Chocolate cake April 2018
(Elizabeth David’s perfect flourless chocolate cake)
Easter in our family is chocolate time.
Jane decided to save everyone from themselves and buy all the chocolate eggs in Surrey. I made a Pimped up Elizabeth David’s perfect flourless chocolate cake. The cake is simple to make but perfect for Easter.
Everyone adores chocolate, most of us love cake, and lots of people like Guinness, here is a winner for you. Chocolate Guinness Cake.
Pizza one of the worlds favorite foods. July 19
Pizza invented in Italy, with its origins going back over 7,ooo years the modern pizza has become one of the worlds favorite foods. Purists, consider there to be only two true pizzas — the Marinara and the Margherita These two "pure" pizzas are the ones preferred by most Italians today.
Torta Caprese, March 2018
It is said that in the 1920s Al Capone had sent three gangsters to Naples to buy amongst outher things Spats and while they were visiting Capri (a weekend break) the chef Carmine Di Fiore created this chocolate and almond cake. But he made an error…
Apple Olive Oil Cake Feb 2018
Well it was a busy weekend; I cooked two Tuscan Apple oil Cakes. Made some pasta, A sticky Toffee pudding and some beef Involtini
Apple Olive Oil Cake is super simple to make and delicious with ice cream, or cream, warm, cold or with coffee, it just works.
Tuscan roast pork belly Feb 2018
Panna Cotta Feb 2018
We went to a Valentines dinner with 6 dear friends; it was a day early so we could all make the date.
I was asked to make the sweet, something light so made these delicious little cups of Panna Cotta flavoured with vanilla topped with some fresh raspberries…
Whenever we are in Frascati I find it difficult, no, impossible to walk past the porchetta man. In the UK we have Hog roast but in Italy it’s porchetta.
If you love Hog roast, you will think you have died and gone to street food paradise when you try porchetta.
Florentine beef stew Dec 2017
Some food tastes better the day after it is cooked. Florentine Beef is one of them. I call it Tomorrows stew for this reason, so to eat it at its best, I like to cook it before I want to eat it.
Pollo alla Marengo (Napoleon’s Chicken) Feb 2018
The Battle of Marengo was fought between French and Austrian forces, in Piedmont, Italy. The night before the battle, Napoleon's cook was unable to find supplies and was forced to wing it using appropriated chickens from a local farm. Napoleon loved the dish and it became known as chicken Marengo…
Spinach & ricotta Cannelloni Jan 2018
One of the best things you can eat is home made pasta.
I dont make it as often as I should but who does?
My wife has been filming in Dorset this week and I’ve missed her. This dish reminds me of her as I used to make this when we had just moved into our first flat in London and It could be the reason she married me.
Carbonara Jan 2018
(The coal miners or charcoal burners pasta)
Originally in Italy this pasta was known as the coal miner’s or charcoal burners pasta. Since the name is derived from carbonaro.
Pasta alla Norma is not named after someone’s mother, wife or lover as you might think, but after Bellini's 19th-century opera, Norma, which is widely considered the composer's greatest work.
Pasta alla Norma Jan 2018
Sticky Toffee (Christmas Pudding) Dec 2017
This year we decided to have a different Christmas pud and the pudding we decided to serve was the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Everyone in the family loves this pudding and as it dark brown very sweet and contains dates it could be almost a second cousin to the Christmas Pud.
We have decided to eat three no-meat meals a week, I don’t want to call them vegetarian as one or more of them may contain fish. However this recipe is vegetarian and is enjoyed by everyone omnivores, pescetarians and vegetarians alike.
Popeye’s Pasta Nov 2017
(Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne)
Aubergine parmigiana Jan 2018
At this time of year Dec/ Jan the weather is dark and a little depressing. I sometimes feel like a taste of summer days, this is when I like to cook dishes like Aubergine parmigiana. The layers of aubergine, mozzarella, and tomato give a wonderful feeling of wellbeing, like spring is just around the corner.
Jason’s Wine recommendations
Get Jason’s great wine recommendations to drink with our recipes
The Chianti perfect for the
Award winning olive oil
A few weeks ago I was sent some Extra Virgin cold pressed olive oil from Tuscany, and OMG what a Great Olive Oil.
It is a completely different taste experience from the supermarket oil I normally buy. It has a wonderful herby aroma, Artichoke and cut grass with a slight sweet after taste.
I would not suggest you use it for everyday cooking (it’s too good for that) but for dressings and drizzles it will add depth and weight to a dish something 99% of own brand oil cannot hope to achieve.
