Archive for June, 2022

Mushroom ravioli with butter and crème fraiche

June 30, 2022

Pasta box from Nonna Juana Deli surprising large. Learn why when open up, the ravioli neatly lined up, though does not remain like that for long.

Preparation could not be easier.

  • bring a pot of water to the boil (no added salt)
  • add pasta simmer for four minutes
  • add butter and crème fraiche to a pan on low heat remove from heat as melts
  • add a little pasta water to the butter and crème fraiche
  • drain the pasta
  • add pasta to melted butter and crème fraiche
  • serve pouring melted butter over the pasta

OMG this was so good.

The organic crème fraiche from Neal’s Yard Dairy carried to another level.

I could have added a little chopped sage to the melted butter, but I think would have distracted from not added to the dish.

if I compare with similar offering from Pasta le Disaster aka Pasta Evangelists, Nonna Juana Deli in another league.

If we compare prices

  • Nonna Juana Deli – £6-50
  • Pasta Evangelists – £8-00

Similar price, but there the similarity ends. The main difference between the two, apart from Pasta Evangelists more expensive, Nonna Juana Deli using quality local ingredients, with Pasta le Disaster paying for the shipping, shipping box, ice blocks, with no guarantee what arrived will be fresh (assuming it actually arrives). And note, Nonna Juana Deli fresh made on site, Pasta le Disaster is produced for Pasta Evangelists.

The only time ravioli of this quality, only it was mushroom tortellini, was at Bottega dei Sapori, a tiny Italian coffee ship in Alton.

Note: The pasta box can be composted, only the lid can be recycled. The grease contaminates the card of the base. For the same reason pizza boxes cannot be recycled.  These boxes are useful for transporting kitchen waste to the compost heap, then deposit the box with its contents onto the compost heap. Can be used several times until box become soggy, then deposit box with contents on the compost heap.

Risotto con verdure di Primavera

June 29, 2022

Risotto Primavera, a classic Italian dish, quite literally spring risotto, using Arborio rice and seasonal spring vegetables.

A dish of two halves, start with stir fry, then simmer, a frying pan and a saucepan, vegetables and rice in the frying pan, vegetable stock in another pot.

Arborio rice named after the commune of Arborio in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont, Arborio rice is high in amylopectin starch, which is what gives risotto its creamy texture. The oval grains are about a quarter of an inch long and typically white.

Traditionally the hard cheese would be Parmesan, but can use Cheddar or Lincolnshire Poacher.


  • onion
  • stick of celery
  • asparagus
  • fresh peas
  • Arborio rice half a mug
  • white wine
  • hard cheese
  • herbs (optional)
  • butter (optional)
  • bouillon powder (for vegetable stock)


Slice and dice celery, dice onion.

Pot of water for vegetable stock, stir half a tablespoon of bouillon powder in small amount of water in a mug, then empty into the vegetable stock pot.

Splash of olive oil in large frying pan, toss in the onionvand celery. Gently fry for ten minutes.

An Italian dish, olive oil, but I used cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. 

Pod peas, if pods are green and fresh, top and tail and drop in vegetable stock.

Bend in half asparagus stems. Woody stems that break off, crush, slice into short lengths drop into vegetable stock. Cut off the tips. What is left of the stems, cut into short lengths.

After ten to fifteen minutes of gentle frying of vegetables, drop in the rice and stir into the mix. This stage is critical, monitor, the rice will soak up the moisture, after only a couple of minutes, or sooner if drying out,  a slosh of white wine.

From now on for the next twenty minutes ladle in vegetable stock.

Sprinkle a little salt.

Ten minutes before dish cooked, drop in the asparagus stems.

Five minutes before complete, add the peas and asparagus tips.

Add a knob of butter, then add half of the grated cheese. Leave for a couple of minutes, stirring.

Dish now ready to serve

Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the served dishes. Add herbs if wish. 


A very tasty dish.

Ladling of vegetable stock to prevent drying out and burning. As the stock got low, I gently poured from the saucepan, with the lid preventing solids from passing through.  Timing of addition of  asparagus stems, followed by peas and asparagus tips, critical, for crunchy not overcooked. 

