Breakfast cover

Scrambled duck eggs with creme fraiche and caviar

The duck eggs’ incredibly rich yolk makes these scrambled eggs sublime. Buy the best caviar you can afford or herring roe at a push. Serve piping hot with buttery toast fingers.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 4 duck eggs
  • 15g/ 1/2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caviar

Crack the eggs towards the top so that you are left with most of the shell intact. Discard the top piece of broken shell then gently pick off any excess shell fragments. Tip the eggs into a mixing bowl then carefully rinse and wipe the inside of the shells clean. Cut or tear the egg carton so that you have 4 little bases to hold the eggs.

Whisk the eggs and place the butter in a non stick pan set over a medium heat. Swirl the butter around the pan and add the beaten eggs. Gently stir for 1.5 - 2 minutes or until the eggs are almost cooked through. They will carry on cooking after they come off the heat. Take off the heat, stir in the creme fraiche and chives and lightly season. Spoon the scrambled eggs back into the reserved eggshells. Top with the caviar, place in the egg carton bases and serve with small teaspoons.

Mushroom cover

Parpadelle with sausage, tomato and dried wild mushroom ragout

This rich and hearty sauce is also good served over creamy mash or polenta.

Serves 4

Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 20g/ 2/3oz dried wild mushrooms (try porcini, fairy rings or morels)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 280g/10oz free range sausages, skinned
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 60ml/2oz white wine
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g/14oz tin chopped Italian plum tomatoes
  • 300g/ 10 1/2oz dried egg parpadelle pasta
  • a handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water. Leave to soften for 20 minutes, then remove and squeeze dry. Set the mushrooms aside and reserve the mushroom water separately.

Place the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes or until softened. Tip into a bowl and wipe out the pan. Place it back on the heat and add the sausage meat. Break up the meat with a fork and cook for 10 minutes or until it colours. Add the chilli flakes, wine, thyme, bay leaf, mushrooms and softened onions and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until it bubbles briskly. Lower the heat and cook for 45 minutes, ensuring it gently bubbles and simmers away. Add a small amount of the reserved mushroom water if the sauce becomes dry during cooking. Take off the heat, season well and cover until needed.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain well, place back in the pot and stir through the sauce. Add a little more mushroom water if it needs it.  Stir in the parsley, transfer to 4 warmed bowls and top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, if using.