If you roll the dough thinly enough, this amount of dough is enough for the whole family.  Use 2 big baking trays covered with a non-stick sheet.

Perfect served with a rocket salad and either a nice glass of wheat beer or a Riesling.

Stir together 500g strong white flour, a sachet of easy-blend yeast and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of honey into a measuring jug, and top up the jug with warm (not too hot) water up to the 300ml mark.  Stir.

Don’t be too eager; you probably won’t need all of the liquid.

Pour in about half of the liquid, then use your hand to work in a bit more.  Keep pushing and pulling the dough around the bowl until all of the flour is incorporated, adding a little bit more liquid until it feels right.  Don’t worry if it goes sticky.  It can easily be rescued with a bit more flour.  Knead for at least 10 minutes, until it forms a smooth ball.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave anywhere not too cold for about 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry about 4 thinly sliced onions in one frying pan and a packet of streaky bacon (finely snipped with scissors) in another.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Divide the dough into four pieces.  Flatten and work each piece with a rolling pin, then put them onto the two baking trays.  Make sure they are really, really thin.

Smear each piece of dough with a few tablespoons of crème fraîche, right up to the edges.  Sprinkle the bacon over the top, finishing with a generous flourish of onion.  You might want to grind some black pepper or nutmeg over the top.

Pop into a hot oven for 15 – 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Of course, you could turn half of the dough into pizzas or garlic bread.  Or save some for your breakfast bread rolls.  All that domesticity with one batch of dough!


Fillet of Pork with Crème Fraîche

You know that your thoughts are wandering towards Autumn in France when you have this for dinner.

A knob of butter and a little olive oil

1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic, sliced

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 pork tenderloin fillet


thyme (fresh or dried)

5/6 fresh sage leaves, if you have them

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 glass dry white wine or French cider

crème fraîche

an apple, cored and sliced

On a low heat, fry the onion and garlic in the oil and butter.  Add the salt, then the mushrooms and continue frying for a further 2 – 3 minutes.

Now push all of that stuff to the edge of the pan and turn the heat up high.  Keeping the pork fillet whole, add it to the pan to sear.  While the one side is browning, sprinkle the other side with paprika, thyme and black pepper.  Sprinkle the sage leaves into the pan.

Turn the pork over and give it another 2 minutes on that side before pouring in the wine/ cider and half a glass of water.  The fillet doesn’t need to be fully immersed.

Turn the heat way down and stir in the mustard and the apple.  Put the lid on and simmer gently for 30 minutes, turning half way through.

Now take out the pork fillet and cut it in half.  If the inside is still pink, best to stick it back in the pan for another 5 – 10 minutes, but if it’s done, rest it in tinfoil while you make your pasta and finish the sauce.

To finish the sauce, taste it and adjust your quantities of salt and pepper, then add about 3 tablespoons of full fat crème fraîche.  Let it bubble for a few moments.

Serve the pork in slices with the sauce and tagliatelle.