May not need all of the vegetable stock, if not, save for another day. If run low, add water. 

Cheesecake con dulce de leche

June 29, 2022

Excellent cheesecake, the best I have ever tasted.

Nonna Juana Deli has fresh made pasta made on site.

They also have the most amazing cheesecake.

It is worth a visit to Nonna Juana Deli for the cheesecake alone.

Planting out sweetcorn tomatoes squash courgette

June 29, 2022

I picked up sweetcorn plants yesterday, other plants a few days ago.

Yesterday the gardener cleared a border, cut the hedge. The ground cleared, somewhere for the plants to grow.

Digging down the depth of a trowel, I could not believe how dry the soil, more like dust.

Each hole filled with compost. Dug out again, plants planted.

Then watered in. Watered around the plants to soak the dry soil.

Nonna Juana Deli

June 28, 2022

My experience of Pasta le Disaster aka Pasta Evangelist was just that, a bloody disaster. Website not fit for purpose, order does not arrive, and the pasta when it arrives, I may as well get from Waitrose or M&S and save myself the hassle. Shipping fresh chilled pasta via a courier service is not viable. The only way is fresh made pasta, made locally, for a local market.

Last week I learnt of Nonna Juana Deli and decided to pay them a visit.

An attractive shop front and a very warm welcome when I walked in.

A lady taking orders and a chef. Our conversations switched between English and Spanish.

On sale fresh pasta, dried pasta, Argentina influenced savoury pastries, sandwiches and cakes.

They apologized for very little choice, closed Sunday and Monday, more choice later in the week.

I sampled lamb that was cooking. Excellent Also a couple of sauces.

I was offered home made pesto. Maybe another day.

I came away with mushroom ravioli (and verbal instructions on how to cook) and two slices of cheesecake.

I was tempted by lasagne, but for another day. Maybe beef lasagne.

Hopefully next visit they will be making the pasta in their open kitchen.

Use of WhatsApp not good. I recommended use Telegram.

I also recommended they were on Twitter.

Whilst I was there, a steady stream of customers.

Nonna Juana Deli will be at a food festival in the castle grounds next month. I walked through the castle grounds. No mention of the food festival.

I recommended a stall during the summer at the farmers market in Castle Hill and the Sleaford street food market.

We are sadly seeing more and more corporate chain eateries in Lincoln. By contrast, Nonna Juana Deli an independent local business where they care and are passionate about food, a breath of fresh air.

From the city centre, walk up Steep Hill to Castle Hill (or take Walk & Ride to Lincoln Cathedral), walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle, head to the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, walk along Burton Road, past a parade of shops and one of the last shops on the right. An alternative route, catch No 7 Ermine Bus from Central Bus Station, alight at the Museum of Lincolnshire life, then continue along Burton Road.

Afternoon in Lincoln

June 28, 2022

The morning cool to start. The afternoon warm and sunny.

Bus uphill from the bus station, to alight at Museum of Lincolnshire Life, then walk along Burton Road to find Nonna Juana Deli.

I passed Burton Road Chippy. It used to be a restaurant further up the road. Closed, now in a new location, fish n chip shop only. Not open.

i was looking for Nonna Juana Deli,. I thought I had passed it by, then there it was.

A long chat with the owners. Chef asked me to taste lamb he was cooking. It was excellent. I also tried a couple of sauces. I came away with mushroom ravioli and two slices of cheesecake. All the while I was there a steady stream of customers.

i walked a little further along Burton Road. What was Burton Road Chippy now Domino Pizza. They have turned what was the restaurant into an eyesore.

I walked back along Burton Road, through the grounds of Lincoln Castle’ into Bailgate.

I picked up sweetcorn plants from greengrocer at the back of Bailgate.

Lunch at Elite on the Bail. I was their one and only customer. I used to enjoy fish n chips at Elite in the Bail, not anymore.

Walk back down Steep Hill.

Look in Slow Rise. Recount my experience of Pasta le Disaster.

