Donal Skehan

Roasted Pumpkin & Ricotta Ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli New copy

Dark evenings and blustery days can mean only one thing: Pumpkin season has officially arrived! This incredibly delicious supper is fairly easy to make if you’re a dab hand with a pasta making machine. However, if you don’t want to face making your own dough, you can cheat and use wonton wrappers available in Asian food stores in the frozen section. Whatever way you choose to make them, the combination of sweet pumpkin in tender pasta parcels, coated in nutty butter with crispy prosciutto and earthy mushrooms is the perfect seasonal supper.

Serves 4
You will need:
For the ravioli filling:
900g of pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped in chunks
1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
150g of ricotta
100g of butter
150g of prosciutto
150g of chanterelle mushrooms
8 sage leaves

For the pasta dough:
200g tipo 00 pasta flour
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
Semolina, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Place the pumpkin on a roasting tray and toss in rapeseed oil. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender. 3. Remove from the oven and drape with slices of prosciutto and sprinkle with sage leaves. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place the pumpkin pieces in a bowl with the ricotta and mash to a smooth consistency with the back of a fork. Season to taste and set aside.

To make the pasta dough, place the flour, egg and egg yolks in the food processor and pulse until a dough forms (Add a drop of water to bring it together). Form it into a ball, cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge until you are ready.  Set the rollers of your pasta machine to the widest setting. Take half the dough and roughly flatten into an oval. Roll the pasta through the rollers 3-4 times on each setting until you get to the thinnest one. When the pasta is as thin as you can get it, lay it out on a work surface dusted with semolina. Cut the pasta into manageable-sized sheets and leave under a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.

Taking one pasta sheet at a time, add a teaspoon of the pumpkin filling at regular intervals, about 5cm apart. Have a cup of water to hand and, using a brush, dampen the edges around the filling, then lay a second sheet of pasta over the top. Gently press down around the edges of the filling to seal, ensuring all the air escapes. Cut out the ravioli using a fluted cutter and place in a large pot of boiling salted water to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the ravioli rise to the top.

To finish cooking the pasta, place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small knob of butter. Add the chantarelles to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add the remaining butter and melt until it is foaming and turns golden and nutty. Transfer the ravioli from the cooking liquid to the pan of nutty butter and toss to coat. Serve the ravioli straight away with the mushrooms, crispy prosciutto and sage leaves.

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Creamy Chicken & Spinach Pasta

Creamy Spinach Chicken Pas copy

I love recipes that come with a dash of nostalgia and this one never fails to deliver. In what now feels like another life, I was in a band with my Swedish pal Jonathan and, while staying at his place, I picked up this great recipe from his ‘Mama’, Kerstin. She really knows how to feed a crowd and this recipe is absolutely delicious.

Serves 4
300g tagliatelle
a knob of butter
400g skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thick strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
50g ready-to-use sun-dried tomatoes
150g baby spinach leaves
250ml single cream
a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and, when foaming, fry the chicken for about 4–6 minutes or until cooked through. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and fry until the spinach has wilted.

Add the cream and bring to steady simmer for 3–4 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked drain and add to the sauce. Toss well and serve straightaway.

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Recipe Video: Mini Meat Loaves…

Meatloaf Mash-2 copy

There is something so comforting about classic family recipes and this meatloaf is one of those dishes! This is a grown up version of the classic take on meatloaf as I serve it with carrot mash and a red onion gravy but it still has all the classic flavours you want in a meat loaf too.

Meatloaf Mash-1 copy

Even with these additions, my mini meat loaves go down really well with kids. If you’re stuck for breadcrumbs, smash up some cream crackers and they’re a perfect substitute.

Continue to the recipe for my Mini Meat Loaves, Carrot Mash & Red Onion Gravy…

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Mini meat loaves with carrot mash & Onion Gravy

Meatloaf Mash-2 copy

These mini meat loaves go down really well with kids. If you’re stuck for breadcrumbs, smash up some cream crackers and they’re a perfect substitute.

Serves 6
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground Black pepper
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
300ml tomato ketchup (about 18 tbsp)

For the gravy:
75ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
1tsp plain flour

Preheat the oven to 175°C, 347°F, Gas mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions and oregano and season with a good pinch of salt and black pepper and cook gently, stirring every now and then for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Take half of the onion and put aside.

