Cooking doesn’t have to be hard work. No one knows how long you’ve spent in the kitchen. All they are thinking is if they really liked the food or not.
These Italian amaretti biscuits are traditionally very crunchy on the outside and chewy and a bit marzipany in the middle. They are really easy to make and are gluten and dairy free. I love adore pistachios and I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert. They are dense and rich and you only need a couple. Perfect at Christmas and you can give them as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon.
My friends served this the other day at their house, and I loved it so much I had to do it for the blog. You can basically customise it to suit you once you have made the broth and it looks impressive at a dinner party served up in a big bowl with all the fresh herbs on top. My version is vegan but you can add eggs or fish if you prefer. You can also add veg from the fridge that you want to use up too. It’s absolutely delicious and perfect if you have a cold as it’s got all the healing ingredients, like chilli, garlic and ginger and broth.
These clementine amaretti biscuits are traditionally very crunchy on the outside and chewy and a bit marzipany in the middle. They are really easy to make and are gluten and dairy free. They are perfect at Christmas for your guests or as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon. I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert.
This has to be up there as one of the most delicious light custardy puddings there is. Zabaglione has been made in Italy for hundreds of years and each region has their version of it with its own history. It’s only got three ingredients, egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine which gives it a delicious spiced taste. It’s warm creamy and frothy and traditionally it’s served with a little biscuit, like a Lingue Di Gatto, amaretti or cantucci which you can dip in, or you can make my Biscotti.
This recipe can be made with a pumpkin or any large squash or several smaller ones like the munchkin pumpkins. The rice recipe is from the Moro cookbook and they use the saffron rice to stuff a butterflied leg of lamb, because it is fragrant and deliciously flavours the meat, but as I don’t really eat meat I thought it would be fantastic as a stuffing for a squash or pumpkin. It also looks amazing as a centre piece on the dinner table, and would be delicious roast potatoes and a salad or any roast. I love it with garlicky yogurt and have just discovered Alpro are doing a vegan Greek yogurt in Morrison’s which is utterly delicious.
A dairy free alternative to a traditional Christmas Cake which can be made last minute, just make the mincemeat the day before as it needs to marinate and ruminate for 24 hours before you use it. You can use a jar of shop bought mincemeat if you want to save time, the cake is full of spices a bit of brandy and all the Christmassy flavours and is perfect if you are a mince pie fan, but fancy a lighter cake version and it’s perfect with dairy free vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin ravioli is one of the most delicious things ever and worth the effort. It is a labour of love but the flavours are sublime. The pumpkin is slightly sweet and combines so well with the delicious flavours from the nutmeg and sage. It’s a great starter to a dinner party or as a main meal with a salad and a glass of wine and perfect for a dinner date.
This onion tart is based on the French Pissaladière tart from Nice that is made with pizza dough. It’s delicious for dinner with a crispy green salad. You can put more or less of the onion mixture on depending on your taste. The Niçoise like a lot of onion, I like it both ways…
This traditional Italian recipe for spaghetti with broccoli is deceptively delicious. It’s got a great combination of flavours with saffron, onions and wine. There is also a sweetness from the currants which makes it taste all the more delicious. Its got really typical Italian flavours and is normally made with Bucatini. I think it’s perfect for a dinner party or dinner date, (you can halve the ingredients) just serve it with a salad and a glass of wine. Job done.
I love warm salads and this one is particularly autumny but I could eat it all year round. It’s got the creamy goats cheese with the beetroot and pumpkin which are a marriage made in heaven, then you have the crunchy almonds with pea shoots. It’s perfect as a light supper with some crusty bread to mop up the vinaigrette, with my Manoushe or any of my Middle Eastern recipes on here.