Pasta aficionado Rachel Roddy’s latest cookbook, An A To Z Of Pasta, is full of comforting recipes and ideas, but what foods have shaped her own life?

We found out more about Roddy’s culinary journey…


Her earliest food memory is…

“I say that I can remember having Farex, which is a baby porridge. But my mum says she doesn’t think so – maybe I can remember my brother and sister having [something similar]. I remember my mum made really good tapioca or semolina – those soft, pappy foods some people don’t like at all, but I love them. I also have a very, very early memory of having a Tunnock’s Teacake and of sucking the marshmallow out without breaking the chocolate.”

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Roddy’s worst food disasters include…

“Oh, God, so many, so many, so many. There’s been loads of disappointments, even the other day I made spaghetti vongole for people that mattered and I had forgotten to soak them [the clams]. So it was really gritty. And not only could I hear my own sandy mouth, I could hear other people’s. I was like, geez, it’s really unpleasant.

“Once I did this braised beef. And I did it really, really carefully. It was a warm day and I just left it sitting there – and it sort of fermented. And I don’t know why, but I served it. It was just awful. It was so upsetting. And normally people can finish things, can’t they? But they couldn’t.”

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Her culinary high is…

“I think braised vegetables – cooking for the family and making things I think are really delicious, really good tasting – it’s not even really me, is it? It’s the bloody vegetables! But making things that taste good – that’s such a thrill.

“I get nice highs, I made profiteroles for the first time last year for my son and that was so much fun.

“I think like all of us, I get great pleasure from cooking, and great pleasure from other people’s reactions to cooking, and great pleasure from other people’s cooking. I love being cooked for.”

An A-Z Of Pasta: Stories, Shapes, Sauces, Recipes by Rachel Roddy is published by Fig Tree. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin. 

An A-Z of Pasta: Stories, Shapes, Sauces, Recipes
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Roddy, Rachel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2024-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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