I am so pleased that life is returning back to normal, after the move, snow, my back injury, Christmas and New Year it has been completely manic and I just haven’t found the time to Blog.
Routine is back, Hubby is back at work and the children are back at school, I’m back in the kitchen and loving every minute of it. I haven’t completely neglected my Blog as I have been doing so much research and as always my thoughts are never far away from the thought of food.
I was so lucky to receive the most amazing books for Christmas and they are now all ready with their little post-it notes peaking out of the top, just waiting to be opened up and cooked. I also have a lovely new desk to sit at, so my cookery books get pride of place on their stand on my desk and I get to sit in comfort and type. So its all good.
Happy New Year to you all, I hope you enjoy this years posts and happy cooking and eating.
Buon appetito

I must first make a confession before giving you the recipe….
I have included the recipe so that you can make your own garganelli, but I am sorry to say that I was rather rushed last night when I cooked this and I used fresh brought tagliatelle, cheating I know, but still tasted amazing. So if you have the time, give the pasta making a go, if not, cheat and buy fresh from your local supermarket.
You will need a pasta maker for this recipe, but you can get them so cheaply that it may be worth investing in one if you love pasta. Also you will need a garganelli tray, but you can use a comb and a chopstick, may be tricky but very impressive if you pull it off.
This recipe was taken from “Light of Lucia”.
Serves 4
200g type ‘0’ flour – available from supermarkets & deli’s. ‘0’ flour carries ceneri, a mineral which makes pasta more rustic and has an amazing aroma.
20g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra to serve
2 eggs
To make Garganelli
Place the flour in a mound on a work bench and make a well in the centre of the flour. Start with 200g of flour and keep 20g extra aside, just incase you need it.
Break the eggs into the well.
Beat the eggs with a fork like you would an omelette. Be sure to incorporate all the egg yolks with the whites; there should be no traces of the yolks. Add the Parmesan into this well.
Next, start slowly adding more and more flour from the inside walls of your well until the consistency in the centre is quite thick ( but not to thick) and the liquid wll not escape across the work surface – it should have a custard like consistency.
Use a spatula and press the remaining flour from the well into the “custard”. Keep on pressing the flour into the dough until all but the reserved 20g of flour is incorporated.
Cover the dough with a bowl.
After washing your hands and making sure they are completely dry, remove the bowl and check the consistency of the dough. Does it need more flour? Your dough should not be so wet that it sticks to the work surface, if it does you will need to add some flour from your reserve. Don’t over do it though, as you don’t want it to hard either.
Now spend 5 – 6 minutes kneading the dough. There should be some elasticity and colour change. After 6 minutes of kneading your dough will be ready to rest. If this is your first time at making pasta or you are inexperienced at kneading it may pay to knead for 10 minutes and not 6.
Place the dough under a bowl to rest. Leave for 30 minutes. It should double in weight.
When the dough is ready, cut the dough into 2 equal parts. Keep the piece that you are not yet using under the bowl.
Slightly flatten the dough with your hands and start putting it through the pasta machine, starting from the largest setting, number 1, and moving through the settings without skipping any numbers, until you reach number 6 or 7.
When the pasta sheets are slightly dry but still pliable, cut into 3cm squares. Working with a few pieces at a time and leaving the others covered with a cloth, place a square of pasta on the diagonal in the middle of the garganelli tray, place a wooden stick on top and roll once to form a cyclinder. Place on a tea towel lined tray and repeat with the remaining pasta.
Cook the garganelli in salted boiling water until al dente, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the garganelli with the ragu, adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of the cooking water to dilute the sauce if required. Sprinkle with Parmesan and lots of freshly ground back pepper and it is truly scrumptious.
Sausage Ragu
20g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
500g good-quality sausages, skins removed, crumbled
150ml dry white wine
200ml hot milk
400g tinned whole tomatoes, pureed (I am going to use passata next time as so much easier)
50ml meat stock
To make sausage ragu
Place the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the sausage and cook until slightly dry and crisp. Add wine and cook until evaporated and the smell of the alcohol is gone. Add milk and, once creamy, add tomatoes and stock, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring regularly, for about an hour or until thickened and reduced. It doesn’t look that great at first, but bear with it, as it cooks everything changes and this is one of the yummiest meals I’ve had in a long time.