Recipe: Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Recipe: Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Reading Time: 1 minute


This flaky delight couples sweet leeks, fresh asparagus, succulent pancetta and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano with an egg! Pleasing both the eye and the appetite, these delicious tarts are perfect for a celebratory brunch or lunch or even a picnic. Enjoy hot or cold!


Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Yield: 2

Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts


  • 1 ready-made puff pastry sheet
  • 1 large leek or two small ones
  • Butter (approx. 15-20g for sautéing the leeks and another 10g for the asparagus)
  • 70g pancetta cubes
  • 125g asparagus tips (between 6-8 stalks per tart)
  • 50g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 eggs (2 medium or large and one small for glazing the edges of the dough)
  • Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
  • Parsley (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven.
  2. Unroll a sheet of ready-made puff pastry. Cut the dough in half. Then roll up each side to create a barrier of about 1-1.5cm width.
  3. Alternatively, instead of rolling up the sides, take a knife and lightly score a smaller rectangle into the dough. With a fork, prick the inside of the rectangle of each tart.
  4. Place the tarts in the oven and bake on the middle-rack for about 10 minutes at 190°C (fan) or Gas Mark 5 and then another 10 minutes on low heat (100°C, Gas Mark 1).
  5. In the meantime, wash the leeks and cut into thin slices.
  6. Place the slices in a colander and separate all individual rings by pushing them out with your fingers. Then wash the rings again under cold water.
  7. Melt butter in a pan. Then add the pancetta cubes and let them sizzle for a minute.
  8. Add the leek rings and cook until soft. Add a dash of salt if needed (the pancetta already adds saltiness) and some black pepper.
  9. Place the cooked leeks on a plate to cool.
  10. In the frying pan, melt some more butter. After washing the asparagus and cutting off the wooden lower part, place the stalks in the pan and sauté them for several minutes to slightly soften them. Take them off the heat and let them cool.
  11. Remove the tarts from the oven. If the middle of the dough has risen, take a fork or tablespoon and carefully push the dough down and let the risen edges stay up. Then divide the cooked leeks among the two tarts.
  12. Sprinkle half of the grated parmesan on top.
  13. Place either 3 or 4 sautéed asparagus stalks on the left and right side of each tart. T
  14. hen carefully crack open one egg over the middle of each tart.
  15. Crack the third egg in a bowl and whisk with a fork. Take a pastry brush and coat the edges of each tart with the egg for better browning in the oven.
  16. Place the tarts in the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the eggs are cooked. If after 10 minutes in the oven the edges are getting too dark, reduce the heat and leave in the oven for the remaining time.
  17. Remove from the oven and serve with parsley (optional). The tarts can be enjoyed warm or cold.

With thanks to

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Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Reading Time: 2 minutes


This Risotto is a great family favourite I always cook for my wife and four girls.  Yes I am completely outnumbered – but this is such a winner and keeps me in their good books for at least a day.!!

Try it for your loved ones and make sure you add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – it really enhances the flavour and makes it a bit special.

Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano

Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano


  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • small glove minced garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked Risotto rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Begin by pouring the stock into a saucepan over medium to low heat and let it simmer.
  2. Melt butter in a pan on medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Next, add the risotto and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Then add 1/2 cup wine and continue to stir while cooking for another 2 minutes or until wine has absorbed.
  6. After the wine has absorbed, stir in 1/2 cup of the stock and continue to stir until the liquid has absorbed.
  7. Keep adding 1/2 cup stock at a time, continuing to stir until absorbed.
  8. Heat the oil in another pan over medium heat and add shiitake mushrooms.
  9. Sauté for about 5 minutes and add in the 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  10. Add the peas into the risotto followed by the mushrooms & thyme
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano to the mix.
  12. Mix all ingredients well and spoon portions onto a plate.
  13. Top with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve.
  14. Why not try topped with a poached egg for an extra twist.

