The Simplest Rice Pudding

This is my Mam’s favourite! Rice Pudding reminds me of many fond family memories. I always remember my Grandma making rice pudding on a Saturday and it was a real treat, classically baked in the oven. Even at primary school I remember when rice pudding was available for dessert it was so exciting. You used to be able to add strawberry or chocolate flavouring, making the rice turn either pink or brown!

However now, I love mine with lots of freshly grated nutmeg and strangely enough, lemon zest! So I am going to share my super simple recipe for my baked rice pudding. It would be perfect for a dinner party and it lasts for a good few days in the fridge.


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2017! Where has the time gone?!

I promise this year to make the time to share recipes, travelling adventures and places Davide and I recommend to visit!

Starting today I’m sharing a super simple recipe for Celeriac Coleslaw!

A humble yet tasty vegetable. I must say as unfortunate as it is, I have never previously bought a celeriac. I have come across many recipes before but only recently when having lunch out, I tried it for the first time!

Celeriac Coleslaw 

One Celeriac 

6 Tbsp Mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard 

Juice of half a Lemon

Salt and Pepper

  1. Remove the skin of the celeriac using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Rub a little lemon juice over the celeriac to stop it turning brown in colour.
  2. Cut into thin slices, then cut into long matchstick strips. (I cheated and used a mandoline and then  I cut into matchstick strips.)
  3. Put the celeriac matchsticks into a bowl and mix with the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and add salt & pepper to your taste.  

Perfect to accompany pie, quiche or even a fancy burger. Of course, we had ours with some homemade Olive Stone pie!

Buon appetito!


Béchamel Pasta Al Forno Recipe

As promised…


I wanted to share a really simple recipe inspired from a pasta dish I had in Grottammare Alta.

Simply courgette, mushroom and béchamel with penne giganti.

The beauty of this dish is you can use any ingredients you want!


Béchamel Sauce

100 grams Butter
100 grams Plain Flour
1 litre Whole Milk
1 White Onion (peeled and cut in half)
1 Bay Leaf
Handful of grated Parmesan
Pinch of finely grated Nutmeg

And the rest

500g Penne Gigante
3 Garlic Cloves (chopped finely)
400g Mushrooms (I like to used a mixture of chestnut, white and wild mushrooms)
Handful of dried porcini mushrooms
3 Courgettes
A glass of White Wine (for the sauce!)
Sale e Pepe!
1 Mozzarella Ball

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
1 Let’s start with your béchamel sauce. Pour your milk into a saucepan. Add your onion and bay leaf. Gently bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for around 20 minutes.

2 Melt the butter in another saucepan, then add the flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms (roux). Continue cooking for 2 mins.

3 Remove the onion and bay leaf from the milk with a slotted spoon and discard. Add the infused milk to the roux gradually, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce. Cook for 5-10 mins, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste. Add the Parmesan and nutmeg, stir until fully incorporated.

4 Cook the pasta, according to the manufacturers instructions.
When you strain the pasta, preserve some of the water. It’s great for loosening a sauce if too thick but it helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

5 Meanwhile roughly chop the mushrooms and dice the courgettes.

6 Tip the mushrooms, courgette and garlic into a large non-stick saucepan and add 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and water. Cook gently, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft.

7 Meanwhile put the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and just cover the mushrooms with boiling water. Leave to soak until the porcini has softened.

8 Pour the white wine into the saucepan with the courgettes and mushrooms. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Turn to a simmer, add the porcini mushrooms and the infused porcini water. Cook for a further five minutes.

9 Now mix your three elements together. Pour the pasta into your béchamel sauce and add the courgette/mushroom mixture.

10 Transfer the pasta into an oven proof serving dish. Roughly tear the mozzarella ball over the top of your pasta and pop in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until the top of the pasta bake is golden.

11 Perfecto it’s now ready to serve, this would easily serve up to eight people. Serve with some fresh bread and a crisp salad.

Bon Appetit!

Grottammare Alta II The Bakers Food Trip to Italy

Grottammare Alta was an extremely lucky find, for both of us it was pure heaven.

Initially we visited during the day.


After previously visiting Italy this place had the real wow factor. Everything you could possibly imagine Italy to be, this small town encompasses all your imaginary thoughts.


Caffè Fleurie


Situated in the piazza. It was an unforgettable experience with wonderful service from a young chap. We just had to return on numerous occasions.


He explained how the whole piazza became alive on an evening. Unbeknown restaurants would appear! Hollie managed to accidentally stumble across some shops that had appeared, much to Davide’s relief!


Ele Wedding
A truly talented lady and stunning items. You may have noticed Hollie’s apron in The Olive Stone, it was found in the lovely grotto style shop.


Grottammare Alta is trendy and in a gorgeous location. The town inhabits fashionable Italians and talented individuals. There was even a pop-up shop! Who would have though?!


Now the important bit food!

Now I don’t know about you but for us, we hate it when we visit a restaurant and the menu is the length of the leaning Tower of Pisa! It just makes us question how fresh and nutritious are the meals? To our relief in Grottammare Alta we visited two secret restaurants…

Osteria dell’Arancio



Situated in the piazza, you couldn’t help but wonder if you were in actual heaven. It was welcoming and beautiful. Loud yet still. It was just out of this world and excitingly the menu was limited to a choice of three first and second plates or a set menu.

Davide was hungry and opted for the four course set menu.

Hollie choose Aubergine Parmigiana which was Davide’s first plate. Both in agreement it was the best we had ever had!



I choose gnocchi. The chef actually served my second plate, apologising that the gnocchi dish was a sell out so instead he served me ricotta tortelloni with a sage butter and a pea & spinach purée. I was absolutely ecstatic, it’s favourite meal and I would have choose it, had it been on the menu!


Salsamenteria San Giovanni


Luckily we managed to pre book as it was really busy. We sat in a smallish open courtyard with large olive trees and twinkling lights. When we sat down we ordered our vino and once served we asked for the food menu but our waiter explained that there was no menu!


You were served an antipasti, pasta, a meat plate then dessert and wow what an experience!



We had the opportunity to taste food that we might not have chosen and it certainly wasn’t disappointing!

The pasta al forno was so simple yet so tasty. When we returned home Hollie adapted the recipe.

On our next post we will share this simple recipe for you to try at home.

So that you too can experience the taste of the Grottammare Alta!


Hollie and Davide

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