Parmigiana for 6 people, use a casserole pan
3 large aubergines
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ bulb spring garlic, or 1 clove of regular garlic, peeled and finely sliced
800 g good quality tinned plum Italian tomatoes
1 large handful fresh basil
3 large handfuls Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
150 g buffalo mozzarella
Slice the aubergines to 1cm thick, deep fry them until crispy, using a hot griddle pan is also fine.
Meanwhile, put 2 or 3 glugs of olive oil into a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and the garlic has a little bit of colour. Break up the tomatoes and add to the onion and garlic. Give the mixture a good stir, then put a lid on the pan and simmer slowly.
When the tomato sauce is reduced and sweet, season it carefully with salt, pepper and add the basil. You can leave the sauce chunky or you can purée it. Add some chopped basil through this. Coat the bottom of the casserole pan with tomato sauce, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of aubergines, then sliced mozzarella. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with a little sauce and another good sprinkling of Parmesan.
Place the dish in the oven and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for half an hour until golden, crisp and bubbly. It’s best eaten straight away
Lamb loin (other cuts of lamb will also go beautifully with this dish)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4
Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil to the pan
Season the lamb well and place it in the pan skin-side down until caramelised and golden
Turn the loin and sear for a further 2 minutes
Add a knob of butter to the pan and baste the loin with the melted butter, add some herbs if you wish
Transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for 6–8 minutes
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Once rested brush with Dijon mustard and sprinkle basil crust over.
Carve and serve immediately
200g of white breadcrumbs, homemade, dry and toasted
1 bunch of basil, stalks removed
In a blender or food processor, blitz the breadcrumbs with the basil and a pinch of salt until bright green in colour and fine. Set aside
2 Handfuls of picked basil
1.5 cloves of finely chopped garlic
Zest of one lemon
Salt and sherry vinegar to taste
Put all in pestle and mortar and grind down, you can always chop up if you don’t have one
Lamb shoulder croquette
1.2 kg lamb shoulder, deboned
10g of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
15g of garlic cloves chopped very fine
55g course sea salt
Generously salt the shoulder of lamb and leave to rest overnight for approximately 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 140⁰C/gas mark 1
Wash off the excess salt under cold running water and dry the shoulder thoroughly with a kitchen cloth.
Place into a deep gastro tray, submerge in veg oil and place in the pre-heated oven for 3 /4 hours.
Once the lamb is at pulling consistency, leave to cool down for around an hour in the oil,
Remove and pull it, add the chopped rosemary and chopped garlic, season and taste.
Roll into your desired ball size.
Set up 3 separate bowls, flour, whole eggs, panko breadcrumbs, equal quantities of each.
First dip the lamb ball into flour, then the whole eggs, then last the breadcrumbs, repeat this process until you have the desired amount of croquettes.
Deep fry at 180c until golden all over, season.