We’ve spent more time than ever in our kitchens at home this year, but as we go back to the routines of work and school, now is a good time to make life easy.
My recipes below can be cooked quickly or in advance: I often increase the quantities and make more for extra leftovers to freeze and serve with braised leafy greens another day.
As the season turns, autumn and the time for heavier, heartier meals isn’t here quite yet; these filling suppers to gather around and help yourselves to after a long day still have a lightness to them, to see you through September.
My smoked harissa spiced prawns with lemon zest are still a nod to summer. I like to use chopped celery softened into a soffritto-style base instead of onion, and I don’t like to throw away the celery stalks – they’re a great garnish.
For a tasty sausage stew, buy good sausages full of flavour, and cook them slowly. Worcestershire sauce and red wine enhances the flavour, and you could swap in the butter beans for cannellini beans or kidney beans.
Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a classic dish from Naples with salty-sweet, umami flavour, made with store-cupboard ingredients to hand – tomato, garlic, chilli, anchovies, capers and olives; but you can also use puttanesca sauce as a rich tomato base for chicken, as I have below.
Finally, while there are some fantastic Indian restaurants in this country, making your own tender lamb curry at home is easy. My style of cooking is predominantly Italian, but at home, I cook different kinds of cuisine, depending on what I fancy. I don’t ever go for really spicy curries; this one won’t blow your head off, but it’s got a gentle ginger spiciness – you could make a raita with yogurt and cucumber to serve alongside it, for a cooling contrast.