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John Torode's store cupboard recipes

If you're struggling to find your regular groceries, you can still whip up some delicious culinary delights with what’s in your store cupboard.

From his quick-and-easy tomato sauce to the curry you can make from a tin, John Torode saves us a trip to the shops, as he shows us how to make the most of what’s already in our kitchens.

The bestest basic tomato sauce


100ml olive oil1 onion diced1 clove garlic crushed1 tsp sea salt1 tsp ground black pepper2 tins chopped tomatoes

600g pasta of your choice, cooked according to packet instructions


1. In a heavy based pan heat the oil over a moderate heat. Add the onion, stirring constantly, cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes

3. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a good 10 minutes stirring as much as possible. Either serve with rigatoni or take from the heat and leave to cool, place in storage jars or in small containers. This is a good sauce to freeze if you have some left over.

4. Add the cooked rigatoni to the pot of sauce with a little of the pasta water and bring to the boil and stir all well together

John's dad's fritters


300g cooked lamb leg or shoulder (all the fat trimmed away) - you can also use frozen mixed vegetables in place of the meat1 small onion finely diced1 tsp fine saltGround pepper250ml cold water300g self-raising flour50ml vegetable oil


1. Heat the oven to 160C

2. Dice the lamb into pieces the size of your thumb nail. Mix together the lamb with the diced onion.

3. In a large bowl mix the flour, water, salt and pepper. Drop in the lamb or vegetables and onions and stir well. You will need to cook them in at least two batches.

4. Heat half the oil in a large pan, take tablespoon amounts of the fritter mix and drop into the oil

5. These little morsels cook the same as a pancake, let them cook slowly and brown around the edges, turn the heat down if too frantic. Turn them over after 3-4 minutes, leave to cook again for another few minutes.

6. Take them out of the pan and place them in a roasting tin and pop them in the oven whilst you do the next batch

7. Serve as a whole meal, as a snack with piccalilli, with brown sauce, little ones as a canapé, with creamed spinach, peas & beans and buttered carrots

Pasta e fagioli


1 tin borlotti beans1 tin haricot beans - you can use baked beans if you drain and wash away the tomato sauce100mls olive oil 100g rindless bacon, diced 2 medium carrot2 medium onion2 long sticks of celery1 tin chopped tomatoesSalt and freshly ground black pepperA good litre vegetable stock or water150g macaroni pasta

To serve

100g pesto


1. Dice the vegetables into soup-size pieces

2. Heat the oil in over a medium heat. Throw in the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until coloured, add the carrot, onion, celery and tomatoes and cook for five minutes minutes more and season stirring occasionally.

3. Add the beans and the water from the tins also. Add the vegetable stock or stock cube diluted in water and bring to the boil. Taste and season well.

4. Add the macaroni and cook for 15 minutes until soft but not over cooked. It should be thickish not stock like but a soup like consistency.

5. Ladle into large bowls, place a tablespoon of the pesto onto each and top with Parmesan if you have it. Pour over some olive oil if you wish.

Chana masala


420g tin chickpeas20mls vegetable oil1 onion finely chopped50g fresh ginger, peeled and grated2 cloves garlic1 tbsp cayenne pepper1 tbsp ground cumin1 tbsp ground coriander2 whole cardamom pods1 tsp turmeric2 tsp salt 1 tin chopped tomatoes1 chill choppedSalt and pepperHandful of mint leaves, chopped

Simple naan bread

500g flour Pinch salt 1 tsp baking powder 500 yoghurt 15ml oil


1. Place the pan over a medium heat and add the oil, add the onion and cook for a minute then throw in the ginger. Cook gently for 2 minutes, add the garlic and do the same then add all spices and 2 teaspoons of salt, constantly stirring. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until coloured.

2. Pour in the chickpeas and the water and then drop in the tomatoes

3. Bring to the boil, cook for 10 minutes, until you have a sauce. Add the chilli, remove from the heat and set to one side. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

4. Add the chopped herbs to the chickpea mix and stir well

5. To make the naan bread mix the flour, salt, baking powder together and then add the yoghurt and oil. Mix to form a dough.

6. Flour a work surface and break the dough into 6-8 pieces, roll each piece out into rough teardrop shapes

7. Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot and place the naan into the pan. Cook on each side for a couple of minutes each side until golden.

8. Serve the chana masala with the warn naan bread

Apple Charlotte


300g apples 100g sugar1tsp cinnamon10 slices white bread80g butter50m calvados or brandy


1. Peel and chop apples and cook with sugar, cinnamon and Calvados - if you have it, for 10 minutes until soft but so the apples still have shape

2. Take from the heat and cool a little

3. Line a couple of small dariole pudding moulds or small ramekins with thin sliced buttered bread. Fill with apple mix cover with more bread and press down well.

4. Bake at 250º for around 10 minutes, until golden brown on the outside, remove from the oven and turn out

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