Celebrity Maltese Chefs and Recipe Enthusiasts

RECIPE OF THE DAYLemon Cheesecake (No-Bake)

Crush the digestive biscuits in a food bag with a rolling pin or in the food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan, take off heat and stir in the brown sugar and biscuit crumbs.

Line the base of a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Press the biscuit into the bottom of the tin and chill in the fridge while making the topping.

Beat together the mascarpone, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice, until smooth and creamy. Spread over the base and chill for a couple of hours.

Swordfish with a caper and olive sa...

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Add some salt and pepper on the fish. Peel and chop the garlic. Warm some olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic and onions while mixing all the time. Add the mint and look for around 1 minutes for flavours to infuse. Add the jar of tomatoes, wine, Kunserva and lemon rind. Simmer on low flame for around 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat a nonstick pan and cook the fish from both sides. Add the capers and olives and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve the fish with sauce.

White Bait Patties

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Clean the fish very well and roughly chop or press and set aside in a bowl. Peel and chop the garlic in small pieces. Finely chop the tomatoes and add to the fish along with the garlic. Add the parsley, mint and lemon rind. Mix well. Add the ready mashed potatoes, eggs, salt and pepper. Add some semolina if mixture is too sticky. Form small balls and lightly flat by hand. Pass the patties from some flour. Warm some vegetable oil in a deep pan and cook the patties from both sides until well cooked. When cooked, place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve warm with some fresh salad and some tartar sauce.

Cabbage Lasagne

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In a deep oven dish do a layer of sliced potatoes. Cover with a layer of cabbage. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta with the eggs, salt and pepper and spread it over the cabbage. Spread some grated cheese. Cover with another layer of the remaining cabbage. Do another layer of the sliced potatoes. Sprinkle the top with hot paprika and a dash of oil. Bake in oven at a temperature of 180c until the potatoes have a golden colour.

Easy Chocolate Molten Cakes

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter 6 dariole moulds or basins well and place on a baking tray.

Put 100g butter and 100g chopped dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water (or alternatively put in the microwave and melt in 30 second bursts on a low setting) and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly for 15 mins.

Using an electric hand whisk, mix in 150g light brown soft sugar, then 3 large eggs, one at a time, followed by ½ tsp vanilla extract and finally 50g plain flour. Divide the mixture among the darioles or basins.

You can now either put the mixture in the fridge, or freezer until you’re ready to bake them. Can be cooked straight from frozen for 16 mins, or bake now for 10-12 mins until the tops are firm to the touch but the middles still feel squidgy.

Carefully run a knife around the edge of each pudding, then turn out onto serving plates and serve with single cream.

Chicken Arrabbiata Stew & Parm...

Heat the oil in a large shallow casserole dish. Fry Mayor Diced Onions over a low-medium heat for 7 mins or until soft and turning translucent. Turn up the heat slightly, add the chicken and fry for 5 mins until beginning to brown around the edges. Tip the garlic and chilli into the casserole and fry for 1 min. Stir through the pesto, pour in Pinto’s Pride stock and Mayor Polpa, then add the thyme, sugar and some seasoning. Turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook gently for 40 mins. Remove the thyme and check the seasoning.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the dumplings, put the butter and flour in a bowl with ½ tsp fine salt, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in 50g of Hanini Pekorin cheese and pour in 50ml of the milk, then swiftly combine with a cutlery knife until everything is well distributed and you have a soft dough (add more milk if it’s too dry). Briefly bring the dough together on a worksurface, then divide into eight balls.

Arrange the dumplings over the stew, then scatter each with the remaining cheese. Put in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 mins or until the dumplings are doubled in size and golden brown. Scatter over the parsely and serve.

Linguine with Tuna Sauce

Prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium pan. Toss in 2 tbsp of the parsley, the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for a few minutes until slightly soft. Tip in Mayor Polpa and cook for another few minutes. Fold in the tuna and season the sauce generously. Leave the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.

