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£10 recipes from top London chefs

At a time when everything is getting more expensive, including food, is it possible to put together an interesting main course for a dinner party for £10? We challenged four chefs behind four of the most talked-about restaurants that opened in London in the past year to try. The rules: the recipe has to feed four people; ingredients must not cost more than £10 in total (excluding wine)*; and the end result should be a dish you’d love to serve at a dinner party, not just a casual weeknight supper. This is what they came up with.

* Ingredients are priced as a percentage of the total cost of ingredients and are sourced from a major supermarket


© Aaron Tilley

© Aaron Tilley

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Spinach and ricotta gnudi with sage butter: £6.63

by Yohei Furuhashi or tokl

Some people say gnudi is the Italian answer to dumplings, but I think this is doing them a disservice. They are light and elegant, easy to make, incredibly versatile and can work wonders with a small amount of strong flavors like sage. To me, this is the epitome of Italian cuisine. Something very beautiful, made almost out of nothing.

For four people

  1. Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water, drain, cool and gently but firmly squeeze out as much water as possible. There will be a surprising amount. Chop fine.

  2. Combine the spinach, ricotta, egg yolks, grated Parmesan cheese, flour and nutmeg to taste. Season with sea salt and taste. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and with wet hands form golf balls and dip them in the semolina. Repeat for the rest of the mix. Spread them out on a tray. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably a few hours.

  3. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the gnudi and wait for them to rise to the surface. Melt the butter with sage leaves in a separate pan and when the gnudi rise to the surface, remove a tablespoon or two of the water and emulsify with the butter.

  4. Remove the gnudi with a slotted spoon, brush with the melted butter. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Aaron Tilley

Aaron Tilley

Thai Omelette: £7.25

by Luke Farrell of Speedboat Bar

There is a cheerful lady at the end of my street in Bangkok who makes omelettes. They are ready in seconds, but look like stylish soufflés in the middle. Street food chefs are always trying to make a margin, and having the guts to rely on your technique makes all the difference here. Don’t be afraid of the raging hot oil required for this recipe – you’ll be amazed at the results. You also have leftover homemade Sriracha sauce to stoke up other meals.

For four people

Sriracha chili sauce

Rice

For the Sriracha

  1. Remove the stalks from the jalapeños and grind them with the garlic, sugar and salt to a fine paste. Leave in a sterilized jar for three days to ferment.

  2. In a saucepan, add the fermented chili paste to the vinegar and fish sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes. It should be hot and rounded off with the sugar and vinegar. Peppers vary, so season with sugar and vinegar until you’re happy. Cool and pour into a bottle. Refrigerated it can be kept for two months.

For the omelette

  1. Cook the rice, cover and set aside. Do not open the lid for 25 minutes or until you are ready to serve the omelet.

  2. To make the omelet, get a small, high-sided saucepan, a fine mesh strainer, and a metal spatula or slotted spoon. Wire mesh over a baking sheet will help you drain the omelet.

  3. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the fish sauce, salt and a squeeze of lime and mix with a fork. Add the shrimp.

  4. Pour cooking oil into your pan until it is half way up. Heat until it starts to smoke, about 220C.

  5. Pour the egg mixture from a great height through a sieve into the oil in a circular motion. The shrimp will remain in the sieve. The egg will bubble furiously. After two minutes, or when it starts to get crispy, add the shrimp (the photo shows some on the surface, but I’d use them all in the omelet). They immediately turn pink. Working quickly, flip one side of the omelette with your spatula. Carefully remove and place in a colander.

  6. Place in the center of the table and top with a few sprigs of coriander. Your guests can help themselves to rice and spoon through the crispy shrimp omelette with as much Sriracha sauce as they like.

Aaron Tilley

Aaron Tilley

Homemade pasta with tomato sauce: £3.27

by Ed McIlroy of The Plimsoll

In the words of a French visitor to 18th-century Naples: lazzarone four or five coins to have some macaroni for today, he doesn’t worry about tomorrow.” This recipe is for a simple yet delicious pasta sauce. Making your own pasta to accompany the sauce turns it into a dish that can be served if you entertain.

For four people

For the dough

  1. Combine the flour, eggs, some olive oil and salt and knead this stiff mixture until your forearms are sore. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for about 10 minutes. Tiny amounts of water must be added gradually to bring the dough together. Continue to knead and fold the dough into itself. Do not get too wet. The end result should be firm, non-sticky, and springy enough to come back when you press it lightly.

  2. Wrap the dough in a tea towel or cling film and let it rest for an hour.

For the sauce

  1. Heat some oil in a deep pan, add the onion and stir to distribute evenly. Let the onions almost caramelize, then add the garlic and cook until the aroma begins to fill the chamber.

  2. Add the tomato paste. Season.

  3. Pour in the can of tomatoes, add half a liter of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, season again and add some chili flakes. Add water if necessary to prevent it from sticking and cook for as long as possible, at least 45 minutes. All the water should be reduced before serving so that you have a thick tomato sauce.

To make the pasta

  1. Use a rolling pin or other heavy cylinder. Divide the dough into three pieces and roll it up.

  2. When the pasta is first flattened, fold the pasta in both directions and start over to promote elasticity and texture.

  3. Roll flat, slightly thinner than a pound coin. If you get fairly uniform pasta sheets, cut them into strips for tagliatelle. If not, cut the shapes you want and name it maltagliati.

  4. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your pasta, but start checking as soon as it comes to the surface.

  5. Combine, serve, season if necessary, pour over some olive oil if you like and grate some cheese.

Aaron Tilley

Aaron Tilley

Kofte piaz: £9.41

by Esra Muslu from Zahter

Kofte is classic comfort food in Turkish culture and according to all children their mother’s recipe is the best. To cut costs, cooks sometimes add breadcrumbs (the doughy insides of stale bread that has been soaked, not the crust) and cooked rice to continue the meal with less meat. Piyaz (a Turkish white bean salad) is the perfect accompaniment: crunchy, sweet and fresh.

For four people

Vest

piyazo

Piyaz dressing

garnish

  1. For the piyaz, boil the beans until soft or soak them in water overnight if they are dried to speed up the process.

  2. Once cooled, mix with the diced tomato, red onion, spring onion and coarsely chopped parsley. The chili pepper should be cut diagonally into thin slices (too thick and you will get too much heat). Mix the dressing ingredients and pour them over the salad. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

  3. For the kofte, grate the onion and garlic, finely chop the parsley and mix with the minced meat. You can let it sit overnight to let all the flavors combine, but it’s not a must. Make 12 equal sized patties.

  4. You can grill, bake or pan fry your kofte. I prefer grilling them for about six minutes or until cooked through – you don’t want to see pink.

  5. Mix all the ingredients for the garnish and serve on the kofte.

Food styling by Seiko Hatfield. Set design and prop styling by Sandy Suffield

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