The Anonymous Widower

One Of The Three Best Pastas That I’ve Ever Eaten!

I like pasta and regularly cook myself a quick pasta dish, like this one in Serial Cooking – Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One.

I was staying in the Premier Inn by Chester railway station last night, so I popped in to the Modern Italian Restaurant next door called The Yard.

It was one of the three best pasta dishes, that I’d ever eaten and the others had been in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy.

The chef had one pasta dish on the main menu, but it wasn’t gluten-free.

So he happily modified it for me.

October 13, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Short-Notice Spaghetti Trains Organised To get Pasta Across The Alps

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

DB Schenker has organised the transport of several hundred tonnes of pasta by rail from Italy to Germany, enabling 650 Aldi supermarkets to replenish supplies which had been depleted by customers stocking up during the coronavirus pandemic.

I can’t help feeling that this story pays homage to Richard Dimbleby‘s classic April Fool story about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Serial Cooking – Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One

This is based on a Lyndsey Bareham recipe, which I cooked in Serial Cooking – Quick Pasta For One.


  1. There’s a lot of room for error and personalisation.
  2. I suspect it works equally well with Marks and Spencer’s normal pasta.
  3. It can be cooked in about ten minutes.

I’ve cooked it perhaps twenty times now and eaten it every time.

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , , | 3 Comments

A Quick Pasta Supper For One

A few months ago Marks & Spencer started selling an Italian made gluten-free passta, that is named prosciutto & ricotta cappelletti.

Marks recommend serving it with your favourite sauce or melted butter.

So I used one of my favourite sauces adapted from Serial Cooking – Quick Pasta For One. The idea came from a recipe from Lyndsey Bareham in The Times.

These pictures show the stages.


  1. I split frozen peas down into small one-portion pots.
  2. The yogurt is a small pot of Honey & Ginger West Country Luxury Yoghurt from Marks & Spencer.
  3. I generally drink Adnams beer!

I shall cook the second half of the pasta in a few days, which will be the fifth time, I’ve had the meal in three weeks.


October 14, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Serial Cooking – Quick Pasta For One

I cook this regularly and I always have the Waitrose ham hock and the Rachel’s yoghurt with honey in the fridge, with frozen peas in the freezer. It came originally from Lindsey Bareham, where she called it pulled ham hock and pea pasta with herbs.

It usually takes under fifteen minutes from starting to boil the water to sitting down.

December 3, 2014 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

Coeliac Or Just Gluten Free?

I was asked this question in Jamie’s Italian in Edinburgh.

How professional is that?

I had a very nice rabbit pasta.

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Eighteen Minute Pasta

I tried to see how fat I could cook the fast pasta recipe on Friday night.

It took me eighteen minutes! The biggest waste of time was waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, despite using a kettle first.

August 25, 2013 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

Is This The World’s Fastest Pasta Meal?

Last night, I did the Lindsey Bareham pasta meal, which I described here.

I really do think, that if you cook it as fast as you can, it might be one of the world’s fastest pasta meals.

I started by boiling a saucepan of salted water.  I used my 2.8 litre saucepan with a lid that has a built in strainer. I also put a plate in the oven to get warm.

When it was boiling hard, I threw in a tumbler of Carluccio’s gluten-free pasta, which cooks in eight minutes. After five minutes, I threw half a cup of peas, which can be frozen or fresh. Obviously, for more people you add more pasta and peas.

Whilst the pasta and peas was cooking, I’d taken half a pack of Waitrose pulled ham hock and taken out the bits with any fat and gristle, of which this time there wasn’t much.  I also chppped a couple of tablespoons of chives.  Note if you don’t like ham, it works equally well with smoked salmon.

When the peas tasted cooked, I just strained the mixture and that was the cooking done. With my saucepan, I just left the pasta and peas in the saucepan and then used it as a mixing bowl.

i added the ham, a good slug of Rachel’s Greek yoghurt with honey, the juice from one half of a lime, the chives and a teaspoon of marjoram to the mixture and gave it a good mix with some salt and pepper.

I then just turned it out onto the plate.

As you can see, it takes the time it takes to boil the water plus how long the pasta takes to cook and the time it takes to mix everything at the end.

I challenge anybody to properly cook a real pasta meal quicker!

Not Much Washing Up!

Not Much Washing Up!

It doesn’t even require much washing up, as the picture shows.

August 20, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

Lindsey Bareham Does A Delia

Delia Smith over the years has become famous for something called the Delia Effect.

Items to have benefitted from the “Delia Effect” include the Kenwood mini-chopper, Martelli pasta and Aunt Bessie’s mashed potato.