Boil the pasta: Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, or as directed on the pack. Drain, then return to the pan. Pour the tuna sauce into the pasta and toss well. Sprinkle over the remaining parsley, divide between four bowls and serve.

Bread in Four Easy Steps

Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml hand-hot water with the oil and honey, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins, until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour if you need it.
Oil a 900g loaf tin and put the dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Put in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for 1 hr, until the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it with your finger.
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make several slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, then bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and golden. Tip it out onto a cooling rack and tap the base of the bread to check it is cooked. It should sound hollow. Leave to cool.

Ravioli with Artichokes, Leek &...

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Heat the oil from Mayor artichokes in a large saucepan, then add the leek and garlic. Fry for 5 mins over a medium heat until the leek is soft. Stir in the artichokes, cream cheese and lemon zest, then heat through. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Meanwhile, cook Divini ravioli following pack instructions. Drain, add to the pan with the artichokes and cream cheese, and toss through. Serve topped with the rocket and a grating of Hanini Pekorin cheese.

Jacket Potato with Whipped Hanini C...

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 6. Prick the potato all over with a fork and bake for 1 hr until it is golden outside and soft inside. Mix 1 tsp olive oil with the garlic salt. Cut a deep cross into the top of the jacket, drizzle the garlic oil into the cross and rub it all over the outside. Return to the oven and bake for 15 mins more until the edges are golden and crispy. Meanwhile, crumble Hanini cheese into a bowl, add Hanini yogurt and whisk together until creamy. Stir in the red pepper with a good grind of black pepper and spoon the whipped cheese into the jacket. Sprinkle with the fresh chives, drizzle over the remaining 1 tsp olive oil and scatter a few torn basil leaves on top, if you like.

Coconut Fish Curry

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Heat the oil in a wide, lidded frying pan, then soften the onion for 5 mins. Increase the heat a little, stir in the ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, chilli and lemongrass, and cook for 2 mins. Add the curry powder and sugar, and keep stirring. When the sugar starts to melt and everything starts to clump together, add the coriander stems, Pinto’s Pride coconut milk and 2 tbsp water, then bring to a simmer.

Add the fish to the sauce, tuck the prawns in here and there, then squeeze over half the lime. Pop on the lid and simmer for 5 mins more or until the hake is just cooked and flaking, and the prawns are pink through. Taste for seasoning, adding a squeeze more lime to the sauce if you like. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve with rice.

American Pancakes

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Mix 200g self-raising flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Create a well in the centre with the back of your spoon then add 3 large eggs, 25g melted butter and 200ml milk. Whisk together either with a balloon whisk or electric hand beaters until smooth then pour into a jug. Heat a small knob of butter and 1 tsp of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter looks frothy, pour in rounds of the batter, approximately 8cm wide. Make sure you don’t put the pancakes too close together as they will spread during cooking. Cook the pancakes on one side for about 1-2 mins or until lots of tiny bubbles start to appear and pop on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for a further minute on the other side. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Serve your pancakes stacked up on a plate with a drizzle of maple syrup and any of your favourite toppings.

Leek & Potato Soup

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Clean and slice the leeks and the potatoes in small pieces. In a large pan, melt the margarine and cook the leeks for around 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and lower the flame and close lid for another further 3 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni and simmer on low flame until potatoes are well cooked. Blend everything with a hand processer. Serve hot with some parsley on top.

Pot-Roast Beef with French Onion Gr...

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Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Rub the meat with 1 tsp of the oil and plenty of seasoning. Heat a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the meat all over for about 10 mins. Meanwhile, add 2 tsp oil to a frying pan and fry the carrots and celery for 10 mins until turning golden.
Lift the beef onto a plate, splash the wine into the hot casserole and boil for 2 mins. Pour in Pinto’s Pride beef stock, return the beef, then tuck in the carrots, celery and bay leaves, trying not to submerge the carrots too much. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hrs. (I like to turn the beef halfway through cooking.)
Meanwhile, thinly slice the onions. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and stir in the onions, thyme and some seasoning. Cover and cook gently for 20 mins until the onions are softened but not coloured. Remove the lid, turn up the heat, add the butter and sugar, then let the onions caramelise to a dark golden brown, stirring often. Remove the thyme sprigs, then set aside.
When the beef is ready, it will be tender and easy to pull apart at the edges. Remove it from the casserole and snip off the strings. Reheat the onion pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min. Whisk the floury onions into the beefy juices in the casserole, to make a thick onion gravy. Taste for seasoning. Add the beef and carrots back to the casserole, or slice the beef and bring to the table on a platter, with the carrots to the side and the gravy spooned over.

