Chicken Parmigiana

chicken parmigiana

 

Parmesan coated chicken breasts are baked in a tomato and basil sauce covered with mozzarella. They are served with tagliatelle tossed in chopped parsley and garlic butter and sautéed courgettes/zucchini.

 

Chicken Parmigiana
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the parmigiana
  • For the tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g tin (½ x 28 fl oz can) chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
  • salt and pepper

  • For the chicken
  • 28g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¼ cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 28g (1 oz) butter
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
  • 8 thin slices mozzarella cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil sprigs to garnish

  • For the tagliatelle
  • 8 tagliatelle nests
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2–3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf/Italian parsley, chopped

  • To serve
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Equipment
  • An ovenproof dish large enough to take the four chicken breasts in a single layer


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400°F/gas mark 6

  3. For the parmigiana
  4. For the tomato sauce
  5. Put the olive oil and garlic into a pan over a medium-low heat and, as soon as the oil starts to sizzle, stir in the tomatoes and tomato purée. Simmer gently for 10 minutes to thicken a little. Add the shredded basil leaves and season.

  6. For the chicken
  7. Meanwhile, measure the flour into a plastic bag and season. Then add the grated Parmesan and shake to mix. Spread out onto a large plate.

  8. Tip the egg into a shallow dish.

  9. Turn the chicken pieces in the egg, shaking off any excess egg while lifting them from the dish. Then coat with the flour and cheese mixture.

  10. Melt the butter in a frying pan/skillet and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side until they are light golden in colour. Transfer to the ovenproof dish and pour the tomato sauce around the chicken.

  11. Lay two slices of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast then sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan.

  12. Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.

  13. For the tagliatelle
  14. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook for the length of time suggested on your packet.

  15. While it is cooking, mix the butter with the garlic and chopped parsley.

  16. Drain the tagliatelle, return it to the pan with the parsley butter and toss together.

  17. For the courgettes/zucchini
  18. Cut the courgettes/zucchini into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices.

  19. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the the courgettes and toss in the oil. Sauté for 3–5 minutes, turning frequently until cooked through.

  20. To serve
  21. Lift the chicken breasts from the pan onto four serving plates and spoon the tomato sauce around. Garnish the chicken with the basil sprigs. Serve with the tagliatelle and courgettes/zucchini.

Updated: November 18, 2017

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

What can I say? Spaghetti Bolognese is a real family favourite. And quick and easy to prepare!

 

Spaghetti Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the Bolognese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 450g (1 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 115g (4 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (1½ cups) (optional)

  • For the spaghetti
  • 225g (8 oz) spaghetti (filling the hole of a pasta server with spaghetti is a single portion)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a little olive oil

  • To serve
  • Parmesan

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • a large pan for the spaghetti


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Increase the heat to medium, add the beef, and brown for about 5 minutes. Break up any clumps with a wooden spoon.

  4. Stir in the stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil.

  5. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, if using, and season. Give it a good stir and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and dash of olive oil, then ease the spaghetti into the pan.

  7. Reduce the heat a little and cook the spaghetti for the length of time according to the directions on the packet. (Can recommend DeCecco brand.)

  8. Drain through a large colander, reserving 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of the cooking water and then return to the pan with the spaghetti. Add the sauce and toss well.

  9. Spoon into bowls and top with little slivers of Parmesan.

  10. Note
  11. A Caesar salad makes a good starter. And garlic bread to serve with the Spaghetti Bolognese.

 

Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

 

A firm favourite with children of all ages. These lamb meatballs flavoured with oregano and Parmesan cheese are cooked in a passata based sauce. Usually served with spaghetti but any pasta you choose will work.

 

Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 40 minutes hob

  • Ingredients
  • For the meatballs
  • 14g (½ oz) butter (1 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices, about 55g (2 oz) white bread, preferably one day old, crusts removed and torn into pieces
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whole milk (½ cup)
  • 500g (1lb 2 oz) lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 14g (½ oz) flat leaf parsley/Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 28g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated (¼ cup)
  • salt and pepper

  • For the tomato sauce
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 14g/½ oz butter (1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 × 700ml bottle passata
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whole milk (½ cup)
  • salt and pepper

  • Equipment
  • A large sauté pan with lid

  • To serve
  • pasta
  • a green salad or Caesar salad


  1. Method
  2. Heat the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan and, when hot, add the onion and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally. Remove to a dish to cool.

