Mouthful by Mouthful

by Simone Conti

Slow cooked Cuttlefish with Garden Peas – Serves 4

I love this dish because it is easy and cheap to prepare. It has a great taste and it’s so healthy! It is the perfect starter for a nice lunch on a sunny day.

1kg clean Cuttlefish 
500g fresh or frozen garden peas    
1 white onion 
500g chopped tomatoes 
1 glass of white wine  
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
 Salt and pepper to taste  


1. Begin by finely chopping the onion. Then prepare the cuttlefish by washing it under cold water to remove any possible impurity. Once clean, cut it into small stripes. Then cut the tentacles and the head as well – these are the tasty parts!

2.  Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large sauce pan and add finely chopped onion, allow to cook on low heat for 10 minutes (add half glass of water to keep the onion soft). Once most of the water has been absorbed, add the small strips of cuttlefish. 

3. Add salt and pepper. While the cuttlefish is cooking it will release some water, so keep on low heat until most of the water hss evaporated. Add the white wine and cook for further 10 minutes, then add the garden peas.

4. Cook for 10 more minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. With pan still on a low heat, leave to cook for 30 minutes, with the lid on and stir every 5 minutes. After 30 minutes taste the cuttlefish which should be nice and tender. Taste to see if more salt and pepper is required. 

5. Add chopped parsley just before serving, ideally with lovely crusty bread. Remember the secret in making this dish is cooking on a low heat, so make sure to keep it low all the time!

Suggest Wine – Verdicchio (Italy)

Chicken, Parsnip and Mushrooms in a pot – Serves 4-6

This is a variation on the very famous classic French dish pot-au-feu. I love this classic dish, the broth, the tender poached chicken and the nutty mushrooms. A true healthy feast that will recharge body and mind.

3 tablespoon olive oil  
2 leeks, washed and thickly sliced  
2 parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks     
4 bay leaves 
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled   
12 shallots 
1 small handful thyme 
200g assorted mushrooms, cleaned 
1 large (1-1.2kg) chicken, trussed and rubbed with 1 teaspoon salt.
salt and freshly ground black pepper 


1. Heat oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole (in which the whole chicken can fit and preferably with a tight fitting lid). Fry leeks, parsnip, bay leaves, garlic and shallots until they begin to turn golden. Add thyme and mushrooms and fry for further minute.     

2. Sit chicken on top of the vegetables and pour in sufficient boiling water to just cover the chicken. Bring to the boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover and poach for 60-90 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the meat on the thigh is no longer pink – test with a skewer.  

3. Once ready, add a little salt and pepper to taste, then leave to sit in the broth for 15 minutes, over low heat.

4. Remove the chicken and place on a serving plate. Cut the chicken and serve with the vegetables and mushrooms. Place the broth in a jug and use to sauce the dish.      

Enjoy it !!!

Suggested Wine – Malbec (Argentina)

Gluten-Free Potato Cake – Serves 4

This is a very easy recipe and great for people who are coeliac or gluten intolerant.

700g of potatoes
150g of sugar 
70g of any gluten-free flour (ideally Almond flour)   
5 eggs 
30g of butter 
Zest of 1 lemon 
pinch of salt
pinch of gluten free breadcrumbs 
icing sugar   


1.  Start by washing the potatoes, then place in a large pan of boiling water on a medium heat and boil for 30 minutes until potatoes are well coked. Use a fork to check if they are cooked. Once potatoes are ready, drain and remove the skin, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.  

2.  Once cool, mash potatoes in a large mixing bowl, making sure there are no chunks left. Add flour and lemon zest, mixing with a wooden spoon. Then add butter, sugar and pinch of salt and continue to mix. 

3. Now start to add the eggs but it MUST be one at the time! Also make sure, before adding the next egg, that the dough has incorporated the previous egg. If you have an electric hand mixer, that will make the process easier!  

4.  Grease the base and sides of a 8” or 10” baking tray with butter and sprinkle gluten-free breadcrumbs around base and sides. Pour mixture into it, making sure the top is nice and even. Place in preheated oven for 1 hour at 180oC or mark 5-6.    

5.   After 1 hour make sure cake is well cooked by placing toothpick in the middle. If it comes out dry the cake is ready! Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then dust with the icing sugar. The potato cake is now ready to serve. I’ll leave the decoration to your personal taste, I usually use fresh strawberries because my children love them!

Suggested Wine – Late harvest viognier (Chile)

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