We ate many dishes similar to this while spending time in Italy and they were all different depending on the part of Tuscany that we were in. This is our version of a Tuscan chicken casserole and it’s very moreish and flavoursome. I love it in the winter and any leftovers get tossed through some pasta the next day.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 6 free range chicken Marylands (leg and thigh pieces)
- flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 thin slices prosciutto (or substitute smoked bacon rashers)
- 10 mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 100ml white wine
- 400g vine tomatoes, chopped, or 400g tin cherry tomatoes
- 400g cooked cannellini beans, drained 250ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp capers
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
- 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Heat a large casserole dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken (in batches depending on the size of the pan), season with flaky sea salt and black pepper and brown the chicken pieces on all sides for 3–4 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Place the prosciutto into the pan and cook until crispy, then remove from the pan and break or cut into pieces. Add the mushrooms with a little more oil, if needed, and fry in batches until soft and golden brown. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion to the pan. Slowly sweat down until
soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes. Return the mushrooms and proscuitto to the pan, and stir in the paprika and tomato paste. Turn up the heat, add the wine and let it sizzle for a few minutes, until reduced. Add the tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock, capers, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Bring to the boil and then add the chicken along with any resting juices. Cover and transfer to the oven with the lid on. Cook for 1 hour or until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has reduced.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley and check the seasoning. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or orzo.
These little meatballs have a great flavour to them and can also be served as a canapé with the yoghurt dressing – just serve on a platter with toothpicks and the dressing in a little dipping bowl to the side. The meatballs can also be frozen once rolled, so it’s great to make up plenty of them and have some in the freezer to call on for an easy week-night dinner.
This moreish slice is fabulous with a cup of tea to give you an energy boost mid-afternoon or as a decadent after-dinner treat.
I created my first version of this tart when I was living in France with Douglas for a couple of months, relishing the crispy pastry, creamy cheese, juicy flavourful tomatoes, fresh herbs and spicy cracked pepper. Back then I used a lovely soft salty white French cheese riddled with herbs and garlic. Naturally, I’ve created a new version of this, and it’s still amazingly good.
Braised in a beautiful balsamic sauce, these slow-cooked beef cheeks are so meltingly tender you could devour them with a spoon! Eight hours of cooking ensures that the braising liquid turns into a luscious, gravy-like sauce. I encourage you to enjoy it spooned over creamy potato mash or fluffy cooked grains such as quinoa or bulgur wheat.
This sticky date pudding is one of my favourite things to make during the colder months. What makes this dessert really special is the hint of ginger and cardamom in the coconut butterscotch sauce. I bet you can’t wait to grab your spoon and dig in! Just remember to get your dates on to soak a bit beforehand. If you don’t need this to be vegan, you can use regular milk, cream and butter.
This recipe has been a fan favourite for over a decade. Cut it into slices for the kids or into tiny squares as a treat with your cuppa. It also freezes well, so you can stash a few squares away for when no one is looking.
This hearty soup is a proper hug in a mug. The ricotta and Parmesan topping really fulfills the 'lasagne' promise, but if you don’t want to bother you can just top it with grated cheese and it’ll still be a winner. The super-cheesy garlicky toasties are a good addition to any tomatoey soup — or just eat them on their own!
I have been making a banana bread with chocolate and tahini on repeat for a while now, and every time I’ve eaten it over the last year or so, I couldn’t help thinking that the particular combination of intense chocolatiness, sweet, texture-softening banana and the rich earthiness of tahini would make the perfect warm pudding.
This is not exactly the same as perhaps the most precious recipe in my repertoire, My Mother’s Praised Chicken, which found a home in my eighth book, Kitchen, but it owes a lot to it. A family favourite, it’s a simple one-pot dish which brings comfort and joy, and it is my pleasure to share that with you.
Sausage rolls will always be über-cool, no matter what anyone says. They're always the first to be nabbed at morning tea, classily dressed-up with a generous splurt of store-bought tomato sauce... crispy, juicy little taste bombs.
With fragrant spices, tomatoes, cashew butter and yoghurt.
With red pesto-layered filo, Cheddar and cottage cheese.