So that new girl started last Wednesday and she was fantastic, I couldn’t believe it!! At long last everything seemed like it was falling into place but alas on Thursday she called in to say she was after getting another job so it was back to the drawing board!! The worst part was that I had put an ad in the paper that day and had gotten so many phonecalls in relation to it I just said that the job was gone!! We were just going to have to cover it ourselves until we found the right person but alas that wasn’t going to happen either because Bru went and sprained his ankle really bad on Thursday night and is now on crutches for a week so he can’t work or mind the princess – but don’t you be feeling sorry for him as he had a great weekend in front of the T.V watching sport and sipping on a few Peroni!!! So as usual nothing goes to plan but all is not lost!!

To cut a long story short, an Italian chef called in on Thursday with a CV that reads like a dream, he is here until March and is looking to learn English!! This guy has so much experience and is completely over qualified for our place but has no English so he hasn’t been able to get a job which is great for us as he is looking for anything at this stage, he even did wash-up in another restaurant last week, this guy was involved in an “Olympic” competition for pastry in Italy!!! Our main girl in the kitchen who has been with us for 4 years is actually looking for a change of scenery so she’s going to do the counter this week and see if she likes it and meanwhile we are going to try the new Italian guy in the kitchen!! Now, it all sounds too perfect so I’m not getting too excited even though I can’t wait to see what this guy is like especially as we are starting the take-home meals once everything is organised and if he makes Italian cakes I will be in heaven – I’ll post pics for all of you not from Limerick – I know, I know I’m just too nice:)

We never have any Italians looking for work so we were surprised to see someone with so much experience and then the next day a pizza chef from Sicily called in looking for work but we have nothing at the moment in that area. I’ve noticed a few Italians eating in recently too and after talking to them they have moved here to get jobs as there are very few in Italy at the moment as the economy is pretty bad!! Is it wrong to be secretly happy that the bad economy is good for us???

This is another “pasta al forno” dish that we have started doing in La Cucina. They are going ok but we won’t be retiring early from them by any means, lots of people ask about them as they are in the display counter but when I tell them they have to heat them at home in the oven they change their minds and order a take-away pasta instead but we will continue on with them for a while, as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”!!



 – 25g butter, plus extra for greasing.

 – besciamella sauce

 – 50g Parmesan cheese

 – 1 mozzarella cheese ball diced

 – 2 egg yolks

 – 350g macaroni or tube pasta like rigatoni or tortiglioni

 – salt


 – preheat the oven to 240 degrees.

 – grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

 – mix together the besciamella sauce, Parmesan, butter and egg yolks.

 – cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, drain and tip into a bowl.

 – Gently stir in most of the sauce and leave some to the side.

 – place a layer of pasta in your oven dish and top with mozzarella cheese, then add another layer, pour the remainder of the sauce over the top and add the remaining mozzarella. We add a little extra Parmesan too!! You can sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top too if you like!!

 – Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and bubbling and then fight over the crispy bits on top:)


p.s. – there are many variations of this recipe so feel free to leave your version in the comments!!