One of my favourite quick-fix suppers, this is full of fresh flavours and has a nice hum of heat from the chilli flakes. Gnocchi is easy to make yourself, but you can now pick up packets of the fresh variety in most supermarkets. If you happen to have fresh peas growing in your garden, feel free to use them instead of frozen.
If you want a no-fuss Brussels sprouts recipe that can be made ahead of time then this is the one for you. Baked in a creamy sauce, these Brussels sprouts can be kept warm in a low oven covered with foil until you are ready to serve them. Alternatively, they can be prepared in advance ready to pop into the oven as the turkey comes out to rest.
This is definitely one of my favourite recipes in the book. It’s made using pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut that, when cooked in this manner, results in wonderfully tender meat and crispy crackling. If the idea of rolling and stringing up the shoulder around the stuffing is too much, take the stuffing with you to the butcher when you buy the meat and ask for it to be stuffed and rolled for you. Then it’s simply a case of roasting it.
This soup is a great favourite in the spring when the nettles are young. Nettles are full of minerals and vitamins which purify the blood. In the country, nettle tea was also drunk, made by pouring boiling water over chopped nettles, boiling for about 15 minutes, then straining and adding milk and sugar. This was often given to children who had measles. It is said to have been a favourite of St Columcille. Nettle soup is still served in some hotels in Ireland; this recipe is from Declan Ryan, who was chef-proprietor of the much-starred Arbutus Lodge, Cork - sadly no longer in existence. Use gloves and a scissors when cutting the nettles. Do not gather them from sprayed verges or after the end of May as they will be too tough.