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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

eggs, food52, inspiredby, recipe

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Middle Eastern Meatfree BBQ

[This post is part of a paid collaboration with Naked Glory]

Summer feels like it is officially here.. So I’m firing up the BBQ (on my patio) and I’m cheating on meat with this Middle Eastern Meatfree BBQ with Naked Glory. Now, Naked Glory sausages are great on their own… but I’m craving a little escapism to warmer shores.

I’ve made a glaze with chilli, pomegranate molasses, cumin, sumac, paprika and oregano to give the sausages a smokey sweet heat.

bbq, meatfree, recipe, summer, summer recipes

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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

eggs, food52, inspiredby, recipe

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Wagamama Katsu Curry Fakeaway

[This post is part of a paid collaboration with Aldi ]

When Aldi challenged me to recreate some of my favourite meals… One had to be the ICONIC Wagamama Katsu Chicken Curry. One ingredient that makes Katsu curry stand out is that supper crunchy panko bread crumb coating on the chicken. I hear you ask…. does Aldi sell Panko bread crumbs, Nah… But no panko is no problem.. Just fake your own for this Wagamama Katsu Curry Fakeaway. ⁣

Buy a loaf of white toast bread and pop it in the freezer. Once the slices are frozen solid, sauce off the crusts and then grate on the coarse side of a box grater. Then dry the crumbs out in the oven in a really low heat. Thank Me later. ⁣

The ingredients for this meal set me back £6.64 and it left ingredients to use another day. ⁣

I’ve popped the recipe and a how-to video below! Kanpai

copycat, fakeawy, recipe, takeaway

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Creamy Boursin Potato Salad

[This post has been sponsored by Boursin]

Despite the dreary weather we are having… BBQ & Picnic Season is here. So I present to you my Creamy Boursin Potato Salad. I love a potato salad in the summer… but sometimes it’s nice to have one that’s a little creamier, tangy and full of herbs.

This potato salad fits that bill. Besides the creamy Boursin texture setting this apart, I really love the crunch that the celery and the hits of acid the capers provide. Use whatever extra herbs you may have at hand for the garnish… Parsley, Dill and Chives would be divine… Mint or perhaps basil would take it in another welcomed direction altogether.

I think you will find that this is a lovely year-round recipe.

boursin, recipe, salad, summer

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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! 

eggs, food52, inspiredby, recipe

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Ole & Steen Cinnamon Social (Kanelstang) Recipe

Ole & Steen Cinnamon Social (Kanelstang) Recipe

One of my favourite, IF NOT MY favourite baked good has to be Ole & Steen’s Cinnamon Social.   I don’t know what it is that makes me obsess about it. Is it the buttery brioche-like bread?  The swirls of warming cinnamon.  Perhaps the secret custard that gets baked in.  Or is it the glaze on top?  Who cares? Because I absolutely love it. 

Since lockdown, I’ve been lost without my Cinnamon Social… so I decided to take on and try and make the Cinnamon Social myself at home.   Now the Ole & Steen Cinnamon Social Recipe is not out there to google and find.  So I had to put my detective hat on and do some research. 

After a little bit of research, I found the proper Danish name for the Cinnamon Social.  Its called the Kanelstang or cinnamon twig.  I guess because it looks like a log. 
Most of the recipes were in danish… so I based my recipe on this one from as the finished product looks most like my beloved Ole & Steen Cinnamon Social. I’ve popped my version of Ole & Steen Cinnamon Social Recipe below.

MAKES 2 ‘loafs’
150ml Whole Milk
18 grams yeast 
200g butter (melted and cooled)
2 Eggs
75g Caster Sugar 
500g plain flour 
½ teaspoon of salt. 
1 egg beaten (for wash)

Cinnamon Filling
200g Butter
200g Caster
4tbs of Cinnamon 
Pinch of sea salt. 

