This side dish is perfect for a French themed dinner party, with finely chopped vegetables, red wine, Sherry vinegar and thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 slices pancetta (I used smoked pancetta)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ leek, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 300g Puy lentils
- 175ml red wine
- 500ml good-quality beef stock
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
MethodRemove from the pan and leave to cool on kitchen paper, then snap into pieces.
- 500g pack all-butter shortcrust pastry
- 1 small head of cavolo nero, about 200g
- 70g pack sliced pancetta
- 200ml whole milk
- 150ml double cream
- 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
- 85g Parmesan, grated
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry and use to line a deep 20 x 30cm loose-bottomed tart tin or 23cm round tin. Prick the base and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Sit the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins, then remove beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further 5-10 mins until pale golden. Lower the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Meanwhile, trim the cabbage and separate the leaves. Cook in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 4-5 mins, until tender. Cool and drain well then squeeze out any excess water. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Arrange the cabbage leaves and pancetta slices in the tart case. Beat together the milk, cream and eggs until well blended. Stir in the Parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper then pour into the tart case. Bake for 25 mins until just set.
- Leave to sit in the tin for 10 mins then carefully lift out, cut into slices and serve while still warm.
- about 2½ kg British pork loin
- 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
- 7 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 tsp dried fennel seed
- 8 sprigs fresh oregano
- 300g shallot
- 1 large celeriac, quartered and peeled
- 1 x 130g twin-pack cubetti di pancetta (small cubes of Italian cured belly pork)
- 600ml full-bodied red wine – drink the remainder!
- Using a small, sharp kitchen knife, stab through the fatty side of the pork loin to make about 30 fairly deep, randomly spaced incisions. Insert a sliver of garlic into each stab mark, pushing the garlic well into the meat and smoothing over the fat to close up the entry points. Reserve a few slivers to push in cuts made on the flesh-side of the joint.
- Put 5 tablespoons of the olive oil, the juice of the lemon, tbsp of fennel seeds and the leaves stripped from 4 oregano sprigs in a large non-reactive dish (a non-porous dish, such as glass or stainless steel, which won’t react with acidic foods and alter the flavour). Grind in plenty of black pepper, then swish everything into a sludge with one clean hand. Put the joint into the dish and massage the marinade into every nook and cranny. Leave the pork to marinade for 6-24 hours in a cool place or the fridge.
- When you are ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 4/fan oven 150C. Put the 300g of shallots in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 2 minutes to loosen the skins, then tip the shallots into a large sieve or colander and rinse under cold water. Trim off the root end, then peel the shallots, breaking any large ones into their natural segments. Halve the 4 celeriac wedges, then cut into large, bite-sized chunks.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Toss in the 130g pack of pancetta and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly frazzled. Transfer the cubes to a large casserole big enough to take the pork, using a slotted spoon so the fat drains back into the pan. Throw the shallots and celeriac into the frying pan and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until coloured, turning frequently. Transfer them to the casserole, again draining off the oil.
- Pull the frying pan to one side. Quickly scrape off any excess marinade from the pork loin, then season the meat with fine sea salt. Replace the frying pan over a medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides, including the ends. Place the loin on the vegetables in the casserole. Stuff the remaining 4 sprigs of oregano around it.
- Pour off and discard all the fat in the frying pan, raise the heat and pour in the 600ml of wine. Bring to the boil, scraping up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine bubble and reduce for 3 minutes, then pour into the casserole.
- Place the casserole over a high heat and bring the juices up to a bubble. Immediately put the lid on the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the loin for 1 hour 45 minutes, turning it halfway through. Remove the casserole from the oven and leave the pork to rest in a warm place for 15-30 minutes, still covered, before carving.
- 500g asparagus
- 2 lemons
- 100g thinly sliced pancetta
- 500g farfalle
- 50g butter
- 284ml carton double cream
- 2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 250g/9oz total weight), torn into strips
- a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- 50g Parmesan, freshly grated, plus extra for serving
- Trim the asparagus and cut into short lengths on the diagonal – keep the tips separate. (If you like, peel the stems to give a more vibrant colour when cooked.) Cook the stems in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes, then add the tips and cook for 1 minute more. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
- Peel the lemons with a serrated knife, remove all the white pith, then cut into segments by slicing each side of the pieces of membrane. Now cut the segments into small pieces (flick out any pips) and put them in a bowl with any juice. Grill the pancetta for 3-4 minutes until crisp – keep an eye on it because it can burn easily.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water until al dente.While it’s cooking, put the butter and half the cream in a large pan and let them bubble together over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened slightly. Tip in the lemon segments and juice, the chicken, asparagus and a few pinches of salt. Turn off the heat.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the contents of the pan along with the rest of the cream. Toss well, adding black pepper and nutmeg to taste, and the grated parmesan. Toss again, top with the pancetta and serve immediately.