elegantly, but the flavours were there!

I have to say that the standout thing on the plate is the basil, olive, butter, tomato and wine sauce. It is absolutely delicious. I will use it again with other chicken dishes.

This is a really good recipe, and actually works well adapted for lunches on top of some couscous, as it soaks up all the buttery/winey sauce.

Oh, and I added a poached egg to the asparagus because they needed using up!

You can access Jamie’s recipe, here.

Novice tomato, mozzarella, parma ham and pesto sandwich

This is one of the nicest sandwiches in the world!

Crusty white bread, fresh pesto topped with mozzarella, tomato and ham, this sandwich when packed properly and left to sit until lunchtime moulds itself into a delicious foil wrapped delight!

Slice the tomatoes and add them to a piece of paper towel to absorb some of the moisture – this will stop the sarnie from getting to damp. Simply spread a generous helping of pesto on one half of the bread and top with slices of mozzarella and then the tomato. On the other half of bread, add the parma ham, as much as you want or can fit to close up the sandwich!

Drizzle it all with a little olive oil (not a lot, there’s pesto don’t forget!) and a pinch of salt and a nice crack of pepper.

Close the sandwich up properly and securely, then wrap tightly. The bread will mould around the abundance of fillings and you’ll have one of the nicest sandwiches you can have at your desk – fresh, vibrant and full of flavour!

 

Gennaro Contaldo’s perfect tomato and mozzarella linguini

Simple, fresh and delicious, this is a great recipe to keep in your locker for midweek speedy dinner. The freshness of the tomatoes and the little hum of chilli is great. However, the star is the mozzarella, which melts and adds some creamy goodness to the dish!

You can get the recipe by watching Gennaro at work here on YouTube.

Joe Wicks Linguine with prawns, courgette and chilli

No two ways about it, this dinner is delicious, easy and perfect for a day when your getting some sport in.

The recipe in the book, which says serves one, really is enough for two, but having got that down, I can’t fault it.

Lovely dinner.

You can get LeanIn15 here.

 

Cod fillets in parma ham with potatoes and vine tomatoes

Remember when you first start cooking and you heard people talk about seasoning? It’s hard to describe seasoning, isn’t it? You don’t have to cook for very long before seasoning food is a staple along with having chopped tomatoes and an onion in your cupboard, but, you flounder if someone asks you to explain ‘why’.

After a while, it just begins to make sense, you can tell yourself when you’ve properly seasoned a tomato sauce or a piece of griddled chicken.

This dish is also one of those that is made by seasoning correctly. The specks of black pepper, burning their way into the crispy parma ham, the salt glistening on top of the potatoes and providing that contrast to the blistered, sweet, hot tomatoes.

Without careful but generous seasoning, this dish would be relatively boring. But with it, this is a healthy, delicious, easy dinner to knock up in 35 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Two sustainable cod fillets
  • Six slices (at least, eight would be better) parma ham
  • Two decent handfuls of baby potatoes
  • Tomatoes on the vine – as many as you want or can fit in your baking dish with the fish and spuds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c
  • Parboil your potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes
  • While boiling, season the fish with salt and pepper, then wrap the finish in the parma ham – this can be a bit tricky be gentle with the ham, long stringy bits are hard to wrap a fish in
  • Once wrapped, season again and place in the baking dish
  • Next, put your tomatoes on the vine in the dish.
  • Finally, put the boiled potatoes in the dish.
  • Drizzle everything with olive oil
  • Season generously from a height
  • bang it all in the oven until the fat from the ham has started to drain out and crispen up.
  • Serve up neatly and don’t be afraid to drizzle the fishy, meaty, salty, tomatoey, oily juices from the dish on your plates.

Gennaro Contaldo traditional spaghetti Bolognese

Check out One of the amazing things about this recipe is that it enlightens you as an amateur cook. It turns out that in England, we make Bolognese wrong – we use too much tomato and make a mincey/tomato sauce which is not correct. The history and evolution of Bolognese could (and probably has) inspired a whole book so technically there isn’t a wrong way to do it, but certainly our approach to whacking two tins of tomatoes in the pot is really pissing the Italians off.

Check out Gennaro Contaldo’s lovely recipe and see for yourself!

Don’t be put off, this isn’t just bits of mince on pasta, all of the tagliatelle is coated in rich, meaty oils with the hint if red wine in the background.

Make this once and you’ll never go back to Anglo-Bolognese again!