Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • Huge congrats to the winner of #JuniorMasterChef 2014- the brilliant Phoebe! Myself and @johntorodecooks are super proud! Really brilliant series this year- so inspiring to see such enthusiastic young cooks- hope the show inspires lots more young cooks to get cooking! :)
  • Joe Caulfield my next door neighbour is on #DonalsIrishFEAST tonight! He catches some of the best lobster in #Howth! :)
  • It's all about Dublin tonight on #DonalsIrishFEAST! Peter & Vlad from one of Dublin's best little sour dough bakeries, @arunbakery will be on RTÉ One at 7pm! 🍞
  • 'Twas the panto before Christmas 2009! I was Peter Pan, @bprdowling was a very fabulous Captain Hook and @mastylee was Tinker Bell! #tbt
  • Very foggy but sun came out! Really beautiful day! :)
  • Despite the cold Max went for a swim!
  • Beautiful cliff walk in #Howth this morning before heading to Limerick today! #ireland
  • French onion soup kind of day? MAIS OUI! Try the recipe this evening- C'est délicieux! Find it on DonalSkehan.com... #Recipeoftheday
  • A little bit of Max action from earlier today! Hello Max! :)
  • Mini sticky toffee baked Alaska on my youtube channel tonight! Little sneak peek recipe from my brand new series #donalsirishfeast starting this Thursday on Irish screens! :)
  • Junior MasterChef is back today! Hitting CBBC at 4.30pm with myself, @johntorode1 and 4 budding young brilliant cooks! Make sure to tune in and set to record! :) #JuniorMasterChef
  • Potato, cheese and thyme tart in my Irish independent column today- will stick the recipe up on the blog soon! :)
  • Happy Swedish Kladkakka Day! This my triple layer version with a cream cheese frosting- recipe on my blog! :) #kladdkakansdag
  • Having such a brilliant time on the #KitchenHeroLive Tour around Ireland! Cooking up delicious dishes in theatre venues! In Castlebar tonight with a great crowd- yeehaw! :)
  • Just spent the evening with these crazy Swedish mofo's in the #mittkök studio! Filming new recipes for Sweden! :)
  • Pear frangipane tarts in my Irish Independent Weekend Magazine column today- will stick the recipe on my blog next week! :)
  • Happy Halloween!!! What are cooking today? Lots of Halloween recipes up on my blog including these creepy chocolate eyeballs! 🎃👻
  • Myself and @JohnTorode1 are back with a brand new series of #JuniorMasterChef kicking off on the 10th of November on CBBC! Lots of a brilliant young cooks showcasing their cooking skills! :)
  • Sweet and savoury sticky rice dumplings: sweet green bean paste coated in sesame seeds and aromatic pork mince- deep fried until crisp and bloomin delish! #donalvietnam
  • Last lunch in Vietnam- delicious Bun Cha- a feast of chargrilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, lots off fresh herbs with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce! Will so miss the street food here! #donalvietnam
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Vodka Penne

Vodka Penne_2This recipe is inspired by the fantastic Lorraine Fanneran who runs the equally fantastic and award-winning La Cucina in Limerick with her Italian husband Bruno. She is an expert at delicious little pasta dishes and this one definitely proves that. Parents, don’t worry: the alcohol burns off in the cooking, and anyway, the kids will be mightily impressed that you’re giving them vodka. Lorraine suggests 4 tablespoons of vodka (plus a few in a glass for yourself depending on how bad your day has been!).

Serves 4
350g dried penne
25g  butter
125g pancetta or bacon bits or 2 slices cooked ham, chopped
4 tablespoon vodka
200ml  double cream
3 tablespoon tomato purée
A small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and fry for 3–5 minutes until golden. Add the vodka and allow to simmer for a minute before adding the cream, tomato purée and parsley. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the sauce and mix through. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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Cookbook Review and Competition: Two Greedy Italians

In terms of a television format, couples cooking on TV together works beautifully. First came The Two Fat Ladies, then The Hairy Bikers and now we have The Two Greedy Italians.  Although the format is the same, two different cooks, on the road, cooking similar food with different takes on it, for me there is so much more going on in Two Greedy Italians.  It’s packed full of Italian history, touching personal stories, beautiful scenery and most importantly fantastic food.  I had read about the pairing of these two, old, Italian chefs a couple of months ago and couldn’t wait to see what the outcome would be.  Antonio Carluccio, the godfather of Italian cookery for many years and Gennaro Contaldo, the man made famous as the mentor to Jamie Oliver, combine forces to create one of the warmest and most fascinating on screen duo’s TV cookery has seen.  Sure there might be set up shots, but at the heart of their TV show, there is a genuine friendship and a real warmth.

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