A mostly Italian dinner

I wrote this post almost 2 and a half months ago and completely forgot that it was ready to post. At th time, I had just posted something and didn’t want to push it down the viewing list. I’ve since moved to a new job and that’s kept me busy but it’s time to get back on the blogging bandwagon I reckon.

2.5 months ago I was thinking….

“It has been a while since we hosted a board games night and given I have been home all week, Friday night seemed the perfect night for it. As is usual with these games nights, I gave myself a cooking theme of “Italian” and put together a menu based on my fellow bloggers’ posts with a bit of Jamie Oliver thrown in.

Now that the day has come and gone, I can tell you that it was a great success. I had a great time preparing the food during the day. We had a great time eating and playing a game called “The Resistance” which was quite entertaining – patricularly as I won twice !

The “eating” went from 7pm till nearly 11pm but that meant that none of us were stuffed despite the amount of food we consumed. As we’d taken breaks in between courses to chat, play, wash up and weren’t too full at the end, I think we all went to bed with a satisfied belly and to the sound of rain beating down on our rooves.”

I will post recipes for each of the courses in the weeks to come. Hopefully, it gives you some inspiration to put together something like this in your own home….

Goodbye long English summer!

Mostly Italian menu

Mostly Italian menu

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Tiramisu alle fragole or Tiramisu with strawberries

I have been on holiday for a whole week as a re-energiser before starting my new job. Thus, I’ve spent most of the week doing what I like best – cooking. Earlier in the week, I cooked a festive South Indian meal for some friends of ours which is still being consumed 4 days on and last night, we hosted an Italian-food themed board games night with some other friends. While I had most of the menu sorted, I was umm-ing and ah-ing on the “dolce” or dessert course.

Given my enormous free time this week, I browsing through the travel section in the local library and I chanced upon a book called “Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons : Travels in Sicily on a Vespa” by Matthew Fort. This book’s contents are pretty much as the title claims – It contains several mouth-watering (and sometimes weird) Sicilian recipes, while giving the reader a feel for Sicilian people, life and customs as the writer explores this island on his Vespa scooter.

The one thing that really irks me about this book is the unecessary overuse of flowery language to describe things that can be done equally well with more accessible vocabulary. Despite that, I’m persisting with the book and it was in one of its pages that I came across a lovely recipe for strawberry tiramisu.

I have posted two previous tiramisu recipes – one regular and one with raspberries. However, back in the day, I didn’t actually have any pictures of this delicious Italian treat.

Inspired by this verbose but informative book, and my Italian-themed games night, I present to you – Tiramisu alle fragole with pictures.

It was so good that my guests were fighting over it !

 

Tiramisu with strawberries - Just hanging onto the edge of the bowl...

Tiramisu with strawberries – Just hanging onto the edge of the bowl…

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Hey Pesto!

The title was my husband’s idea so blame him for tackiness. It’s kinda cute that he has become more involved with the website. I like the joint-venture and so does he.

Pesto in the supermarket just doesn’t do it for me. Back in Australia, one could pay a little more to get fresh pesto to go with fresh pasta but not here. England’s supermarket pesto is oily, contains god-knows-what to keep it preserved and lacks the nuttiness that real pesto has. You might guess where this is going – that’s right, make your own pesto!

A friend of mine game me Anthony Carluccio’s Simple Cooking for my 30th birthday. This book has been a good friend for authentic yet simple and reliable Italian recipes. This pesto recipe comes from Anthony’s book. It is simple, easy and perfect for the lazy condiment makers such as myself. Hope you try it and like it.

Warning : This recipe isn’t vegetarian as there is calf rennet in the grana padano cheese used. You can try and substitute it with a vegetarian cheese such as vegetarian mature cheddar.

Pesto Genovese

Pesto Genovese

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My version of the vegetarian lasagna

I cannot and will not take  credit for this recipe as this lovely person who has done all the research and posted it here as the “No 1 Best Lasagna Recipe” http://mylasagnarecipe.com/. I’ve never made lasagna before but I have had it and this is an excellent recipe indeed.

My take on it comes in the form of vegetarian substitutes for the meats used in traditional lasagna and some other minor substitutes because I couldn’t find the right ingredients at my local grocer. Despite these substitutions, the ultimate outcome was great. We still have several frozen portions in the freezer. Since this isn’t my recipe, I will list the ingredients that I used and share the pictures I took of the process. For the full recipe, please see the page  http://mylasagnarecipe.com/. I’d recommend printing the recipe and grocery list from the link at the bottom of the page.

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