Find more information about Parmigiano-Reggiano at

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Reading Time: 2 minutes


As we move further into lockdown, we are all looking at ways of feeding our families and indeed ourselves in isolation.    Some of us are on very limited budgets at this time and certain produce is also being restricted.

One recipe that is straight out of my grandma’s kitchen is good old fashioned vegetable soup.  She had been through the war when rations and the threat to life was major.

On a lighter note, this is not only nutritious and a boost to the immune system, but a good low calorie option.

I would normally give you specifics but in these unprecedented times, you can substitute what is in your fridge, freezer or food cupboard with any of the ingredients below:

Tomato puree or finned tomatoes
Frozen peas
Sweet corn

Boil the fresh vegetables for 15 mins, add the frozen vegetables and add the seasoning, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes.

Serve with bread or add pasta for a filling family meal.


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Recipe: Crispy Egg & Parmesan Breakfast Buns

Recipe: Crispy Egg & Parmesan Breakfast Buns

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Crispy Egg & Parmesan Breakfast Buns

Easter is fast approaching – the festive period where eggs are being served up in abundance. In case your Easter weekend is still in need of the perfect breakfast food to kick off the celebrations with, try these quick and easy Egg & Parmesan Breakfast Buns. Crunchy on the outside, warm and gooey within, these special bakes are not only quick and effortless to prepare but also incredibly tasty thanks to the sharp and nutty flavour from the Parmesan and the saltiness from the cured ham. Let the celebrations begin!


Ingredients:For 4 Buns

4 bread rolls

4 tsp. crème fraiche

4 slices Parma ham or similar

4 small eggs

70 – 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Bunch fresh chives (alternatively parsley)

Black pepper to season


What you’ll need:

Baking tray with non-stick baking foil


Chopping board

Large bread knife

Sharp small knife





  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (fan, middle-rack)
  2. Use a bread knife to cut the tops off the bread rolls, but make sure not to cut too low as there needs to be enough space for the egg without risking spillage.
  3. Scoop out the centre. Use a small sharp knife to cut around the edges before scooping out the centre.
  4. Fill each bread roll with a slice of cured ham, a teaspoon of crème fraiche and a raw egg. Then sprinkle some cracked black pepper on top, fresh chives (I use scissors to cut them) and a handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Put the top back on each roll and sprinkle some more Parmesan on top.
  5. Place the filled Breakfast Buns on a baking tray that has been lined with non-stick baking paper. Take some extra baking paper or aluminium foil to cover the buns as they would burn too easily if left uncovered.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes (depending on how runny the egg yolk should be). Check frequently to avoid burning of the buns but also whether the egg is set.
  7. As soon as the egg is cooked, remove from oven and serve immediately.



(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)


Transporting you to the ‘Land of Smiles’ with this authentic Thai recipe for Tom Yum Kai

Transporting you to the ‘Land of Smiles’ with this authentic Thai recipe for Tom Yum Kai

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This quick and easy recipe for Tom Yum Kai (Hot & Sour Chicken Soup) will transport you to the wonderful land of Thailand with its authentic flavours and taste of Asia. Delicious on its own or served with rice or noodles for a more filling meal

hot sour soup


Serves: 4-6 people

680ml chicken stock (from Cube or fresh)

1 tablespoon tom yum paste

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

3 stalks lemon grass, cut into 1” pieces

2 kaffir lime leaves

2 chicken breast fillets (skinless) – cut into thin strips

110g fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 medium sized tomatoes (cut into 8ths)

2 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons Palm Sugar (or use brown sugar)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh green chilli

1 small handful fresh coriander, chopped

1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped



In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.

Stir in the tom yum paste and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. Place the chicken in the saucepan, and cook 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Mix in the mushrooms and Tomatoes. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and green chilli.

Continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and serve hot with the coriander and basil sprinkled on top.



Substitute the chicken for prawns for Tom Yum Goon
Add in cooked noodles for a more filling meal

thai soup

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