I do not even remember the last time I made a fish stock. It is not a process I enjoy – too much simmering, puréeing and sieving for my liking. When I want to make a fish soup and I need a stronger cooking medium, rather than plain water, I am more than happy to Continue reading “A relatively quick fish soup, with potatoes and giant white beans (using Perard soupe de poisson)”
A typical autumn and winter dish that one will find, in some guise or another, in many areas of Northern and Central Italy. Continue reading “Faraona arrosto ripiena con castagne (Roasted boned guinea fowl with chestnuts)”
Delicious, easy, filling and impressive – this is what a well-to-do 1920s Italian middle-class family would have thought of this dish, I presume. It is a timbale, not dissimilar from a British savoury pudding: the “crust” is made with mashed potatoes, seasoned with butter and Parmigiano; the filling is finanziera, a traditional, now rare, ragout of veal offal and chicken giblets, often enriched with ceps or even truffles. Continue reading “Timballo di patate alla finanziera – Potato, chicken liver and sausage timbale, a 1928 middle-class dish”
This is the sort of slow braised beef dish I grew up with – the occasional Sunday lunch fare, eaten with mounds of buttery polenta.
I prefer to cook a brasato in the oven, at low temperature, at least one day before I want to eat it. Pre-salting the meat is crucial, ideally 24 hours before cooking it.
In the Italian fashion, I use a solid piece of meat that I ask my butcher to tie with string into a solid shape, rather than cubes – this way there is less risk of overcooking the meat and the size allows for a prolonged period in the oven. The alchemy of time and gentle heating delivers rich, deep flavours. Continue reading “Brasato lombardo – braised beef Lombardy style”
A long but highly rewarding, sumptuous cold months dish (forgive the bad pictures). It takes about 8-10 hours cooking on a very low oven and there is some prep to be made the day before; once done, it must be let to cool down and then the meat is taken off the bone and the sauce reduced. The dish must rest for 24 hours and only then the most voluptuous sour- sweet condiment is added to the meat: as I said, not a last minute dish, but an intriguing one, firmly rooted in Italian “special occasion” home cooking. Continue reading “Lepre in agrodolce con cioccolato, arancia candita e pinoli – Sour-sweet hare with chocolate, orange peels pine nuts”