I was born and bred in London before venturing to the bad lands in the north. However, I did return south to live in West Kensington for a couple of years. I was within walking distance of Stamford Bridge, the home of my football club and also within striking distance of Italian restaurant, San Lorenzo in Knightsbridge, which was frequented by the Italian section of Chelsea players at the time. Gianfranco Zola, Carlo Cudicini, Roberto di Matteo, Sam Dalla Bona, Pierluigi Casiraghi and player/manager, Gianluca Vialli… apparently there’s a dish named after Vialli (according to Delia Smith on the interweb) and here it is.

♫ ♪ ♫ “When the ball hits the back of the Old Trafford net, it’s Vialli,
When his goals light the sky there’s a tear in my eye, oh Vialli!
He nutmegged the Dane and poor Fergie’s in pain, it’s Vialli!” ♪ ♫♪ ♫ To the tune of “Amore” should you wish to singalong.

Pasta à la Vialli

Cooking for ONE
75g dried spaghetti (make an ‘O’ with your thumb and a forefinger, then fit a bunch of pasta strands through it – if it fits then that’ll be enough for one hungry person, alternatively use scales!)
1 or 2 tablespoons home-made fresh tomato sauce or passata
75g Mozzarella, grated
1 teaspoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper
Basil or flat leaf parsley leaves

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile, warm the sauce in a pan before adding the Mozzarella letting it simmer for one minute or two. Spoon the sauce over the cooked pasta (al dente if you please) and sprinkle with the Parmesan, a grind of black pepper and a few leaves to finish.

San Lorenzo was said to have been the favourite London restaurant of Diana, Princess of Wales although she never mentioned it to me when we met.

Luca Vialli