The recipes I bookmarked were spaghetti with lentil ragu and stovetop pork with balsamic vinegar. There are many recipes I fancy to cook and that I have eaten versions of at one time in the past. I am sure I have mentioned it before, I used to take a class that was called 'A tavola non si invecchia'. It was an unusual type of Italian language classes. Basically, we spent two hours in the teachers dining room, ate a three course meal followed by coffee and chatted in Italian. Paolo, the teacher, was a great cook hailing from Tuscany and introduced many traditional Italian dishes, some of which remind me of the recipes in this book.
I only managed to cook the spaghetti. We have eaten of course, and every day! We just have not been organised enough to put together a proper shopping list for the meals I had in mind.
The lentil ragu is really easy to make. It involves cooking brown lentils with a whole clove of garlic and sage. At the same time, a tomato sauce is cooked by sautéing red onion in a little olive, then adding a tin of tomatoes. Seasoning is added. When the lentils are cooked, they are added to the tomato sauce and mixed well. Hey pronto, that's it all. It was delicious, even my meat eaters liked it, so much so that I am allowed to cook it again. I call this a success.
I am still planning to cook the pork, it is such a simple dish with just a few ingredients and I know my carnivores will love it.
All the recipes I looked at are simple, the list of ingredients does not require a shopping trip to a Italian grocery specialist, your normal shop will do. Some of the fish recipes may call for fish that are not all that common at your local fish counter but no doubt you'll find a fish that will substitute nicely. There is one recipe that calls for chicken necks with heads attached. Not something I have ever seen in the supermarket in Britain but I am sure a good butcher could provide those. The recipe is for stuffed chicken neck if you are wondering. I don't think I am going to cook this anytime soon.
I hope I'll have some more time to cook after our Cornwall trip. It'll just be me and Sam for a week and maybe I can be quite adventurous as there would be only one to complain.
I am not quite certain which of my many cookery books I am going to use. I feel tempted to buy one: Rick Stein's 'Long Weekends'. Has anyone got it? Would you recommend it? Of all the TV chefs I have watched over the years, he is one of my favourites. I always like listening to his chatter and accompany him on his journeys. I am trying to remember his wee dog's name. Spotty? Chalky?
Thanks for stopping by and reading these lines. If you have a spare minute or two, why not pop over to Penny's and see everybody else's cookery adventures. x