Oct 242011

Pizzoccheri layered up

I just love pizzoccheri. The dish is robust & earthy in taste & feel: a true peasant meal. It’s made with buckwheat pasta which is very easy to make or you can buy dried from Italian food stockists.

It’s a traditional recipe of the Valtellina in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Classically it’s made with the buckwheat pasta layered with chard or savoy cabbage, potatoes and cheese all dressed with a garlic & sage butter.

One of the joys of the dish is its flexibility. You can make it all year round with whatever veg is to hand. It’s ideal for using the bits and bobs you might pick from the garden or have in a veg box. This is my interpretation of this classic using a mix of seasonal vegetables from my garden. and I show you how easy it is to make the buckwheat pasta.

Fancy having a go? Read on… Continue reading »

 Posted by at 16:40
Apr 212011

I’m developing a bit of a ‘thing’ about using nettles. I love it that I’m not putting money in the supermarket bosses’ pockets. I love it that they effectively cultivate themselves. I love it that they are so nutritious: high in vitamins A & C, contain essential minerals and have one of the highest protein contents of any leafy vegetable.

Above all I love their nutty flavour. So I wondered how I could combine them creatively with some of my favourite nuts, hazlenuts.

Here’s what I developed, a scrummy and attractive nettle & hazlenut tart. It’s in a wonderfully crisp pastry case and uses homemade ricotta in the filling.

Nettle hazelnut tart plated with salad

If you want to know how to make it, read on… Continue reading »

 Posted by at 18:09
Apr 052011

Wild garlic and ricotta pastaWe’re really lucky here because the wild garlic a friend gave us has taken and produces masses of wonderful tasting leaves & flowers. It’s also called ‘Ramsons’ and its latin name is Allium Ursinum. As you latin scholars will know, ursinum refers to bears who like the bulbs.
Wild garlicWild garlic and ricotta give a twist to simple pasta. Here I’ve cooked pasta and a simple tomato sauce and garnished it with home-made ricotta flavoured with wild garlic.
This is a very simple recipe which will look and taste great without hours of effort.

You’ll need to make the ricotta a few hours ahead of eating it. The rest of the recipe is very quick to assemble.

The quantities serve about 4: here’s how to make it… Continue reading »

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