Red wine poached Pears for Diabetic...

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Peel the pears and slice the bottom part so that the fruit can stand. Place in a small pan and add the wine and the cloves. Top up with the water enough that the pears are submerged in liquid. Place on low flame and simmer until pears are cooked. When ready, place in a separate dish. The fruit can be eaten warm as well as cold. Great to be served with some light yogurt.

Creamy Pesto & Kale Pasta

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Cook the Mayor onions for 5 mins until they begin to caramelize. Add the kale and 100ml water, then cover and cook for 5 mins more, or until the kale has wilted.

Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the onion mixture, soft cheese and Mayor pesto, adding a splash of the reserved cooking water to loosen, season if needed.

Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes & ...

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Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add Three Hills Kunserva tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add Mayor chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season and serve with rice or naan.

Lemon Cheesecake (No-Bake)

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Crush the digestive biscuits in a food bag with a rolling pin or in the food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan, take off heat and stir in the brown sugar and biscuit crumbs.

Line the base of a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Press the biscuit into the bottom of the tin and chill in the fridge while making the topping.

Beat together the mascarpone, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice, until smooth and creamy. Spread over the base and chill for a couple of hours.

Small Party Sanwiches

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Chicken Filling – Cook some chicken breast and cut into small pieces. Add some mayonnaise, some soft cheese, fresh parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.

Tuna – Drain 2 large cans of tuna. Place in a food processer with a small onion, one garlic clove and a ¼ of a green pepper. Blend well. If need you may add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Olive and Feta Cheese – in a blender add 6 tbsp Three Hills Kunserva, 50g black olives, 30g capers and 50g feta cheese. Blend well. You may add some olive oil, or preferably extra virgin olive oil.

Grissini Sticks with Parma Ham

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This is a super easy recipe and it look nice 😉However it is important that the grissini sticks are long and not broken. Also, choose good quality Italian ham known as Parma ham.

Slice each piece of ham in half and rotate it around the grissini stick. Be careful not to break any.

Chicken & Mushrooms

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Season and dust the chicken with flour, brown on all sides. Remove. Fry the pancetta and mushrooms until softened, then remove.

Add the final tbsp oil and cook shallots for 5 mins. Add Pinto’s Pride stock and vinegar, bubble for 1-2 mins. Return the chicken, pancetta and mushrooms and cook for 15 mins. Add Mayor peas and parsley and cook for 2 mins more, then serve

Tomato & Chorizo Rice

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Heat a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the sliced chorizo halves, cut-side down, and cook until the oil starts to come out and they begin to crisp at the edges.Tip the onion and garlic into the pan with the chorizo slices, and cook for a few mins more. Stir in the paprika and rice, mix well so that all the grains are coated, then pour in Pinto’s Pride chicken stock and add the roasted peppers. Stir everything, then cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 mins.Stir in Mayor cherry tomatoes and olives, and cook 8-10 mins more until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed into it.

Christmas Crumble

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Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the apples, cranberries, spices and sugar into a 22cm square baking dish and mix well to combine. For the crumble, rub the flour and butter together using your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Stir in the sugar and mixed spice. Sprinkle the crumble in an even layer over the fruit, then bake for 35-40 mins until golden on top and bubbling at the edges. Leave to cool slightly, then serve warm.


These party Bouchées are identical to vol au vents but much smaller. The term vol-au-vent means ‘fly with the wind” and for this reason puff pastry, a very light form of flaky pastry, needs to be used.