Cheats Pastry Cream 
70g Birds Custard Powder
75g Caster Sugar
500ml Whole milk (Corrected Quantity)

Sugar Syrup
150g Caster Sugar
75ml Water

300g Icing Sugar
40ml Milk 
1tsp vanilla extract

Make your Cheat’s Pastry Cream 
Put custard powder and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.
Mix into a smooth paste with a little (approx. 2 tablespoons) milk taken from 1000ml  Milk
Add the remaining milk and cook on full power for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking period.
Pop in the fridge until we are ready to assemble 

The Dough 
Warn the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds… We are looking for bath temp warm milk.  Any warmer and it will kill the yeast. 

Add the yeast and stir to dissolve.   Let the yeast sit for about 10 minutes to come alive… you will be looking for a thick foam on top of your milk. 

Once you see action in your yeast add your cooled melted butter, 2 eggs and caster sugar.  Mix and set aside. 

Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the machine running on low, slowly stream in the yeast/milk/egg mixture to combine.   

Once all the liquid has combined turn up the power to low medium and let the dough knead for about 6-7 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough.   

Once you are at the 6-minute mark add the salt and mix to combine. 

Remove the dough and place it in a buttered bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place till doubled in size. 

Cinnamon Filling 
Make your Cinnamon filling by combining the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon with a pinch or two of sea salt.   Set aside. 

Mix all ingredients to make a glaze… You may need to add a touch more sugar or milk… you want a double cream consistency 

Sugar Syrup
Dissolve caster sugar in water over a low heat.
Leave to cool.

To assemble and bake 
Divide your risen dough into half.  Using a rolling pin; roll out the two dough pieces into two rectangles (35×45 cm – 14×18 inch) on a lightly floured surface.

Equally, distribute the ½ of the cinnamon filling on top of the dough. Then spread half of the pastry cream on top of the cinnamon filling. 

Roll the dough together into a tight log. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Place the logs onto two baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Using a sharp knife… cut through the logs but not all the way through.. Make these cuts every inch down the log.  Now take each section and pull it into the opposite direction. This is where the video comes in handy. 

Cover the dough with cling film and let prove again for 30-45 minutes. 

Beat an egg and brush the cinnamon socials with it. Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and bake them for about 20 minutes. When the socials come out of the oven… brush with sugar syrup. When the Cinnamon socials are cooled off; decorate them with icing.

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KFC Popcorn Chicken Fakeaway

[This post is part of a paid collaboration with Aldi ]

When Aldi challenged me to create a Fakeaway… I had a couple of ideas. The first one was to honour the colonel himself and create some finger-licking good KFC Popcorn chicken and all the sides.

I spent just over £7 to make this spread and it fed two hungry mouths… plus there are loads of the ingredients left over for other uses. ⁣

The Star of the show was the American BBQ seasoning as I think it was a good nod to the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices in one jar. Another secret was to marinate the chicken in greek yoghurt and pickle brine overnight. Trust me it makes it epic. ⁣

copycat, fakeawy, kfc, recipe, takeaway

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The Tastiest Holiday Romance – Jersey Royal, Creme fraiche, Rosemary & Brown Butter Pizza

Have you ever fell in love when you were travelling?  I mean change your life kinda falling in love?  A love Like never before kinda love?

That happened to me on my recent trip to Malmo Sweden.  I’ve always fancied getting up close and personal with a swede (the person not the veg) when I visited.   Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d travel to Sweden and fall completely head over hills with an Italian. An Italian hussy that’s loved by most people in the world. 

Brown Butter, Jersey Royals, Pizza, recipe, Travel

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Boursin Stuffed Dough Balls

[ This post is part of a paid collaboration with Boursin]

Today is all about dough balls…homemade Boursin ones, in fact! All too often dough balls are relegated to a starter or side dish, but I think that this delicious twist on a classic dish deserves to be the star of the show. ⁣

These cheesy Boursin stuffed dough balls will have any pizza demoted to a side dish. Serve them with your favourite pizza sauce, garlic butter or probably just more of that tasty Boursin Velvety for dipping… because there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. ⁣

bread, fakeawy, pizza dough, recipe

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