Olympic cyclist Laura Trott shares her finest classic comfort food recipes and firm family favourites she would pass on to the next generation
With four Olympic gold meals under her belt at the age of 24, Essex-born cyclist Laura Trott is Great Britain’s most successful female competitor in any sport. As a child she was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and, later, asthma, and advised to take up sport to improve her fitness. Last September, she married track cyclist Jason Kenny – between them they have won 10 Olympic golds.
The recipe I grew up with...
I am a horrendous cook. The thing is, my mum always cooked for my sister Emma and me – when we came in from school every day, dinner would be ready. She used to cook us tuna pasta bake and it’s still a favourite. I love it and I’ve actually learnt how to cook it now. It’s so simple: cheese, milk and flour for the sauce mixed with pasta, sweetcorn and onion.
You know how everybody tips the oil out from the tuna? Well, my mum actually leaves it in. She grates a load of cheese and slices tomatoes for the top, grills it and makes it all crispy. It’s such a comforting meal and because it only takes 20 minutes to cook, it was something she could quickly do whenever we came in from a freezing cold bike ride on a Sunday. When I moved out, I was clueless about cooking but I thought, ‘Anyone can do a jacket potato, can’t they?’ I put it in the oven except I’d never used an oven before, and I turned on the grill. I set off the fire alarm across the whole block of flats. To be fair, it just smoked, but the second time, when I put a sweet potato in the microwave for 20 minutes, the potato caught fire and blew the microwave door off.
Try Laura's crowd pleasing tuna bake.
The recipe I’d like to pass on...
I love Jason’s sausages & mash. He uses only organic ingredients – we have five or six organic chipolatas and really creamy mash with loads of butter. We normally have broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn with it. As well as sausages & mash, I love crisps: our dog is called Pringle. Obviously before Rio we had to rein everything in, and crisps and sausages & mash had to take a back seat.
My mum’s cooking was all homemade and I’d love to teach my kids how to cook stuff . We live in Cheshire and I’m trying to persuade my parents to move to the north. I’ve got the Olympics in 2020 and, after that, mum can teach me how to cook. Then, you never know, I could have children. I’ll be 28 by then – I can deal with that.
Treat yourself and learn how to make Jason's sausage & mash.
What are your favourite family recipes? Let us know in the comments below...