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.

Kerryann’s tuna pasta bake – Jamie Oliver

This is a lovely recipe!

Everyone likes a pasta bake, but it’s so unsatisfying boiling pasta, opening a jar, stirring and baking.

This recipe tastes delicious, but involves you putting in a little bit more effort. You still feel as though you’re having a pasta filled, cheese topped naughty dinner, but you feel you’ve gone some way to deserving it!

You can find Kerryann’s tuna pasta bake by clicking here.

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!

 

Novice spaghetti carbonara

I’ve tried for ages to get a good carbonara recipe that I can knock up at home. Genarro Contaldo’s recipe is a brilliant place to go, although I find using yolks only too thick (although I’m just probably not a good enough cook!) Antonio Carluccio also has a good recipe online, but he uses traditional meat which is harder for us all to come by, so the below uses everyday ingredients.

This recipe is really simple, but to stop things from curdling, the method, while straightforward, is important.

For two people, I go for the below ingredients to produce a really creamy, rich carbonara.

Ingredients

  • Two eggs and one egg yolk
  • 50g grated parmesan (plus extra to serve)
  • 100g pancetta cubes (roughly)
  • 250g fresh spaghetti
  • Pepper

Method

On a medium heat, get your pancetta on in a frying pan. I put the pancetta in straight away with no oil, enough fat comes out as the heat builds, so don’t add to it, you’ll only end up taking it out.

  • Next, stick pan of salted boiling water on, and add your fresh spaghetti – this won’t need long.
  • In a bowl, mix the parmesan, eggs and a generous crack of pepper until all combined into a gloopy, cheesey mixture.
  • When your pancetta is browned, reduce to a really low heat. Once the spaghetti is cooked, add to the pancetta, allowing a some pasta water to carry over. Note: do not throw the pasta water away, leave the saucepan on the turned off ring/hob that you cooked the spaghetti in.
  • Combine the pancetta and spaghetti, and now carefully place the frying pan on top of the saucepan. From here, add the sauce, and stir around. What will happen is that the residual heat from the pan and water will cook through the egg but won’t be hot enough to scramble it. You’ll also find that having egg white involved means the sauce is loose enough to cook through quickly.
  •  Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and another crack of black pepper

Jamie Oliver potato and chorizo breakfast hash

This is a brilliant recipe to have up your sleeve because, not only is it simple and delicious, but it’s cheap and made up of many ingredients you may well have at home.

It’s warming, full of flavour and even the most novice chef can do it!

 

Access the recipe by visiting Jamie Oliver’s website here.

Jamie Oliver’s Spanish tortilla

This is a really good recipe to have in your locker a week before payday when money might be a bit tight. A handful of relatively cheap ingredients (potatoes, eggs and onion) and you’ve got a tortilla the size of an average pizza.

I served this with a simple Spanish salad with some chorizo and goats cheese, the saltiness of the cheese and chorizo cuts through the density of the tortilla.

This recipe is a great base, and would work really will with some peppers or chorizo going straight into the tortilla.

Find the recipe here.