They’re called radiatori because they look like little radiators! I hope that pleases you as much as it does me. They’re also the perfect shape for grabbing onto a crumbly ‘sauce’ like this one, or a more traditional pesto. This smoosh of toasted walnuts, anchovies, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and lemon bound with olive oil makes a luxurious, wintry pasta sauce and also an excellent stuffing for fish on the BBQ – particularly mackerel.

I’ve served it on a swirl of fluffy ricotta (given a little more sharpness with natural yoghurt) so there’s a lovely hot-cold contrast going on and the cheese brings some creaminess. Serve with purple sprouting broccoli, chilli flakes and a flurry of Parmesan shavings for a pasta dish that will bust through any amount of miserable, drizzly weather.

Radiatori with Walnuts, Ricotta and Broccoli Recipe

Serves 2 very generously (i.e. greedily)

For the pesto

Makes enough for 6-8 servings of pasta (keep leftovers in a jar in the fridge, covered in olive oil)

200g walnuts, toasted in a dry pan
80g wholemeal breadcrumbs (or regular white crumbs)
4 cloves garlic
12 anchovy fillets
Handful parsley leaves
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
Olive oil

To serve

300g radiatori (I bought mine in Sainsbury’s!)
Large handful purple sprouting broccoli
125g ricotta
Heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt
Chilli flakes

Make the pesto by blitzing the walnuts in a blender until finely chopped but stop before they turn to a powder/paste. Mix with the breadcrumbs. Bash the garlic and anchovies to a paste in a pestle and mortar and mix with the breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon juice. Add a slug of olive oil until you’ve got a pesto-ish mixture.

Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving a little pasta water. Cook the broccoli until al dente and drain – not long just a few minutes.

Gently whip the ricotta and yoghurt together and divide between two large bowls. When the pasta is cooked lob in as much ‘pesto’ as you like and stir with a little of the pasta water to loosen. Crumble extra ‘pesto’ on top. Serve on the ricotta with the broccoli, Parmesan and chilli flakes.

Anchovy and bottarga pasta

I know, you’re never going to remember the name of that pasta shape but don’t worry, this is freakin’ fabulous with basically any pasta – I know this from extensive experience. A great choice would be orecchiette or ‘little ears’ which is what they use down in Puglia when they make their famous broccoli and anchovy arrangement.

As I said on Instagram when I posted a snap, this recipe is proof that with the best ingredients you can make incredible food in no time at all. It uses really excellent bottarga and anchovies both from Lina Stores in Soho, part of a hamper they sent me before Christmas as a promotional effort. If you’ve never been then really, get over there – I’m a long-time customer as it’s a real goldmine of Italian ingredients and one of the very best delis in London, full stop.

This is such a simple dish. You gently cook garlic in butter (olive oil would be more traditional but I love the richness of butter on pasta), then melt in those beautiful anchovies. Next add some blanched and roughly chopped Tenderstem broccoli, chilli flakes and a good squeeze of lemon juice and let it sizzle for a few minutes. The hot pasta is added in one steamy swoop and the lot stirred together and slipped into bowls before topping with crisp crumbs and a shower of golden roe.

It’s probably my favourite pasta dish of all time, actually. Anchovies are one of the world’s greatest ingredients and the quality of these was outstanding – you’ll need to gently tease the flesh from the whole fish (easy) before melting them into the sauce because they’re packed as whole fish, not teeny, aggressive fillets. It’s got everything: garlic, chilli heat, salty fish and lemon plus CARBS. You’ll always be able to rely on Food Stories for carbs, guys, no matter what happens.

Fusillata Casareccia with Anchovies, Broccoli and Bottarga Recipe

Pasta of your choice for 2 people
200g Tenderstem broccoli
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Chilli flakes, to taste
8-10 anchovy fillets (or to taste)
Juice of half a lemon
Handful breadcrumbs, toasted until golden
Butter or olive oil

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.

Put the Tenderstem into a pan of boiling water. When it comes back to the boil, drain.

Heat a knob of butter or splash of olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the garlic for a minute or so, stirring. Melt in the anchovies. Add chilli flakes and the broccoli. Stir to coat and add lemon juice.

Once pasta is cooked, drain reserving a splash of cooking water. Add both to the frying pan. Stir well.

Transfer to bowls then grate over bottarga and add crumbs. Yeah, it’s really simple.

BBQ Chicken Caesar Salad

Regular readers will know that I had to get a personal trainer because being a food writer made me fat (there is absolutely nothing wrong with being fat – I just wasn’t happy). When I first started he – my personal trainer – asked me to keep a food diary, to which I responded, “boy, are you in for a shock.”

At the time I was judging an afternoon tea competition, which required me to eat six teas a week for a couple of months. I’ve never seen anyone’s mouth drop open so fast (except perhaps mine every time I walk into the kitchen and see the peanut butter banana bread I’ll be posting about next week).

Grill the spring onions and broccoli too.

Every now and again he still says something like, “so, how’s the food going?” to which I respond, “um, yeah fine” because I really don’t know what else to say. How do I tell him that I started the day with a cheese börek from the Turkish food centre, spent the day testing recipes, which meant I ate two lunches and then I’m out for dinner because I’m working on an area guide?

Yeah I know, you’re jealous. Well, let me tell you that actually, eating a lot is hard. Often I just want to sit in bed and slurp instant noodles while watching Netflix.

And sometimes, I just want to eat a salad.

