This traditional bread is also the base for a pizza mix
so if you put some tomato sauce and mozzarella on the top
you will get a classical Pizza Margheritta. You can also
freeze the dough once you have rolled it out. Then if you
feel like fresh bread next morning take it out just before
going to bed, overnight it will defrost and rise to be cooked
in just 15 minutes the next morning.
a small amount of fresh yeast with 1/2 litre tepid water
and a half teaspoon of sugar.
again after a few minutes to makes sure everything has
500g of flour to make a dough that is not sticky but
is still soft.
the dough sit in a warm place for an hour or two until
it doubles in volume.
it for a couple of minutes and make into balls about
the size of a billiard ball.
these rest for about an hour in a warm place then gently
roll out to dinner plate size.
olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt.
lots of holes in the surface with a fork or skewer,
about 1/2 inch apart and cook in a pre-heated oven 200°
C for about 15 minutes or until brown on top.
di Fungi (Mushroom soup)
A variation on the theme of "Pasta Fagiole" or
"Pasta Fazul" as the Dean Martin song has it.
(You need a big sauce pan) I invented it for a group from
the Chinese consulate, being told that both they and their
host, an Italian industrialist could not eat cheese but
loved pasta and mushrooms. It is now a favourite amongst
tagliatelle (also known as fettuccine)
30g dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 tin borlotti beans (haricot or red kidney beans
500g of fresh mushrooms, oyster for instance.
1 stick of celery
the dried porcini in 1/4 litre of tepid water for about
half an hour while you get on with the rest.
chop the onion, carrot and celery and brown slowly in
olive oil, slice and add the mushrooms, sauté
When cooked add 2 litres of water (stock can be added)
and bring to the boil. At this point you can either
mash up the beans and add to the mix, or if you have
an immersion blender just throw them and give the mix
a 30 second belt with the blender.
now the dried porcini should be re-hydrated so take
them out and add them to the soup and carefully pour
in the water they have been soaking in, being careful
not to add the last bit of liquid in the bowl as there
will be bits of sand and grit at the bottom.
salt and pepper to taste and boil for at least half
minutes before serving crunch the tagliatelli up in
your hands to make pieces no longer that an inch then
boil in the soup mix, garnish with chopped parsley.
The problem with this dish is that like roast potatoes,
there is never enough of them. In Italy they should be served
after a pasta dish with a side vegetable and bread, however
I know many people who love them with mash.
600g minced beef
3 Italian sausages
Half an onion, finely chopped
Finely chopped fresh sage
100g parmesan cheese
fresh bay leaves
4 cloves of Garlic
2 chilli (fresh if you can)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 glass white wine
the sausages and mix with the rest of the ingredients
then form small balls a little smaller than a ping pong
slowly in olive oil in a large frying pan. When browned
on the outside take out of the pan and put in a warm
the bay, garlic and chilli in the pan with the oil and
juices from the polpetti and warm slowly until the garlic
turns golden and the bay leaf starts to discolour.
the bay, garlic and chilli, add the white wine and tomatoes,
if the mixture is too runny, reduce to an almost creamy
consistency (this sauce is great for pasta too).
the polpetti, cover with a lid and cook slowly for a
further 10 minutes before serving.
Not in the least bit traditional or particularly Italian
though served in quite a few restaurants here. These chocolate
soufflés have enough cholesterol to take a few minutes
off your life but are wonderfully crunchy on the outside
but soft in the middle, a chocoholics dream.
dark cooking chocolate
the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water then add
the butter, egg yokes and flour in that order stirring
in each ingredient at a time.
the egg whites and fold into the mixture.
into 6 individual aluminium foil baking cups and place
in the freezer until hard, an hour should be enough.
you want to serve place in pre-heated oven at 200°C
for 20 minutes before tipping out onto individual dishes.
for kids with hundreds and thousands, for adults with
fresh mint and if you want to show off, pour a little
brandy over the top and light just before serving.