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.

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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…

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.