Archive for October, 2017

Source: Spaghetti Bolognese – one pot wonder (well, two….)

Ah yes, filling the freezer with dinners. Double portion made ready for those dreary days when only spaghetti with bolognese sauce, or ragu, will do. Enjoy your Sunday!



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I’ve finally bought a good, old fashioned griddle pan in cast iron, and am having loads of fun with it. The fire alarm is tested weekly to its limit and my hair often smell of charcoal, but who cares – the vegetables are great!
Based on a recipe from the Foodnetwork.

This serves 3-4 people as a side dish.
Prep time is about 15 minutes, and 25 minutes for cooking.




1 red & 1 yellow pepper, both seeded and sliced

1 courgette, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

1 aubergine, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

12 mushrooms

4 spring onions

Small bunch of asparagus, when in season

2 fresh figs, sliced


60 ml, plus 2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped




1. Place a griddle pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue to medium-high heat. Brush the vegetables with 60ml of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

2. Working in batches, griddle the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the peppers, 7 minutes for the courgette, aubergine, and mushrooms, 4 minutes for the asparagus and spring onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they’ve been placed on the hot griddle.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Crumble in the feta cheese. Add the sliced fresh figs, then serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

The vegetable salad goes really well with roast lamb shoulder. Massive flavours, perfect for autumn.




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For dinner parties or Sunday roasts the best option for me is often slow-cooked food. Food that takes a little bit to prepare, but then you just bang it in the oven, set your timer and go about your day.

At first I was craving lamb chops for dinner with friends, and a griddled vegetable salad with feta. However – the size and price of the lamb chops deterred me. Then – in the butcher counter I saw a nice lamb shoulder. I’ve never cooked this before, but I know it is inexpensive, tasty and takes a while in the oven. Perfect. A quick Google search to find a suitable recipe resulted in James Martin’s shoulder of lamb with anchovy and rosemary

Not everyone is keen on lamb or mutton, but I was assured it tasted great. My advise is to cover the lamb with foil for the first hour, as the result was lovely, albeit a bit too dark on top. I didn’t have any lemons, so used oranges, and replaced the white wine with rose.

Prep time is 10 minutes and cook time about 4 hours.



• 1½ kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone (I used about 1 kg)

• 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed

• 4 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 tbsp. capers, finely chopped

• 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 whole lemons

• 2 red onions, cut into wedges

• Small glass white wine



1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Finely chop the rosemary, then mix with the garlic, capers, anchovies, olive oil and zest and juice of 1 lemon, reserving the used lemon halves. Make 3-4 slashes across the top of the shoulder, then rub the rosemary mixture all over the lamb. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Scatter the onion into the base of a large roasting tin, cut the remaining lemon in half, squeeze the juices into the tin, and place all the used lemon halves in the tin with the onions. Place the lamb on top and roast for 1 hour on the bottom shelf. *Then loosely fit some foil on top of the lamb. 

Remove the foil and pour in the wine and roast for a further 3 hours. until the meat is tender. 

Leave to rest for 15 mins then serve, pulled into chunks rather than carved, with any pan juices.


Obviously, I couldn’t just serve the lamb on its own, so I also baked some sweet potatoes and griddled some vegetables. I bought some flatbreads to soak up the juices, but promptly forgot to stick them in the oven due to a few glasses of bubbles!

Thanks, Charlie! Was so good to see you xx




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Gary Bainbridge

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