To celebrate the publication of Let’s Do Lunch by Georgia Levy, below are three recipes for you to try before you buy, guaranteed to satisfy your cravings but leave you hungry for more.
HOT SAUCE BAKED BEANS ON TOAST
This is a nifty recipe that involves only a few store-cupboard ingredients and is a world away from the canned version (but they have their place too!). Make it as spicy or as mild as you like by adjusting the hot sauce or forgoing it entirely.
1 tbsp olive oil
100 g/3½ oz cubed pancetta, smoked lardons or bacon 1 onion, ﬁnely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400 g/14 oz/2 cups passata 2 x 400 g/14 oz cans cannellini or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
1–2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar or maple syrup
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp sweet paprika
1–2 tbsp hot sauce (depending On how hot it is; just use your favourite), plus extra, to serve
4 slices of nice bread
Butter, for spreading, optional Salt and pepper
4 fried eggs, optional
Warm the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for a few minutes until golden and some of its fat has been released.
Add the onion, garlic and a big pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until everything is soft.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, half a can of water and some seasoning. Simmer vigorously for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Have a taste and add more sugar, Worcestershire or hot sauce as needed. Toast the bread, butter it, if you like, then spoon over the beans. Pop a fried egg on top if you’re feeling decadent.
SUPER-QUICK SAUSAGE & CREAM PASTA
This has all the deliciousness of bolognese and it’ll only take you 20 minutes of cooking. Plus there’s the added benefit of hardly any chopping. The special trick here is frying the sausages like hamburgers, it means you get a lovely golden colour on the outside but the middle stays juicy. You then break them up into sexy little nuggets. Try and get sausages with a high meat content as anything too bready won’t be happy in this context.
2 tbsp olive oil
400 g/14 oz Italian-style pork sausages, skins discarded
2 garlic cloves, sliced
350 g/12 oz dried rigatoni, penne or fusilli
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
A big pinch of chilli flakes
1 x 400 g/14 oz plum tomatoes, drained and rinsed
75 ml/2½fl oz/5 tbsp double cream
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Salt and pepper
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Shape the sausage meat into 4 hamburger shapes and once the oil is hot, add them to the pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes until dark and golden, then turn over to cook the other side for another 3 minutes, adding the garlic for the last couple of minutes or so, cooking until it colours.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente following the packet instructions.
Once both sides of the sausage ‘burgers’ are looking delicious and the garlic is tender, add the fennel seeds and chilli and give them a sec to warm through.
Turn the heat down a little and add the tomatoes to the pan, breaking them up with your spoon. Simmer for 5–6 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly reduced, then add 75ml/2½ﬂ oz/5 tbsp of water and the cream to your pan and scrape up any sticky tomato bits. Keep simmering until the pasta is ready.
Once the pasta is a minute or so from being cooked, break up the sausage ‘burgers’ with your spoon into small nuggets. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
Once al dente, drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan with a good splash of the reserved pasta water, turn up the heat and cook hard and fast for a minute or so to get the sauce into the pasta.
Transfer to warm plates and cover in grated Parmesan before serving.
NECTARINE, GRILLED BEANS & HALLOUMI SALAD WITH CHILLI & MINT
Something extraordinary happens when ripe nectarines meet green beans. I don’t understand it and I can’t explain it, so you’re just going to have to trust me. This one is made with flat beans, but don’t worry if you can only find round (French) green beans, they’ll just be a bit more fiddly to grill. This is a recipe best enjoyed in the summer months when all the ingredients are at their best; it would be brilliant cooked on a barbecue, in fact.
Tip: My number one rule with cooking halloumi is to have everything assembled, ready to eat as it goes from being hot and delicious to cold and miserable in just a few minutes.
1–2 red chillies, deseeded and ﬁnely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for grilling
300 g/10½ oz Italian flat or Romano beans, topped
500 g/1 lb 2 oz halloumi, sliced into pieces
2 ripe nectarines or peaches, stoned and cut into wedges
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
A large handful of mint leaves
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together the chillies, lemon juice and olive oil and put to one side.
Set a large griddle pan or large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Halve the beans if they look too long to ﬁt in. When the pan is smoking hot, add the beans in a single layer (you may have to cook them in batches) and grill for 3–4 minutes on each side until char marks appear and they’re tender. Transfer straight from the pan to the chilli dressing bowl, season and toss well. Keep the pan on the heat.
Dab dry the halloumi pieces with kitchen paper, then rub with a little oil. When the pan is super-hot again, add the halloumi (in batches) and cook until char marks appear and they feel ﬂoppy, about 1–2 minutes, then turn over and cook for another minute. Keep going until all the pieces are done, keeping the cooked halloumi warm in a low oven.
Add the nectarines and tomatoes to the green beans, rip over the mint leaves and gently toss.
Transfer to plates, sit the halloumi on top and eat immediately.
Let’s Do Lunch is available 1st September.