Chef Conti’s Lockdown Favourites

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Butternut squash tortelli with red onion and sage

Fresh pasta:

  • 3 eggs plus one egg yolk
  • 400g 00 pasta flour or plain flour
  • drizzle of olive oil

Knead for 5 minutes until you form a soft and well worked dough. Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes. Take out and knead for 3 minutes until soft and workable.

Peal the butternut squash and roast on a roasting tray with some thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and sliced red onions. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees. Leave to cool and place in a food processor with 80g parmesan cheese, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Roll out the pasta and roll through the pasta machine. Or by hand,  and cut into two sheets. Spoon balls of the squash filling on one of the sheets, place the other sheet on top. Seal with some water or whites of egg. Cook for 2 minutes in boiling water with a pinch of salt. In a separate pan, add a knob of butter and half a bag of chopped sage. To serve place about 8-9 tortelli on the plate, spoon some of the butter and sage on top, drizzled olive oil around the plate. Grate some  parmesan to finish.

Creamy beetroot risotto, mascarpone and cress salad

  • 4-5 red beetroot heads (if buying fresh, you can roast in the oven with a little oil and butter and seasoning for about 45 minutes until they are soft. You can buy pre-cooked beetroot without vinegar.)
  • 4 shallots finely diced or 1 white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 400g Carnaroli rice (you can also use Arborio rice)
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 500ml water with vegetable stock or chicken stock- you may have to add more
  • 150 grated parmesan
  • 200g butter
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Parsley or dill
  • Salt and pepper

Add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and sweat down your shallots, celery, and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the thyme. Add a knob of butter and cook for 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and golden. Pour in the white wine and cook off the alcohol. Then add your rice and stir until well combined before adding some stock. Stir gradually, and add stock and hot water whilst doing so. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked and well combined. This will take about 30 minutes. Keep adding stock and stirring gently. Once the rice has incorporated all the flavours, add the parmesan cheese and the butter, check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper if it needs more. Then add chopped herbs. To finish add a quenelle of mascarpone cheese and parsley. 

Roast chicken breast, potato puree and pine nuts


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 10g butter
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Potato Puree:

  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 80g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 80ml milk

For the potato puree, steam the potatoes for about 25-30 minutes until soft and tender. Then strain and place in a blender, blend with the butter and milk. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. For the potato lattice, peel one potato, using a mandolin, slice to 1mm thickness. Then slice into thin strips. Season with salt, add enough oil to a oven-proof frying pan to lightly cover it. Add the potato strips. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan and drain.

Using a frying pan, add olive oil, once hot, cook the chicken breasts until golden, crispy brown on each side. About 3-4 minutes per side. Turn down the heat, add the butter, continue to cook until nicely caramelised. Transfer to the oven, and leave to cook for a further 5-7 minutes. For the spinach, add to a pan, with a knob of butter and leave to wilt for about 5 minutes. To plate,  spoon the puree onto the centre, cut the chicken into two diamond quarters. Place onto of the spinach, sprinkle the pine nuts around and top with the potato lattice to finish.