Recipes: Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones' cod and chorizo stew and mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and husband Richard Jones have brought out a cookery book,  Love. Food. Family: Recipes From the Kitchen Disco. Photography by Issy Croker.

Cod and chorizo stew

Serves 4


The mac and cheese. Photography by Issy Croker.

2tbsp olive oil

200g cooking chorizo, chopped into bite-sized chunks

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

The cod and chorizo stew. Photography by Issy Croker.

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

400ml red wine

1tbsp tomato puree

2 × 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

½tsp dried chilli flakes

200g couscous

1 vegetable stock cube

300ml boiling water

400g cod fillets

½ bunch of flat leaf parsley leaves

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Salt and black pepper

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and chuck in the chorizo. Fry for a few minutes or until it starts to release a little of its oil, then add the onion and garlic and fry for a further five minutes.

Add the celery and peppers, along with the coriander and fennel seeds and fry for

a further five minutes. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate a little, then add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and dried chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place the couscous in a medium mixing bowl. Pop the stock cube into a measuring jug and pour over the measured boiling water, then give it a good mix. Pour 200ml of the stock over the couscous and cover or place a lid on top. Leave to steam for five to eight minutes.

Pour the remaining stock into the tomato pan and bring to the boil. Carefully nestle the cod fillets into the sauce so they are mostly covered, then pop a lid on the pan and simmer for five minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. When the fish is lovely and flaky, serve the stew with a sprinkle of parsley leaves, with lemon wedges and some fluffy couscous on the side.

Mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping

Serves 8


150g salted butter

5 garlic cloves, finely sliced

6tbsp plain flour

1½ tbsp English mustard powder

1tsp smoked paprika

6 bay leaves

2 litres semi-skimmed milk

600g dried macaroni

300g Cheddar cheese, grated

100g Parmesan cheese, grated

200g panko breadcrumbs

15 sage leaves

150g ball of mozzarella

Olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C (425F), Gas Mark 7. Put the butter and garlic in a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat, then add the flour and stir until incorporated. Add the mustard powder, paprika and bay leaves, reduce the heat and cook, stirring continuously, for five minutes.

Gradually pour in the milk, whisking as you go to avoid any lumps forming. Bring the sauce to the boil, then leave it over a low heat to simmer, making sure you stir it often.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook for six minutes.

Remove the bay leaves from the sauce, then drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Remove from the heat, give it a good stir and add two-thirds of the grated cheeses. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip the mixture into a 30 × 20cm baking dish, scatter over the breadcrumbs and place the sage leaves on top. Scatter over the remaining grated cheese and tear the mozzarella on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy on top.