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Pasta alla Gricia

Pasta alla Gricia

Pasta alla Gricia may be the most underrated of all the four types of classic Roman pastas. The world loves a carbonara, probably the most dare I say pedestrian of the four. Every food lover in London gets their knickers in a twist over cacio e Pepe. Not being shady, I like it too… so much I created a fried egg recipe that tasted like it. I don’t really love the tomato heavy Amatriciana, but that’s just me.

My favourite has to be Pasta alla Gricia. Its super simple to make you need 3 ingredients pasta, pecorino and guanciale. With simple recipes its important that you get top-quality ingredients. All of my Italian groceries come from the ICONIC Lina Stores in London. they have been supplying Londoners with Italian groceries and deli items from their Soho shop since 1944.

Keeping with being very 2020, Lina Stores have launched a grocery delivery service. You can get almost everything Italian delivered to your doorstep in London. From fresh pasta, sauces, cheese olives, bread, rice and cannoli.

They deliver nationwide now so rejoice!

Pasta Alla Gricia


200g guanciale 
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g Fresh Casarecce (Feel free to use any other sturdy pasta)
100g finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
ground black pepper


Using a sharp knife, cut the guanciale into 1/4-inch-thick lardons.

In a large frying pan,  Add the guanciale and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the guanciale is golden brown and crisp.  This is going to take about 15 to 20  minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer guanciale to a plate; set aside.   Put your frying pan to the side and cook the pasta. 

In a medium pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta (including all the semolina) to water and cook, stirring frequently during the first minute to prevent pasta from sticking.

Once the pasta has cooked for about 2 minutes drain reserving all the pasta water. 

Return the frying pan to the heat and bloom the black pepper in the guanciale fat.  Pour in about 400ml of the pasta water.  Loosen all the little bits stuck to the pan. Bring to a boil, swirling to emulsify pasta water with guanciale fat. Once it’s at the boil add the drained pasta to the frying pan, 

Finish cooking the pasta by gently stirring with a spoon or rubber spatula, to ensure even cooking and that the sauce remains emulsified.  Continue to add ladles of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.  Add the cooked guanciale. Continue stirring to keep the sauce emulsified. 

Lower the heat, add half of the grated Pecorino let it melt then stir rapidly to combine. Once the cheese is fully emulsified in the sauce, add the remaining Pecorino Romano, stir rapidly once more to combine. Adjust sauce consistency as needed with more pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Plate and eat… Serve with more cheese at the table.

Pasta Alla Gricia

Pasta Alla Gricia

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Fried Mozzarella Sandwich (Aka Mozzarella in Carrozza)

Fried Mozzarella Sandwich
(Aka Mozzarella in Carrozza)

It’s no secret that I adore travelling… So I’m spending this time looking at past travels and what I loved about them. I keep coming back to Venice… the canals, the colours and the Cicchetti. Specifically the Fried Mozzarella Sandwich.. AKA Mozzarella in Carrozza I had whilst sipping an Aperol Spritz.

If you have not had Mozzarella in Carrozza before you are in for a treat. It’s roughly translated to mozzarella in a carriage.. and that’s what it is… Its kinda the love child between a grilled cheese sandwich and a savoury french toast… but with… you guessed it Mozzarella. These Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches could not be any easier or more delicious to make.

Traditionally they just have cheese… but in Venice, they have a slice of parma. Being extra, I’ve included a bit of basil because I love the stuff. Feel free to omit it.

Mozzarella in Carrozza are best served with an Aperol Spritz whilst sat on a canal. But sitting near any outside space will suffice in the UK.

xFried Mozzarella sandwiches


4 slices white bread (I use Warburtons)
1 ball mozzarella drained and cut into slices
4 slices parma ham
2 sprigs basil (optional)
100ml full-fat milk
3tbs plain flour
1 large egg (I use Clarence Court)
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying

Make sandwiches out of the bread and mozzarella, parma and basil. Cut off the crusts. Then smoosh the edges together to seal a bit.

You will need three shallow bowl/plates (I love these soup plates). Pour the milk into one, the flour into another, and beat the egg with salt and pepper in another.

Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Dunk the sandwiches briefly, one by one, in the milk, then dredge in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg. Fry in hot oil on each side till crispy and golden. Then remove and blot with a kitchen towel. Enjoy warm with a spritz.

Thank me later.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

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Cacio e Pepe Eggs

It’s no secret that I adore eggs…   So when I find a new way to cook them I’m like a kid in a candy store.  A fabulous friend shared a post by Food52 on all the different ways to cook eggs and one piqued my interest. 

That was cooking eggs in (Heavy) Double Cream or as they eloquently call it Caramelized Cream Eggs (via Ideas in Food) They described it as life-changing in the way you cook eggs and in fact the way that you look at ingredients.  They dropped the word luxuriously and I was completely sold.  

I’ve cooked the eggs a couple of time exactly as Food52 suggested and each time it was divine… But it got me thinking about flavouring the cream with things and the first thing that came to mind was Cacio e Pepe. With that creamy black pepper laced sauce… I love it so…

So this take on Eggs in Caramelised Cream was born.  It has no cheese in it… but when the cream caramelises it takes on a very similar flavour and its DIVINE! 

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