Filling for Party Bouchées

Ideally, it is best to prepare a basic filling, which you may separate into different bowls, and then add different ingredients and seasonings. This will give you a variety of pasty-filled boats. Do not overfill these bite-sized pastries as these pastries are normally eaten by hand and the filling may spill out of them.

Basic filling:

Place a tub of cream cheese into a bowl. Add some Hanini Creamylight, two hard-boiled eggs, cut into very small pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well until it creates a homogeneous paste.

Varieties of fillings:

Tomato: Peel and cut tomatoes into very small pieces, Add to the basic mixture with a teaspoon of mustard. Mix well. Fill the pastries with the filling and garnish with tomato pieces on top.

Shrimp: Squeeze the juice of a lemon to the basic filling. Mix well. Fill the pastries with this filling and garnish with shrimps and a sliver of lemon on the top. If using frozen shrimps, follow the instructions on the packet.

Salmon: Fill the bouchées with the basic mixture. Cut the smoked salmon into very small pieces and garnish the pastry boats with a slice of lemon or caviar

Tuna: Drain the canned tuna. Mash the tuna and add to the basic filling recipe. Drizzle some drops of Pinto’s Sweet Chilli Sauce or Red Hot Sauce and mix well.

Mushrooms: Finely chop the mushrooms. In a pan melt a spoonful of butter and cook the mushrooms in the butter. Allow to cool. Add the mushrooms to the basic recipe and add some finely chopped parsley. Mix well and fill the pastry with the mixture.

Chicken: Cook the chicken and finely chop. Add to the basic filling recipe and add a spoonful of Mayor Tomato Ketchup. Mix well and fill the party bouchées.

Leek, Butter Bean & Crispy Cho...

Heat the butter and a glug of olive oil in a casserole over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 15 mins until softened and beginning to turn golden brown. Stir through the garlic and cook for a further 1 min.

Tip Mayor butter beans into the pan, pour over the hot stock and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins. Blitz to a smooth consistency with a hand-held blender, then stir in the crème fraîche and season to taste. Keep warm over a low heat.

Meanwhile, fry the chorizo in a small glug of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for 5 mins or until oily and crispy. Stir in the rosemary, cooking for a further minute. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the rosemary and chorizo mixture, as well as any oil left in the pan. Serve with some crusty bread.

Slow-Cooked Rabbit Stew

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Put the prunes in a bowl with the brandy and brown sugar, stir, then set aside to soak.

Dust the rabbit in the flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish and brown the rabbit all over until golden – you may have to do this in batches. Set the rabbit aside. Add the bacon, vegetables, garlic and herbs to the dish and fry for 5 mins until starting to colour.

Pour in the red wine and scrape all the goodness off the bottom of the dish. Add Pinto’s Pride chicken stock and put the rabbit back in the dish with the boozy prunes, then cover and cook for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally, until the rabbit is totally tender. Serve scattered with parsley and wild rice on the side.

Roast Garlic Make-Ahead Gravy

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the chopped carrots into an ovenproof frying pan or roasting tin, and toss with the oil. Roast for 30 mins until starting to brown, then add the garlic and roast for a further 20 mins until they have softened completely.

Put the pan on the hob over a medium heat (or tip into a saucepan first, if you haven’t used an ovenproof pan). Scatter in the flour and stir it in, then cook undisturbed for a few minutes until lightly browned. Pour in the wine and bubble for 5 mins until you have a paste. Pour in Pinto’s Pride beef stock and simmer for 15 mins until slightly thickened, then leave to cool a little.

Blitz using a hand blender or jug blender, then sieve into a jug. Will keep chilled for up to three days or frozen, in a freezerproof container, for a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using. Pour the gravy base into the pan you’ve used for roasting, and stir in the meat juices and roasted onions. Bring to a simmer, then strain into a gravy boat or jug to serve.

