Borough Market, a 15 minute train trip from us has been the source of many a foodie adventure. It’s easy to pop up there and find oysters for a meal. Or curious fruit and vegetables I often have to ask advice about. A few years ago, it was also where the London Bridge Terrorist attacks occurred. For a while the restaurants and market were closed, boarded up. There were little reminders of the tragedy that struck in a place of happiness, the fence that was crashed into, the hastily shut restaurants. I remember travelling around London at that time; there was a strong police presence but also that determination from everyone that everything would be OK. When Padella reopened I was jubilant. My favourite Italian restaurant outside of Italy was finally serving its delicious pasta again!
Of course with Lockdown, it’s all closed up again. When this is all over, which restaurants will have survived? All those livelihoods affected. It’s incredibly heartbreaking. London will look so different. It will feel so different. It will BE DIFFERENT.
And so late last week I started to source all the ingredients to make this recipe as my way to feel close to London before Lockdown. It is my favourite of Padella’s. I always made a point of ordering it when we visited. (although seriously who would have thought it would be that difficult to find sausage meat, but there you go?).
This recipe really is a labour of love. It takes HOURS!
It is worth every single second if nothing else because it was a lovely distraction from it all. But especially the toasted fennel and chillies. And also the soffritto. And also GAH ALL OF IT.
And to all those London Restaurants and the people who work in them and for them. This pasta was made with you in my thoughts. I think of you often and I hope to see you soon. xox