It was by neither of these routes that I came across a copy of the book. I'm staying with my friends Natalie and Tom this week. They've just moved into a new house a Rohan jacket's throw from Epping Forest, and Tom had bought Nat a copy as a little new-home love token. He's a football journalist, nothing to do with the thrilling world of food media and its zeitgeists, but picked the book up because it looked unusual and contained the recipe for Alfredo sauce, a key component of many of his favourite meals.
To make Laura Santtini's Alfredo sauce, the cook (that's Nat) must heat 300ml of double cream with a whole packet of unsalted butter, stir in the cheese, and add nutmeg and another 100ml of cream. Last night we had it with grilled chicken, mash and green beans, and Nat added mushrooms and peas to the sauce to create the illusion of added vitamins. She's got a marvellous palate, the sauce was a triumph, and it went impressively solid in the fridge.
Tonight, we will have it with spaghetti and salad, and because Tim regards pasta and strong cheese as The Food Of The Devil, I intend to relish every mouthful. Buon Alfredo, as I'm sure Alfie's mother said when he was young and wont to experiment with butter and cream*.
*Apparently the Alfredo comes from a Roman restaurant called Alfredo alla Scrofa, which means 'at the sow's', but let that not detain us.