Chef : Byran Webb : Tyddyn Llan (100x125)Rare Recipe from Bryan Webb, Tyddyn Llan

Prior to moving to Wales, Bryan ran Hilaire in London, a restaurant highly acclaimed by the food guides. Bryan has continued to gather awards and accolades at Tyddyn Llan. His cooking is all about subtle flavours and an uncompromising attitude to sourcing the finest, freshest ingredients.

Vincisgrassi (serves 6 as a main, 10 as a starter)

Recipe : Vincisgrassi : Tyddyn Llan

Vincisgrassi is a wonder dish to serve over the festive period - I always serve it on Boxing Day and New Years Eve.

Vincisgrassi has been described by our customers as the best pasta dish they have ever eaten, which is a great compliment to me as I am not Italian but Welsh.  All I do is follow the recipe from Franco and Ann Taruschio’s first cook book 'Leaves from the Walnut Tree' and Franco does as well. I remember when he cooked at Tyddyn Llan for a special dinner he asked for his book and followed the recipe.

Vincisgrassi is a speciality of the Marche region of Italy - in particular of Macerata where Franco comes from. The story goes that it was named after an Austrian general Windisch Graets, who was with his troops in Ancona in 1799 during the Napoleonic War. Actually Antonio Nebbia, who wrote a gastronomic manual in 1784, mentioned in his book a similar dish called Princisgras.

Vincisgrassi was on the menu at the famous Walnut Tree for twenty years. It is a classic, it is not that difficult to make and you can always cheat and buy freshly ready made sheets of pasta. You do need ceps - frozen ones will work well as long as you have your frying pan very hot when you cook them. I have even made it successfully using chestnut or flat mushroom with a few dried ceps added to them.

If it was a very grand occasion the finished dish would have shavings of fresh white truffles over the top but at the moment they are priced at £2,500 a kilo so make do with a few splashes of truffle oil. Please try this dish as your guests will be very impressed when you present the dish with its wonderful aromas.




  1. Make a dough from the pasta ingredients, knead well and roll through a pasta machine as you would for lasagne.  Cut the pasta lengths into squares approximately 12.5cm square.  Cook the squares in plenty of boiling salted water, a few at a time.  Place on linen cloths to drain.
  2. For the sauce.  Melt 50gm of the butter, add the flour and blend in well.  Add the milk, which has been previously heated, a little at a time, beating well with a balloon whisk.  Cook the ceps in the olive oil and add to the béchamel.  Stir in the ham.  Add the cream and parsley, season and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.
  3. To assemble the vincisgrassi.  Butter a gratin dish and cover the bottom with a layer of pasta, then spread over a layer of béchamel, dot with butter and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. Continue the process making layer after layer, finishing with a béchamel layer and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  Cook in an oven preheated to 200°C/425°F/gas 7 for 20 minutes.