Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.
This easy recipe uses a combination of oil and butter, along with a Parmesan and breadcrumb topping for a quick and delicious meal. Serve with a green salad.
Serves : 4
4 medium aubergines
Olive oil, for brushing and cooking
Large knob of butter, softened
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, cubed
30g Parmesan, finely grated
Large handful fresh breadcrumbs
Handful basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / gas mark 6. Make deep slits, 1 cm apart, across the aubergines. Don’t cut all the way through. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cuts with oil. Dot the butter over each of the aubergines and season inside and out.
- Mix together the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and some seasoning – this can be done in the tomato tins. Pour the mixture into a 20 x 30 cm baking dish and sit the aubergines on top. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the aubergines start to get soft.
- Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Use the back of a spoon to open up the aubergine cuts and stuff with cubes of mozzarella and some of the tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle over the Parmesan and breadcrumbs, then return the dish to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a final 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then scatter with basil leaves before serving.
Make ahead : Prepare the whole dish in advance and reheat in a hot oven until piping hot.
The shortcut : This meal has all the textural expectations of parmigiana, with none of the factory line-style crumbing – no salting, no dipping in egg, no frying in oil. This is one-pan, no-hassle cooking.
Recipe courtesy of Hello Magazine – many years ago !
Buffalo Mozzarella with grilled radicchio and fresh herb dressing)
Some true Italian flavours – the creamy mozzarella contrasts beautifully with the bitter radicchio leaves, which have been lightly grilled. Caffe Calesi’s chef, Flavio Tosolini, says the best mozzarella in the world comes from Naples, which just happens to be his home town.
Serves : 4
8 slices of mozzarella di bufala cheese
6 tblsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh board leaf parsley
1 head of radicchio, cut into 8 wedges
Parsley sprigs, to garnish
Step One : Divide the mozzarella slices between four serving plates. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano and parsley and drizzle over the cheese.
Step Two : Grill the radicchio wedges for 1 minute on each side and arrange on the plates alongside the mozzarella. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve at once.
Serves : 4
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cook time : 18 minutes
1 tblsp olive oil
8oz (225g) tricolore penne pasta
For the sauce :
8oz (225g) broccoli florets
1 tblsp olive oil
1 ½ oz (40g) whole blanched almonds
1 onion, peeled and chopped
¼ pt (150ml) dry white wine
4 tblsp double cream
6oz (175g) Dolcelatte cheese
Step One : Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add oil and cook pasta for 10 mins, or until al dente.
Step Two : Meanwhile, make the sauce: Cook broccoli for 4 mins. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Reserve.
Step Three : Heat oil and add almonds. Cook for 2 mins, then remove and reserve.
Step Four : Add onion to pan and sauté for 4 mins. Stir in wine and cream, and bring to the boil. Boil until reduced by half.
Step Five : Break cheese into pan, then add broccoli and almonds. Cook for a further 2 mins. Drain pasta an spoon sauce over. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine
Serves: 4 – Prep time: 12 mins – Cook time: 10 mins
Cals per serving : 336 – Fat: 20g
Ingredients: 175g (6oz) ricotta; 1 egg, beaten; 1 egg yolk; 4 tbsp cream; 50g (1 ¾ oz) Parmesan, freshly grated; 4 slices rustic white bread or ciabatta, split; 2 tbsp baby basil leaves; ready-prepared grilled peppers or sun-blush tomatoes, to serve. Rocket leaves, to serve.
- Heat the oven to 190oC (gas mark 5). Combine the ricotta, egg, yolk, cream and Parmesan in a small bowl. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Spread this mixture on the slices of bread.
- Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the cheese has puffed and is golden.
- Scatter with the basil and serve alongside the grilled peppers or tomatoes. Serve with rocket leaves.
Tip: The topping mixture can be made and chilled for up to 1 hour before cooking if desired.
This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine
Comfort Food – Italian Style
Serves : 4 – Prep time : 20 mins – Cook time : 25 mins –
Cals per serving : 901 – Fat : 45.8g
Ingredients: 400g (13oz) Arborio rice; 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest; 1 tblsp roughly chopped basil; 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) double cream; 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) boiling vegetable stock; 140g (4 ½ oz) pancetta, cubed; 250g (8oz) fontina cheese, thinly sliced; 125g (4oz) grated Parmesan; Butter; 1 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).
- Cook the rice in boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain well. Stir the lemon zest, basil, cream and stock through the rice. Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta in a large frying pan over a medium heat until starting to crisp.
- Spread half the rice in a greased 1.5l (48 fl oz) baking dish. Top with half the pancetta, half the fontina, half the Parmesan and a knob or two of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Repeat and make another layer, finishing with the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Tip: Be careful not to overcook the rice. Give it just 11 minutes, as it cooks for a further 25 minutes in the oven.
Ideal accompaniment to the Whole Barbecued Fish.
