One list, five meals: Pasta with Oven Roasted Vegetables

4 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

½ red pepper, de seeded and sliced
2 carrots, sliced A handful of green beans, topped, tailed and chopped
A bunch of thyme, pulled from the stalk
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of olive oil
Penne for 4
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
A small bunch of chives, finely chopped

Toss all of the vegetables and the thyme in the honey, vinegar and oil. Season well and place into an oven preheated to medium. Roast until the vegetables are soft tossing once or twice.

Put the pasta on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked. Pour the pasta into the oven proof dish with the vegetables and stir ensuring all of the juices coat the penne. You can add a little more olive oil if you wish.

Stir in the parsley and chives and serve.

Spicy Tomato Rice with Smoked Mackerel

A dash of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
300g basmati rice
½ tsp of chilli powder
1 tsp of cumin seeds, toasted
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tin of tomatoes
400ml of stock
200g of cauliflower florets
4 fillets of smoked mackerel, skin and any bones removed, and then broken into bite size pieces

Toss the onion, rice, chilli and cumin in some oil in an ovenproof dish. Place into an oven heated to 180 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the lemon zest, tined tomatoes, seasoning and stock.

Place back into the oven for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Keep an eye on it and stir every now and then. Taste and season.

In another ovenproof dish toss the cauliflower in oil, season and roast until it is golden. Fluff up the rice and stir in the cauliflower and mackerel before serving.

Sweet Roast Ham with Leek and Potatoes

3.5 kg of ham on the bone
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp of brown sugar
20 mls of red wine vinegar
4 tbsp of whole grain mustard
5 tbsp of honey
Potatoes for 4
A dash of olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 small leeks topped and tailed and chopped
A bunch of thyme, removed from stalk
4 tbsp of tomato chutney

Cooking a ham can take time but you will have great leftovers to work with over the coming days. If you do not have the time you can make the following with some gammon steaks or kassler instead.

Put the ham and onion into a very large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for around an hour and 30 mins, topping up the water level with boiling water, if necessary. Every now and then scoop off any scum that rises to the top.

Mix together the sugar, vinegar, mustard and honey for the glaze. Once the ham has cooled enough to handle place it in a roasting tin and score the fat in a criss-cross pattern and coat it entirely with two thirds of the glaze using a spoon or brush.

Place the ham into the oven at 170 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and cover with the rest of the glaze then roast for another 20 minutes.

While the ham is cooking toss the potatoes in a little oil in an oven proof dish until soft. Heat a dash of oil and sauté the garlic on a low heat on the hob, adding the leeks and thyme. Stir the contents and then cover the pan with a lid. Leave on a low heat until the leeks completely soften stirring occasionally. Serve the potatoes with the leeks and two slices of the ham per person. The chutney will provide a sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower with Ham, Dates and Pine Nuts

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets, about 1 kg
A dash of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
250g of the left-over ham, sliced
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of medjool dates, stones removed and dates chopped
100g of parmesan, finely grated
Crunchy bread for four

Toss the cauliflower in oil in and ovenproof dish and season. Place into an oven at 180 degrees until it is turning golden. It should take about 20 minutes.

While it is cooking heat another dash of oil and sauté the garlic until it is just about to change colour. Add the ham, pine nuts and dates and stir fry until they are heated through.

Toss the other cooked ingredients with the cauliflower so that it gets coated in the juices from the pan.

Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve with crunchy bread on the side.

Ham and Potato Frittata

Baby potatoes
A dash of olive oil
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic
A bunch of thyme, removed from the stalk
The last of the left over ham, chopped into small cubes
8 eggs, lightly beaten
A bunch of parsley, chopped

Put the potatoes on to boil in lightly salted water. Remove them once they are almost cooked. A skewer will go through them but the skin will not have started cracking. Once they are cool enough to handle cut the potatoes into large slices roughly the same size. Heat the oil in a large pan, at least 12 inches in size, and sauté the onion slowly on a low heat until it is completely translucent. Add the garlic and thyme and stir fry for about a minute then remove everything from the pan.

Lay the potatoes into the same pan and pour the eggs over them so that they sink down all around the other ingredients. Sprinkle the onion mixture, parsley and ham over the eggs. Leave to cook gentle on a low hob for five minutes.

Transfer to a low grill and cook the top for a further 5 minutes until the egg is solid and cooked through.

Michelle Darmody owns The Cake Cafe, The Daintree Building, Dublin 2, 01 4789394

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