Warming, hearty and delicious – the three words you want to hear at this time of year. Sarah Banbery knocks up some great dishes
Spicy Meatballs and Beans
Prep: 15 mins
Cooking: 30 mins
- 300g sausagemeat
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g cannellini beans, drained
- Mix the sausagemeat with the herbs and season well, then form into 12 meatballs. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden all over, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and fry the onion for 10 mins until softened, then add tomatoes and beans – return the meatballs to the pan.
- Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through, adding a splash of water or wine if the sauce becomes too thick. Serve with green beans or broccoli.
Italian Parmesan Chicken
Prep: 20 mins
Cooking: 15 mins
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp mild mustard
- 1 tsp white-wine vinegar
- 75g home-made breadcrumbs
- 25g finely grated Parmesan
- 25g unsalted butter, melted
- 600ml passata
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Cut each chicken breast half in half horizontally and place the pieces between 2 sheets of clingfilm – flatten with a rolling pin. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar and season, then add the chicken pieces and mix so they are well coated.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs and cheese and add the melted butter, mix well and transfer to a plate. Dredge the chicken pieces one at a time in the crumb mixture – gently press the crumbs to the chicken and then transfer to a non-stick baking sheet.
- Tip the passata into a saucepan and add the purée, garlic and a splash of olive oil, season and heat until thickened while you cook the chicken.
- Bake the chicken in the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve with the tomato sauce, sauté potatoes and a green salad.
Goat’s Cheese Parcels
Prep: 20 mins
Cooking: 20-25 mins
- 200g baby spinach leaves
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 4 x 50g slices firm goat’s cheese
- 4 x tbsp. onion chutney
- 500g ready-made puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- Poppy seeds
- Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Wilt the spinach in a non-stick frying pan with the butter, drain and squeeze out any liquid. Chop finely and rest on kitchen paper.
- Roll out the pastry and cut into 4 equal pieces, about 15cm square. Divide the spinach into 4 and spoon into the middle of each pastry square, then top with the goats' cheese and a spoonful of the chutney.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with a little egg and then bring up the corners of the pastry to make a parcel – make sure the edges are pinched together to form a secure pastry parcel.
- Place each parcel on a non-stick baking sheet and brush with the egg, then scatter over the poppy seeds. Bake for 15 – 20 mins.
- Serve with a winter slaw salad.