Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Italian Night

Tonight, after all the British food indulgence of this seasons fayre, a trip into the sunny realms of the Italian hills seems appropriate. Of course, indulgence aside, the proceedings could not start without an aperitif, tonight a version of an Aviator from Simon Difford's Cocktails No.7, my current favourite, not Italian although it does remind me of the Gin and It (Italian) that my father was so fond of in the ‘60’s. Simple and suitably strong it takes 1 part gin, 1 part dry vermouth, I part cinzano rosso, 1 part Red Dubonnet and an unwaxed lemon zest twist.
Fortified, we set forth onto the primo, my minestrone (no recipe, just anything at hand, but tonight our Cavolo Nero was added as there is so much in kitchen garden right now). For secondi, a rice bombe (although Nick has just pointed out, oh so kindly, mine should be called a rice brick). It's a sort of baked risotto, started with a soffritto made from tiny cubes of leek, carrot, beans, courgette, fennel, peas and herbs and as if that wasn’t enough to feed an army, a huge pizza was thrown together as well. Below is a photograph of the tomatoes and mozzarella draining dry on kitchen paper so that the dough base bakes crispy, my only tip on making good pizza!
It was a nice trip, everything but the suntan and the scenery.

1 comment:

Casey Klahn said...

This blog is yummy!

Thanks for the comment at my blog Re: Italy and pastels.

My advice on colors is:
Umber, Sepia and Ochre. Earth colors originate in Italy is my reasoning. Burnt Umber is critical for your darks.

Olive green (of course).

The particular Indian Red or close that is used in roof tiles.

The mellow yellow that is used on exterior walls, which varies somewhat as you go around. Get some pictures of Venice and practice, if you haven't been there.

I hope you take some hard pastels, too. Not just the softies.

Best wishes!