Someone very special in my life quietly and very suddenly changed his residence to Heaven.

He believed in my cooking and he raved about my dishes giving me all the support I needed.

When you can make your family happy with your cooking you know that what you are doing is  simply great.

The dish he loved the most is the simplest, the quickest and the tastiest of  all.

Here I am, dedicating this recipe to a man who is no longer here but I know his support is still around (R.I.P. John)


Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

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Serving 4 people


Spaghetti 400g

Olive Oil (preferably Extra Virgin) 7/8 tablespoons

Garlic,  2 cloves, finely sliced

Dried chillies, small handful or half of a medium fresh chillies, seeded and finely sliced as an alternative

Salt, corse, 1/2 tablespoons

Parmesan cheese, as much as we like!!!!


In a large saucepan pour some water (1/1.5 l) and bring it to the boil. Add the coarse salt, put the spaghetti in and cook following the time on the packet (usually spaghetti cook in 8 minutes)

Heat the olive oil, the garlic and the chillies on a large pan. Simmer only for a few minutes till golden, don’t cook it for too long as it can easily burn!!!

Once the spaghetti are cooked (don’t over cook them as they need to be “al dente”, not too hard, not too soft), you can place them into a large serving bowl. Pour all the oil with the garlic and chillies. Mix and sprinkle as much parmesan as you like! Pronto 🙂

Following my #BringNonnaBack we would also add some fresh parsley before serving ( garlic and parsley go very well together and the natural property of the parsley helps to digest the strong garlic taste).

I also meant to say that this dish is also known for “LO SPUNTINO DI MEZZANOTTE”, a midnight snack ….

Buon Appetito !!!


Spaghetti al Sugo Semplice (Simple Sauce)

Easy peasy…….. super quick!

One of the quickest meals ever, ideal for dinner on a school day where we become taxi drivers driving backward and forward from school to the after school clubs. Where we get home realising that we have no dinner ready…. There is just not enough time in a parent’s day and this is my saving dish, my last resort, the one that all kids love (even the other people’s kids!!!).  It takes 15 minutes to make the sauce while the pasta is cooking in boiling water.  15 “very important ” minutes of your evening……after that you can put your feet up or try to! Parola di mamma e di Nonna x

This is another #BringNonnaBack recipe! Simple, tasty, wholesome.. just like how my Nonna would do! Like many Italians she would use the tomatoes from her vegetable garden.

In Italian we say  POMODORI FRESCHI  /POH-MOH-DOH-REE  FREH-SKEE/ Fresh Tomatoes


Serving 4 people


Half of a medium white onion, finely chopped

500g of plain tomato Passata (You can find passata in any good supermarket, it’s in a carton or in a bottle)

A handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Olive oil, 2 tbs

Salt, a pinch

Sugar, a pinch (to lower the acidity of the tomatoes)

How to cook the perfect pasta
350gr of pasta / serving 4 people
Bring 1lt water to the boil and add a table spoon of course salt.
Put the pasta in and cook it following the time on the packet (be careful though, taste the pasta first and then drain it). Make sure your pasta is “al dente” not too hard, not too soft.


Heat a large pan, add the olive oil and the onion. Simmer the onion only for a few minutes till golden, don’t cook it for too long as it can easily burn.
Add the passata, the salt and sugar and cover with a lid.

PLAN B: if you haven’t got any passata 2 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes will do! Blend them first if possible and pour them into the oil, follow the instructions as before.

To make it even more authentic and fresh you can use fresh tomatoes, the more ripe tomatoes the better! 300g/400g is just the right amount, wash them and  simply blitz them (with the skin on). Follow the instruction as before.

Turn the heat down and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring it every now and again.

Finally add you basil and let the sauce embrace the leaves… your sauce is ready, you can pour it on your pasta. Grate some parmesan and enjoy. Pronto!