I love it when I contact someone I interviewed in Italy to ask for recipe inspiration, and they hand me a gem wrapped up in their own family history. This insanely pink salad has been a Christmas tradition for 3 generations in the family of Silvio Berlusconi’s image consultant. Presumably she never suggested that Italy’s flamboyant former Prime Minister should wear a beetroot coloured tie. It may have clashed somewhat with his slightly, er, orange complexion. However this unusual but simple dish is a perfect accompaniment to cold meats such as ham and turkey. It’s really easy to make for a large number of people and is a fantastic quick meal for kids who are of course intrigued by the colour. Pink isn’t just for girls.Read More
This recipe is a fabulous combination of pureed potato, eggs, melted cheese and ham under a golden crunchy topping. Italian families I know cook this for big meals with friends as they know it’s a hit with children. It goes brilliantly with grilled or barbecued meats. For kids it’s a meal in itself with some veg and you can freeze leftovers in small portions. I first ate ‘gato di patate’ at a Marzo family barbecue in Viterbo. The lovely Mrs Marzo would take it upon herself to ‘feed me up’ whenever she saw me. As if my life as a restaurant frequenting journalist wasn’t quite nourishing enough. Elasticated waistbands are always essential at Marzo meals. She gets really upset if you don’t leave a clean plate. I don’t mind so much. We don’t have room in our house for dinner guests to lie beached on the floor.