Tag Archives: Italian food

Strawberry-lemon sorbet

13 May

Strawberry-lemon sorbet

Eating well is important to me, and I’m happy to make time to cook our meals from scratch. But whatever I make, the final dish has to justify the investment of time and money.

Chocolate babka? Absolutely worth the (not inconsiderable) effort.

A salad I recently made that had me individually grilling a heap of mandolined courgette slices for half an hour while the shrieking smoke alarm provided a sound track that matched my ever-darkening mood? Not so much…

Strawberry-lemon sorbet scores off the charts on the effort to result ratio. Five minutes’ work for a hot-pink, ice-cold, sweet-tart sorbet you’d be happy to eat any day of the year.

And there’s something about blitzing up the whole lemon that is deeply satisfying to me. Continue reading

Spaghetti al limone

27 Apr

Simple enough to have on the table in fifteen minutes, fancy enough to serve to guests – spaghetti al limone is a great recipe to have up your sleeve.

Like most dishes with few ingredients, quality makes a difference here  – use the good olive oil, and a nice piece of Parmesan.

Having made spaghetti al limone regularly for twenty years now, my version has evolved somewhat from the original River Café recipe, and uses considerably less olive oil and cheese.

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Crab linguine

3 Nov

Crab linguine

This simple, delicious crab linguine takes me back to the week we spent camping in Cornwall, at the tip of the Lizard peninsula.

Once the seven-hour drive and rigamarole of pitching camp was behind us, we spent our days cliff walking, beach lazing, and body surfing, and our nights toasting marshmallows and sipping whisky round the campfire.

Before leaving London, I’d had the brainwave of freezing a few meals in large ziplock bags. These served as ice blocks for the cooler, keeping the milk and butter cool while they slowly thawed (a system that worked surprisingly well) until I heated them up on our little gas burner.

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Chicken and pea risotto

23 Aug

Chicken and pea risotto
Chicken and pea risotto is a nice, simple supper for a summer’s evening and uses ingredients I nearly always have to hand.

I started by simmering the chicken breasts in stock I then used to make the risotto, but it’s also a good way to use up leftover roast chicken. Continue reading

Spaghetti puttanesca

30 Jul

Spaghetti puttanesca

Sugo alla puttanesca – or “whore’s sauce” – is a savoury, spicy, lip-smacking combination of tomatoes, chilli, capers, anchovies and olives. Usually served with spaghetti, I’d choose it over a bolognese sauce any day of the week.

The Neapolitan version of puttanesca doesn’t include anchovies, so I’ve listed them as optional. I love the depth of saltiness they bring to the dish (and once they’ve cooked down, the girls are blissfully unaware they’re in there) so I usually sneak some in.

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Asparagus risotto (risotto con gli asparagi)

27 Jun

Asparagus risotto

The English asparagus season is coming to an end, alas… While the last of the crop is available from our greengrocers, asparagus risotto seems a fine way to represent Italy in the Euro 2016 championships.

This risotto gets its beautiful green colour by creating a purée from the stalks, which is stirred through towards the end of the cooking time. Continue reading

Chicken marsala

8 Jun

chicken-marsala

With a mushroom hater in the family, chicken marsala had fallen out of my repetoire. I’m glad I gave it another try, because it’s a simple and delicious mid-week meal, and proved to be a big hit all round. (According to Lyra, “the mushrooms are easy to see and avoid.”) Continue reading