Cook Time: 10 mins
Ingredients: 8 cherry tomatoes; 6 whole black olives, stoned; 225g / 8oz feta cheese, cubed; 1-2 tblsp chopped, fresh oregano; a little extra virgin olive oil
To serve: shredded salad leaves and crusty French bread
- Divide the tomatoes, olives and feta cheese between 8 small wooden skewers. If using metal skewers, you may need to heat them first or the cheese may crumble.
- Place on a nest of salad leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped oregano. Serve with crusty French bread.
- If liked, add chunks of cucumber and wedges of read onion to the skewers, too.
Some skewers for the salad:
Ingredients: 1 tblsp cooking oil; 2 onions, finely chopped; 8oz (225g) puff pastry; English or Dijon mustard; 4oz (100g) smoked bacon, chopped; 4oz (100g) cheddar cheese, grated; sesame seeds, to garnish
- This slice makes great canapés, finger snacks or an accompaniment to soup.
- Most people buy ready-made puff pastry but if you want to make your own, here’s how. Melt 2oz (50g) butter, cool. Leave 5oz (150g) butter to soften. Sift 7oz (200g) plain flour and pinch of salt into a bowl. Make well in centre, pour in about 4 fl oz (120ml) cold water, a few drops lemon juice and the melt butter. Knead lightly, then leave to rest for 20 mins. On a floured board, roll pastry from 4 sides, leaving a lump in centre – dough should look like a crossroads. Sit remaining butter on the centre lump of the dough and fold over each pastry flap. Pat into a rectangle measuring about 6 x 12in (15 x 30cm), refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Roll pastry lengthways until double in length. Fold both ends into centre, then fold once more. This is called a double turn. Complete process a further 3 times. Always roll with folded edge on left and leave to rest for 20-30 mins in fridge before each turn. Leave pastry in fridge for a further 30 mins before using. This makes roughly 1 lb (450g) of pastry but you can freeze the excess.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onions for a few minutes until softened. Make sure onions do not brown. Allow to cool.
- Roll out puff pastry very thinly into a 12in (30cm) square. Cut square in half and on one half only, spread a little mustard, according to your taste. Then spread with the onions, bacon and cheese and cover with the remaining pastry half. Roll up pastry parcel like a Swiss roll, then leave to rest in fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. Remove roll from fridge, cut into ¾ in (18mm) slices, place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 12-15 mins until golden.
Serves: 4; Takes: 25 mins plus marinating; Calories/Fat: 304 cals /22g; Sodium/Added sugar: 1.2g/0.4g
Ingredients: 2 tblsp olive oil; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 2 sprigs of fresh thyme; 3 red peppers, deseeded and quartered; 400g (14oz) asparagus, trimmed; 1 x 250g Halloumi cheese, thickly sliced; 2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce; Salt
- Mix the oil, garlic and thyme and marinade the veg and cheese, reserving a little, for at least 15 mins or in the fridge overnight.
- Barbecue the peppers first (they can take up to 10 mins), turning occasionally. When the peppers are almost ready, add the asparagus for one min and then the Halloumi for 30 seconds on each side.
- Skin the peppers and mix with the cheese and asparagus. Season with salt. Stir the chilli sauce into the remaining marinade and drizzle over the warm salad.
Would you like to try to make Halloumi?
An Asparagus cooker when not grilling as in this recipe.
Serves: 6; Prep: 10 mins; Cost: £5.35; Cals per portion: 250
Ingredients: 3 beef tomatoes, sliced; 3 x 100g pkts mozzarella di bufala; extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle over ingredients; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 18 fresh basil leaves; 6 slices olive Ciabatta bread; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Arrange the tomatoes and sliced mozzarella on a platter then drizzle with olive oil. Season and scatter over the basil leaves and olives. Set aside in a cool place until ready to serve.
- Just before you are ready to eat, toast the slices of Ciabatta until golden, then rub the surface of each with the garlic. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bread and serve warm with the salad.
Menu idea: Chicken with sage and prosciutto; Garlic and herb roast potatoes; Peppers with fennel; Mascarpone and chocolate cassata
Do you have problems when slicing Mozzarella? Maybe this will help?
Serves: 4; Cals per portion: 328; Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 10 mins
Ingredients: 8oz/225g Brie; 1 egg, size 3, beaten; 2oz/50g dried wholemeal breadcrumbs; 1oz/25g mixed chopped nuts; oil for deep frying; lambs lettuce to garnish.
For the sauce: 4 tblsp redcurrant jelly; 2 tblsp ruby port
- Trim the brie into four equal triangles. Place the egg in a shallow dish and mix the breadcrumbs and nuts in another.
- Dip the Brie into the egg to coat, then into crumb and nut mixture, making sure all the sides are well coated. Shake off any excess.
- Heat the oil for deep-frying to 350oF / 180oC. Fry the Brie in two batches for 2-3 mins, or until the coating is golden. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the redcurrant jelly and port in a pan until the jelly is melted.
- Place the fried Brie on a serving plate, spoon a little sauce around it and garnish with lambs lettuce.
- Serve with the remaining sauce.