Mum with Josh and Lara, 2003

“The simplest toy, which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” – Sam Levenson, 1911 – 1980

Mum has looked after Joshua and Lara since they were born. She moved up to be with me so that she could be part of her grandchildren’s life. Being a working Mum, I couldn’t have done it without her. She took the children to school and picked them up again. She said that it gave her a ‘new lease of life’ in her sixties.

This is a snack Mum cooked for the children for when they came home from school. They are a cross between a meatball and a croquette potato. And it is a favourite of Joshua’s today.

Mum with Josh and Lara, 2014
Polpette with Nanny’s Sauce

Makes 12-14
565g (1¼lb) potatoes, peeled and diced * 225g (8oz) minced beef * 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley * 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese * salt & pepper * 1 egg, beaten * a side plateful of plain flour * sunflower oil, enough for deep frying

Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked. Meanwhile, dry fry the minced beef. Drain and mash the potatoes with a little pepper. Add in the Parmesan and parsley then mix well. Add in the meat and again mix well. Scoop the mixture into your hand and roll into 2-inch thick sausage shapes. Place on a plate, cover in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Line up the egg and flour in separate plates. Then heat up the oil in a deep frying pan.

Roll each polpetta in egg, then in flour. Slowly and gently add each polpetta into the frying pan and fry until golden, moving around in the oil. I do one at a time and put onto a warmed plate whilst the others are frying. Enjoy hot or cold, dipped in Nanny’s Sauce.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

There are more recipes in the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.