Traybake roasted chicken and tinned tomatoes

June 27, 2022

What to do with a can of tomatoes sitting in the cupboard which I had picked up from M&S thinking I was picking up a can of tomato soup?

Loosely based on a recipe by James Martin, roasted tomato chicken traybake, from Hello magazine. And no, I do not read Hello. I did once appear in, but that is a different story, and it was Hola. Or was it OK magazine?


  • chicken fillet
  • can of tomatoes
  • two or three small peppers
  • small aubergine
  • onion
  • new potatoes
  • two garlic cloves crushed
  • season with salt and pepper
  • drizzle with olive oil or rape seed oil


Scrape new potatoes, slice into chunks.

Slice into chunks aubergine, peppers and onion.

Drop in a baking tray, together with the chicken and contents of a can of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil or rape seed oil

Fan oven 220C 45 minutes.



A very tasty dish..

I thought I would have leftovers. More than sufficient for two generous portions.

I laid chicken strips on the bottom of the tray. It would have been better to have a layer of vegetables, chicken strips, then layers of vegetables.

Ensure chicken is well seasoned. It could have done with more.

Lacking garlic cloves, a generous sprinkling of Herbes de Provence on top.

A little slosh of red wine on top, would be an interesting addition.

Insufficient onion, it was not in good condition, I tossed in half a dozen silver skin onions.

Synchronicity. After late lunch, writing my thoughts, I searched for James Martin. To my surprise, I found James Martin had posted the recipe on twitter minutes earlier.

I never looked for the recipe. It popped up out of the blue one day. Erm, that looks interesting, I will give it a try.

Crushed potatoes with broad beans

June 25, 2022

My third attempt at this excellent dish from Summer Kitchens, a Ukrainian dish by Olia Hercules.

Broad beans need to be young and fresh. Too often neither. Sadly they are now being picked too old.


  • Boston new potatoes
  • broad beans
  • small onion
  • spring onions
  • crème fraiche
  • knob of butter
  • fresh dill
  • season with salt and pepper


New potatoes, scrape, add to pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil. Simmer for around twenty minutes.

Broad beans, pod, cook in boiling water for a little over five minutes.

Thin strips of streaky bacon in a hot pan medium heat until turning brown.

Add sliced onion, cook a couple of minutes until soft. May need a little oil.

Decant water from new potatoes and broad beans. Crush but not mash.

Add crushed potatoes and broad beans to bacon and sliced onion.

Add and stir in crème fraiche.

Add a knob of butter.

Add fresh dill.

Season with salt and pepper.


Hot tip: When broad beans are not in season, use frozen broad beans. When new potatoes out of season, a couple of baked potatoes in the oven, scoop the cooked potatoes out of their skin. Personally I prefer to use what is in season.


A very tasty dish.

Decant water then crush not mash, to keep texture of the potatoes.

Tip into pan with bacon strips and onion. Stir, else will burn to bottom of the pan, season with salt and pepper.

Although I had fresh dill, I did not add, as it does nothing for the dish.

Fresh peas added. Did not add spring onions.

I forgot to add a knob of butter but more than made up for with two large dollops of crème fraiche.

Afternoon in Lincoln

June 24, 2022


to start with then as weak sun came through very warm and muggy.

Bus cancelled, had to wait for the next bus.

Walk and Ride to Lincoln Cathedral, lunch at Elite on the Bail, then walk back to down Steep Hill.

Excellent espresso at Madame Waffle.

Sit for a while and chat outside Coffee Aroma.

I learn of a fresh pasta outlet in Lincoln. I will have to check it out.

Spinach and ricotta quadrotti with sage butter

June 23, 2022

When i opened the box I found the pasta dusted with a white powder. Is this normal? If yes, should be warned. If not, what has gone wrong?

Cooking instructions

  • pot of boiling water simmer pasta 2-3 minutes
  • melt butter in a pan add a little pasta water
  • drain pasta toss with melted butter
  • sprinkle with grated cheese when served

This dish was not good. I threw out for the birds. Even the birds were not interested.

Not made by Pasta Evangelists. Produced by an anonymous company for Pasta Evangelists.

No, i would not recommend.

Pasta le Disaster.

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