Farfalle with Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta, Thyme, and Mozzarella – Jamie The Return of the Naked Chefs

Another simple and tasty dish from The Return of the Naked Chef. Jon cooked this as I was late back from client meetings. I’d planned to make it and thought I had all the ingredients but it turned out we were out of pine nuts. That was shame as they would have been good in this. However even without the pine nuts this was very pleasant and we will be making it again. One of our boys even asked if he could have left overs cold in his lunchbox for school tomorrow!


  • 10 strips pancetta or lean bacon, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 good handful thyme, leaves picked from the stem
  • 1/2 large Savoy cabbage (outer leaves removed), quartered, cored, and finely sliced
  • Handful grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound dried farfalle
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 7 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 handfuls pine nuts, lightly toasted


  1. In a pan fry pancetta in a little olive oil until lightly golden. Add garlic and thyme and cook until softened.
  2. Add the Savoy cabbage and Parmesan then stir and put the lid on the pan. Cook for a further 15 minutes, shaking every now and again, while you cook farfalle in salted boiling water until al dente.
  3. When the cabbage is nice and tender, season and loosen with some nice peppery extra-virgin olive oil.
  4. Toss the drained farfalle pasta into the cabbage and at the last minute mix in mozzarella and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Mushroom Pasta & Garlic Bread – Sam Stern’s Get Cooking

Although Conor is nearly three years older than Aidan he has never been as interested in helping in the kitchen. Since he’s now only two years away from going to university we felt it was time he learnt to cook. I’d suggested he make Mushroom Pasta and Garlic bread from Sam Stern’s Get Cooking cookbook. I forgot to buy fresh tagliatelle and thought we had enough dried in the larder, it turned out we didn’t so he had to use Amori pasta which wasn’t ideal for the sauce type. Otherwise this was a good recipe for a novice cook. Conor didn’t know what was meant by ‘Cream together’ in the instructions for the garlic butter which was interesting. Highlighted why you need to get teens cooking at home where there is someone to ask these questions as they learn.

The following quantities are for 4-5 people. We’ve adjusted quantities a little.


  • 300g dry pasta
  • 1 stick french bread
  • 150g soft butter
  • 6-8 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olice oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 600 – 750g fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 250ml white wine or cider
  • 150ml double cream or creme fraiche
  • fresh parsley or tarragon finely chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan


  1. Garlic Bread Preheat oven to 200 C/Gas Mark 6. Put butter and grushed garlic in a bowl. Cream together. Mix in chopped herbs and lemon juice if using. Slah loaf diagonally, leaving the pieces attached at the bottom. Spread garlic butter into the cuts. Wrap the bread in foil. Bake on a tray for 25mins.
  2. Pasta Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil. Add the pasta when it is on a fierce boil. Cook until al dente.
  3. Sauce Meanwhile heat ooil and butter in another pan. Add onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and cook gently until the soften. Increase head and add wine or cider, Let it bubble until quantity reduces by half and the mix looks sticky. Reduce heat and stir in cream or creme fraiche. Add Parsely or tarragon.
  4. Drain pasta, add sauce and serve with garlic bread.

Pappardelle, spicy sausage meat and mixed wild mushrooms – Jamie Oliver The Return of the Naked Chef

We used to use The Return of the Naked Chef cookbook a lot when we bought it originally. But I haven’t used it much lately and I hadn’t tried this recipe before. I couldn’t get wild mushrooms so used a combination of chestnut mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, I also used some porcini olive oil that I had in the cupboard. For sausages I used a full pack of Waitrose 6 British chorizo pork sausages which was 400g. This was about the right amount of sausage meat, so I’ve adjusted the quantities as Jamie had specified 225g. I didn’t have any pappardelle pasta so i used rigatoni.

This took about 10 -15 minutes to cook and was very tasty. A good weekday dinner.


  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g of the best spicy sausage you can find, meat removed from skin
  • olive oil
  • 2 good handfuls of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled, to taste
  • 400g/14oz mixed wild mushrooms (girolles, chanterelles, ceps or blewits, oyster and shitake), torn
  • fresh pappardelle: 1 x pasta recipe (page 98)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 good knobs of butter
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful of grated parmesan cheese


  1. Fry the onion, garlic and sausage meat in a little olive oil until lightly golden.
  2. Add the thyme, chilies and mushrooms.
  3. Cook the pappardelle in salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve a little cooking water.
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat, season to taste and loosen with 3 knobs of butter and a little cooking water from the pasta.
  5. Toss the drained pasta with the mushrooms and serve sprinkled with lots of parsley and some grated parmesan.

Tuna pasta salad – Mine

Since I’m recording recipes I might as well record mine (even if they are very simple). This tuna pasta salad is a popular week day dinner and packed lunch option for the summer. It takes about 15mins to make and the quantities below feed 4-5 people.


  • 225g dried pasta (shells work best but fanfalle is also good)
  • 2 tins tuna (preferably in water or brine)
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn
  • 3-4 tbsp capers
  • 5-6 chopped spring onions
  • 6-8 tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Cook pasta according to instructions on packet but it is probably bring pan of water to the boil, put in pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Whilst pasta is cooking chop spring onions and place in large bowl together with drained tuna, drained sweetcorn and capers.
  3. Drain pasta and rinse well with cold water, drain well
  4. Put pasta in bowl and add mayonnaise.
  5. Stir well
  6. If possible chill before serving

Smoked Salmon Pasta – Pizza and Pasta Susan Conte

I wanted to make a quick dinner with what I had in the fridge. Since I had a pack of fresh tagliatelle, smoked salmon and a pot of cream it was pasta with smoked salmon sauce. The original recipe was from one of my older recipe books; Pizza and Pasta by Susan Conte however we’ve adapted it since then.

The original recipe is as follows:

50g smoked salmon
25g butter
200ml single cream
1 tablespoon grated parmesan chese

Prepare the sauce whilst the pasta is cooking.
Cut the smoked salmon into thin small strips.
Melt butter in a large pan and add cream.
Heat through and add smoked salmon and salt to taste.
Stir in a ladle of boiling pasta water.
When the sauce is cooked pour over the cooked pasta and top with grated parmesan (this is one of the rare fish pasta sauces that is improved by the addition of parmesan).


The most immediate change we made was to remove the salt. I rarely use salt when cooking and it really seems superfluous in a recipe with smoked salmon.
The next major change is to add a small red chilli into the sauce. This can be removed after cooking if you wish but it adds a much needed subtle kick to the sauce.
Lastly optionally add a tablespoon of capers to the sauce at the same time as the salmon.