cioppino (Italian seafood stew with fennel)

This recipe for Cioppino actually originates from Italian emigrants in San Francisco in the late 1800s. They would put in whatever the catch of the day was, so feel free to put in what ever seafood you can get or prefer. It’s packed with the flavours of chilli, fennel, bay, orange zest and wine. There are lots of versions of it and I took the best bits of all the recipes I found. It’s traditionally served with toasted sourdough or a crusty baguette, but I think it’s delicious with a side order of fries and a salad too.

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king prawn chow mein

I made this chow mein low carb and I reckon you really can’t tell at all. I use zero noodles that are available in most supermarkets, Asian stores or online (You can also use standard noodles too if you prefer) it’s really delicious and healthy and packed with flavour. So If you fancy a store cupboard takeout chow mein, I make this recipe with easily available defrosted frozen giant prawns from the supermarket.

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pasta allo scarpariello

This delicious pasta recipe is like a creamy, spicy, cheesy version of a classic sugo recipe.It’s a great meat free dinner or dinner party dish, with a salad. You can make it with any pasta you fancy but it works particularly well with a big ass chunky pasta. I made it with papadelle, but also look forward to making it with manicotti, calamarata or any large pasta.

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Spanish anchovy, egg and crouton salad

This flavour packed recipe is adapted from Rick Steins book called Spain. It’s a kind of Spanish version of Caesar salad and I’ve changed it slightly suit my tastes. I’ve replaced the little gem lettuces with radicchio and added my favourite salad veg, but it’s up to you which lettuce you prefer and the anchovies have gone in the dressing instead of laying them on top of the salad as I love them in the dressing. It’s my favourite with grilled fish like a big Dover sole.

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pasta con le fava fresche (pasta with broad beans)

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients in this Italian recipe, its blinking tasty and tastes deliciously fresh and summery, although, I would eat it all year round as it’s all store cupboard. The texture of the broad beans works so well with the spaghetti and all it’s plant based if you don’t add parmesan or pecorino.

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pasta alla checca with fennel

The flavours of this really sum up Italy for me, it’s a really fresh delicious pasta recipe which dates back to the sixties in Rome, the area where my Italian family come from. There’s lots of versions but my favourite has ground fennel in it which I love, I grind the seeds in my coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle so it’s super fresh. Its the perfect dinner for al fresco dining and you can add a burrata on top, or fried capers. I just serve it with a salad.

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artichokes with an anchovy sauce

The combination of artichokes and anchovy is a marriage made in heaven. They are a bit labour intensive to eat, but I like that. It slows you down. They are worth the effort and there’s something luxurious about eating the soft creamy heart as the prize after eating the soft ends off of the leaves. If you don’t know how to prepare or eat them, follow my recipe and I promise they are divine plus artichokes are a super food packed with antioxidants and liver cleansing properties..just google them for their list of health giving benefits.

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sweet and sour crispy tofu

This recipe is brilliant if you fancy a bit of sweet and sour and don’t fancy meat. The tofu goes super crispy and the rich sauce is packed with the flavours of ginger, garlic, chilli and soy. My friend Steve made it with a small tin of pineapple chunks in juice and added a tablespoon of the juice. He said it tasted better than traditional sweet and sour sauce. You can serve it with rice if you prefer, and it’s the perfect vegan homemade takeaway .

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Busaba thai calamari

This recipe is more of a review, I found it on Epicurious and it’s recipe for the Busaba Eat Thai squid which is one of their best dishes and everyone loves it so I wanted to try and make it myself. It’s really delicious and what really makes it is the sauce. It’s brilliant with Thai sticky rice and some stir fried pak-choi. The pickled peppercorns are optional if you can’t be arsed, but I love them and made a big batch to use on other recipes, like my curries. 

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bellini sorbet

There’s nothing like a cocktail and dessert in one. Inspired by the Bellini cocktail, which was invented in around 1934 by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and still served there to this day. This sorbet is really refreshing and delicious. It’s also really easy to make and if you like Bellinis and you like sorbet, then you have hit the jackpot with this recipe. It is perfect on Valentine’s Day at the end of the meal. It’s light and a bit boozy, so your not too stuffed for your romantic shenanigans ahead. I would also serve this on a special occasion like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve or just because you fancy it.

Serves 2.

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