I invited the lovely Battenburg Belle round for dinner on a school night this week so I needed something fairly speedy to make.  I fancied chicken so I had a quick scan through the recipes in the Murder, She Wrote Cookalong list to see what was on offer chook-wise.  This was the first one I looked at and it seemed perfect for a quickish weeknight dinner.  It was delicious!

BB made me laugh about the idea that we have this with pasta as specified in the recipe, pretending to be a difficult dinner guest and declining the spaghetti.  To us Brits, the idea of serving breaded chicken on pasta just seems weird so I was totally in agreement.  BB had brought ciabatta, (always lovely to have a bosom buddy who works in a bakery) so we decided to have that with the chicken instead.  I cooked a tiny bit of spaghetti “for the food photo” but actually, when we sat down to eat, I really liked pasta with the chicken.  As the Americans might say, “who knew?”

In the back of my mind, there was a dish on the menu of the much-missed New Piccadilly Cafe on Denman Street…

…that involved pasta with something very unlikely.  I wish I could remember what it was, and who once ordered it.  I am sure it will come back to me.

Oooh, actually, is that it there on the menu, steak with spaghetti and chips? And was it the lovely Gary Chapman who ordered that once? I am going to email and ask him.

Ahhh, the New Piccadilly Cafe. 

I think this was also the spot where Heather’s friend Dan flew into a rage when his peas turned up with mint on them.  Thus inspiring a phrase I’d forgotten that Heather used to use when something annoyed someone, “that really minted his peas.” 

Also, we used to love referring to something annoying being a “pea minter”.  I am going to try and bring that phrase into common parlance.

If you want to know more about the New Picadilly Cafe, all the pix of it in this post are from this very lovely article which brings back lots of fabulous memories…

I even remember that waiter! I used to love their white uniforms. It was a bit like being on an ocean liner eating there… As Mr Rathbone once said about a 1950s milk float in a Margaret Rutherford movie, “Look at the lovely world we have lost.”

If you haven’t yet signed up for the Murder, She Wrote Cookalong, do skip over there by clicking below to see what recipes are still available, there are plenty to choose from and there’s lots of time available to cook your dish.

Here’s Dick’s recipe, totes recommended.

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