Rosie Sykes’ recipes for roasting pan suppers | Food


Minted roast chicken with potatoes, peas and lettuce (pictured above)

Mint sauce is the secret weapon in this dish. If you have any other soft herbs knocking around, add them to the mint sauce – tarragon and parsley are favourites, and turn this into a very simple salsa verde.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4

1 chicken (about 1.5kg)
Sea salt and black pepper
2 generous tbsp mint sauce
1 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
320g new potatoes, cut in half
30g butter
2 little gem lettuce, outer leaves removed then cut lengthways into four or six wedges
6 spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths
400ml boiling chicken stock
200g frozen peas, defrosted

Season the chicken generously all over, then rub all over with the mint sauce – if you like, you can do this several hours in advance, or even the night before. The chicken needs to be at room temperature before it goes into the oven, so take it out of the fridge and set aside for an hour or two before cooking.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6.

Put the oil in a roasting pan, add the potatoes and stir to coat. Season the potatoes, then sit the chicken on top, dot it all over with butter and grind over some black pepper, then roast for 20 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4 and cook for another 15 minutes.

Snuggle the lettuce in among the potatoes, cook for 15 minutes, until it starts to soften, then add the spring onions and hot stock and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

To check that the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer: the juices should run clear, with no hint of pinkness. When the chicken is done, lift it out and leave to rest in a warm place.

Add the peas to the contents of the roasting pan and put it back in the oven for 15 minutes – if there’s still a lot of liquid surrounding the vegetables, turn up the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, to help the liquid reduce while the peas cook. Cut up the chicken and serve with the vegetables and the lovely juices.

Baked farinata, red pepper and courgette with olive dressing

Rosie Sykes’ baked farinata, red pepper and courgette with olive dressing.

Farinata is a Genoan sort-of pancake made with chickpea flour,. For a non-vegan version, you could serve it with some soft goat’s cheese underneath the olive dressing.

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
3 courgettes, cut into 3cm-thick rounds
2 red peppers, cut in half lengthways, pith and seeds discarded, then each half cut into 4 long pieces
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 2cm-thick rounds
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
1x 400g can chickpeas, drained (reserve the liquid) and rinsed

For the olive dressing
120g pimento-stuffed olives
1 small handful basil leaves, roughly torn
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, plus grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and put in a roasting pan with two tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the courgettes, peppers, onions, rosemary and plenty of seasoning, shake to coat in the oil and roast for about 25 minutes, until soft and lightly golden.

Meanwhile, make the batter. Put the chickpea flour, baking powder and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl, make a well in the centre, pour in the reserved chickpea liquid made up to 300ml with warm water, and whisk smooth.

When the vegetables are soft, take the pan out of the oven and turn up the heat to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Add the chickpeas and remaining oil, stir together, then pour over the batter. Return the pan to the oven for about 20 minutes, until the batter is set and crisp and golden brown at the edges; check after 15 minutes, and cover with foil if it is browning too much and not setting.

While the farinata is cooking, make the dressing. Put the olives, basil, garlic, chilli and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz to a rough paste. Add the oil and lemon juice, and season to taste.

When the farinata is set, take it out of the oven, let it stand for five minutes, then turn out on to a board and cut into squares. Serve with some of the olive dressing on top and perhaps a tomato salad.

Baked mussels with tomato and fregola

Rosie Sykes’ baked mussels with tomato and fregola. Photograph: Kim Lightbody/The Guardian

This wonderfully messy dish requires hands-on eating, so make sure you provide lots of napkins, a bowl for the shell, and bread for mopping up the sauce. You will need two pans.

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
6 banana shallots
, peeled, cut in half lengthways, and cut into thin half-moons
20g butter
1 large leek
, cut in half lengthways and sliced
1 large head fennel, trimmed (reserve any fronds), cut into quarters and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (or finely grated)
1–2 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed or chopped
250g fregola (or giant couscous)
125ml white wine or cider (optional)
400ml boiling fish or vegetable stock
300g passata
1kg mussels
, scrubbed, beards removed and rinsed
3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, and put in a small roasting pan with two tablespoons of the oil. Once the oven is hot, add the shallots, butter and a generous pinch of salt to the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Stir in the leek and fennel, and bake for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic, chilli and fennel seeds, cook for another five minutes, then stir in the fregola. Add the wine or cider, if using (otherwise add an extra 125ml stock or 125ml water), the stock and passata, and bake for 10 minutes more.

Turn up the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 and give everything a good stir. If the fregola mix is looking very thick, add more hot water to loosen – about 150ml – then return to the oven and put in a larger roasting pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil to get good and hot.

When the oven is hot, take out the large roasting pan and throw in the mussels – they should sizzle a little. Add the fregola mixture to the mussel pan and give everything a good stir; if it seems thick, some more hot water or stock. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the mussels have opened (discard any that don’t), then remove, stir in the mint and lemon juice, garnish with any reserved fennel leaves and serve immediately.

Sausages and beans

Rosie Sykes’ sausages and beans.

This very simple dish is based on one cooked for me a few years ago by my great friend Thomas Blythe, the former general manager at the renowned St John restaurant in London. The secret is that the beans shouldn’t be in too much liquid by the end – they should have a certain unctuousness about them.

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

75g smoked pancetta, cut into small cubes
4 best-quality pork sausages
2 tsp duck fat, lard or sunflower oil (if needed)
125g banana shallots, peeled and cut into 2–3cm thick rounds
1 carrot, trimmed and diced
1 celery stick, diced
Sea salt and black pepper
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
1 x 400g tin flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
200ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 small handful parsley leaves, chopped

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and put in a roasting pan to heat up. Once hot, add the pancetta and sausages, and bake for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until the sausages brown and the pancetta renders down. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.

If the pancetta has not rendered much fat, add a couple of teaspoons of fat or oil. Add the shallots, carrot and celery to the hot pan, stir to coat in the fat, add a good pinch of salt and return to the oven for seven to 10 minutes, until everything starts to soften. A little bit of colour is fine, but if it is looking too brown, cover with foil. Stir in the garlic and beans, then pour in the hot stock and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes.

Stir in the parsley and taste the beans for seasoning. Pop the sausages on top of the beans and bake for five to seven minutes more, to heat through. Serve with lashings of English mustard.

Recipes extracted from Roasting Pan Suppers, by Rosie Sykes, published next week by National Trust Books at £14.99. To order a copy for £13.04, go to

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