This recipe for Cioppino actually originates from Italian emigrants in San Francisco in the late 1800s. They would put in whatever the catch of the day was, so feel free to put in what ever seafood you can get or prefer. It’s packed with the flavours of chilli, fennel, bay, orange zest and wine. There are lots of versions of it and I took the best bits of all the recipes I found. It’s traditionally served with toasted sourdough or a crusty baguette, but I think it’s delicious with a side order of fries and a salad too.Continue reading
pasta allo scarpariello
This delicious pasta recipe is like a creamy, spicy, cheesy version of a classic sugo recipe.It’s a great meat free dinner or dinner party dish, with a salad. You can make it with any pasta you fancy but it works particularly well with a big ass chunky pasta. I made it with papadelle, but also look forward to making it with manicotti, calamarata or any large pasta.Continue reading
friggione bolognese (slowly braised onions that go with everything)
If you read my blog you will know I adore onions, and this ancient recipe from Bologna dates back to 1886. Its a homage to the onion and once cooked this way they become sweet and unctuous. It’s traditionally served on bruschetta, polenta, cheese or with meat or fish, and it tastes absolutely delicious. I sometimes eat it on my scorched or roasted sourdough (recipe on here) with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and you can add big grating of parmesan if you fancy and a salad for lunch or it’s even delicious with pasta. It would be brilliant on canapés too. You can add pancetta and chilli flakes, however it’s the simplicity of this recipe that makes it magical.Continue reading
killer spaghetti (spaghetti all’assassina)
This spaghetti recipe from Puglia looks simple from the ingredients, but it’s all about the technique. The trick is the spaghetti has to crisp up and scorch a bit because this is what gives it its unique flavour and texture. It’s cooked in a similar way to a risotto with the liquid added bit by bit till the pasta is cooked. It’s one of those recipes you wonder how you missed it, if you haven’t already tried it. The pasta goes red from the tomato and absorbs all the flavours from the chilli and garlic and it’s utterly delicious.Continue reading
my big fat greek baked beans (gigantes plaki)
I have always had a soft spot for these delicious Greek baked beans, they are easy to make, all plant based and excellent with warm flatbreads (check out my pizza dough recipe to make truly fresh flatbreads) and my creamy bean hummus (takes 5 minutes) with a crisp green salad. If you aren’t going down the vegan route then they are fantastic served with a big block of feta, some olives and warm flatbreads for a tasty mezze.Continue reading
pesto alla trapanese
This Sicilian pesto is really quick to make in the blender, while your pasta cooks, you can whizz it up and it’s done. It’s got the delicious fresh flavours of tomatoes, basil and garlic with the nutty almonds and it makes change from spaghetti al pesto (which I love too) it takes minutes to make and tastes divine.Continue reading
burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes and Thai basil
This is the easiest most delicious salad which is so fresh and summery and perfect with a bbq or any alfresco eating. The Thai basil give it a slightly aniseedy flavour which works really well. I eat it for lunch with roasted sourdough or for dinners with any of my pasta recipes and the tomatoes taste even nicer if you mix them up with the vinaigrette and onions in advance and leave them in the fridge for a few hours before assembling the salad. If you press on the word vinaigrette in the list of ingredients below it will take you straight to the recipe.
sardine salad with tomatoes and capers
This is a delicious Spanish salad incorporates all the flavours I love. The caper dressing cuts through the oiliness of the sardines as do the tomatoes and onions. The sardines can be barbecued for extra flavour too. I serve it as a starter or a side dish with toasted sourdough bread drizzled in olive oil. It’s perfect summer food and very easy to prepare as I buy ready filleted butterflied sardines from my supermarket.
It’s also perfect with my healthy fries.
Moqueca is a super easy traditional Brazilian fish stew which is creamy and tangy all at once because it has the brilliant combo of lime juice, coconut milk and chilli. It will warm your cockles even on an autumn evening and take you to somewhere a little bit more exotic if you are not there already. You can also use fresh squid, sea bream, haddock, clams, mussels, scallops, crab or whatever is available or whatever you fancy in it. It’s up to you. Its really delicious with basmati rice or crusty bread if you are not low carbing it. Perfect for a dinner party or just a dinner for two.
Like the aubergine stew Caponata (in the blog menu) this Italian stew of sweet savoury peppers is a bit like a relish. It’s often served as antipasti with assorted cheeses, olives, breads and salad. This recipe reminds me of when I was a child, my Italian aunt Marie used to serve it in a bap, plain with no butter, just olive oil, I thought it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten and I still love it. Like a lot of stews, it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. It can be served hot or cold, as an anti-pasti, or with bread, pasta or meat. I love it with Parmesan on toasted sourdough with a sprinkling of shredded basil… do try it.