  3. Put the bread in a shallow dish and cover with the milk.

  4. Next put the carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and blitz. Put the butter and oil into the sauté pan and, when hot, add the vegetables and stir to coat. Cook over a medium–low heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the passata then add the bay leaves and season. Cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, put the lamb in a large bowl and add the bread, discarding any milk. Put half the parsley on a chopping board, sprinkle over the dried oregano and chop the parsley finely. (This will activate the oregano.) Add the herbs to the mince with the egg, Parmesan cheese, cooled onion and some pepper. Mix together until well combined. Make into 20–24 meatballs and flatten them slightly. Place on a baking tray lined with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up.

  6. When the sauce has cooked for 20 minutes, stir in the milk. and continue to cook gently, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste.

  7. Once the meatballs have firmed up, put two tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan and brown the meatballs all over, about 5 minutes. Remove them with a spatula and add to the sauce. Cover and cook for a further 20–30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

  8. Chop the remaining parsley and, just before serving, sprinkle over the meatballs.

  9. Serve with pasta and a salad.

Updated: May 22, 2017

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs

 

Fillets of sole are covered in a breadcrumb mix with Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and parsley and then gently fried for just a few minutes. They are served with a herb mayonnaise.

 

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 8 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sole
  • 85g/3 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 25g/1 oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 50g/2 oz flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 675g/1 lb 4 oz sole fillets (8 small fillets 85g/3 oz each, or 4 large 170g/6 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp oil (not olive oil)
  • lemon wedges to garnish

  • For the herb mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh chervil or basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • a soft green salad

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. For the herb mayonnaise
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and herbs. Season. Cover and chill.

  4. For the sole
  5. Put a plate in the oven to warm.

  6. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Then spread out on a plate.

  7. Season the flour lightly and spread out on a second plate.

  8. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish.

  9. Taking one sole fillet at a time, coat in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally coat in the breadcrumbs. Put them on a clean plate as you go.

  10. You will probably need to fry the fillets in two batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan then add half the fillets and lay in a single layer. Fry gently for 2–4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. When golden and crisp on the underside, turn and cook for a further 2–4 minutes. Remove from the pan and lay on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any oil. Transfer the fillets to the warmed plate and return it to the oven.

  11. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the second batch of fillets.

  12. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and the herb mayonnaise.

 

Chicken and Mixed Cheese Bake

Chicken and Mixed Cheese Bake

 

This chicken and mixed cheese bake is made with bite-sized pieces of chicken, strips of bacon and mushrooms, sautéed and then baked in a mixed cheese sauce with a grated Parmesan and breadcrumb topping. A very simple dish that tastes really good.

 

Chicken and Mixed Cheese Bake
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 110g/4 oz streaky bacon/side bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 110g/4 oz button mushrooms
  • 1 x 350g tub fresh three cheese sauce, OR
  • 1 x 410g jar four-cheese pasta sauce
  • 1 rounded tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 rounded tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper

  • Equipment
  • A large gratin dish

  • To serve
  • tagliatelle


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  3. Cut the bacon into thin strips. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the bacon. Cook over a medium heat until the bacon starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and put in the pan in a single layer. Brown all over adding a little extra olive oil if needed. This may need to be done in 2 batches. Remove from the pan and set aside with the bacon.

  5. Put the mushrooms in the pan and sauté over a low heat for 2 minutes, turning occasionally.

  6. Pour the sauce into the pan and heat through, then return the chicken and bacon to the pan and stir through. Season.

  7. Transfer to a gratin dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and scatter over the chicken mixture.

  8. Bake near the top of the oven for 20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and the sauce is bubbling.

  9. Serve with tagliatelle.

 

Spicy Oven Chicken

Spicy Oven Chicken

 

Succulent chicken pieces with a spicy flour and cheese coating, cooked in butter in the oven and served with sautéed diced tomatoes and a creamy spice sauce.

 

Spicy Oven Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes (oven 25, hob 5)

  • Ingredients
  • 140g (5 oz) butter (½ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1¼ sticks)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder or chilli powder
  • 4 chicken portions (breasts, legs or quarters, skins left on)
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock* (⅔ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) single cream (table cream) (⅔ cup)
  • 4 tomatoes, diced

  • *The sauce is enhanced by using a good stock. In Canada I can recommend ‘Better Than Bouillon’. It really makes a tasty stock and doesn’t contain a lot of additives. In the U.K. I would choose the organic range.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Mix the flour, seasoning and curry or chilli powder together and spread on a plate. Spread the Parmesan cheese on a second plate.

