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Light the candles, stick on Barry White and cook  up a romantic storm with this DIY menu from Ballymaloe Foods 

 Simple, no-nonsense and tasty Ideas to make Valentine’s in Lockdown Special

Beetroot Crostini

Light the candles, stick on Barry White and cook  up a romantic storm with this DIY menu from Ballymaloe Foods 

 Simple, no-nonsense and tasty Ideas to make Valentine’s in Lockdown Special

Regardless of the day itself, we can all collectively agree that this year especially, we could all do with a little bit of extra love. With most kitchen tables doubling as work desks and school desks nowadays, make sure to mark this February 14th in your diary as a day to reconnect with the ones who matter. 

Whether you're celebrating with your Valentine, your "Palentine" or even your family, virtually or as a household, it's still an opportunity to do something a little special and help spread the love a little bit further with a home-cooked menu fit for the King or Queen in your life.

So, close the laptops, clear and set the table correctly and make this Valentine's meal feel a bit more special than any other night of the week with this DIY menu that is sure to delight from Ballymaloe Foods.


Beetroot Crostini with Ballymaloe Beetroot 

Cheese Fondue


Main Course

Spaghetti Bolognese

Tagliatelle Meatballs 

Chicken Tacos 


Snack/ After Dinner

Cheeseboard served with Ballymaloe Original Relish

Ballymaloe Foods are always on a mission to help you create easy meals that are convenient, nutritious and tasty. People have so much going on right now, working from home, homeschooling or caring for loved ones so in the spirit of convenience these are all quick to assemble so if you've got little ones around, take the time to arrange, cook and eat together.

For more inspiration and recipe ideas head to 


Beetroot Crostini with Ballymaloe Beetroot 

  • 200g of drained Ballymaloe Irish Beetroot

  • 240g of tinned chickpeas drained

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 10 medium slices of Parma Ham

  • 50g St Tola Greek Style Cheese

  • 10 slices of sourdough bread

  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the beetroot and the chickpeas in the food processor along with the clove of garlic. Blitz until you are happy with the consistency, it should be smooth in texture. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Slice the bread and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toast in the oven until crispy. Spread the hummus over the crostini, layer with Parma Ham and crumble some delicious St. Tola Greek Style cheese on top


Cheese Fondue

  • 1 loaf of stale crusty white bread (and the crustier the better!)

  • 85g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1 tbsp dry white wine

  • 1/2 a small clove of garlic, crushed

  • 1 tsp chopped parsley

  • 1 tsp Ballymaloe Original Relish


  1. Cut your bread into rough cubes and toast them in a preheated oven at 200⁰C for 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them as they can brown quickly.

  2. Place the wine, garlic, Ballymaloe Original Relish and parsley in a fondue pot or small saucepan, stir, then add the grated cheese.

  3. Just before serving, put the fondue pot or saucepan over a low heat until the cheese melts and begins to bubble. Don’t stir it too much while it is cooking or the mixture may split

  4. Serve the fondue immediately with the toasted bread and fondue forks. If you don’t have them, skewers or regular forks will do just fine.

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 300g spaghetti

  • 430g beef mince

  • 1 carrot (peeled, diced into half inches)

  • 120g mushrooms (chopped)

  • 150g courgette (chopped, deseed if large)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 jar (400g) Ballymaloe Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 oz of water

  • Grated Parmesan

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the salt and bring back to the boil

  2. Stir in the spaghetti and cook for 4 minutes

  3. Take from the heat, leave the lid on and allow to sit for a further 4 minutes

  4. Taste to ensure it is cooked, then drain and set aside

  5. In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive and crumble in the beef mince

  6. Cook off the mince fully and set aside

  7. In a separate medium-sized saucepan, heat the other tbsp of olive oil and add in the diced carrot, mushroom and courgette, then cover and sweat. Heat for ten minutes until the vegetables are cooked through

  8. Add the cooked vegetables to the browned meat, then stir in your Ballymaloe Bolognese Sauce and bring to the boil

  9. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  10. Take four warm plates and portion out the spaghetti, then top each with the delicious mince, veggies and sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Tagliatelle Meatballs

  • 1x 400g Ballymaloe Bolognese Sauce

  • 300g Tagliatelle

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes

  • 120g Mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan


  • 480g minced beef

  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic

  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

  • 50g freshly grated parmesan

  • 40g breadcrumbs

  • 1 free-range egg

  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs, with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Remember the egg as this is what holds the meatballs together.

  2. Fry off a small piece to taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, by adding more salt and pepper.

  3. Once you are happy with the seasoning, begin to shape them into whole walnut pieces. Repeat until finished.

  4. In the same frying pan heat another drizzle of olive oil and add in the sliced mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook fully.

  5. Heat a frying pan and cook the meat balls in batches in a little olive oil. Make sure the meatballs are brown on the outside and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the spaghetti.

  6. Bring 8 pints of water to the boil in a large saucepan and add 1.5 tbsp of salt and return to the boil. Cook the spaghetti for 2 mins with the lid on. Turn off the heat and allow the spaghetti to remain in the water for 4 mins or until al dente (with a little bite).

  7. When ready strain off the water but always keep some back. The pasta cooking water is great to loosen cooked pasta and prevent it from sticking as it sits and also to enrich a sauce.

  8. Heat the Ballymaloe Bolognese Sauce in a saucepan. Use some pasta cooking liquid to loosen any remaining sauce from the jar. Add in the cooked sliced mushroom. Once the sauce is bubbling add in the meatballs.

  9. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary, with a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

  10. To serve- place the freshly cooked spaghetti into a large warm serving bowl and top with the saucy meatballs then finally sprinkle over grated parmesan and freshly torn basil leaves.


Chicken Tacos

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 8-12 soft flour tortillas

  • 4 tbsp Ballymaloe Pepper Relish or Original Relish

  • 1 avocado (sliced)

  • 2 tbsp coriander (freshly chopped)

  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)

  • 1 tsp pickled jalapenos (finely chopped)

  • 2 tbsp pink pickled onions


  1. Place a heavy griddle pan over a medium heat.

  2. Lay the chicken breast on a chopping board and flatten with your palm. Slice horizontally to butterfly the breast.

  3. Toss the chicken in a little olive oil then season the chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Preheat a pan-grill, fry the chicken on the griddle until completely cooked, turning halfway through. Set aside to rest before slicing.

  4. Warm the tortillas by placing them on a dry, hot frying pan

  5. Once warmed through, fill each tortilla with strips of chicken, slices of avocado and fresh coriander.

  6. Spoon a dollop of Ballymaloe Pepper Relish or Original Relish over each taco and scatter some finely chopped jalapenos and pickled onions over the top. Serve right away.