If you find the thought of making homemade pasta daunting, gnocchi is a good stepping-stone. You could use store bought gnocchi, though, if you don’t feel up to it. Either way, the combination of golden gnocchi nuggets with creamy mozzarella, sweet garden peas and a drizzling of flavoured butter is a breath of summer air. This makes a superb starter or a light supper.
This recipe might look a little complicated but in fact it's incredibly easy. If you're very short of time use shop-bought brownies, a carton of readymade custard that you stir the melted chocolate into and a couple of posh jars of cherries in kirsch. Whatever way you decide to do it always use the best quality dark chocolate you can afford. It's best to leave the final part of the assembly to the last minute for the most spectacular impact.
From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef
This recipe would also be great done on the barbecue. It uses Israeli couscous, which is also known as ptitim or Jerusalem couscous. It is actually an Israeli pasta shaped like rice or little balls. I like to eat it hot or cold and it has the added advantage of retaining its shape and texture even when reheated, as it does not clump together.
From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef
The beauty of these parcels is that the main and side dishes cook alongside each other in the oven, leaving you with nothing to do except chat to your guests! They take very little time to prepare but can be made well in advance and then cooked to order, leaving no last-minute stress! Buy one large pork fillet and you'll have enough for this recipe.
A starter or light supper dish that puts a modern twist on the traditional combination of boxty, black pudding and eggs. The eggs can be prepared well in advance and just deep-fried at the last minute.
The delicate flavour of the venison is complemented by the gutsy sweet potato mash and sauté of wild mushrooms. Most supermarkets now stock a decent range including chanterelle, oyster, chestnut and if you’re very lucky ceps (porcini) if they’re in season.
Affogato is good at any time of year and it is an incredibly easy dessert to prepare. Choose the best vanilla ice cream you can find and make sure you use good, strong espresso (regular brewed coffee will not work here). The recipe for the biscotti makes about 30 but they keep very well in an airtight container.
“If you are a chocolate lover like me, our homemade chocolate brownie will be guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. It is by far our most popular Dessert here in Café 31 and has been modified to suit coeliacs who are often limited when it comes to the choices available for their final course. It’s rich, chocolaty and the coconut ice cream acts as a delicious contrast to the bitter Valhrona Chocolate we use. It will also hold well after freezing if you have leftovers, but from our experience, you won’t!”
“I really love this prawn dish as its creamy, rich and packed with flavour. Our guests often mention they have trouble perfecting their pasta sauces but this one is so easy to make and also works well when accompanied with chicken for example.”