- Cooking

Pasta Perfection

With leftovers from fridge & freezer combined, cooked, lavished with ketchup & burger relish then dusted with herbs, you’ve a wonderful impromptu ragu; served with strings of spaghetti tossed in garlic mayo, you’ve a tasty meal in minutes.


Skipper Bolognese


Like many, I topped up the tins in my store cupboard when this current climate of uncertainty broke.

An absolute favourite are JW’s Skippers (aka: bristling, brisling, garvie, garvock, Russian sardine, russlet, skipper or whitebait).

Very simply, empty a couple tins into a bowl with olives and oregano. If you have Skippers in tomato sauce, add Stokes Wholegrain Cider & Horseradish Mustard.

If your Skippers are in sunflower oil, add the mustard as well as half and half Stokes Bloody Mary Ketchup and the smoky heat of our Chipotle Ketchup.

Heat through and serve with spaghetti that’s been lifted with a spoonful of Stokes Garlic smooth aioli Mayonnaise stirred through it.

Kate’s Sausage Gnocchi

My daughter and son are locked down together, but only the miles separate us – our foodie passions keep us together. This is Kate’s recipe (in her words):

So, for the gnocchi it was just potato (King Edwards or Maris Piper were recommended) which were boiled in skins until soft and then riced/mashed several times over. Plain flour (I used around 200g for 1kg potato) was added and 1 egg, then mixed and brought together by hand before rolling out, cutting and shaping using a fork – apparently the grooves help the sauce cling!

The sauce is a simple sausage ragu: onion, garlic, Chilli Jam and the herby meat of a pack of sausages, squeezed from the skin and browned together in the pan.

Then I added loads of Stokes Tomato Ketchup, a few Italian herbs, a can of chopped tomatoes, a beef stock bouillon and a splash of water (about half the empty tomato can). Left that to simmer for a while and wilted some spinach into it before serving.

To cook the gnocchi, I did them in batches in boiling water. When they float, they’re done, ready to serve with the sauce – yummy.

Mushroom Tagliatelle


While the pasta is cooking, melt a knob of butter in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil too. Chop or break up a punnet of mushrooms, adding it to the pan with a sprinkling of thyme leaves and a shake or squeeze of Stokes Brown Sauce (for its fragrant Persian spices).

Cook the mushrooms down for 10 minutes then stir in our Classic English or Dijon Mustard to taste, with 100ml of chicken stock and a splash of white wine. As this simmers, add half a tub of Philly-style creamed cheese or crème fraîche.

Before draining the pasta, ladle a little of the pasta water into the mushrooms. This develops the sauce, now ready to be served with the pasta.

Corned Beef Meatballs


More from the trusty store cupboard.

Empty the contents of 2 x 340g cans of corned beef into a large bowl with 1 egg, 1 finely diced onion, 2 tsp of our Stokes Cider & Horseradish Mustard and 2 or 3 tsp of our Chilli Jam (add more to taste). Cut the crust off 2 slices of bread, soak the slices in milk and combine them well with the meat and onions.

Form the contents into ‘meatballs’, roll them in breadcrumbs and fry them gently to colour all over.

For the sauce: soften 2 diced shallots and 2 grated cloves of garlic with 1 tsp of dried mixed herbs. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 500ml of beef stock, 2 tsp of Harissa spices, 4 tbsp (or more) of Stokes Bloody Mary Ketchup and a splash of red wine. Let this simmer for 10 minutes before adding the meatballs. Simmer for 5 or 6 minutes more to let the meat absorb the flavours and the sauce reduce and thicken.

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1. Only if you need to;

2. Keep your distance;


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