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Cooking Together – Cicchetti – Bruchetta, Aubergine Parmigiana, Baked Fennel

Our cooking together cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your evening and are ready to recreate the meals at home. The recipes work really well as delicious dinners and make a great combination for dinner party ideas. 

We cooked 

  1. Starter: Prawn or Mushroom Bruchetta with spicy tomato sauce
  2. Main Dishes: Aubergine Parmigiana, Baked Fennel with wine & potatoes, meatballs with tomato sauce, Aubergine Rolls.
  3. Dessert: Choose from the Food Sorcery favourites below

King Prawn Brushetta or Mushroom – Gamberi alla busarra

Ingredients – Serves 6:

  • – 6x Chunky slice of sourdough or bread, toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic
  • – 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • – 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  • – 1kg prawns or portobello mushrooms, medium-sized, deveined
  • – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • – 1 small onion, golden, peeled and finely chopped
  • – 60ml of dry white wine
  • – 200g of sun blushed tomatoes, finely chopped
  • – 1 dried chilli, crushed
  • – fine sea salt
  • – freshly ground black pepper
  • – 1 handful of parsley leaves, minced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet set over a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring often so it doesn’t colour
  2. Add the prawns or mushrooms  and cook for about two minutes per side, ensuring that they don’t overlap. Pour in the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and allow it to evaporate. Remove the prawns or mushrooms; transfer them to a plate while you carry on with the sauce
  3. Remove the garlic and add the tomatoes and crushed chilli. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the tomatoes have fallen apart and look saucy; add a splash of water if needed to help the sauce come together. Taste and season
  4. Now, put the prawns or mushrooms back into the skillet and stir to coat in the sauce. Increase the heat and sauté for about five more minutes, then remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Serve on toasted sourdough rubbed with fresh garlic.

Baked Fennel with White Wine and Potato 

Ingredients – Serves 2

  1. 1 head fennel, ½ white onion
  2. 2 jacket sized potatoes
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1 sprig/ twig of rosemary
  5. 175ml white wine
  6. 175ml vegetable stock
  7. grated parmesan (enough to sprinkle over the top)
  8. splash of oil


  1. Slice the onion, potato and fennel – all a similar thickness – aim for about the thickness of a £1 coin.  Fine dice the garlic
  2. Use a small frying pan that is suitable for the oven, if your pan can’t go into the oven, you will need an oven proof dish.
  3. Take your pan, heat the oil to medium heat then add the rings of fennel.  You are looking to get some colour into the fennel, then add the garlic.   On top of the fennel, season each layer – layer the potato then onion, then potato.  You then cover in the wine and stock, and place the sprig of rosemary on top. 
  4. Into the oven for about 45 minutes at 150C,  When it comes out, sprinkle with some parmesan and serve….

Aubergine Parmigiana

Ingredients – Serves 4-6 (main
course/side dish)

  • 1.5kg aubergines
  • Fine salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 400g mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 125g Parmesan, grated
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • Handful of basil leaves

For The Tomato Sauce

  • 800g good tinned tomatoes2 red onions
    150ml red wine vinegar
    Pinch of sugar
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp dried oregano


  1. Cut the aubergines lengthways into 5mm slices, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander to drain for half an hour.

    Classic Tomato Sauce

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, then garlic. Fry for a minute, then tip in the tomatoes and wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, mashing the tomatoes, stir and then turn down the heat slightly. Add a pinch of sugar, a little seasoning and the oregano and marjoram, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Preheat the oven to 180C. Put a large pan of water on to boil if you’re feeling healthy. Rinse the aubergines well, and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to coat the bottom well, and put on a high heat. Fry half (healthy) or all (not), of the aubergine slices until golden brown on both sides, working in batches. Put the cooked slices on paper towel to drain. Blanch the other
    half, if necessary, in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain well.

    Lightly grease a baking dish and spread with a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of aubergines (packing them tightly), mozzarella, Parmesan and seasoning. Add another layer of aubergines, followed by tomato sauce, the cheeses and seasoning. Repeat this order until you have used up all the aubergine, finishing
    with a layer of sauce (you may not need all the sauce) – keep a little Parmesan
    back for the top.

    Toss the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and browned, then allow to cool slightly and
    sprinkle with torn basil before serving.

Baked Meatballs – Polpette al forno

Ingredients -serves 2

  • Mince or Soy Protein – we use a mix of 200g beef and 100g pork, but you can use any combination
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Stale bread 100 g or panko breadcrumbs
  • Pecorino or parmesan cheese – grated 40 g
  • Eggs 2
  • Parsley 1 – small handful
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons
  1. Method
  2. To prepare meatballs with tomato sauce, start with the meat/soy protein mixture: cut stale bread into pieces and place it in a mixer with blades and make your breadcrumbs
  4. Mix in a bowl together with the mincemeat/soy protein. Add oregano, a pinch of grated nutmeg or other spices and chopped parsley.
  6. Add grated Parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs and the egg.  Mix everything with your hands until you have a meatball texture.
  8. Use this mixture to form little even sized balls As soon as all the meatballs/soy protein are ready, heat some oil in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, place the meatballs/soy protein in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes each side to gain some colour.
  9. Add water, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes. Once ready, season with dried oregano and enjoy your meatballs with tomato sauce from above.

Grilled Aubergine Rolls with Robiola

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – Robiola Cheese
  • – 1 long aubergine
  • – 1 piece of lemon zest
  • – 1/2 a fresh chilli
  • – 1 bunch of parsley
  • – 1 sprig of basil
  • – extra virgin olive oil
  • – salt


  1. Cut the aubergine into slices not too thin.  Lay on a tray and salt, rest for ten minutes. When it is ready, remove all the salt then grill them. Pat dry with a paper towel & allow to cool. In a bowl, mix the two cheeses with the herbs.
  3. Take the aubergines, place them on a plane then you put on the mixture of cheeses.
  5. Serve with basil pesto and croutons.

Use the link above to explore the Food Sorcery favourite dessert recipes

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