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Strapped for time in the evenings? These tasty meals are on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Linguine with pesto, mozzarella and tomato

Four to six portions | 20 minutes

60ml olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

400g cherry tomatoes

125g pesto

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

500g linguine pasta

60g butter

5 slices bread, broken into pieces

150g soft mozzarella cheese

Handful of basil leaves

1) Heat olive oil in a frypan till warm. Place onion and garlic in pan and fry for 3-5 minutes. 2) Add cherry tomatoes and fry for another 3-5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst open. 3) Add pesto and mix well. Remove from the heat and flavour with salt and pepper. 4) Cook pasta according to packet directions. In the meantime, heat butter in a frypan. Add bread pieces and fry for about 3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. 5) Drain pasta and mix into tomato mixture. Break mozzarella and basil leaves into big pieces and mix in. Spoon pasta into serving dish and sprinkle bread pieces over.

Nicoise salad

Four to six portions | 20 minutes

500g baby potatoes

180g green beans

6 eggs

60ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

150g lettuce leaves of your choice

1 red onion, roughly chopped

2x170g cans tuna, drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

1) Place potatoes in a pot of water and cook for ten to 12 minutes over medium heat till soft and cooked. Drain. 2) While the potatoes are boiling, bring another pot with water to the boil and place green beans in it. Boil quickly for two minutes and drain immediately. Keep aside. 3) Bring another pot with water to the boil and place eggs in it. Leave to boil for five minutes for soft eggs, or longer if preferred. Drain and peel eggs. 4) Mix olive oil, garlic, juice and rind of lemon for the salad dressing. Place lettuce leaves in serving dish. 5) Halve cooked potatoes and place on top of salad with green beans. Halve eggs and arrange on top, followed by chopped red onion and tuna pieces. 6) Sprinkle salad dressing over. Flavour with salt and pepper. Serve.

Vegetable and fish parcels

Four to six portions | 30 minutes

200g fresh asparagus

250g green beans

125g fresh sugar snap peas

6x200g trout portions

20ml fresh ginger, finely grated

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

250ml white wine

80ml butter

Lemon quarters

1) Heat oven to 180C. Cut six sheets baking paper of 25x25cm and divide between two baking trays. 2) Divide asparagus, green beans and peas evenly and pack in the centre of each sheet. Place trout skin to the bottom on the vegetables. Sprinkle ginger and garlic over. Flavour with salt and pepper.

3) Pick opposite sides of the paper up and bring together. Fold over three times – about 1cm – to close securely. Fold the two open sides, but just before folding the last one, pour a little bit of wine and a piece of butter into each parcel. 4) Bake 12-15 minutes or until the parcel is puffed out and the fish is cooked. Serve warm with lemon.

Chicken pieces baked with tomato

Four to six portions | 30 minutes

8 chicken pieces

600g cherry tomatoes, halved

100g seeded black olives

4 garlic cloves, chopped

200g chorizo sausages, sliced into rings

A handful of thyme, chopped

60ml olive oil

250ml white wine

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

1) Heat oven to 220C. Place chicken pieces, tomatoes, olives, garlic, chorizo sausages and thyme in an oven dish. 2) Pour olive oil and wine over, and sprinkle juice and rind of lemon over. Flavour with salt and black pepper. 3) Place in warm oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or till golden brown and cooked. Serve warm.

Fried steak with polenta

Four to six portions | 20 minutes

1 litre milk

15ml fresh oregano, chopped

250ml (200g) polenta

60g Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

100g butter

30ml mixed herbs

60ml olive oil

Juice and rind of 2 lemons

6x200g sirloin

1) Bring milk and oregano to the boil over medium heat. Use a wire whisk and add polenta slowly while whisking. 2) Keep whisking until the mixture is thick. Lower heat and keep stirring until the mixture is cooked, about five minutes. 3)Remove from the heat and add parmesan. Stir until it is a smooth, creamy mixture and flavour with salt and pepper. 4) Mix the butter and herbs into a smooth mixture and place in the fridge to congeal. 5) Heat a griddle pan till very hot, the smoke must literally come off it. Sprinkle olive oil, juice and rind of lemons over the sirloin. Flavour with salt and pepper. 6) Place in warm pan and fry for about five minutes per side for medium cooked or longer if preferred. 7) Serve steak with creamy polenta and herb butter.

Folded quiche with onions, chorizo and mushrooms

Four to six portions | 30 minutes

280g (500ml) all purpose flour

2 tbsp corn starch

155g butter

30ml ice water

1 onion, roughly chopped

100g chorizo sausage, sliced into rings

250g brown mushrooms, halved

200g goat milk cheese, sliced into rings

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

1) Heat oven to 180C. Place flour, corn starch and butter in a food processor. Process at high speed till the texture is the same as bread crumbs. Add water and process until it comes together in a ball.