Focaccia Dough

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Sift the flour in a large bowl, add the salt, sugar and yeast and amalgamate together well. Add the milk to the mixture. For best results, make sure the milk is warm, not hot! Knead the pastry dough well enough to get a highly smooth texture, and form into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave the bowl in a warm place and allow to rest for around 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Sprinkle some flour on a smooth clean surface. Knead the dough again with the palm of your hand and place again In the bowl. Cover again with the damp cloth and place in a warm place until it rises again. The rising process takes less time this time but this step will reduce the taste of the yeast. At this stage you may freeze the focaccia dough in a plastic bag, compressing it as much as possible and place in freezer. The dough will freeze well for up to 3 months. This recipe will produce approx. 800g of dough. Before cooking top up with your favourite toppings.

Air-Fryer Mince Pies

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Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until roughly ½cm thick. Use an 8-10cm round biscuit cutter to stamp out as many discs as you can, then reroll the offcuts and cut out more, using up as much of the pastry as possible.
Spoon 1 tbsp mincemeat into the middles of half the pastry discs. Stamp out small stars (or other festive shapes) from the middles of half of the remaining pastry discs and set aside.
Beat the egg and brush lightly around the edge of each mincemeat-topped pastry disc. Place the lids on top – some with the stamped-out stars and some without. Brush a little egg wash over each pie, then stick the leftover stars on top of the plain pastry pies. Brush the stars with egg wash, too. Poke a little hole in the top of the covered pies to let steam escape during cooking.
Either use a fork to seal the edges of the pies by pressing around the edge, or make a small, neat crimp by pinching with your fingers. Arrange the pies on a plate or baking tray and chill for at least 30 mins. Will keep frozen for up to two months.
Heat the air-fryer to 180C. Lay a square of baking parchment in the air-fryer basket, sit the pies on top, cooking as many as you’d like at a time. Cook for 8-10 mins, then turn the mince pies and cook for a further 2-3 mins, or 13-15 mins from frozen. The pies should be golden brown and steaming hot. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then dust with icing sugar and serve. Will keep in an airtight tin for up to two days.

Hot Honey-Glazed Gammon

Put the gammon and all the other ingredients, except those for the glaze, in your largest, deepest pot. Cover completely with cold water. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer with the lid slightly ajar and cook for 1 hr. Turn off the heat and leave in the liquid for 1 hr with the lid on.

Remove the gammon from the stock and set aside to cool a little (keep the stock and freeze it to use as a base for soup). Meanwhile, tip the honey, Pinto’s Pride hot sauce and chilli flakes into a small pan. Put over a medium heat and stir until it is all mixed and gently bubbling. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once the gammon has cooled but still slightly warm, peel away the layer of skin on the top of the gammon joint leaving the fat remaining. Score the fat with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a large roasting tin that fits the gammon comfortably.

Put the gammon in the roasting tin and cover with the glaze all over, reserving some to glaze during cooking and at the end. Roast for 25 mins, glazing halfway through. Once cooked, it should be golden, slightly charred and sticky. Remove from the oven and glaze for a final time, then leave to rest for 20 mins. Serve with all the trimmings. Will keep well wrapped in the fridge for up to four days.

Air Fryer Salmon

Combine the salt, pepper, mixed herbs and garlic granules, if using, in a bowl, then scatter onto a plate. Rub each salmon fillet with a little olive oil and roll in the seasoning to coat.
Put in the air fryer basket in one layer and cook at 180C for 8-10 mins, until cooked through. If you have larger salmon fillets they will need to be cooked for longer – keep checking after 10 mins and cook in 1-2 min blasts, until ready. Serve with greens and quinoa or rice, if you like.

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese

Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.

Add 4 finely chopped bacon rashers and fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.

Reduce the heat and add Mayor Diced Onions, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs rosemary, all finely chopped, then fry for 10 mins. Stir the veg often until it softens.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add 500g beef mince and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned all over.

Add 2 cans of Mayor Pelati tomatoes, the finely chopped leaves from ¾ small pack basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp Three Hills Kunserva, 1 beef stock cube, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli (if using), 125ml red wine and 6 halved cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the plum tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.

Add the 75g grated Hanini Pekorin cheese , check the seasoning and stir.

