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
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whole milk (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) 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 freshly ground black 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 x 700ml bottle passata
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whole milk (½ cup)

  • To serve
  • Pasta and a green salad or Caesar salad

  • You will also need large sauté pan with lid and a large frying pan/skillet.


  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 plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat and leave to cool.

  3. Now remove the crusts from the bread and tear into pieces. Put the bread in a shallow dish and cover with the milk.

  4. Next for the tomato sauce, 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. Then stir in the passata and add the bay leaves and seasoning. Cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile prepare the meatballs. Put the lamb in a large bowl. Squeeze the milk from the bread and discard adding the bread to the lamb. Put half the parsley on a chopping board, sprinkle over the dried oregano and chop the parsley finely. (This will activate the oregano.) Now add the herbs to the lamb with the egg, Parmesan, cooled onion, and some pepper. Mix together until well combined. Make into 20–24 meatballs, flattening them slightly, and place them on a baking tray lined with clingfilm/cling wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up.

  6. When the tomato sauce has cooked for the 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 slotted spoon 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: July, 8 2018

Stuffed Sole

Stuffed Sole

 

Sole fillets are a delicate fish and here they are cooked with a cream cheese, parsley and lemon stuffing, which adds to the flavour of the fish without overpowering it. Cooks in just 20 minutes for a delicious meal.

 

Stuffed Sole
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes (oven)

  • Ingredients
  • 8 sole fillets, about 140g (5 oz each)
  • 55g (2 oz) cream cheese, softened (¼ cup)
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (1 slice bread with crusts)
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1½ lemons
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • paprika

  • You will also need an ovenproof dish large enough to take 4 fillets in a single layer, lightly greased.


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

  3. Zest half a lemon and set aside.

  4. Tip the breadcrumbs into a large frying pan/skillet and, over a medium heat, toast them until quite crispy, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan often to turn the crumbs.

  5. Now tip the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and add the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, black pepper, and the juice of the whole lemon. Mix to combine.

  6. Place four of the fillets in the ovenproof dish in a single layer. Spread the filling over the four fillets then top with the four remaining fillets.

  7. Squeeze the juice of the half lemon over the fish and then sprinkle a little paprika and the lemon zest on top.

  8. Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

  9. Garnish with the remaining parsley.

  10. Serve with asparagus when in season. It is delicious with this dish as it complements the delicacy of the sole. Serve with whole green beans/haricot beans at other times.

  11. Note
  12. This dish can also be microwaved, covered, on high for 8 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Updated April 28, 2018

Rack of Lamb with Garlic Crumbs and Roasted Carrots

Rack of lamb

 

A rack of lamb is known for its lovely, sweet, tender meat. Here it is coated with sundried tomato and a garlic and parsley breadcrumb. This is then drizzled with olive oil and roasted with baby carrots.

 

Rack of Lamb with Garlic Crumbs and Roasted Carrots
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 24 hours
  • Cooking time: about 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 85g (3 oz) fresh breadcrumbs (1½ cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick), melted
  • ½ jar sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 x 6 cutlet lamb racks, trimmed
  • 450g (1 lb) Chantenay carrots (baby carrots) OR
  • 450g (1 lb) carrots, (about 7 medium), peeled and cut into batons
  • 4–5 tbsp olive oil

  • To serve
  • serve with cannellini beans

  • You will also need a large roasting tin/pan.


  1. Method
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs and garlic together. Season. Add the parsley and stir in the melted butter.

  3. Spread the sun-dried tomato paste over the top of the lamb racks. Then press half the breadcrumb mixture over each one. Place on a plate, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Rack of lamb
  5. Remove the lamb from the fridge and bring up to room temperature.

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

  7. Lay the lamb racks in the roasting tin/pan, then scatter the carrots around them. Next, drizzle the olive oil over everything and roast for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5) and roast for a further 20 minutes, depending how pink you like your lamb.

  8. Slice the lamb into cutlets and serve with the roasted carrots and cannellini beans.

 

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce

 

For that added special touch, this lovely creamy herb sauce of parsley, chives and tarragon covers these simply cooked poached salmon fillets.

 

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 170g (6 oz) butter, cut into small cubes (¾ cup, or ½ sticks)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  • To serve
  • baby potatoes and green beans

  • Equipment
  • large shallow frying pan/skillet with lid


  1. Method
  2. Lay the salmon fillets side by side in the shallow pan/skillet along with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Cut four slices from the lemon and add them to the pan. Cover with cold water and add the lid. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes to finish cooking the salmon.

  3. Meanwhile, squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from the rest of the lemon and add to a small pan along with the vinegar. Bring to the boil then let it bubble rapidly over a medium heat until it has reduced by half. Put to one side to cool a little, while bringing a little water to a gentle simmer in another pan.

  4. Whisk together the egg yolks in a bowl that will fit over the pan of simmering water and then add the cooled vinegar and lemon juice. Place the bowl over the pan and add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking until it has melted. Continue whisking until all the butter has been added and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Remove the bowl immediately from the heat and stir in the herbs, and season.

  6. Using a fish slice, drain the salmon fillets then pour over the sauce.

 

Haddock with a Parsley-Cheese Sauce

Haddock with Parsley and Cheese Sauce

 

Another quick dish for summer. Haddock is poached with lemon and parsley, then covered in a parsley-cheese sauce and garnished with chopped egg.

 

Haddock with a Parsley-Cheese Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5–10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 750g (1lb 10 oz) haddock
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 5 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 28g (1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
  • 55g (2 oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated (½ cup)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), hard-boiled

  • Serving suggestion
  • French fries and peas

  • Equipment
  • A large lidded frying pan/skillet and a shallow flameproof dish.