2) Roll out on a flour sprinkled surface till about 5mm thick. Place pastry sheet on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprayed with non-stick food spray. 3) Place onions, chorizo, mushrooms and goats milk cheese on the pastry, leaving an edge of about 3cm around. Flavour with salt and pepper. 4) Fold pastry edge over the edge of the filling. Bake in warm oven for 15-20 minutes or till golden brown.

Prawn kebabs with chickpea purée

Four to six portions | 30 minutes

500g prawns, shells removed and cleaned

4 garlic cloves, chopped

A hand full of parsley, chopped

Juice and rind of 2 lemons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

60ml butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1x400g can chickpeas, drained

150ml milk 45ml olive oil

1) String four prawns onto a wooden
kebab stick. 2) Mix garlic, parsley, juice and rind of lemons. Spoon over prawns and flavour with salt and black pepper. 3) Heat butter in a medium sized pot and add onion. Fry lightly for five minutes or until the onion starts to brown. Add chickpeas and fry for another five minutes. 4) Add milk and bring to the boil. Pour mixture into a food processor and process will smooth. Flavour well with salt and pepper. 5) Heat olive oil till warm in a medium sized pan. Add prawns and fry for about five minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked. Flavour with salt and pepper. 6) Serve cooked kebabs with warm chickpea purée.

Croque Madame Bread bites

Four to six portions | 25 minutes

12 slices bread

60ml butter

125g ham slices

200g Gruyere cheese, grated 60ml white vinegar

6 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

Salad of your choice

1) Heat oven to 200C. Spread bread with butter and place ham on six of the bread slices. 2) Divide half the cheese between the six slices of bread and place a second slice on top. Pack breads on a baking tray and sprinkle remaining cheese over. Place in warm oven and roast for ten to 12 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and melted. 3) While the breads are toasting, bring a pot with water to the boil so that it simmers slowly. Add vinegar. Break eggs one by one into a cup and pour into the boiling water. Leave to poach slowly; three to five minutes for soft eggs or longer if you prefer them firmer. 4) Spoon eggs out with a slotted spoon. Serve bread with egg on top and salad of your choice. Flavour with salt and pepper.

Crispy fried calamari and chips

Four to six portions | 30 minutes

6 potatoes, quartered

Juice and rind of 2 lemons

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

Olive oil to sprinkle over

150g breadcrumbs

30ml thyme, chopped

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

1kg baby calamari, cleaned

140g cake flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

250ml mayonnaise of good quality

1) Heat oven to 220C. Place potatoes in an oven dish and sprinkle juice and rind of lemons over. Sprinkle garlic over and flavour with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over and bake in warm oven for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and cooked. 2) In the meantime, place breadcrumbs, thyme and Parmesan in a food processor and process into a coarse texture. Roll calamari in flour so that it is covered completely. Dip in egg and lastly in breadcrumb mixture. 3) Heat sunflower oil till warm and deep fry for five to eight minutes or till golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen towel and flavour with salt and pepper. 4) Serve with potato wedges and mayonnaise.

Baby marrow and cheese pasta

Four to six portions | 25 minutes

45ml olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

400g baby marrows

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

300g ricotta or feta cheese, crumbed

400g spaghetti

A handfull of basil

30g parmesan cheese, grated

1) Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan. Add onion and garlic and fry quickly for three minutes or until it starts to brown. 2) Use the bigger size of a grater and grate baby marrows. Add to the onion mixture and stir-fry for three to five minutes or till soft but still firm. 3) Remove from the heat and flavour with salt and pepper. Add ricotta and mix well. 4) Cook pasta according to packet directions and drain. Stir warm pasty into ricotta mixture and spoon into serving dish. 5) Sprinkle basil leaves and Parmesan over. Flavour with salt and pepper. Serve.

Lamb meatballs on tortillas with hummus and salsa

Four to six portions | 25 minutes

45m olive oil

600g (18 small) lamb meatballs

200g cucumber, cut into cues

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 avocado, cut into cubes

2 tomatoes, cut into cubes

Juice and rind of 2 lemons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 flour tortillas

200g hummus

1) Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Place meatballs in pan and fry for eight to ten minutes or till golden brown and cooked. Keep aside. 2) Mix cucumber, garlic, onion, avocado, tomato, juice and rind of lemon together. Flavour with salt and pepper. 3) Roast tortillas in warm pan till golden brown and warm. 4) Divide hummus between tortillas, followed by meatballs and avocado salsa. Serve warm.