Put the minced beef with the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, breadcrumbs, oregano, egg, a tablespoon of ketchup and the softened onions into a large bowl and, using your hands, mix until everything is combined.

Divide the mixture into equal-sized loaf-shaped patties and place on a baking sheet. Spoon the remaining ketchup over the top of each meat loaf and cook in the oven for 35–40 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through.

To make the gravy, reheat the remaining onions in the pan, add the red wine, chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Then to thicken the sauce, take a spoonful of the gravy and mix in a glass with the flour then pour back into the pan and mix well. Let it simmer for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper if needed.

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Recipe Video: Irish Beef & Guinness Stew…

Beef Guinness-2 copy

Traditional Beef and Guinness stew is a perfect comfort food dish. You can serve this as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie. Do make sure the meat is tender before serving, different cuts of meat will take longer cooking times.

Beef Guinness-1 copy

You can always add potatoes to bulk out teh stew but I love it served with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s no surprise that this Irish dish appears on most pub and traditional Irish menus across Ireland. This recipe is part of my St. Patrick’s Day Collaboration which you can check out here.

Continue to the recipe for my tradition Irish Beef & Guinness Stew…

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Simple Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato & Coriander Salsa

Roast Chicken Salsa-5
Mastering a really good roast chicken is a bit of an art form in itself and the basis of any good home cook’s reputation. I love cooking it so that you’re left with a salty, crispy skin and meat that is moist and full of herby, aromatic flavour.

Serves 4- 6
1 large free range chicken

For the herby paste:
2 tbsp olive oil
A few fresh rosemary sprigs
A few fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the roast sweet potato chips:
2-3 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the coriander salsa:
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Handful of coriander
green chilli
Juice and zest from 1 lime
Sprinkle of sea salt

For the spicy yoghurt:
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tsp of hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6. For the herby paste, blitz together the olive oil, rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar or a food processor until you get a smooth paste. Wash sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on) and cut into small cubes. Thinly slice the red onions and place on a large baking tray with the sweet potato cubes. Toss in 1-2 tbsp of the herby paste. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slather the chicken in the remaining herby paste, season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and place on top of sweet potatoes and onions. Roast in the oven for 45–50 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. While the chicken and sweet potato chips are in the oven it’s time to make the coriander salsa and spicy yoghurt.  For the salsa, whisk the oil, coriander, chilli and lime together in a food processor or pestle and mortar and set aside.

Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest, covered in foil, before serving, remembering to save any juices that run off. While the chicken is resting, prepare the spicy yoghurt by stirring together the yoghurt and hotsauce and season with salt & pepper. Serve the chicken and sweet potato with the salsa on and yoghurt on top.

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The Very Best Pasta & Meatballs…

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs_1

If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it would be this rich tomato & Italian meatballs pasta. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. I rely solely on the heat of the sauce to cook and infuse the balls with flavour and I love to serve the dish on a big platter with serving spoons, so that people can dig in at the table.

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs_2

I like to use a combo or pork and beef mince as this give fantastic flavour. My top tip when prepping the meatballs is to make them nice and small. This way they cook in the rich tomato sauce nice and quick and they are a manageable size when it comes to eating them! You can of course use any pasta you like but you can’t beat spaghetti or linguine for a bit of Lady and the Tramp action!

Continue to the recipe for my Rich Italian Pasta and Meatballs…

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Beef and Guinness Pie


Beef & Guinness pie is a perfect dish for a cold autumn day. You can serve this as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie. Do make sure the meat is tender before serving, different cuts of meat will take longer cooking times.

Serves 6
1-2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1kg shoulder of beef, cut into one inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
150ml beef stock
500ml of Guinness
Sea Salt and ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
30g of plain flour
2 sheets of ready to roll puff pastry
A little butter to grease the baking dish
1 egg to brush

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the meat in two batches, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove and set aside on a plate. Add another drop of oil if you need it and then fry off the onion, carrots and celery.

Add the meat back into the pot along with the garlic. Pour in the stock, Guinness, one bay leaf and season to taste. Simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours until the liquid has reduced.