  1. Method
  2. Slice half the lemon and juice the other half.

  3. Lay the haddock in a single layer in a lidded pan. Add milk, lemon slices and juice, parsley sprigs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat, cover and leave for 15 minutes until the haddock can be flaked. Strain, reserving the milk. Then flake the fish and place in the flameproof dish.

  4. Preheat the grill/broiler to high.

  5. Next, melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the reserved milk until there is a smooth sauce, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, season and stir in the chopped parsley. Pour the sauce over the fish and then sprinkle with cheese.

  6. Place the haddock under the grill/broiler and cook for about 5 minutes until bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.

  7. While the fish is under the grill/broiler, shell the eggs and chop.

  8. Once the fish is ready, garnish with the chopped egg.

 

Gammon Steak with a Clear Parsley Sauce

Gammon Steak with a Clear Parsley Sauce

 

A very quick recipe just right for summer. Gammon steaks are cooked in garlic and oil then covered in a really tasty clear parsley sauce.

 

Gammon Steak with a Clear Parsley Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 gammon steaks
  • 60ml/2 fl oz/4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 120ml/4 fl oz/8 tbsp water
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped

  • To serve
  • 228g/8 oz peas

  • Equipment
  • large heavy-based frying pan/skillet


  1. Method
  2. Put plates in a very low oven to warm.

  3. Remove any rind from the steaks.

  4. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan over a medium heat, then stir in the garlic. The steaks will need to be cooked two at a time. Lay the first two steaks in the pan and cook for 3 minutes each side. Remove and transfer to a warmed plate in the oven.

  5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan and cook the remaining two steaks. Then transfer to a warmed plate in the oven.

  6. Meanwhile whisk the vinegar with the water, pepper and honey in a small bowl. Once the steaks are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the sauce along with most of the parsley. Stir for 1 minute. The heat of the pan will be enough to heat through the sauce.

  7. Pour the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle over the remaining parsley. Serve with the peas and other seasonal vegetables.

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Pork with Herby Vegetables

Prosciutto Wrapped Pork with Herby Vegetables

 

A special pork dish where tenderloin fillet is wrapped with prosciutto slices and roasted. It is served with a creamy wine sauce, asparagus tips and baby potatoes tossed in butter and herbs.

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Pork with Herby Vegetables
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 prosciutto slices
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 450g (1 lb) pork tenderloin fillet
  • olive oil
  • 675g (1 lb 8 oz) baby potatoes (about 12)
  • 450g (1 lb) asparagus (about 16 spears)
  • knob of butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 90ml (3 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅓ cup)
  • ½ lemon
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine (⅔ cup)

  • Equipment
  • A flameproof roasting pan


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

  3. Lay the prosciutto slices side by side, overlapping them slightly.

  4. Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprig and finely chop them. Sprinkle them over of the prosciutto and then lay the pork fillet on top. Wrap the prosciutto round the pork, then put in the pan, seam-side down. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and spread to evenly coat the prosciutto.

  5. Roast for 25 minutes.

  6. Cut any of the larger potatoes in half to give an even size overall.

  7. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and leave for 1 minute for the steam to evaporate.

  8. Break off and discard the woody parts at the end of the asparagus stems by holding the stems and quickly bending them. The woody part will snap off.

  9. Tie the stalks with string. Half fill a deep sided narrow pan with boiling water, add salt, then stand the asparagus in the pan and cover. The tips are then steamed. Simmer until just tender, about 4–5 minutes. Drain and leave for 1 minute for the steam to evaporate.

  10. Add the asparagus to the pan with the potatoes. Add a knob of butter and the chopped herbs and gently toss together to coat. Season, cover and keep warm while preparing the sauce.

  11. Mix together the cream and the zest from the lemon and set to one side.

  12. When the pork is cooked remove from the pan onto a warm plate and cover. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

  13. Meanwhile, put the roasting pan on the hob, over a medium-high heat, and add the wine. Reduce by half. Turn down the heat and add the cream and let it bubble gently for 2 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season.

  14. To serve, thinly slice the pork and divide between four plates. Then pour the sauce over the pork slices and serve with the vegetables.

Updated: October 26, 2017

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee

 

A chicken fricassee where pieces of chicken are cooked in a creamy sauce with sliced carrots, chopped onions and sliced mushrooms, served garnished with bacon rolls and parsley.

 

Chicken Fricassee
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 110g/4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • bouquet garni*
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz flour
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon/side bacon, rinded and rolled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp double cream/whipping cream
  • juice of ½ lemon (1½ tablespoons)
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish

  • *In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. Traditionally, thyme, parsley stalks and bay leaf are wrapped in a small piece of muslin and tied to make a sack.

  • To serve
  • Seasonal green vegetables


  1. Method
  2. Place the chicken, onion, carrots, mushrooms, bouquet garni and seasoning in a pan and cover with water. Bring slowly to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, strain off the stock and reserve.

  4. Cut the chicken into cubes and set to one side.

  5. Preheat the grill/broiler to high.

  6. Over a medium heat melt the butter in a separate pan. Reduce the heat and add the flour, stirring to form a paste (a roux). Cook for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Measure off 600ml/20 fl oz/1 pint of the reserved stock and gradually stir it into the roux until smooth. Bring to the boil and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

  7. Reduce the heat, add the chicken and vegetables and heat through, about 2 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, grill/broil the bacon rolls until crisp on the outside.

  9. In a small bowl, blend the egg yolk and cream together. Stir a little of the sauce into the mixture and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce and stir through, being careful not to let the sauce boil. Then stir in the lemon juice.

  10. Serve the fricassee garnished with the bacon rolls and chopped parsley.