When the bolognese is nearly finished, cook 400g spaghetti following the pack instructions.

Drain the spaghetti and either stir into the bolognese sauce, or serve the sauce on top. Serve with more grated cheese, the remaining basil leaves and crusty bread, if you like.

Air-Fryer Arancini

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook Mayor Diced Onions and garlic for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 min, then add half the stock, stirring well.

Continue to cook the risotto for 20 mins, stirring frequently and adding more stock as it is absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy. Stir in Hanini Pekorin cheese, then season to taste. Spread out on a tray and leave to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into 12 pieces and pat dry using kitchen paper.

Shape the risotto into 12 even-sized balls. Flatten one of the balls in the palm of your hand and add a piece of mozzarella. Bring up the edges to enclose it, then roll into a neat ball. Repeat to make 12 balls.

Roll each risotto ball in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Chill until ready to air-fry, or until set and holding their shape well.

Heat the air-fryer to 190C. Mist the arancini with the olive oil spray and cook in batches for 10-15 mins until crunchy and golden brown. Scatter with Hanini Pekorin cheese before serving.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Basil &...

First, make the pesto. Put all the ingredients (except the olive oil and lemon juice) and a pinch of salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. While the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil in to make a paste. Tip the pesto into a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the scored lamb leg in a large roasting tin and use half the pesto to generously coat the skin and flesh, pressing it between all the cracks for extra juiciness. Put the rest of the pesto in the fridge, covered with cling film, and remove just before serving.

Roast the lamb for 1 hr 45 mins. Check during cooking that it’s not drying out – if the base of the roasting tin starts to look dry, spread a little more pesto over the top of the lamb.

Remove the lamb from the tin, cover with foil and leave to rest for 30-40 mins before serving on lemon slices and fresh garden herbs, if you like. Carve at the table and serve with the remaining pesto to drizzle over.

Low Fat Christmas Cake

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Cut the apricots into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Add the rest of the other fruit mixture and the grated orange and lemon peel. Pour in the hot tea and the orange juice and brandy. Stir well and cover with cling film. Let the mixture stand for a minimum of 4 hoursor preferably allow it to sit overnight. Turn on the oven at 180C, gas number 4. Grease a round cake tin, of 20cm diameter, with margarine and dust it lightly with flour.  Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them well until the mixture becomes creamy- ideally use an electric mixer to get a better mixture! Add the eggs one by one and continue mixing. Add the flour little by little while you keep mixing all the time.  Add the fruit mixture little by little and mix well. Pour the mixture into the mold, smooth the surface and sprinkle a little brown sugar on it. Bake for about an hour or until the skewer comes out clean when you insert it into the cake.  Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool before removing it from the tin. 

Stuffed Soft Flour Tortillas Baked ...

Few dressed salad leaves for serving

Fry the onion , garlic, chili and red pepper in oil till soft. Remove off the heat and stir in the sweetcorn, parsley, 100g grated Cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add in the tuna and double cream and mix together well. Use this mixture to fill the tortillas like cannelloni. Drizzle a little oil into a baking tray and lay over the stuffed tortillas. Mix the paprika with the béchamel sauce and spread over the tortillas. Sprinkle over the remaining grated Cheddar cheese and bake in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. To serve, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the diced tomatoes and serve with the salad leaves on top.

Stuffed Pasta with Irkotta and Spin...

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Heat the oven to a temperature of 1800C, gas number 4. In a bowl, mix well the Irkotta until very creamy. Add the grated cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well together. Roughtly cut the cooked spinach leaves and add to the irkotta mixture. Add the beaten eggs and mix. Fill each pasta shell and set aside. Bring 1 large pot to a boil. Cover the sides of all pasta shells with the semolina and very gently add the past shells. The semolina is done in order to prevent the cheese mixture from coming out of the pasta shells. Leave the pasta ‘al dente’, it must not be fully cooked. In a separate oven dish, add the tomato sauce and gently add the pasta shells next to each other making sure the cheese area is looking upwards. Sprinkle the grated cheese, some salt and pepper and let cook for around 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Octopus Tagine

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Sautee the octopus in olive oil for a minute or two. Stir in the vegetables and spices, cook for further 2 minutes. Peel the orange and add to the octopus, squeeze in the juice, stir in tomato paste. Add in the sweet potatoes, cover with the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and set to simmer over a low heat or on in a tagine in a hot oven for approx. 35 min. Stir in the chickpeas and peas, chopped coriander to taste and a lime juice. Serve with extra lime wedges, coriander and crusty bread.

