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Cooking Together Italian Theme – Dine with a difference

Cooking Together is a fun way to spend an evening creating a three course dinner to enjoy with your loved one(s). We’ve created an Italian themed meal with ingredients you can source locally from the fishmonger – we chose Hake shoulder, selected for it’s white flaky texture and sweet flavour – you can use any white fish such as cod or haddock.

Starter: Arancini with Tomato Sauce

Main: Hake with Salsa Verde Parmesan Crip

Desert: Lemon Posset

Arancini with Tomato Sauce

Delightful risotto balls baked and served with tomato salsa, can be filled with mozzarella.

Ingredients – Makes 6

  • . 250 Grams of Risotto rice cooked and chilled use Arborio rice. Cook to packet instructions
  • . 2 Eggs whisked into ½ pint of milk
  • . 200 grams of seasoned plain flour
  • . 200 Grams of panko breadcrumbs
  • . 3 Medium mozzarella balls cut in half (if using)
  • . Vegetable oil for frying
  • . Salt pepper to season
  • . Small container of cold water


  1. 1. Wet fingers make 6 medium balls of risotto
  2. 2. If using mozzarella, flatten the risotto, place the mozzarella into the centre and fold the rice around sealing it up.
  3. 3. Now dip each ball in the flour, covering and shaking off excess
  4. 4. Dip into the egg and milk shake off excess
  5. 5. Place onto a lined baking tray with the oven at 180*. Bake for around 10 mins or until the arancini starts to turn golden
  6. 6. To serve, drizzle the tomato sauce over or alongside the arancini.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • . 1 tin of chopped tomato
  • . 4 mint leaves
  • . Salt pepper to taste
  • . Pinch of sugar
  • . Splash of olive oil


  1. 1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan
  2. 2. Bring to boil simmer 10 minutes
  3. 3. Blitz to a purée taste season
  4. 4. Serve with pasta or arancini as a dip
image of tomato sauce made in a cookery class at food sorcery cookery school
Image of fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil at Food Sorcery, Didsbury

Hake Shoulder, Served on Crushed Olive New Potatoes, with Salsa Verde and Parmesan Crisp

Serve simply with green beans or your favourite seasonal vegetables.

Salsa Verde

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 1 Teaspoon Capers
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • 4 Basil Leaves, ripped
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ Teaspoon of Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper


  1. Put all ingredients in a food processer and give it a quick blitz – you can make this as smooth or chunky as you like.  If you don’t have a food processor, then rough chop and use a pestle & mortar.  Pop in the fridge until needed.

Crushed Potato Cake with Olives

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 8 New Potatoes, Skin On – if these are small use extra
  • 200g Pitted Black Olives
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes.  While they are boiling, rough chop the olives.

    Check potatoes are sufficiently softened, drain and then crush with a masher or fork. 

    Add the olives and a good splash of olive oil, season to taste. 

    Keep warm until serving

Parmesan Crisp – Ingredients – Make as many as you like!

  • Parmesan Cheese



Fine grate the cheese and then you can either spread evenly over a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cut out your crisps with a circular cutter or make piles of cheese on the greaseproof which will form their own shapes.  Once the cheese sets, you can shatter to make shards or whatever shape suits.


Place under grill or in a pre-heated oven (180C) for 3 to 5 minutes – as they start to melt and bubble, keep and eye on the cheese and remove before they become too dark. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Use a palette knife to remove from the greaseproof.

Use immediately or you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Pan Fried Hake Shoulder

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 4 Hake Shoulder Steaks, your fishmonger will remove the bone, leave skin on.
  • Olive or Pomace Oil
  • Sea Salt to Season


  1. While you heat a heavy based frying pan to high heat, lightly oil the hake portions and season with sea salt flakes.

    Place the fish skin side down in the pan for 2 minutes without moving it.  Then lower the heat and carefully turn the fish and cook for about 5 minutes – once the fish is opaque, it’s cooked – Hake has a beautiful white colour.

To Serve

  1. Spoon the potato into the centre of the plate – you can use a ring to add a bit of finesse.
  2. Place the hake on top of the potato.
  3. Arrange the green beans or other vegetables around the plate.
  4. Drizzle the Salsa Verde over the top of the fish and vegetables.
  5. Now place the crushed potato in the centre of the plate, place the hake on top
  6. Finish with the parmesan crisps on top
  7. Enjoy
image of things to do in manchester cooking together at the cookery school
image of cooking together manchester inpsired meal at cookery school
iamge of fish dinner cookery at Food Sorcery

Italian lemon Posset

This is an Italian classic, and is great for a dinner party – as it can be made in the morning.

You could crush up biscuits of your choice and put in the bottom of the glass.  A classic Italian version would be an amaretti and serve a glass of amaretto on the side!

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • ·      300ml of double cream
  • ·      60g caster sugar
  • ·      1 juicy lemon


  1. 1. Squeeze the lemon
  2. 2. Bring the cream and sugar to the boil (careful it should just boil but not boil over). Once you see it boil – stay there and boil for exactly 3 minutes.
  3. 3. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the lemon juice
  4. 4. Strain this into a jug and leave to cool for 20minutes.
  5. 5. If you wish to put a crumbled biscuit in the bottom of the receptacle – this is the time to do it. If not gently pour the cream into the glasses.
  6. 6. Refrigerate for 6 hours minimum.

Serve with passion fruit and tuilles!

image of dessert at the dining experience
image of lemon possett at the cookey school
Image of Fit Food Class lemons, limes and chilis at Food Sorcery, Didsbury

Cooking Together evenings at the cookery school are a hybrid between a cookery class and going out for dinner. Guests cook in their pairs guided by chef to make a three course dinner, once created everybody sits down to a socialble meal. Award winning Food Sorcery cookery school holds cookery classes, team building and kids cooking classes and is based in Didsbury, Manchester.

Take a look at our classes online, booking is easy and you’ll be sent a confirmation email. Cookery gift vouchers are available and never expire.