Posts made in August, 2011

salame al cioccolato (chocolate salami)

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 in dessert recipes, favourites | 1 comment

salame al cioccolato (chocolate salami)

This fun no-cook chocolate recipe comes from a headmistress in Naples. She told me it’s a firm favourite at birthday parties. She should know. She has a family herself and has been a teacher for over 3 decades. I did a bit of a double take though when she sent me the recipe and I saw limoncello (lemon liqueur) on the list of ingredients. I called her up to check.  “Are you sure about limoncello for kids?” I asked. “You don’t have to use it” she answered, “rum works just as well”.  

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pasta e piselli (pasta and peas)

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in main meal recipes | 0 comments

pasta e piselli (pasta and peas)

Sweet, satisfying and simple. Pasta e piselli is one of those dishes that brings comfort after a long day. This recipe is from a dear Italian friend I met at University in Paris. I won’t tell you how many years ago that was.  But when I worked in Rome, her friends and family became mine, and her house a sanely insane refuge from the slightly surreal existence of being a foreign correspondent. We would talk, eat, drink and talk and drink some more. Did I interview her? Of course. Her English is huskily impeccable. And whenever I ended up covering an anti-war demonstration I knew she’d provide a passionate quote at a relatively sensible distance from the front line of baton wielding police and tear gas. Usually supping a cool beer, placard at her feet. 

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souffle di spinaci (spinach souffle)

Posted by on Aug 13, 2011 in main meal recipes, snack recipes | 2 comments

souffle di spinaci (spinach souffle)

Pieces of delicious green fluffiness. This souffle is a bit like a quiche without the base and is perfect for the whole family. It can be cut into small cubes for younger children and babies who’ve already been introduced to eggs. Today for lunch we all ate it alongside cold meats and salad. It’s also great with a bbq or eaten cold at a picnic.  

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coppette di pomodoro al tonno (tomato and tuna salad cups)

Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in main meal recipes | 2 comments

coppette di pomodoro al tonno (tomato and tuna salad cups)

What does an eccentric Italian composer cook his son? To be honest when I first asked him, the answer was … ‘frozen fish fingers’. Really? I asked, did you never cook anything yourself? He thought about it, then chuckled. A gravelly 40-a-day chuckle. ‘Tomato, tuna and egg salad’ he said.  ‘What was in it?’ I wondered. Unneccesary question. On one hand, this single Dad  totally bucks the stereotype of Italians slaving in the kitchen for family meals. On the other, he’s left me with little to work with except tomato, tuna and egg. I guess it’s what you do with it. So I’ve added some mayo, herbs and presentation to spruce it up. This meal was actually a surprise hit for the little person’s supper. She loved scooping the filling out of the tomato cup and spreading it on bread. I added a chopped anchovy and a few capers to the top of mine. Nice starter. Pass the wine. I’d like to stress that no pianos were hurt in this photo. 

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rolle di pollo ripieno (stuffed chicken spirals)

Posted by on Aug 6, 2011 in main meal recipes | 0 comments

rolle di pollo ripieno (stuffed chicken spirals)

Chicken, ham, omelette and herbs. Simple ingredients, presented in an original way. This recipe comes from a man I once interviewed in the mafia heartlands of Sicily who knows a thing or two about presentation. The state handed him charge of an isolated and unremarkable farmhouse whose gangster owner had been jailed. He then turned it into a holiday home, attracting tourists craving a frisson of excitement from eating their dinner in the kitchen of a mafia boss. 

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tramezzini di ricotta e anguria (watermelon and ricotta sarnies)

Posted by on Aug 3, 2011 in dessert recipes, snack recipes | 4 comments

tramezzini di ricotta e anguria (watermelon and ricotta sarnies)

What’s not to love about cool pink sandwiches for a dessert or snack? The icy crunch of chilled watermelon combined with silky sweet ricotta. Irresistable.  This embarrasingly simple idea makes a healthy change from endless lollies and ice-cream. Little people love helping cut the shapes out and bigger people might also like to try these with a slice or two of parma ham, and a nice glass of chilled white wine. 

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