I actually have one of the Kenwood mini-Choppers, as I’ve never been good with knives. I have a scar on one of my fingers, where I sliced my finger open with a craft knive at about the age of ten.

Lindsey’s effect is less dramatic, but it started with this recipe for pulled ham hock and pea pasta with herbs.

This is the ingredients for four people.

350g fusilli, penne or other short pasta
200g frozen petits pois
180g pulled ham hock or thick-sliced ham
150g Greek yoghurt with honey
2 limes
2 tbsp finely sliced chives
1 tbsp shredded marjoram or basil

She says this about the pulled ham hock.

Whenever I see pulled ham hock on sale – it’s sold in an eye-catching red 180g double pack – I pile it into my shopping basket. It’s such a useful standby; perfect for quickie pasta suppers like this one, but ideal, too, for sandwiches and gratins. These chunky pieces of well-flavoured ham get mixed with my other favourite standby; frozen petits pois.

And that caused the Bareham Effect! My local Waitrose is at the Angel in Islington and this is their pulled ham hock. But it was totally sold out and hasn’t been seen since the recipe was printed. But I suppose it is Islington!

I cooked the recipe for the first time on Wednesday and it was so good, I cooked it again last night. As I live alone and generally only cook for one, I have modified the recipe to match my skills and needs.

I started by getting a tumbler of Carluccio’s gluten-free pasta, half a mug of frozen peas and shredding some ham.

Pasta, Peas And Ham

Pasta, Peas And Ham

The ham was actually one 180g bubble of Waitrose’s honey roast ham. I just tore it into smaller pieces. I had put a saucepan on to boil.

A Saucepan With A Built-In Strainer

A Saucepan With A Built-In Strainer

Note the lid with the built-in strainer. I find this very easy-to-use with my gammy left hand.

When it was really boiling hard, I added the pasta, which needs eight minutes to cook. After five minutes, I added the peas. Incidentally, I washed the cup in the boiling water, to make sure no peas were stuck inside.

After the pasta and the peas were cooked, I drained them and then added the ham, half-a-tub of Rachel’s Greek yoghurt with honey, the juice of half a lime, the chopped chives and the herbs and stirred it all together.

Ham And Pea Pasta

Ham And Pea Pasta

One of the amazing things about this dish is the aroma, as you combine everything together. The taste is very good too, as otherwise why would I cook it twice.

Incidentally, the first time, I didn’t have any limes handy, as one doesn’t, so I used some lemon juice.  So I only needed to buy the ham and the yoghurt.

The next time I make it, I probably use some of my normal yoghurt and the honey, that I generally have for breakfast.

It’s definitely, a recipe that fits my staple foods, so even the shopping is minimal.

I suppose though that automatic computer stocking in supermarkets being what it is, Waitrose at the Angel will be piled high with pulled ham hock in the next week!

July 26, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , , | 2 Comments

Cooking Gluten-Free Pasta For One

I haven’t cooked any pasta since I moved here nearly two years ago.  But after Saturday’s Times published a list of pasta dishes saying they were the only ones you’d ever need, I thought I had better. Getting the amount of pasta correct has always been a problem and today, I decided that I had better do it by volume. So i carefully weighed out the 100 grams I need for myself of Dove’s Farm gluten-free penne.

100 Grams of Dove’s Farm Gluten-Free Penne

I reckoned it would just fit into a standard John Lewis tumbler and the picture shows I was right. So the dial shows 98, but I won’t argue about 2 grams. As you can see, I find a letter balance much better for small quantities than a proper set of scales, especially if you can adjust them for the weight of the container.

I then put the pasta into boiling water with a bit of salt for 6-8 minutes.

If I have time, I do taste it, but generally a measured cooking time works.

The sauce I used tonight was pea, mushroom and ham. It required.

  • 150 g of shelled peas (fresh or frozen) – I used one of those little packets.
  • 30 g of butter
  • 150 g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g ham, chopped
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 100 g grated parmesan

Firstly, whilst the peas were cooking, I sliced the mushrooms

150 g of Sliced Mushrooms

And chopped the ham.

200 g of Chopped Ham

after draining the peas, I melted the butter in a pan and then added the peas and the mushrooms, giving it a good stir.

After five minutes, I added the chopped ham and stirred it for a few minutes before I poured in the cream. I then added some salt and kept it warm.

Meanwhile, I started the pasta off and when it was cooked, I turned it into a serving dish.  I added the grated parmesan and stirred it rapidly.

Finally I added the sauce and mixed it all well.

Gluten Free Pea, Mushroom and Ham Pasta

It was rather nice, even if I say it myself. I have a feeling too that the peas compliment the texture of the pasta.

I shall be trying some of the other recipes from last Saturday’s Times.

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Food | , | 8 Comments