Ribollita is an Italian soup that was traditionally seen as peasant food. The great thing about this soup is that it makes an ideal base for any additional ingredients that you might want to add. Think of it as an opportunity to give a last moment of glory to any miserable veggies left at the bottom of your fridge! I keep leftover Parmesan rinds in my freezer, which I add to sauces and soups like this to give a unique rich flavour. Add a couple while the soup is simmering and simply fish them out before serving.
People panic a little bit about the measurements for cocktails, but it really is a case of making them to taste and remembering simple rules like one part alcohol to three part mixer for each person. Then just add the flavours! Get your hands on some fresh summer mint for these babies – it's one of the easiest herbs to grow, so just pick up a plant in the garden centre and pop it in a pot for fresh mint all summer long!
These marinades are super with any meat. I sometimes mix the marinades in a resealable plastic bag, then drop in the meat, seal up the bag, give it all a good squish and pop in the fridge or freezer until I'm ready to use it. Most meat will be good in the fridge for three days or in the freezer for up to three months, still sitting in the marinade.
Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It's a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.
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.