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Chianti Baked Meatballs

This recipe first came about when my husband Phil was training to do the London marathon. He could eat for England after a long run on a Sunday afternoon and rather than attempting the running, I would be the good wife and prepare this hearty delight. Serve with rigatoni, penne or spaghetti or some chunks of potato mixed with rosemary and olive oil and baked in the oven alongside the meatballs.

serves four

(or two if you have a marathon runner to feed!)

takes about 1 hour to make

for the meatballs

500g minced beef

1 onion, very finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

50g stoned black olives, chopped

50g breadcrumbs

25g finely grated

Parmesan cheese

1 lightly beaten egg

1 teaspoon paprika

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

2–3 tablespoons chopped parsley

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

for the sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

250ml Chianti red wine

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoons caster sugar

a large handful of chopped basil Read more

Smoked Duck, Asparagus and Fig Salad

A very simple and sexy salad, taken from the Romantic recipes chapter in my book In the Mood for Food. Both figs and asparagus are known for their aphrodisiac qualities and taste fantastic with the smoked duck and fruity dressing.

serves two

takes about 15 minutes to make

1 orange

1 teaspoon cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

10–12 asparagus tips

100g smoked duck, sliced

2 ripe figs, cut into wedges

1⁄2 a bag of watercress Read more

Chocolate, Cherry and Walnut Brownies

These are to die for! I have had so much enjoyment (as you can imagine) trying out different versions of brownies and I think these tick all the boxes – rich, not too sweet, a little bit fruity and a little bit nutty, gooey in the middle with a crisp top.

makes nine to twelve good-sized brownies

takes about 25 minutes to bake

200g unsalted butter

200g dark chocolate

(70% cocoa solids), chopped

3 large eggs

300g granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

125g plain flour

a pinch of salt

100g dried cherries

100g walnut pieces Read more

Ricotta and Coconut Hotcakes with Espresso Syrup

I think one of my best-loved breakfast recipes is pancakes, or hotcakes. You can experiment with all sorts of flavour combinations, but these are my current favourite as they’re lovely and light to eat, but still seem to keep me satisfied for hours.

• Makes 10 to 12 hotcakes • 30 minutes

for the syrup
300ml espresso coffee
150g caster sugar

for the hotcakes
125g ricotta cheese
150ml coconut milk
2 eggs, separated
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons caster sugar
sea salt
vegetable oil
sliced banana, pineapple,
mango or other fresh
fruit of your choice
(if you fancy it), to serve Read more

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  Packed full of festive spices, stem ginger and ginger wine this rich and fruity Christmas cake is a real treat. This recipe was originally featured in a feature I did for Waitrose Food magazine November 2015.  Makes 1 X 25cm round cake   700g mixed currants, raisins and sultanas 200g soft dried apricots, quartered […]

The Gorgeous Kitchen

Next time you are flying from or travelling through London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, then please do come and visit this stunning restaurant and room with a view. Order some of my recipes from our innovative menu’s using fresh, seasonal produce or relax with a drink at our stylish bar.