This will serve 4 hungry people as a main, or 6-8 people, as a side dish alongside other delights.
We use crème fraiche here to make our sauce, but sour cream or cream cheese (thinned out with a little milk) work just as well. We don’t recommend Greek yogurt as such, it’s a little too sour, too flavourful for this. Or for full-out 100% pure luxury, use all cream!
500g dried macaroni
1 onion, chopped finally
100g chopped chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
450g mature cheddar cheese, grated
20g dried breadcrumbs
200g crème fraiche
75ml of double cream
Salt & pepper
500g potato gnocchi
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
125g feta cheese, chopped roughly into small squares
35g black olives, pitted and halved
200g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
50g spinach, washed and chopped roughly
Pepper to taste
Add a tablespoon of our South Carolina Dry Spice Rub. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large oven proof dish. Then add to the same oven dish, 300 grams of grated cheddar, (reserve the remaining 150 grams for the top) and the double cream and crème fraiche. Once the pasta is cooked, place a measuring jug in the bottom of your sink and drain the pasta through a colander into the jug below, reserving most of the cooking water.
Place a large pan of water on the stove to boil, add a pinch of salt, once bubbling, add the pasta. This should take around 10-12 mins to cook though. Preheat your oven to 190c. In a frying pan, fry off the onion and mushrooms (if using) until soft,
Pour the cooked pasta into the dish on top of the other ingredients. Add approx 200ml of the reserved cooking water into the dish also, the hot liquid will begin to melt the cheese. Mix very well, keep stiring until everything is blended together nicely. The sauce should be very wet and loose, almost like a soup consistently, if needed, add another splash of the cooking water.
Spread the mixture out evenly in the dish, patting down, scatter over the remaining 150 grams of grated cheese, then finally the breadcrumb topping, add salt and pepper to the top.
Cook on the top shelf of the oven for around 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbling away. During the baking process this ‘overly watery’ sauce will evaporate, leaving a lovely, rich thick creamy pasta bake. When ready remove from the oven and allow to stand for 3-5 minutes. Serve with a green salad and a good dollop of our Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce on the side.
I'm Meat Free!
I'm Meat Free!
This Mac ‘n’ Cheese is so easy to make, you get great results every time with this tried and tested method. Its one of Mrs Smokey's fave dishes.
No fussing; no flour, no butter, everything straight in the oven dish and the lovely cheese sauce forms in the oven while baking.
Greece meets Italy in this quick and easy fusion dish. You have the freshness and zing of the Greek salad ingredients combined with the lovely comfort of the potato dumplings.
A lot of gnocchi dishes are served with quite rich heavy sauces, which we love too of course, (Mrs Smokey loves Italian!) but this is a light and refreshing option, perfect for summer.
We have made our own gnocchi in the past, with varied results! But we find these packs you can buy are perfectly fine; so much quicker & easier, and with less mess! The important thing to remember here is to get everything out, ready & chopped before the gnocchi goes into the boiling water, as it cooks really quickly, making this the perfect quick mid-week meal.
Place a large pan of water on the stove to boil, add a pinch of salt, once bubbling, add all the gnocchi in at once. Stir once to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom.
In your frying pan, add the oil and butter and heat gently, be sure not to burn your butter. When the gnocchi is ready, it will float to the top of the water, use a slotted spoon and take the gnocchi from the water to your frying pan gently, repeat until all the gnocchi is in the pan, stir slowly to cover the gnocchi with the oil & butter goodness. Add the cherry toms, olives & Mediterranean spice blend and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. You may notice some of the gnocchi catches and turns a little crispy, we don’t mind this in the slightest, its rather tasty and gives another texture. Add the crumbled feta and top with the spinach. Once the spinach is wilted slightly, you are ready to serve.
Transfer to warm plates, don’t be precious about presentation, it’s a rustic family dish after all. Sprinkle with a little pepper if needed, you should not need any extra salt as the olives and feta should be salty enough.
For the falafel:
2 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
1 onion, loosely chopped
1 tbsp Jamaican Jerk Rub
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 small bunch fresh coriander
1 small bunch fresh parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
Traditionally a middle eastern dish, this popular street food is now widely found across Britain. An amazing alternative to meat; tasty, filling, high in protein and fibre. Our version here uses our Jamaican Jerk Dry spice rub blend which gives a great heat and flavour to this dish, without the need for messing around with individual spices.
So quick and easy. We add the fresh herbs to give that great green colour that falafel is renown for. We have done ours in a burger here, but we also love them in pitas, with salads, or made into small balls, as part of a meze.
4 bread rolls
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Place your chopped onion into a food processor and blend until fine. Drain the two tins of chickpeas, rinse and add these to the blender, along with the flour, coriander, parsley and Jamaica Jerk Dry Spice Rub. Blitz until evenly combined, scraping down the sides of the processor if needed. If the mixture is sticking a little add a tiny drop of water to get it moving around the blender again, not too much or it will become too wet. Don’t be tempted to over blitz, a little texture here is good, the mixture should be firm and holding its shape.
Once done turn out the mixture on to a clean surface. Using wet hands divide your mixture into four equal parts and shape into patties about 2cm thick.
Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and once hot add the falafels, turn the heat down so they cook though without burning the outside. Turning when golden and crisp, should be around 5 mins on each side.
I'm Meat Free!
This falafel mixture works just as well made into little balls. Take equal amounts of the mixture with a spoon, and roll in your hands to make little balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Fry in a little oil, slowly rolling them around in the pan as they cook. Serve as part of a meze with pitas, carrot sticks, hummus and Sweet Original Chilli Jam.