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Torta di Mele Italiano (Italian Apple Pie)

This is an unusual Apple Pie inspired by a pie of Austrian/Italian origin, wonderfully decadent and delicious, once you have made it you will want to do it again and again. Serve it to friends or at dinner parties with Cream, or Ice Cream your friends will be so impressed. I have to thank an Italian blogger for the inspiration; however, here is my version of the pie.

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Orange Drizzle Cake

Jan makes this on occasion; it's a wow factor cake for special occasions, or just something to impress friends. It certainly impressed all of my colleagues so much so they asked for the recipe, hence here it is.

 

This is also a good cake for those who have problems with gluten as there is no flour in the mix. It's based on a recipe from Frances Mayes Tuscan Sun cookbook.

   Orange Drizzle Cake

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Cassoulet

Serves 4 to 6, cooking time around 5 hours

This is a traditional French bean stew really, but to call it that is a slur on the meal and would probably insult every French person who makes it. When I say "traditional", it is just so, and as such, each area has its own version, and every person in that area will make it with slight variations; but, wherever you are in France and whoever makes your Cassoulet, it will be fantastic.

For some areas of France, it is a casserole of white Haricot Beans with just a little Sausage and Chicken included. For other areas, with the Beans is included very spicy sausage, Confit De Canard (see recipe here), salt Pork and then topped with Bread Crumbs or Cracked Bulgur Wheat.

This is my version which is an amalgam of my experiences when traveling through France. When we lived in the Correze region, our Local Mayor said my Cassoulet was the best he had ever had; praise indeed and I am pretty proud of it, however, we don't now have a log burning stove to cook on as we did in those days.

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Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

This is an essential winter warmer food, with wine (Boeuf Bourguignon) or without (Beef Casserole).

 

The large chunks of beef should melt in the mouth when served with the lovely red/brown gravy.

 

I think this is best served with plain boiled potatoes to absorb the juices.

  Boeuf Bourguignon

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Almond Liqueur

This is my version of the popular Italian drink.

 

It is something which we don't often consume; however, it is handy to have around the house in order to add to things for that little punch or zing when required, or simply to drink as a very delicious digestive after a meal.

 

Once again, it's quite simple to make; it just needs a little patience and effort to achieve excellent results.

   Almond Liqueur  

 

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Parmesan and Lemon stuffed Pancetta rolls

This is one of my favourite Italian Christmas recipes, it's quite easy to make and tastes glorious either hot or cold.

 

Ingredients:

 

12 slices of Pancetta

1 finely chopped Onion (medium size)

1 medium stick of Celery (finely chopped)

1 small, or baby leek, thinly sliced

Fine chopped Rosemary leaves to taste, I put them through a coffee mill

180g (6½ oz) white breadcrumbs

75g (2½ oz) grated Parmesan cheese

Zest of one lemon

1 beaten egg

A good bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley

  Parmesan and Lemon stuffed Pancetta rolls

 

Method:

Fry the onion, celery and leek in a pan with a good knob of butter. Once brown add the Rosemary, cook for a couple of minutes then set aside the mixture in a bowl.

Stir the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley and grated Parmesan into the cooling onion, celery and leek mix, add the beaten egg, season with salt and black pepper.

Make 12 short stumpy sausage shapes with the mix. Spread out the Pancetta slices and starting at one end roll them up so as to wrap the mixture inside. The mix should be short enough to allow you to fold in the sides in order to make sure the stuffing is sealed inside the rolls.

Place the rolls on an oiled baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 390°F (200°C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy and golden. Serve warm.