The new place is slowly coming along, we still haven’t signed even though we are nearly there. It’s amazing how much is involved on the legal side and how long it takes. Alessandro is getting impatient as he is dying to get stuck in and get started but it will be another couple of weeks. Once we have signed we are going straight to Rome for 3 or 4 days to meet a couple of wine suppliers and equipment companies. We met with our interior designer and architect last week and they have the restaurant and kitchen layout completed which was really exciting to see. We will be able to seat 80 people inside and about 30 people outside, we want to have an open kitchen and grill so the next step is to meet with the health board and fire chief to see if this is possible. We’ve never used a designer before so it’s really interesting to see how it all works, she had 5 mood boards with different restaurant styles, it’s quite a complicated process and I think we are probably driving her a bit mad as we keep jumping ahead while she is trying to go through the whole process stage by stage, whereas we’re picking chairs off the Internet  etc and we don’t even know what  our theme or style is yet so we’ve calmed down a bit and are leaving it to the experts. This setup is a lot different to La Cucina as it is so big, everyone we have contracted is doing all the work so we are just meeting with them to discuss everything which feels a little strange for us but I’m sure this will all change as we get closer to the time, then the stress begins:)

I have to admit I’m not very adventurous when it comes to salads, I tend to stick to the old reliables likes rocket and Parmesan, french bean & egg, cherry tomato and red onion and Italian green salad. In the summer we rarely cook potatoes and always have a salad with meat or fish so the above can become a bit boring, I recently picked up a copy of Maxine Clark’s “Italian Salads” in Tk Maxx so you’re going to be seeing a lot of salads around here for a while. It’s coming towards the end of the asparagus season so this recipe is great if you are looking for a new way to get your fill before the season ends. I really liked this recipe as it was really simple and I had most of the ingredients in the cupboard already so there is very little involved. This would work great as a starter or just on it’s own with some crusty bread for a light lunch. If you are not a lover of anchovies a simple Italian dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar would work perfectly too!


what you need:

 – 500g asparagus

 – olive oil

 – 4 free range eggs hard-boiled

 anchovy dressing

 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 – 4 anchovy fillets in oil, rinsed and drained.

 – 1 tsp salted capers, rinsed.

 – 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

 – freshly ground pepper

what to do:

 – cook your asparagus until tender, drain and rinse under cold water, mix in a little olive oil and set aside – you might be able to see from my pictures that mine are a bit over-cooked, blame the 18 mth old:)

 – to make the dressing mix all the ingredients in a mini- blender until smooth. Season to taste with black pepper.

 – arrange the asparagus on a serving plate, cut the eggs into quarters and place on top with the dressing drizzled over the top.

 – serve and enjoy:)


buon appetito!! 

“foodie watch”
 Superquinn have fresh oregano plants in stock and they are also stocking fresh marjoram in the pre-packed herb selection. My favourite Italian biscuits have also returned “Tortina” – yummmmmmmm!!