Black Pepper Chicken & Lemon Y...

Crush the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Add the grated garlic and ½ tsp salt, and mash to a thick paste. Stir in the turmeric and lemon juice, then set aside.

Sit the chicken in a dish, skin-side up, and evenly slash the skin all over. Rub the marinade all over the chicken so it’s completely coated, then cover and chill for at least 1 hr, or ideally overnight.

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Transfer the chicken to a shallow roasting tray, skin-side up, and sit the garlic bulb alongside it. Drizzle the oil mostly over the chicken and a little over the garlic. Roast for 30 mins, then remove the garlic bulb from the tray and set aside. Continue to roast the chicken for 10-15 mins more, or until crisp-skinned and cooked all the way through. If you have a cooking thermometer, it should read at least 65C when inserted into the breast, and 70C in the thigh. Leave the chicken to rest, uncovered, for 10-15 mins in the tray.

Meanwhile, peel and squeeze the garlic from the roasted bulb into a bowl, then mix in Hanini yogurt. When the chicken has rested, lift it onto a board and stir all the resting pan juices into the yogurt. Taste the yogurt for seasoning, adding a bit more lemon juice if needed. Slice the chicken into pieces and serve scattered with coriander, if using, alongside the yogurt sauce, peppered yellow rice (see recipe, below) and lemon wedges on the side, if you like.

Spider Biscuits

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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Using an electric hand whisk, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the flour, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt.
Scoop 18-20 tbsps of the mixture onto the trays, leaving enough space between each to allow for spreading. Make a thumbprint in the centre of the cookies. Bake for 10-12 mins or until firm at the edges but still soft in the middle – they’ll harden a little as they cool. Leave to cool on the tray for a few mins before topping each biscuit with a peanut butter cup, Rolo or Malteser. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Heat the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until just liquid. Scrape into a piping bag and leave to cool a little. Pipe the legs onto each spider, then stick two eyes on each. Leave to set. Will keep for three days in an airtight container.

Healthy Halloween Stuffed Peppers

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Cut the tops off the peppers (keeping the tops to one side) and remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside. Use a small sharp knife to carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cook Mayor Diced Onions in the oil for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts and aubergine and cook for another 10 mins, until the veggies are soft. Add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. Season. Empty can of quinoa and separate with a fork. Mix the Il-Helwa with some hot water and add to the quinoa to worm up. Drain and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts. Fill each pepper with the grain mixture. Replace the lids, using cocktail sticks to secure them in place, and put the peppers in a deep roasting tin with the carved faces facing upwards. Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins, uncovered for the final 10. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

Snowy Coconut Loaf Cake

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Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 900g loaf tin (ours measured 10 x 21 x 5cm) and line the base with a long strip of baking parchment that overhangs the sides.

Put the butter, Pinto’s pride coconut milk, sugar, flour, eggs, coconut extract (if using) and desiccated coconut in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until combined. Scrape into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 55 mins-1 hr, or until the cake is risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If any wet cake mixture clings to the skewer, bake for another 5-10 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then lift the cake out onto a wire rack, using the parchment to help you. Leave to cool completely. The cooled cake will keep in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two months.

To make the icing, beat the butter, sugar, Pinto’s Pride coconut milk and coconut extract, if using, in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the cake using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, then scatter over a generous layer of coconut chips. Decorate with white chocolate truffle ‘snowballs’ or large white sprinkles, if you like.

