Here comes the sun

Summer, such as it was, has gone, but you can still serve up sunshine on a plate with this seasonal supper menu from Michael Brown, Head Chef at Uno’s Trattoria in Newcastle

If you were to choose one nation which infuses every supper menu with sunshine, the Italians would figure highly, so Michael Brown, head chef at Uno’s Trattoria on Newcastle Quayside, was the perfect choice to create our farewell-to-summer supper.

Obviously, we didn’t actually have a summer as such, and with the rain continuing into autumn we’ll take all the sunshine we can, even if it’s on a plate. The key, according to Michael, is to keep your recipes simple and always use the very best ingredients, just as the Italians do. Bellissimo!

Uno’s, 18 Sandhill, Quayside, Newcastle, NE1 3AF, tel 0191 261 5264,



8 ripe figs

100g/4oz Gorgonzola cheese, cubed

3 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp clear honey

75g/3oz rocket to garnish

Cut a cross in the top of each fig, season with salt and pepper, place on a greased baking tray and grill for two mins or warmed through. Place a cube of Gorgonzola on the top of each fig and grill for 2-3 mins or until cheese starts to melt. Whisk together the honey and vinegar as a dressing, and serve two figs per plate, drizzled with the dressing and garnished with rocket.



1 fresh mozzarella ball

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 chicken breasts

4 slices prosciutto

dash olive oil

juice of ½ lemon

basil leaves to garnish


Napoli sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

half an onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 basil leaves

800g/1¾lb tinned tomatoes

Heat oven to 200C/Gas 6. Mix mozzarella with rosemary and garlic, season and place under skin of each breast then wrap each with two prosciutto slices. For the sauce, saute onion and garlic in oil for two mins, add tomatoes and basil, bring to the boil then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins (add a little water if it thickens too fast). Meanwhile, brown chicken in a pan and finish in oven for 15-20 mins. Set aside. Add lemon juice to roasting tin, stir over heat then spoon over chicken. Add some sauce to each plate and top with a breast. Garnish with basil leaves.



225g/9oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 tbsp olive oil

500g/1lb 2oz chicken thighs

125g/5oz chorizo, in chunks

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion, chopped

2 tsp ground coriander

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

200ml/7fl oz chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

25ml/1fl oz sherry

Drain and rinse chickpeas, add to a large pan with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, then simmer until tender for about an hour, drain and set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken until golden brown, set aside. Fry chorizo in oil until beginning to crisp. Add onions, garlic and coriander and fry for 2-3 mins until softened. Pour in sherry and allow it to bubble for a minute. Tip in the tomatoes and the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the browned chicken and the chickpeas and simmer for 20-25 mins or until chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with fresh crusty bread and a swirl of olive oil.


Panna Cotta

3 gelatine leaves

250ml milk

250ml double cream

1 vanilla pod, split and de-seeded

25g/1oz sugar





175g/7oz sugar

175ml/7fl oz water

splash cherry liqueur

350g/14oz mixed berries

mint leaves to garnish


Soak gelatine leaves in a little water until soft. Place milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds in a small pan and bring to a simmer before removing and discarding the
vanilla pod. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

Divide the mixture among four ramekins and once cool place in the fridge for at least an hour, until set.

Pour the sugar, water and cherry liqueur into a pan and bring to the boil to make the sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, before taking off the heat to add the berries.

To serve, turn each panna cotta onto a serving plate, spoon over the sauce and garnish with mint leaves.

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