Monthly Archives: May 2012


This is my recipe for Lasagne.

First, proceed as per my Meat Pasta / Chicken pasta recipe but make the sauce slightly thicker with slightly less vegetables.


Cheese Sauce


  • 60g butter
  • 60g flour
  • 300g grated Mozarella cheese
  • 1 pint of milk
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • Melt the butter in a pan, being careful not to burn
  • add the flour, stiring constankcaltly
  • cook for 30 seconds or so
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time.
  • Continue heating and stiring until the sauce has fully thickened. Be careful of the heat, it can catch on the bottom of the pan and burn easily!
  • Take off the heat
  • Add the Mozzarella and stir in until melted – this produces a thick, rubbery sauce.
  • Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

Making the lasagne


  • Pre-prepared meat sauce
  • Pre-prepared cheese sauce
  • 200g grated mozarella cheese
  • nutmeg
  • Lasagne sheets – fresh is best


  • Spread a small amount of the cheese sauce on the bottom of a large oven-proof dish.
  • cover the cheese sauce completely with lasagne sheets.
  • Spread a layer of meat on the lasagne sheets.
  • Repeat at least another two times, finishing with a cheese sauce layer.
  • Put the grated mozarella on top.
  • Lightly sprinkle nutmeg or black pepper over the top.
  • Bake at 190 Deg C for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly browning and bubbling.
  • rest for a few minutes out of the oven.
  • Serve.

Meat Pasta / Chicken Pasta – our take on a Bolgnese-like dish.

This is my recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese.


  • 1 lb or Minced (Ground) Beef or two large chicken breasts, diced.
  • 1000g passata.
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • Approx three or four inch cubed piece of Butternut Squash, grated
  • mushrooms
  • two peppers
  • one courgette
  • basil
  • paprika
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce


  • Brown the mince or diced chicken breast
  • Add the vegetables and garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  • add passata
  • Add basil, salt,  black pepper, paprika and worcestershire sauce, to taste.
  • Simmer until the sauce has reduced to the desired consistency – about 25 – 35 minutes.
  • Serve on pasta of your choice.

This is also the basis for my Lasagne, but it reduce the sauce slightly more and use a bit less vegetables.

Basic white bread

This recipe is taken from the Fabulous Baker Brothers TV series. It makes a great white loaf, or rolls…

Makes 1 large loaf

Prep 45 mins + 2 hours resting
Cook 30 mins + cooling


  • 560g strong white flour
  • 10g sea salt
  • 20ml rapeseed oil
  • 5g dried yeast (or 10g of fresh yeast if you can get it)
  • 300ml warm water


  1. Weigh the flour and salt into a big bowl. Add the oil. Measure the water into a jug. With a fork, stir the yeast into the warm water. Empty the jug into the bowl and stir all the ingredients together.
  2. Knead the dough for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes in an electric mixer). Once you have a smooth and elastic dough nestle it back into the bowl and cover in cling film with no air gaps. Leave it in a warm place to grow to twice its size or for 1 hour, whichever is first.
  3. By hand, shape your dough so it fits evenly into a well-oiled large loaf tin, seal-side down. Dust the top of your loaf with a bit of flour and then cover the tin and leave it in a warm place to double in size or for 1 hour (whichever is first).
  4. Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9. Slash the top of your loaf and place on a baking sheet in the preheated oven. Throw a cupful of water onto the baking sheet for the perfect crust.
  5. Check it after 10 minutes and turn the oven down a notch (210°C/gas mark 6½). Take it out after 30 minutes when it’s baked and beautifully golden all over. It should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  6. Turn the loaf out and cool it for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve with chips to make the perfect chip butty.

Tom’s top tips: Use sea salt, it is saltier and better for you. Don’t skimp on the kneading or be tempted to add more flour to it. Bake on a baking stone for less brick like results. To get the best out of your loaf keep it in linen or a paper bag in a bread bin, or once cooled, slice and freeze in a freezer bag

Qsmtp – all new, improved qmail.

I recently embarked on a mission to make Qmail work with IPv6. I succeeded, in part, with the qmail-jms1 patched version of qmail. Overall, however, I was not completely happy with the jms1 approach. The author of this patch had added some slightly unusual functionality and most importantly this patch did does not appear to be compatible with the qmail-spp patch, which I used to perform valid user checks before accepting mail.

Recently. however, I discovered Qsmtp (

Qsmtp provides a drop in replacement for qmail-smtp and qmail-remote which provides advanced anti-spam features like SPF, DNS RBL, MAIL FROM validation, vpopmail user validation and more.

It also provides full IPv6 support.

For a Gentoo system, it’s as simple as adding the author’s overlay in layman and emerging netmail-Qsmtp.

This seems to work flawlessly. I’m impressed.