spaghetti con la bottarga

I have been meaning to put this Sicilian recipe on the blog for a long time as I adore it and love bottarga. Bottarga is a dried, salted fish roe which is a condiment that adds the unique flavour of the sea to the pasta. You can buy it in most Italian delis or online and a little goes a long way, as you only use a small amount. The breadcrumbs add a bit of texture and you can add some lemon zest too like I do. It’s perfect for dinner for two with a salad.

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pasta alla norma

This is the classic delicious Sicilian aubergine Pasta Alla Norma recipe, which from everything I have read, was first created in the 1700’s in Catania in Sicily and was so delicious that it was compared to the beautiful opera Norma and thus named. Its a good store cupboard supper, and I’ve also served it up at dinner parties with a crisp green salad.

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baccalà mantecato

I had this Venetian tapas served with drinks in Venice. It is unbelievably delicious and perfect as canapés and as an hors d’œuvre or just for lunch. It’s also been served on polenta in Harry’s Bar for decades. The salt cod is whipped to a smooth consistency with olive oil and slavered on crostini or polenta. You can now get salt cod in the international section in most supermarkets or in Caribbean, Spanish and Italian delis.

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roasted aubergine and chick pea shawarma with forbidden rice

Belazu sent me a jar of their spicy shawarma paste and I immediately thought of roasting aubergines and chick peas with it. To that I added their forbidden black rice and a little salad and garlicky yogurt it became a shawarma bowl. You can also serve this in a warm flatbread wrap with tahini or humus instead of the rice. It’s Middle Eastern and spicy, creamy, salty and super healthy.

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leeks roasted with parmesan and breadcrumbs

This leek recipe is excellent as a side dish to a roast, or with fish. Although leeks can be a bit stringy it’s worth it as the flavours of the leeks roasted with the parmesan, garlic and bread crumbs is delicious and leeks and Parmesan according to anti ageing doctors I have been reading about claims that they boost your bodies own collagen production which helps reduce wrinkles…who knows but it’s delicious anyway.

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chilli prawns with a smashed cucumber salad

I have recently discovered Asian smashed cucumber salads and I’m hooked. It’s the combination of the cucumber with a creamy sesame dressing with coriander and ginger which is fantastic. I paired the salad with prawns fried in chilli and coconut oil and garnished it all with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and crispy onions… perfect for a summer dinner or date night, or in the winter when you miss the summer like me.

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spiced Turkish mushrooms and eggs on rye

This take on what is essentially a classic of mushrooms on toast with soft boiled eggs is deliciously flavoured with allspice and coriander seeds so it tastes much more Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. The mushrooms once cooked create their own unctuous sauce which you spoon over the crunchy bread and then you have the creaminess from the eggs with the fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon to finish it off. It’s delicious I promise.

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asian fried rice with coconut, lime and eggs

I knocked up this store cupboard recipe when I had a cold and wanted to make something that was packed with garlic, chili, ginger and vitamins that would help me get better. A friend eventually came over and tried it and started to make it for her family; she loved it so much she wanted me to share it on the blog. It’s super tasty comfort food. So, here’s the recipe.

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chicory salad with anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs

OMG this salad is so delicious, the recipe is a traditional Italian salad from the Rome in Italy and its usually served with bread on the side but I’ve made a crunchy sourdough crumb to go on top of it instead. Chicory is a tad bitter, which Italians love hence our love of the aperitif Campari, so you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar to the sauce if you prefer it a little sweeter. This salad is fantastic with fish or cheese or if you eat meat it would work really well with roast chicken or lamb.

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mushroom risotto with truffle

I cooked this for a friend of mine the other day and she loved it so much she told me I had to put it on the blog. The combination of flavours is fab with the mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil… they are a marriage made in heaven.

It’s also really easy as most of the work is in the prep, so once you have done that it’s a doddle. You can get little bottles of truffle oil in supermarkets or online and of course in Italian delis, and before you think it’s too expensive, you can get them from as little as £3.50 and remember a little goes a long way, so it will last you for ages.

This is a perfect dinner party or date night supper and works really well with a crispy salad with my vinaigrette recipe which is also on the blog.

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