Online cooking series with Dani Venn
Simple, delicious and family friendly recipes everyone will love!
Published 12 July

Woodgrove are excited to have Dani Venn, MasterChef Australia contestant, to be our resident foodie queen. 

Dani will be sharing a series of budget-friendly recipes that will introduce a variety of foods to not only warm the soul this winter but to also provide you with healthy, fresh, while food ingredients straight to your kitchen. 

Every Friday, a new step-by-step video will be released, so mark your calendar and get your best apron ready for some MasterChef-quality cooking in your own kitchen! 


Be sure to follow Woodgrove on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest information. 


Pumpkin & Bacon Mac N Cheese 

Recipe by Dani Venn 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



500g macaroni or elbow pasta

80g unsalted butter

1/4 cup plain flour

1 litre of full cream milk

1 - 2 cups pumpkin puree (see tips)

1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika

250g tasty or cheddar cheese, grated 

Salt flakes, to season

Cracked black pepper, to season

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 long rashes of bacon, rind removed, diced

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 



Preheat fan-forced oven to 150 degrees on grill setting. 

Place large pot of salted boiling water over high heat, when boiling add pasta and cook for about 2 minutes less than packet instructions suggests as pasta will cook further when placed in the oven.

Place a large saucepan over medium heat, add butter and allow butter to melt and bubble a little before adding flour, whisk together and cook flour for about two minutes to cook out the flour taste. Add milk a little at a time and whisk together until smooth. Cook for a further minute until thickened. Season with salt, cracked black pepper and stir through pumpkin puree and cheese until smooth, reserve a little of the cheese to sprinkle over the top before baking. 

Pour pasta into cheese sauce and stir through, place into oven proof baking dish. 

To make your crunchy topping, place medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, when hot add bacon and cook for a minute or so then add panko breadcrumbs and cook through for a few minutes until coated in oil and slightly golden.

Sprinkle bacon topping on top of pasta, add a little more grated cheese and place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes until topping is golden and crunchy, Remove from oven and serve warm. 



To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free pasta and add cornflour instead but add about 1/2 cup of water to cornflour before adding to pan and don't cook for as long before adding the milk. 

To make pumpkin puree, remove skin from pumpkin and dive into chunks. Steam pumpkin until softened then blitz in a blender until smooth or press through sieve, 

You can add in extra veg like steamed cauliflower, blanched frozen peas, steamed carrots or sweet potato. 



Carbonara Risotto

Recipe by Dani Venn

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 2-3



2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 brown onion

2 rashes long bacon, rind removed, finely diced

1 1/2 cups risotto rice (Aroborio, Carnaroli)

1/3 cup dry white wine

1-1.5 litres of good quality chicken stock, ensure stock is hot

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup pure cream

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon salt flakes

20g chilled unsalted butter, cubed

Shaved parmesan, to serve 



Place a medium sized frypan over low - medium heat, add olive oil when hot, add onion and saute for about five minutes until onion is translucent. Add diced bacon and cook for a further few minutes so that the bacon fat has rendered and the pan is nice and oily. 

Add a layer of risotto rice into the pan and stir well to coat the rice in the oil. Cook the rice for about three minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is semi translucent. Increase the heat of the pan to medium - high heat, when hot, add the white wine. The pan should sizzle. 

Stir well, then add a few ladleful of hot stock to the pan and swirl the pan, return the pan to medium - low heat. When rice has absorbed the stock, add a few more ladelfuls of stock occasionally swirling or stirring the pan. Repeat this process until the rice appears creamy and cooked through, it should remain some of the rice's "bite" and not be too soft. This process should take about 25 - 30 minutes. 

When the risotto is almost ready, combine egg yolk, cream and grated parmesan cheese into a bowl, crack in black pepper and stir some salt. Whisk together with a fork then pour into the risotto mixture. 

To finish off the dish, add in some chilled butter, stir well to combine. If risotto is looking too dry, add in a little hot stock to loosen. Serve immediately and garnish with a few shavings of parmesan and extra black pepper and sprinkle of salt. 


Sweet Potato & Chickpea Dahl

Recipe by Dani Venn

Prep Time: 10 minute

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6



2 tablespoons full flavoured coconut oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon Indian style curry powder

1 teaspoon whole cumin seed

1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 ½ cups red lentils

400ml can coconut cream or milk

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 can chickpeas, drained

2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves (optional)

Salt flakes, to season

½ bunch of coriander, to serve



Place large saucepan over medium heat, add coconut oil, when melted and hot add ginger and garlic and cook for a few minutes then add curry powder, cumin seed and chilli flakes if using. Stir well to ensure even cooking and cook for a further few minutes.

Add red lentils to the saucepan, stir well to coat the spices, add about 1 litre of water and coconut cream. Bring dahl mix up to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add diced sweet potato and allow to cook for a further 20 – 30 minutes or until cooked through and the lentils are nice and creamy or the dahl is starting to catch at the base of the pan. Remove from heat.

To finish the dahl, add chickpeas and stir through spinach leaves and season with salt. Serve warm with flatbread or steamed rice and fresh coriander.


Wanting to recreate some of these delicious meals? Purchase your ingredients from our Fresh Food retailers: