Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Cauliflower and coconut ravioli with butter and crème fraiche

July 5, 2022

I have tried mushroom ravioli from Nonna Juana Deli. How does cauliflower and coconut ravioli compare?

Preparation could not be easier.

  • Pasta four minutes in boiling water.
  • Melt knob of butter and crème fraiche in a pan on very low heat. Turn off heat when melted. Add a little pasta water.
  • Drain pasta. Add to the pan with melted butter and crème fraiche. Mix.
  • Decant onto plates, pour melted butter and crème fraiche over the ravioli.

A strange combination, cauliflower and coconut. Does it work?

I found the cauliflower a little overpowering, it needed maybe pesto to counter.

Lincolnshire sausages broad beans and tinned tomatoes casserole

July 4, 2022

An idea from James Martin. Not even loosely based on as could make no sense of his recipe. [see Tomato, Sausage and Bean Casserole]

Slicing Lincolnshire sausages when browned, opens them up. [see below an idea from Jamie Oliver]

Use broad beans instead of canned beans.


  • peas
  • broad beans
  • leak
  • celery
  • red pepper
  • new potatoes
  • rashers of streaky bacon
  • Lincolnshire sausages
  • paprika
  • Herbes de Provence
  • French mustard
  • can of tinned tomatoes
  • red wine


Hot pan with a little oil. Cook Lincolnshire sausages for around ten minutes until brown. Remove to a plate.

Add streaky bacon cut into strips. Cook until crisp and brown.

Add vegetables, sliced into pieces. Cook until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little paprika. Add a little Herbes de Provence. Add a little tomato paste. Add large teaspoonful of French mustard.

Slice Lincolnshire sausages. Place in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Add vegetables from pan to casserole dish.

Add new potatoes.

Empty can of tomatoes. Fill can with water, add to casserole dish.

Add red wine.

Calamity. Casserole dish filled to the brim. Dish out to a second casserole dish, including two Lincolnshire sausages.

Fan oven 150C for around an hour.


Very tasty.

I have never cooked a casserole dish before. Temperature and time an educated guess, appeared to be about right. Potatoes maybe a few minutes longer.

What to do with more than sufficient for three people? I was going to eat one casserole dish only. Thought yes, but fish out the sausages from second dish. I could have left, let cool, then reheat. With what is left add sausages, maybe a little extra vegetables, then reheat another day. But first allow to cool, then in the fridge.

Beef and pork lasagne

July 3, 2022

I could make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. [see Gennaro Contaldo and Jamie Oliver below]

Or I could visit Nonna Juana Deli and pick up fresh made lasagne.

I decided to visit Nonna Juana Deli and pick up fresh made lasagne.

The lasagne is in a card box. Good for sustainability. Not so good if leaks through the box.

Advisable place in a tin, on a baking tray or on the lid, in a pre-heated oven, fan oven 180C forty minutes.


Price comparison with Pasta Evangelists.

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

Similar price, but there the similarity ends. The main difference between the two,  Nonna Juana Deli using quality local ingredients, with Pasta le Disaster paying for the shipping, shipping box, ice blocks, with no guarantee what arrives 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 price for Nonna Juana Deli is an estimate, price varies, ask for a quote.

700 grams in weight are currently from £8 to £8.50 depending on the prices of the cuts and suppliers. Veg is again 700grms And £7. Our menu doesn’t list prices as the market is constantly changing with the current situation.

Note: The box cannot be recycled due to grease contamination. Throw on compost heap. Or use for carrying kitchen waste to the compost heap. Then when used a few times and wet and soggy, throw onto the compost heap with contents.

Worksop food festival

July 2, 2022

Worksop food festival an annual event hosted by North Notts BID.

NORTH NOTTS will soon be welcoming the much-anticipated return of the North Notts Food Fest, taking place on Saturday 2 July from 9am-5pm at Worksop Market Square – featuring a packed day of food and drink-themed stalls and demonstrations.

Madness. I learnt of Worksop food festival Saturday afternoon and decided to pay a visit.

Train running late.

What I found, North Notts BID useless in organising a food festival.

Walking from the station, through the town to the Market Square the other side of the town centre, no signage, no posters, no publicity.

I passed through retail desolation, businesses closed, derelict buildings, streets deserted apart from a few unsavoury characters hanging around.

A few painted bits of wood in the desolate town centre. Is this the best North Notts BID can do?

Only the tumbleweed was missing.

Free wifi? Maybe a bulldozer?

When I arrived at the Market Square, nothing, nada. I had to ask thinking maybe the wrong location.

Local BID jobsworth claimed big success, lots of stalls. He then gloated they were loved by the local business, who had voted Yes for the BID to continue extorting money.

A food festival worth visiting, quality food and drink. Not junk food, plastic wrapped adulterated fake Cheddar, flavoured gin.

North Notts BID promoting local craft beer at the Worksop food festival? Er, no. On tap in the bar, San Miquel from a corporate brewery. So proud were North Notts BID to be serving San Miquel not local craft beer, they bragged about it by posting a picture on their facebook page.

There are at least two craft beer breweries in Nottingham.

There are at least two coffee roasteries.

One award winning bean-to-bar craft chocolate maker.

A food festival should be to showcase what the locality has to offer, a celebration of local quality produce.

I spoke with a couple of stalls and asked was it busy? In the morning a steady stream of people, in the afternoon, after two, it was dead. At four if not earlier, they were told to pack up.

The food festival should have continued until five.

I expected to find a busy market with lots of food and drink.

BID jobsworth told me they had packed up early, expecting rain. There was no sign of rain.

A market never packs up before it ends. If sold out, can wander off, come back later to pack up the stall.

I contrast with Sheffield food festival, busy, many stalls.

Such was the success of the Worksop food festival, the streets were empty and it packed up early.

Burton Road Chippy

July 1, 2022

Burton Road Chippy used to be a restaurant. They have downsized and relocated.

Tuesday when I passed by closed. Today Friday open. Tables and chairs outside. A pleasant day, I decided to stop, sit outside with haddock and chips.

A big mistake. It was not good. I left half eaten. They were never good when a restaurant, now far worse.

The only good point, the staff pleasant and helpful.

I wish I had had a sandwich from Nonna Juana Deli. They need tables and chairs outside. Or failing that, a sandwich and eat in the castle grounds.

Nonna Juana Deli revisited

July 1, 2022

My second visit in a week to Nonna Juana Deli.

As earlier in the week, a steady stream of customers, mainly sandwiches, occasionally pasta.

The mushroom ravioli and cheesecake I picked up earlier in the week were amazing.

Today I am after beef lasagne (ordered the day before). I had not intended too, but I add cauliflower and coconut ravioli and cheesecake. I also add a can of cherry tomatoes.

I am curious, empanada. Argentinian version of Cornish pasty? Sort of, but lacks potatoes. They cook a beef empanada for me to try. Excellent. Until I realize it contains egg. They take it away in case I am sick. Had I thought at the time, I could have fished out the egg.

I suggest they prepare a version without egg.

They need tables and chairs outside.

Next visit, lacking tables and chairs, if a nice day, I will take a beef brisket sandwich and eat in the castle grounds.

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.

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.

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