Its not cheap but you don’t need to use a lot so it will go along way. The producers have asked me if I would like to recommend it on the blog and I said yes.
It costs about £20 per bottle plus delivery but it’s worth it. They sell it in 4 bottle lots, it’s better value to buy four bottles as the postage is cheaper but you can always get together with a friend and divide the bottles up.
If you want to order some go to the producers website they will be happy to send you the Award winning oil.
ELLEIVÆ Biologico Extra Virgin Olive Oil received GOLD award in 2018 New York International Oil Competition
Why not try it yourself?
A few jars of L’isola D’oro Tuna arrived from Italy this week and I have to say I am impressed. We often buy Tuna in Jars, as the quality tends to be much better than one gets in the tins and you can see exactly what you are getting,
The “Isola d’Oro” tuna fillets are brilliant, preserved in good olive oil. The fillets are whole and slightly pink with a fresh taste and a wonderful fragrance. They would grace any meal from a simple Tuna sandwich to the recipe featured here…
L’isola D’oro has a whole range of products including a squid Ink which I will try over the next few weeks.
I hope they are all as good as this Tuna.
They also sent an amazing book with some of the best photographs I have seen featuring the biggest news and sporting events of 2017.
Toni’s Bolognese Sauce
I’m going to start with a classic, a family dish you will cook, eat and enjoy for your whole life.
Ragu is the meat sauce the Bolognese use to go with their homemade pasta. A properly made ragu is one of the most gratifying meals you can ever serve a family. There are four things you must remember in order to make a glorious Bolognese sauce:
1. The meat must be cooked just long enough to lose its raw colour. It must not brown or it will lose tenderness.
2. I cook it in milk before I add the tomatoes. This keeps the meat soft and succulent.
3. It must simmer for 3½ to 4 hours.
4. Add a half a teaspoon of sugar, this brings out the sweetness of the Italian tomatoes.
The marriage of tagliatelle and ragu is made in heaven, but ragu is very good with fresh tortellini, and spaghetti.
You also need it in lasagna, and it is the business with rigatoni.
For 6 people you will need:
How to make:
Use a heavy, cast-iron casserole or pan, the deeper the better.
It’s best to keep the liquid in the Ragu and stop it reducing quickly.
Put in the chopped onion, with all the oil and butter, and sauté until just transparent. Add the celery and carrot and cook gently for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the mince, breaking it up. Add salt to taste; cook until the meat has lost its red colour.
Add the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated. Then add the milk and the nutmeg, and cook until the milk has evaporated, stirring regularly.
When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes, when they have started to bubble, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for a minimum of 3½ to 4 hours, stirring now and again. Check seasoning.
Bolognese sauce: can be kept in the fridge for 5 days, or frozen. If you are using fresh tomatoes, A good idea in summer or if you grow your own, peel and deseed them and cook in a little water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then pass through the finest blade of a mouli-legumes, or a sieve.
Below Fresh pasta
Toni’s Fresh Pasta 1.
You will need:
How to make:
In a food processor, pulse together flour and salt. Add eggs, yolks and oil and run the machine until the pasta dough knits together. If it looks a little dry, add a drop of olive oil. If the dough looks a little wet, add some flour until it is tacky and elastic.
Place the dough onto a clean work surface and knead for 8 minuets until smooth as a baby’s skin. Wrap in cling film and rest at room temperature for 1 hour or in the fridge overnight.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, keeping them covered with cling film. Using a pasta roller set to the thickest, highest setting, roll one piece of dough out into a sheet. Fold the sheet in thirds like a letter and pass it through the machine 2 more times on the same setting.
Reduce the setting, and repeat rolling and folding the dough, passing it through the machine 3 times before going to the next setting. For pappardelle and fettuccine, stop rolling when the dough is 1 setting wider than the thinnest one on your roller. For lasagna noodles, and for ravioli and other stuffed or filled pasta, go to the thinnest setting.
Shape the pasta. For pappardelle, cut rolled pasta into 1-inch-wide strips. For fettuccine, run the rolled sheets through the fettuccine setting on your machine. Place cut pasta on a flour-dusted sheet tray and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel while rolling and cutting the remaining Pasta. Sprinkle flour over the cut pasta before you place another layer on top. If not using immediately, cover the sheet to keep the dough supple.
Bring a large pan of well-salted water to a boil, add fresh pasta and boil for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness of the pasta. Be careful not to over cook the pasta.