If the sauce isn’t thick enough strain the juices into a bowl and then transfer to a small sauce pan.  Mix a little of the sauce with the flour over heat until you have a smooth paste, then whisk through the rest of the liquid.  Simmer gently until you have a thickened sauce, then tip back over the meat, before filling the pie.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Grease a baking dish with butter and lay one sheet of puff pastry in. Press it into the sides and prick with a fork over the base. Fill with the beef and Guinness mix, and top with the second layer of puff pastry. Pinch the two sheets of puff pastry together so they are sealed.

Cut one or two holes in the pastry lid to allow steam escape and then brush all over with egg.

Place the pie into the oven to bake for 25-30 mins, until the pastry has risen and has a crisp golden colour.

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Ultimate Healthy Comfort Food Soup…

Squash Coconut Chilli Soup copy

January is finally over but it seems the cold weather is planning to stick around a little longer. When the days are short and the evenings dark, there is nothing I love more than making a big pot of soup. I’m a big fan of classics like vegetable or tomato or even something like my Cauliflower & Blue Cheese Soup but it’s nice to spice things up every once in a while. This delicious roast squash, coconut and chilli soup recipe is the perfect comfort food, so sweet and creamy! It’s an instant hit!


This recipe works just as well with pumpkin when they are in season so go ahead and use instead of the squash if you have them! Make sure to adjust the spice to your own taste, and be careful when adding chilli flakes…  a little goes a long way!

Continue to the recipe for Roast Squash, Coconut & Chilli Soup…

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Rich Tomato Italian Meatballs With Linguine

Bord Bia Spaghetti & Meatballs
If I was to name one recipe that is ideal food therapy, it would be this rich tomato & Italian meatballs pasta. There is something extremely relaxing about rolling the meat into little balls and plopping them into a boiling, rich, tomato sauce. I rely solely on the heat of the sauce to cook and infuse the balls with flavour and I love to serve the dish on a big platter with serving spoons, so that people can dig in at the table.

For the meatballs
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
100g breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
300g good-quality linguine
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1⁄2 glass red wine (about 150ml/5fl oz)

Place the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, mustard, ketchup and oregano in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Thoroughly mix everything together with a fork. Wear plastic gloves or dip your hands in a bowl of cold water, then take about a teaspoonful of the mixture and roll with your hands into a small ball. (It’s better to make the balls smaller as they will cook quicker and are a lot easier to eat.) Work your way through the mixture, setting the balls on a large baking tray. Place in the fridge to firm up.

To make the tomato sauce, heat a large saucepan over a medium–high heat, add the olive oil and fry the onion for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, Tabasco, oregano and red wine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, skimming off any oil as necessary. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Add the firmed-up meatballs to the saucepan, making sure they are covered by the sauce – this keeps the meat lovely and tender. Bring the sauce back to the boil and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with the linguine, cooked according to the packet instructions, and there’ll be clean plates all around!

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Green Bean, Potato & Pesto Lasagne

Pesto LasagneLasagne is one of those classic Italian dishes which has made a name for itself across the world with a rich meat sauce, layers of creamy white sauce, pasta and cheese, it’s hard to resist. I was excited to come across this lighter version made with green beans, potatoes and flavoured with basil pesto.

Serve 4-6
75g of butter, plus extra for the top
75g of plain flour
750ml of milk
pinch of nutmeg
250g fresh lasagne sheets
150g of fresh pesto
250g of green beans
500g of baby potatoes
75g of Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Boil the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Before the end of the cooking time add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Place a medium sized saucepan over a medium high heat and add in the butter. When it’s completely melted and foaming add in the flour and whisk until you are left with a roux. Cook for 2 minutes before whisking in the milk. Continue to whisk and cook until the sauce holds a figure of eight when swirled with the whisk. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and stir in the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir through the pesto.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Spread a little of the pesto sauce across the base of medium sized roasting tin. Lay sheets of the pasta across the base top with the sauce, green beans, slices of potatoes and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat the process layering up the lasagne with the remaining ingredients until you are left with a final layer of pasta sheets.

Pour over the remaining sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and dot with a little butter.
Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Serve straight away with a fresh salad.

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