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Big & Little Cooks

Big & Little Cooks – Italian Recipes

Big & Little Cooks – Italian Recipes

We hope you enjoyed your class and are ready to recreate the meals at home. The recipes work really well as mid-week dinners for all the family.

We Cooked:

  1. Main & Sides: Sunblushed Tomato and Ricotta Tortellini, Marinara Sauce and Cheesy Garlic Bread
  2. Dessert: Chocolate fondant

Sunblushed tomato & Ricotta Tortellini


serves 2

For the pasta (makes more dough than needed for this recipe):

  • – 2 medium eggs
  • – 200g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting

For the filling:

  • – 150g ricotta
  • – 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • – 50g of sun blushed tomatoes. chopped
  • – 50g Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • – 1 lemon, zest only
  • – pinch grated nutmeg
  • – salt and freshly ground pepper
  • – knob of butter, to serve


  1. Put eggs and flour in a food processor and process until smooth. The mixture will look like breadcrumbs at this stage. (This could be done by hands only, you will just have to increase kneading time slightly). Tip out onto a lightly floured board and bring together using your hands. Knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky. Cover and rest in the fridge while you make the filling.
  2. For the filling, mix the ricotta, parmesan, tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag or a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off or just use a teaspoon to fill your pasta.
  3. To assemble the tortellini, roll the pasta dough through all the sizes on the pasta machine starting with the widest setting and finishing on the smallest setting when the pasta is very thin. Using a 9cm/3½in round cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. (Any leftover dough can be frozen to use another time.)
  4. Pipe a heaped teaspoon amount of filling inside each pasta circle and fold in half to create a half moon shape. Wet the edges and press down to help them stick. Pull the two narrow ends together to form a tortellini shape.
  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2–3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well.
  6. Meanwhile, put a frying pan over a medium–high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook until lightly browned and starting to bubble. Then add the hazelnut pesto and gently heat through.
  7. Serve the tortellini with a sauce of your choice and parmesan on top.


Mariana Sauce

  1. Ingredients – Serves 4:

    • – 1 small onion, diced
    • – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • – 1 tin of plum tomatoes
    • – 1 sprig of basil, whole
    • – 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
    • – Zest of 1 lemon
    • – 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • – 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat the oil in a small pan and add onion and garlic, sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes, balsamic and sprig of basil and simmer for 15-20 mins.
  5. Season well and add the lemon zest and parsley at the end.
  7. Blitz with a handheld blender or mix until it’s a smooth sauce.

cheesy garlic bread

  • Ingredients

    • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
    • 1/4 cup salted butter , softened
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin)*
    • 1 Tbsp minced garlic , or 1 tsp granulated garlic
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
    • 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or cheddar
    • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Slice bread in half lengthwise. Cut two sheets of foil about 24-inch long and place side by side letting one slightly overlap the other on a rimmed baking tray. Place bread, cut side up, on baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, using a fork, stir together butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon and spread mixture evenly over entire surface of both bread halves (working to coat the edges too so they don’t burn). Wrap foil over bread and crimp edges together and roll ends of foil up. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, open foil and roll foil inward. Sprinkle bread evenly with cheeses. Return to oven, bake uncovered, 5 – 6 minutes longer (grill during last 1 – 2 minutes for a crisper bread and more golden cheese if desired, no need to move rack upward). Sprinkle tops evenly with parsley. Cut into slices and serve warm.

chocolate fondant

  1. Ingredients – Makes 2

    • 50g Plain Flour
    • 50g Caster Sugar
    • 50g Butter
    • 50g Dark Chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids)
    • 1 Egg
    • 1 Egg yolk (Optional: for extra gooeyness)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/Gas 5
  2. Grease 2 ramekins with butter.
  3. Dust inside of ramekins with cocoa powder
  4. Put the butter and chocolate into a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water underneath) and leave until melted, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from the heat then add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until smooth and well combined.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture into the ramekins.
  7. Leave to set in fridge for minimum 20minutes but can be overnight.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes – the fondants are ready when you shake each one gently and only the middle moves a little.
  9. Remove from the oven, and gently loosen the edge.
  10. Carefully invert each fondant onto a plate. Serve with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream, mint and berries.

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