Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Cooking for the Littlewoods

This evening our family friends, Lucy and John joined us for dinner. 
Lucy and John recently moved out to America and have lived there for 2 years but returned to Wales for a short 2 week holiday.

As I learnt so much culinary knowledge from visiting Italy from so many amazing people, I decided to put what I had learnt into practice. They were treated to a typical 4 course Italian meal.

For antipasti I made caramlised pears with proscuitto of Modena and shavings of parmigiano.
The prosciutto is one of the many items we brought back from Italy. It was definaly worth it! The taste of this proscuitto is like no other, it is salted perfectly and has such an amazing unique taste. You really have to try it to appreciate the intense flavours that can come from a true cut of proscuitto.
I first tried this dish in Montebuddlo near Bologna and I think I did a very good job at recreating it. 
Mastering the blow touch was a new and fun experience! 

For the primi I made lasagna di verdura. I was taught how to make this by our good friend Emmanula of Podre Prasiano, near Modena.
The green pasta dough is made with spinach and I'm very proud to say that everything in this lasagna is made completely from scratch, the pasta, ragu sauce and b├ęchamel sauce.
After many hours of cooking all the elements of this dish, I assembled it and baked it to perfection.
It was heavenly (if I do say so myself). It tasted exactly like Emmanula's Lasagna! Hopefully if she tasted it she would be proud! :) 
I'm pleased to say that the lasagna most definaly got the thumbs up from the Littlewoods.

For the secondi course I made Pollo allla Cacciatora, which is a tradional hunters stew made with either chicken, rabbit or pork. I was taught how to make this dish by Sammy of Il Castagno. It's amazing how little ingredients are needed to make such a deeply rich gorgeous sauce with extremely mouthwaterly tender braised chicken. The bouquet of cooking this dish is incredible! It very surely makes your stomach rumble in hunger.
I think I'm learning the tip Sammy taught me - the scent of the food will tell you if it needs another ingredient, seasoning and when it's cooked perfectly. This is an absolute amazing culinary skill to have.

For the dolci I made a light cake taught to me by Emmanula. The cake is made with only Potato flour, so is very light and airy. I  made it into 3 layers stuffed with Podre Prasiano homemade apricot jam, ricotta and cream. Heavenly!

It was lovely to catch up with the Littlewoods and have an insight into a typical American Life! 

It was a lovely evening filled with great food and fantastic company! 

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