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Chris Baber’s family favourites

Cook up a please-all family dinner with help and inspiration from chef Chris Baber. Choose from no-fuss traybakes, perfect pasta and a twist on a classic curry
Spiced masala biryani

Smoky tomato and salami linguine

“Introducing the perfect speedy pasta dish that the whole family will love, featuring delicious Italian salami and the ultimate flavour-boosting short cut, Cook With M&S smoked tomato paste,” says Chris
See the recipe
    • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    • 1 Salami Emiliano, roughly chopped
    • 2 tsp Cook With M&S easy garlic
    • 4 tsp Cook With M&S smoked tomato paste
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
    • 1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
    • 320g linguine
    • Basil leaves, to serve
    • Parmesan, grated, to serve
    1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and add the salami. Sauté gently for 4-5 mins.
    2. Add the easy garlic and sauté until the garlic is softened but not coloured, around 2-3mins.
    3. Add the smoked tomato paste and fennel seeds, if using, and cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Add the chopped tomatoes, then rinse the tin with 200ml of water and add this too, stir, then bring it all to a gentle simmer.
    5. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add 2 tsp salt, and cook the linguine for 10-12mins.
    6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking water to add to the tomato sauce if it is looking a little thick.
    7. Tumble the pasta in the sauce and finish with a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil (and a splash of the reserved cooking water if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.
    8. Serve topped with basil leaves, a grating of parmesan and a crusty baguette, if you like.
Cheesy melting middle meatballs with broccoli mash

Cheesy melting middle meatballs with broccoli mash

“This is a real hearty family favourite: succulent British meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, with fluffy mash. I’ve added broccoli to the mash for an extra portion of veggies, too”
See the recipe
    • 500g M&S 12% fat British beef mince
    • 30g cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 700g Maris Piper potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks
    • 1 broccoli, chopped small into roughly 1cm-size pieces (stalk included)
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp dried oregano or any other dried herb you fancy
    • Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
    • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 30g cheddar cheese, grated
    1. First make the meatballs by adding the mince to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together firmly using your hands until well combined. Divide the mix into approximately 16 pieces then, with wet hands, roll these into golf-ball-sized meatballs. Next, take pinches of the grated cheddar and push one into the centre of each ball, closing the meat around the cheese so it is sealed in.
    2. Meanwhile, add the potatoes to a large pan of boiling water, simmer for 15 minutes, then add the chopped broccoli for a further 5 minutes until everything is tender.
    3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, over a medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pan and fry for 3-5 minutes until brown and caramelised all over. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
    4. Turn the heat down to medium, add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the same pan, and fry the onions and garlic for around 5 minutes, until they are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Here you can add in any dried herbs you like, such as oregano, and a pinch of chilli flakes if you want.
    5. Next stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil before adding the meatballs back to the sauce. Simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through with no pink. Check the seasoning of the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Once the veg are cooked, drain and steam dry for 2 minutes in the colander before returning to the pan.
    7. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper before mashing to your preferred consistency.
    8. Serve a spoonful of the mashed broccoli-potato topped with the meatballs in the sauce and some grated cheddar.


Spicy sausage pasts

Spicy sausage pasta

“This veg-packed pasta dish is so simple and satisfying. You could use Plant Kitchen posh dogs and leave out the parmesan for a vegan version – either way, it’s delicious”
See the recipe
    • 400g fusilli pasta
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, grated
    • 1 tsp chilli flakes
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    • 1 pack M&S sausages, roughly chopped
    • 550g Cook With M&S chunky Mediterranean-style veg mix
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2tins chopped tomatoes
    • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • Parmesan, grated
    1. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions and drain, reserving the cooking water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, then add the garlic, chilli flakes and fennel seeds.
    2. When the spices begin to sizzle, add the sausages or Plant Kitchen sausoyges and fry for 3 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until they begin to caramelise.
    3. Add the Cook With M&S chunky Mediterranean-style veg, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until slightly softened.
    4. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and let it bubble away, then add the chopped tomatoes and around ¼ can of cooking water from the pasta.
    5. Simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use a little more of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce if it looks too dry.
    6. Toss the cooked pasta through the sauce with the fresh parsley, then serve with grated parmesan and black pepper.
    7. For a vegan version, substitute the sausages with Plant Kitchen sausoyges, and leave out the parmesan.