Roast Pumpkin with Cream

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Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Cut lid off pumpkin and scoop out seeds and strands. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray. Meanwhile, heat the cream, milk, garlic and most of the thyme, with plenty of seasoning. When hot, pour into the pumpkin and stir in 50g of Hanini Pekorin cheese. Put on the lid.

Bake for 1½ hrs, take from the oven, then turn up the heat to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Remove the lid, sprinkle with pepper and the rest of the cheese, then bake for 15 mins more until golden. Scatter over the remaining thyme leaves. Scoop the pumpkin flesh into bowls with the cheesy cream and serve with crusty bread as a starter.

Mushroom & Goat Cheese Calzone

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Make up the pizza dough following pack instructions. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan and fry Mayor mushrooms until golden, about 8 mins. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary and cook for 1 min more. Stir in crème fraîche and 1 tbsp water and remove from heat. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll out the dough to a 30cm-diameter circle. Spread the mushroom mix across half of the circle, leaving a 2cm border from the edge, and scatter on Hanini goat cheese. Fold over and press to seal. Brush with remaining oil, transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 mins until risen and golden. Cut in halves and serve with rocket, if you like.

Cacio e Pepe

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Cook the pasta for 2 mins less than pack instructions state, in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium frying pan over a low heat, then add the ground black pepper and toast for a few minutes. Drain the pasta, keeping 200ml of the pasta water. Tip the pasta and 100ml of the pasta water into the pan with the butter and pepper. Toss briefly, then scatter over Hanini Pekorin evenly, but don’t stir – wait for the cheese to melt for 30 seconds, then once melted, toss everything well, and stir together. This prevents the cheese from clumping or going stringy and makes a smooth, shiny sauce. Add a splash more pasta water if you need to, to loosen the sauce and coat the pasta. Serve immediately with a good grating of black pepper.

Genovese basil

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Place the basil, oil, mine nuts, garlic and salt in a food processor. Blizz on high speed. When ingredients are mixed well, place in a bowl. Start adding the cheese a bit by bit. Add the butter and mix. At the end add a spoon of hot water and mix.

One-Pot Sausage Casserole with Garl...

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a shallow ovenproof casserole over a medium heat and gently fry the sausages for 5-8 mins, or until brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate using tongs. Tip the onions into the pan and fry for 5-8 mins until beginning to turn golden. Drizzle in a little more oil if the onions start to stick. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for a minute before stirring in Pinto’s Pride vinegar, Three Hills tomato purée and paprika to form a paste. Tip in Mayor Polpa, then pour the wine into the tomato can, swish it round, and add to the pan. Stir in the bay leaves and Mayor beans, then arrange the sausages on top so they’re half-submerged in the sauce but still a little exposed.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then bake in the oven for 20 mins. Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix the breadcrumbs with the garlic and parsley, then season and stir in 1 tbsp oil. Scatter the topping over the casserole, then drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and bake for 10 mins more until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then take to the table and serve from the dish.

Pork Chops with Rhubarb & Grai...

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a small roasting tin, toss the rhubarb, onion wedges and garlic with Pinto’s Pride balsamic vinegar, a little olive oil and some seasoning. Roast in the oven for 20 mins. Meanwhile, melt the butter over a high heat and fry the rosemary. Add the pork and cook for 2 mins on each side until nicely browned, then remove from the heat. Take the roasting tin out of the oven and add the grains and Pinto’s Pride chicken stock and mix together. Add the meat and the rosemary to the roasting tin, placing the chops on top. Roast for 10-12 mins further, or until the pork is cooked through. Serve each chop with a big spoonful of the grains, scattered with parsley.

French Toast

Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Lay the brioche slices in a single layer in a shallow dish and pour the egg mixture over them. Allow to soak for 2-3 mins, then carefully turn over and soak for 2 mins more.

Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until foaming. Carefully lift 2 slices of the soaked brioche out of the dish and add to the frying pan. Fry for 3 mins on each side, until golden and crisp, then place on a wire rack over a baking tray in a warm oven while you repeat with the remaining slices.

Serve dusted in icing sugar and scattered with fresh berries, if you like.