Anything Goes

My last recipe post seemed to be quite popular and especially after the lovely Victoria from Lily Loves Lola mentioned it. So I thought I'd share another favourite pasta dish of mine and see what you think...

Mum taught me how to make a variation of this way back when I was at uni... It has changed a lot over the years with taste and what I have in the fridge/cupboard at the time. Hence the name...


- Put the kettle on and get a pan ready for your pasta

- Chop up your bacon and throw it into a frying pan on a medium heat with a little glug of oil and your chopped garlic. After a minute or 2 you can pop in your peppers and mushrooms... they can all sizzle for a few minutes until slightly coloured. I personally like the peppers with a bit of crunch still and the bacon evenly done... not cremated. Totally up to you. Just make sure you don't burn the garlic as it'll taste really bitter. 

- Put your pasta on. The dried penne I used takes about 10 mins so works out pretty well for timings... Obviously if you want to used fresh then put it on the heat a bit later...

When I made this I had a bottle of white wine that happened to be open, so I put in about 100ml along with about half a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Again, this is up to you, if you don't want to, don't put it in... you could substitute the wine for Cider (which also works well) or just leave both out altogether.

Once the wine (if you've used it) has reduced down then you can add the cream. I'm not going to give you measurements as it's just a case of personal taste. I like it quite creamy and put the thoughts of calories to the back of my mind. 

- Season with some black pepper... I tend to not add any salt in as the bacon is naturally quite salty and I always put a bit in with the cooking pasta.

- Drain off your pasta but keep a teeny bit of the starchy water. Mix both into the creamy sauce... let it all heat through and you're ready to get munching...

It doesn't take long at all and it's so versatile you can pop anything in. A really nice addition are a few  cherry tomatoes as they add a little sweetness... mum often uses homegrown courgettes and instead of wine and mustard she adds a few fennel seeds. If you're a veggie then leave out the bacon... or if you like an extra meaty dish then you could use up that left over roast chicken. There are lots of possibilities so I hope it's given you some ideas.

Let me know if you make it and if you do, what will you add?


Hidden Treasure

Before heading for pizza on our first night in Florence we stumbled across the most amazing shop And Company. Whilst looking around we oooed and aahhhed at everything in sight, but our tummys were really grumbling so we soon headed for some food.

On our last day in the beautiful city, we packed our bags and popped out for a walk before our train to the airport. When Harry asked if I fancied another mooch around the shop we discovered a few nights before, my eyes lit up! 

We were welcomed in by the lovely Betty who owns the shop with her husband. It's a wonderful space filled with antiques, modern art and crafts all hand picked and handmade/designed by the owners. 

Betty is Italian but lived in London for several years. We talked to her about the items in her shop and how she and her husband source items to bring back to Florence as well as finding pieces locally. The shop has been open a year and is progressing wonderfully. They have also opened a pop up shop within the large Replay store in Milan.

She is also an amazing Calligrapher and her work is used by Waitrose... I thought it looked familiar and now I keep seeing it every time I go into Waitrose... see!

I wish I could go to her classes held in the shop. I'm a bit of a handwriting and Calligraphy geek and would love to learn properly... Next time!

So after a lovely chat with Betty, we bought a couple of items, said our goodbyes and headed back to Gusta Pizza for a farewell Firenze pizza...

Betty & I...

I would recommend you check out the website and if you ever go to Florence, be sure to go and visit And Company. I'm pretty sure you'll be just as excited as I was...

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