We roasted a leg of lamb a weekend back and the leftovers were rich pickings. I wanted it to transform into something my boys would eat, a totally different look and something that involved pasta. A simple ragu was ideal. I softly fried onions, tossed them with the lamb, a mild red chilli, oregano and a touch of sugar. No leftover recipe is complete without a little Worstershire sauce so that was added, just before the tomatoes. I piled the whole lot on a plate atop hot rigatoni and added cold ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil. This snap was taken just before it hit the table.




2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded finely chopped
1tsp. Dried oregano
250g-300g leftover roast lamb, finely diced
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 tbsp. Tomato puree
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
100ml cold water
1 tsp. Worstershire sauce
400g Rigatone pasta
120g ricotta cheese 
½ x 15g bunch basil, shredded


1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is softening and turning golden brown. Add the garlic, chilli and oregano and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir through the lamb, brown sugar and carrot. Stir through the tomato puree. Add the chopped tomatoes and cold water and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and stir through the wourstershire sauce. Cook gently for 15 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Season to taste.
2. Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain and, once the sauce is cooked, empty onto a serving platter.

3. Serve the ragu sauce over the pasta. Top with shredded basil and dot with spoonfuls of the ricotta.  Serve, garnished with chopped basil and crushed black pepper.



There is a common misconception that sushi is too arduous to make at home, that a domestic kitchen doesn’t have the correct kit or the ingredients themselves are too complicated to find. This recipe should challenge those preconceptions. A bamboo mat is the only necessity, other than that, the saucepan, cling film and sharp knife are most likely already in your drawers. This recipe is for ura maki otherwise known as inside out sushi as the rice is on the outside, concealing the seaweed nori.

The filling is a simple, fresh combination of cucumber, coriander and ripe avocado, held together by a little mascarpone. The rice is seasoned slightly by a touch of sugar and rice vinegar but it is the smoked salmon that really pulls the sushi together, offering a rich, slightly salty bite to the sweetened rice and creamy avocado. The pink touch of salmon ensures this recipe is an ideal Valentine dish.




250g Sushi rice
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. caster sugar
4 sheets of square nori
¼ of a cucumber, sliced into thin strips
A handful of coriander leaves
½ a small ripe Avocado, thinly sliced
4 tbsp. Mascarpone
200g Smoked Salmon
1-2 tsp. Nigella seeds
1-2 tsp. Wasabi paste
3 tbsp. Soy sauce

Note – You will also need a bamboo sushi mat


1. Place the rice in large bowl. Cover with cold water and wash the rice, swishing it with your hands, until the water is cloudy. Drain the water and repeat until the water is almost clear – probably about 4-5 changes of water.
2. Once the water is almost clear drain and add ½ pint water to the pan. Sprinkle in a little salt, put the lid on and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling turn the heat down to the lowest level and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to stand, with the lid on for another 10 minutes before lifting the lid. While the rice cooks, stir together the rice wine vinegar and caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Fluff the cooked rice and turn out to a large bowl. Cool for a moment before stirring through the sushi vinegar.
3. Start with your bamboo mat. Lay a square of cling film on top of the mat and place a sheet of nori on top of the cling film. With dampened fingers press roughly 1/4 of the rice over two thirds of the nori leaving about 2cm strip uncovered. Turn over so it is rice side down. Spread a little mascarpone in a line at the base of the nori. Top with a line of avocado, cumber and coriander. Dampen the nori that isn’t covered in rice and roll over the filling, then fill further to form a tube, pressing together well using the bamboo mat.

4. Sit the sushi roll on your counter and spread the surface with a little mascarpone (to ensure the smoked salmon will attach). Lie over the salmon and gently flatten to the side of the sticky rice with your hands. Cut into roughly 2cm rounds. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and serve, alongside a little soy and wasabi.


My Favourite Instagram Shot - Sfogliatella & Milk Fluff

My calendar is quite clearly divided - work is the first half of the week and the latter, more jovial Thursday & Friday are family days, when time is spent playing with my boys and embracing the toddler chaos. 

We often walk to a cafe, add another stamp to the loyalty card and give mummy her much needed caffeine hit. The rule is you can choose something to eat or something to drink but never both. (It sounds a bit mean now I'm writing it down). This particular morning the waitress had a soft spot for little Jasper so his warm nutella sfogliatella arrived with a cup full of milk fluff. His dream come true.