I made this salad on Snapchat last week and loads of people asked for the recipe. It barely resembles a traditional Caesar but really, who cares? The chicken is cooked on the BBQ because that’s fun and tastes great, but we’ve also had it just grilled or bashed thin then fried in a skillet. We add Tenderstem broccoli because I’m obsessed with it and also because this salad is a celebration of green things. I love the flavours of Caesar but really it’s just a load of lettuce in a bowl. This, my friends, is more satisfying.

Making the dressing.

Finally, no mayo here because I just find it gross in dressings, coating the back of your throat like engine oil. Grim. Yoghurt is fresher and combined with garlic, Parmesan and anchovies makes a really lovely, rich yet sharp dressing.

Oh, one more thing – there’s a lot of garlic here, so I wouldn’t advise eating this before, say, a meeting, or indeed any human contact. Big flavours are what makes healthy-ish food work for me – it’s basically the opposite of energy balls, obscure flours and the milking of things that have no teats (see: almonds). I’m all about balancing salads with banana bread, and I’m about hitting a gym where the trainer kicks my ass so hard I sweat from my eyelids.

Super Green BBQ Chicken Caesar Salad

This serves two for a massive lunch that’ll make you feel like a total boss in the nutrition department.

For the dressing

4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
5 anchovy fillets
100g grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice ½ lemon (but reserve the other half)
3-5 tablespoons natural yoghurt

For the chicken

4 chicken thighs, boneless (I leave the skin on because again, I’m not wasting chicken skin for the sake of saving calories)
Salt and pepper

For the salad

6 spring onions
200g Tenderstem broccoli
2 little gem lettuces, leaves separated

Prepare a BBQ for direct cooking.

Open out the chicken thighs and give them a little bash if needed to make them the same thickness all over. We used skewers to fan them out too as you can see from the photos. When it’s ready, rub the spring onions and broccoli with a little oil and salt and pepper, and grill under tender and slightly charred (5-10 minutes).

Set aside while you cook the chicken. Season and cook over direct heat, turning every so often, until cooked through – around 20 minutes depending on the size of the thighs.

In a pestle and mortar, bash up the garlic with a pinch of salt. Add in the anchovy fillets and mush them up too. Add about half the cheese, mush it up then add the yoghurt. Stir in the rest of the cheese, plus the oil and lemon juice. Check for seasoning and balance – add more lemon juice or some black pepper if you want it.

Mix the lettuce leaves and a heaped tablespoon of the dressing in a large bowl then mix with hands. Do the same thing with the Tenderstem and spring onions.

Arrange on a plate and top with the chicken and a bit more of the dressing to taste.

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

You may notice that things looks a little different around here. Finally, the site looks close to the way I wanted it before I hired a dodgy developer who tacked it together with sellotape then buggered off and left me to deal. I hope now that it will be a lot more user friendly, organised and easier on the eye. There’s still a lot of housekeeping to do, so please bear with me if something doesn’t work – I will get it sorted.

I noticed that there are only nine pasta recipes on this site, which makes no sense whatsoever for a writer who claims to be obsessed with the stuff. It’s a total disgrace. I promise to serve your carb needs better in the future starting right here and now with this recipe, which includes toasty cauliflower, anchovies and capers, the latter fried until crisp.

You can make the anchovies more or less of a thing here – personally, I love them so I add 8-10 fillets, but it’s up to you. Capers are brilliant fried, by the way. If you can, get the ones that come packed in salt as they have a much better flavour than those in brine. Rinse them, pat, then fry until their petals explode in the hot oil and they crisp up, salty and sharp. They may just be the best pasta garnish since oh, I don’t know, breadcrumbs fried in anchovy oil.

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

500g good quality dried tagliatelle
8-10 anchovy fillets
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
4 cloves garlic, 2 whole, 2 crushed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried on kitchen paper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons oil, for frying (like groundnut or vegetable)
50g butter
Parmesan, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220C (425F). Toss the cauliflower with enough oil to coat plus salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of the garlic. Roast for around 40 minutes until tender and golden.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Heat the veg oil in a small saucepan and fry the capers in it until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a pan and add the anchovies until they melt. Add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a minute or so, stirring. Add the cooked cauliflower plus some salt and pepper and stir until combined.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add the cauliflower mixture, plus some lemon juice and parsley. Taste for seasoning and serve with grated Parmesan and the crispy capers.

Cold Roast Lamb with Anchovy Sauce

Leftovers are, for me, almost always better than the original dish. Even as a child I always wanted everything cold; steak and kidney pie being my favourite. I remember the highlight of holidays away with a friend’s family being these pre-packed, jellied treats, an anti-dote to the PURE EVIL that we were given to drink (that’s hot Ribena for those who don’t know). Again, I preferred that cold.

This is a rip off of a Simon Hopkinson recipe for cold veal with anchovy sauce and sliced boiled eggs. The salty anchovies work just as well with cold lamb as they do when jimmied into crevices with garlic and rosemary and roasted in a hot oven. Instead of melting away however, here they retain their flavour which, for me at least, is a very good thing.

Cold Roast Lamb with Anchovy Sauce

For the sauce (makes enough sauce for 4 people) 

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Splash of water

Plus the rest…

Sliced cold roast lamb
Lettuce leaves
Finely shredded spring onions
Capers, rinsed

Lay the lettuce leaves on a plate and sprinkle with some finely shredded spring onions. Lay the sliced lamb on top.

Put all the sauce ingredients in a small blender and whizz them up. Taste and adjust the quantities, you may want a little more white wine vinegar for example. Drizzle the sauce over the lamb and dot with capers.