We love cooking and pretty much cook from scratch every day. With so much amazing produce on our doorstep, it seems mad not to.

When we have time and are in the mood, we will happily spend time making something fancy. By that we mean making our own pasta from scratch, or taking time to marinade something for extra flavour.

When we lived in Harrogate, having people round for dinner felt like a big deal and often ended up being super stressful. Since escaping to the countryside, we are now older, wiser and don’t worry.

We’ve recently rediscovered our love of the tray bake, in particular using the magical ingrediant orzo. If you haven’t used orzo before, it’s rice shaped pasta that can be cooked in a similar way to rice.

Orzo is a great option for a tasty easy meal for a large group. It can be scaled up for the number of people; just double or triple up to more trays. You pretty much pile everything into a baking tray, stir around and stick in the oven. Perfect for your first night self catering in the Long Barn.

If you google “orzo tray bake” you’ll be spoilt for choice from meat to fish to veggie options. This is our favourite recipe at the moment.

It goes without saying that the best meat and veg are from local suppliers. We recomend S Waind & Sons and Bedlam Grange butchers. For veg, you can’t beat Taylors of Pickering and Newfields Organic

Meatball & Feta Traybake with Orzo (feeds 14 – 16 people)

1.5kg minced lamb or beef (or a mixture of the two)

900g orzo pasta

3 red peppers (deseeded and finely chopped)

3 large onions (finely chopped)

1 head garlic (about 12 cloves thinly sliced)

Large bunch parsley (finely chopped)

9 tablespoons harissa (Rose or regular)

3 tablespoons caster sugar

2 litres Passata

150 ml Olive Oil

600g Feta Cheese (cut into 1 cm cubes or crumble into lumps)

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan or gas mark 6)

Generously season the mince with maldon salt and pepper. Shape it into small balls the size of cherry tomatoes; the mixture should make about 60 meatballs. This sounds like lots of work but takes no time, especially if you have some helpers. Wet hands in water to make shaping easier.

This recipe makes three large roasting trays of food. So put all the other ingrediants except the meatballs and feta into the trays. You’ll find plenty in the Long Barn along with tin foil to line them with and save on washing up. Season well, add 300ml water into each tray and stir until combined.

Divide the meatballs into three and add them into the trays, gently coating them in the sauce. Sprinkle over the feta cheese. Cook in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes. Add more water if needed. Stir before serving and eat.

You could serve this with some veg or salad, but we really don’t think it needs it.

Let us know in the comments what your favourite recipe is for no fuss cooking for a large group?