Pasta Finocchi e Acciughe (Pasta with Fennel and Anchovies)

Today the garden delivered a handful of parsley, a small fennel and a few spring onions, enough produce to inspire Mrs BYF to make lunch


1 small fennel or half of a big one thinly sliced

5 spring onions sliced, using the green leaves as well if  they are young

Pinch of flaked chilli

6 anchovies – chopped

2 cloves of garlic – crushed

100g toasted breadcrumbs 

50g chopped parsley 

6 tablespoons olive oil 

Boil the pasta water and add salt and pasta while making the sauce

Heat the oil in a large pan, big enough to contain the pasta and sauce. Cast iron is good for retaining the heat. Fry the onions until soft but not coloured, add the garlic. Add the sliced fennel and braise until slightly cooked, retaining some crunchy ness. Add the anchovy. When the pasta is cooked, sprinkle the chilli and parsley over the sauce, season with salt and pepper then add a few tablespoons of pasta water and stir.  Drain and tip the pasta in to the pan with the sauce and mix well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta. Stir to combine, serve with a generous helping of Parmigiano cheese.


Do not forget to compliment it with some homemade red wine


Mr BYF regularly has to cull young male quail. They are tender and very tasty without adding any flavouring to the meat. Mrs BYF tried something new and it is good enough to share. 

4 Very young (seven weeks old) fresh cleaned and deboned quails. Salted a few hours before cooking

2 Tablespoons of butter 

2 Cloves of crushed garlic

4 Large fresh sage leaves

4 Strips of pancetta (bacon can do)


Extra salt if needed as the pancetta is slightly salty

Stuff a sage leaf and a strip of pancetta into the body cavity and close with a toothpick. Add pepper to taste. Use a pan that fits all the stuffed birds all in one layer, melt the butter and fry the garlic until light brown. Add the quails to the pan and fry for about 5 min per side until golden brown.

We served the dish with fresh salad from the garden and roasted new potatoes from our neighbour’s garden. For vegetables we had a friend of a friend’s pumpkin, roasted with garlic, cumin and chilli. 

ENJOY and do not forget a glass of home made red wine !!!

FAGIANO ALLE CASTAGNE (Pheasant with chestnuts)

A friend presented us with two lovely pheasants, not the normal, much appreciated rabbit. Mrs BYF found a recipe for chestnut dumplings, and decided to make a stew and use some of the foraged chestnuts to compliment the dish 


2 pheasants – Plucked and cleaned. Keep the livers, hearts and giblets

150ml stock – Any kind will do but Mr BYF automatically makes stock out of the wings and backbone of any bird, so we used pheasant stock

150g butter

a few pinches of salt to taste 

Black pepper to taste

4 cloves of garlic crushed

100ml white wine.  I suppose you could use red or even Madeira. I used dry white because, again, the chestnuts are quite sweet.

Cut the pheasant in to serving portions. Season the meat, salting it well.  The seasoning should ideally happen a few hours before cooking. In a lidded pan that will take all the pieces of the birds in a single layer (use two pans if needed) brown the pieces.  Remove the pieces from the pan and keep them aside.  Sauté the garlic in butter until fragrant and brown. Add the livers, hearts and finely sliced giblets and sauté until brown, remove from pan and keep aside with the rest of the bird.  Turn the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the wine, boil for a few minutes. Return the pheasant to the pan and add the stock. Cover the pan and cook for 40 minutes, adding a bit of stock as needed. 

Heat the oven to 180 C 

Chestnut Dumplings

100g plain flour

50g butter 

Pinch of salt 

25g cooked and peeled chestnuts, mashed 

Whisk the flour and salt together to mix.  Rub the butter in to the flour until fine crumbs form. Rub the chestnuts into the crumbs and mix until combined. Roll small dumplings the size of a large walnut. Add more stock to the birds if the liquid has evaporated to make sauce. Put the dumplings on top of the meat, pushing  them under the sauce. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 30 min without lifting the lid. 

We served the pheasant with polenta

ENJOY and do not forget a good glass of homemade RED


Spaghetti with Amatriciana Sauce close-up on a plate. Horizontal Spaghetti with Amatriciana Sauce close-up on a plate on the table. Horizontal amatriciana stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Today I had an early brunch dictated by my daily work schedule and at about 19H00 I was ravenous. I fortunately was working the preserved meats from the curing room and noticed a very attractive piece of GUANCIALE (cured pork cheeks) , which off coarse called for Bucatini all’amatriciana. What a wonderful recipe for a delicious pasta with only a few ingredients. Fry the finely chopped guanciale with a few cloves of garlic. Add Passata and cook for about 20 minutes. Also add black pepper, but no salt as the guanciale is quite salty. Keep the sugo moist be adding water from the pasta pot. Boil bucatini pasta in lightly salted water and when al dente, drain and add to the sugo. Cook and toss for another few minutes, then add shredded fresh basil. Toss and serve hot. Add a lot of grated parmigiano reggiano and ENJOY !!!

Do not forget the home made red wine to wash it all down !!!!!


There is something wonderful about eating a young lamb when you had cared for it since inception. I ensured it’s happy, carefree, grass fed existence. I clipped hooves, rotated paddocks, and kept it healthy (organically). It was killed humanely and butchered by a bona fide butcher. 

Mrs BYF did justice to the lamb by roasting the joint to perfection.

Preheat the oven on the hottest setting, leave at this setting for 30 min before putting the meat in.
1 lamb forequarter – as much peeled garlic as you like – a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, olive oil, a few organic lemons and salt 
One hour before cooking, brush the joint with oil, put a bit of oil in the oven pan. Make holes all over and stick the garlic cloves down as far as possible. I find that keeping the knife in and twisting it slightly to create a small gap so one can slide the garlic down the blade stops the garlic from popping out. Break the Rosemary in to 2 cm pieces and stick them all over as well. Put the meat in the oven and leave the high setting for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to 180C for about 2 hours. 

Enjoy with GOOD home made Red Wine !!