  4. In a small roasting pan, melt 115g (4 oz) (½ cup, or 1 stick) of the butter in the oven. This will only take about 1 minute. Then remove.

  5. Turn the chicken pieces in the butter, shaking them a little when lifting to remove any excess butter. Coat in the flour mixture and then the cheese. Reserve remaining flour.

  6. Return the chicken to the pan in a singe layer, skin side down. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.

  7. Remove the foil, turn the chicken and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp up.

  8. Melt the remaining 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) butter in a large frying pan/skillet. Add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat while making the sauce. Shake the pan frequently to keep turning the tomatoes.

  9. Take the chicken out of the pan and keep warm while making the sauce.

  10. Mix the reserved flour into the buttery residue in the pan and stir well, scraping up any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Over a low heat, cook for 1 minute. Slowly blend in the chicken stock and then add the cream. Stir well and bring to the boil to thicken. Remove from the heat.

  11. Serve the chicken with the tomatoes and sauce.

  12. Chunky home fries go well with this dish.

Updated April 24, 2017

Angie’s Lasagna

Angie's Lasagna

 

This is a lasagna recipe that I stumbled across many years ago and that has always been a great family favourite. The dish has three layers of pasta, a meaty tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese, topped with Parmesan.

 

Angie's Lasagna
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 9 lasagne sheets (De Cecco, is my favourite brand)
  • 450g/1 lb mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 × 400g cans/1 × 28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 156ml/5½ fl oz can tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 450g/1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated*
  • 25g/1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

  • * In the U.K. the prepackaged grated mozzarella cheese contains only cheese and anti-caking ingredients. In Canada it has a lot more additives, so I buy the block mozzarella and grate it myself. Just pop it in the freezer for ten minutes before grating to firm it up.

  • To serve
  • A Caesar salad can be served as an accompaniment.

  • Equipment
  • Deep sided frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • A 4 litre (32.5 x 22.5 x 5 cm/13 x 9 x 2 inch) ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  3. Over a medium heat, brown the meat in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and season. Fill the tomato paste can with water and stir into the mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Many brands of lasagne pasta require no pre-cooking but I have found they benefit from cooking for a short time anyway. A baked lasagne using uncooked pasta isn’t as moist. De Cecco needs to be pre-cooked.

  6. So bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a glug of olive oil. Drop 5 of the lasagne sheets into the water one at a time (they need to be cooked in two batches or they will stick together while cooking) and boil for 4 minutes. Remove the sheets with a pair of tongs and rinse under a cold tap. Lay the individual sheets on a clean tea-towel. Repeat with the remaining four sheets.

  7. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of the lasagne pan. Layer 3 lasagne noodles, a third of the remaining meat sauce and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice more. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese.

  8. Bake, covered with foil, in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Shepherd’s Pie Napoletana

Shepherd's Pie Napoletana

 

The traditional shepherd’s pie can be quite bland and my basic Shepherd’s Pie recipe has extra seasonings to liven it up. This one brings a touch of Italian using a Napoletana sauce and with grated Parmesan on the top.

 

Shepherd's Pie Napoletana
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g/1 lb minced lamb/ground lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig (or a large pinch of dried)
  • 225ml/8 fl oz red wine
  • 500g/17 fl oz Napoletana pasta sauce (or similar)
  • 900g/2 lb potatoes (floury)
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated


  1. Method
  2. Brown the lamb in a large pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently to break up any lumps, about 7 minutes. It should be really well browned. Then remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add the onion to the pan with the rosemary and cook until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. There should be enough fat left from browning the meat not to require adding any oil.

  4. Return the lamb to the pan and stir in the wine. Loosen any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan, then leave the wine to bubble gently until roughly half of it has evaporated. Stir in the pasta sauce, then simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into large chunks. Put in a pan of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the hot pan to dry off any excess moisture. Mash with the butter and half the Parmesan.

  6. Preheat the grill to high.

  7. Spoon the meat sauce into a medium-sized ovenproof dish. Top with the potatoes, no need to smooth the surface, then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

  8. Brown under the grill for about 3 minutes.

  9. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

  10. Tip
  11. The dish can be prepared ahead of time up to the grill stage. Cover the dish then refrigerate for up to two days. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook the pie for 25–30 minutes until heated through and golden on top.