Now the name of this blog is ‘A Taste of Two Cities’ but as I live in Paris, the second city, Liverpool, though equally wonderful, tends to be neglected. But that is about to change, as I plan some posts about the beautiful city of my birth in the very near future.
But first a quick mention about the food in the photograph…… I stated in an earlier post (see ‘Pasta, salmon and pesto bake’) that the French do not do ‘bakes’ as such, so it is usually when I am ‘home’ that I eat this sort of food, particularly as both my daughters’ are vegetarians. And this is such good food to eat at this time of the year, as it is warming, colourful and nutritious, and quick and easy to prepare after a day shopping or sightseeing!
Today I have been sightseeing and ‘finally’ visited Lutyen’s Crypt – ‘Where?’ I hear even the people of Liverpool asking, as even though I lived in the city for 20 years (Ok so I was a baby or child for most of this time), I have only just visited this beautiful and fascinating place.
Liverpool boasts two magnificent cathedrals’, the protestant Anglican cathedral (you can see the gothic Anglican cathedral in my ‘Bienvenue/welcome post) and the Catholic Metropolitan cathedral (or ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ as affectionately known in the city)
Although (just as the Eiffel Tower!) the people of Liverpool were not too keen on the structure at first, finding it too modern and, let’s face it, at that time, strange; they have since taken it to heart and the austere exterior conceals an interior bathed in celestial blue light.
It is the Metropolitan cathedral that houses ‘Lutyen’s’ Crypt (Liverpool’ best kept architectural secret) In the 1930’s the renowned architect, Sir Edward Lutyen (responsible for, amongst other things, the Viceroy’s Palace at New Delhi, The Cenotaph at Whitehall and the 1st world war cemeteries of Northern France) designed a grand Roman Catholic cathedral for the city of Liverpool to rival the greatest in Europe. The first foundation stone was laid in 1933 and the foundations were dug and work on the crypt commenced.
The onset of world war two saw a halt to this work and it was not until 1958 that the city was in a position to roof and complete the crypt. But escalating building costs had now made it impossible to realise the dream of Liverpool’s version of St Peter’s Basilica’ and plans were made to build the present day very modern and unique ‘Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King’ at the side of (not above as many think) the original crypt.
The Lutyen’s Crypt is one of the biggest in the world and is in stark contrast with the Cathedral, and visit to both, along with the Anglican Cathedral is essential when visiting the city. (both Cathedrals are situated at opposite ends of aptly named ‘Hope’ street, which is also home to the world renowned ‘EveryMan’ Theatre) The Cathedral is free but there is a charge of £3 for adults visiting the crypt to help with its conservation and it is open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 3.30 pm.
Back to the bake………
Serves 2 generously
100g whole wheat Pasta (Penne or spirals are good)
1 450g can of chopped tomatoes
1 Red pepper roughly chopped
1 Green pepper, roughly chopped
1 Small Red Onion, finely sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
6 -8 Black olives
1 heaped dessertspoon of capers
A good glug of Olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Dried chilli flakes (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pasta dish
Roast the peppers and onion for about 20 minutes
Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted water and drain
Add the garlic, oregano to the vegetables, then stir in the tomatoes
Add the capers and olives
Season with salt and pepper (and a little chilli if required)
Stir in the pasta
Top with mozzarella and bake for a further 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden
Serve with a fresh green salad