#cenareballaredonare

Thank you all so much if you made it down to our Italian themed supper club at the beautiful King's Head last week.

We raised nearly £1000 for the mental health charity Mind!!  

Every year, one in four people experience a mental health problem – yet hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling.  The charity provides advice and support to anyone experiencing problems.  They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.  

Thank you so much to The King's Head for having us and donating 20 x memberships to their club.

Also many thanks to Dan Land at Coco di Mama, Scarlet & Violet, L'Oreal & Lulu Guinness for donating prizes for the raffle.

APERITIVI 

NEGRONI 

Count Camillo Negroni was the first to concoct the drink in Florence 1919, by asking the bartender to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water.  After the success of the cocktail, the Negroni Family founded Negroni Distillerie in Treviso, Italy, and produced a ready-made version of the drink, sold as Antico Negroni 1919.

 

APEROL SPRITZ  

Five years ago none of us had heard of an Aperol Spritz.  Known simply to the Italians as ‘Spritz’, the cocktail became popular in the 1950s, inspired by the Venetian mix of white wine and soda.  Originally designed as a health and diet drink by the Barbieri brothers in 1919, it is made of bitter orange, rhubarb, and bitter herbs gentian & cinchona.

 

Wild mushroom & truffle arancini with aioli

Tarallini

Burrata with fig, orange blossom & endive

Wild boar salami, Salami with fennel, Salami with truffle

 

RomeANTIPASTO

 

Fiori di Zucca Fritti

Deep fried courgette flowers with goats’ cheese, anchovies & honey

 

Once peasant food, this has become one of Rome’s signature dishes.  While the flower is filled with different ingredients in different parts of Italy, Fiori di zucca fritti alla romana are filled with a single strip of mozzarella, and a thin anchovy.  I prefer goats’ cheese.  Don’t tell the Romans.

  

Sicily:  PRIMO

Bucatini con le sarde

Bucatini with sardines, fennel, pine nuts & sultanas

 

This classic Sicilian dish reflects the island’s long history with an Arabic influence in the sultanas & nuts and the use of saffron borrowed from the Spanish Bourbon monarchy married with the abundance of Sicilian sardines & wild fennel.  I ate this in Panarea, a tiny island off Sicily, in June and was blown away by its sweet, sour & salty simplicity.  Bucatini means “little holes”.

 

Pasta all Norma (v)

Rigatoni with aubergine, tomatoes, capers & ricotta salata

 

Possibly one of the most famous recipes to come out of Sicily, it was named in the 19th century by Sicilian poet Nino Martoglio, who, upon first tasting it, likened its beauty to Vincenzo Bellini’s opera “Norma”.

 

Florence: SECONDO

 

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Florentine T bone Steak with crispy sage, rocket & parmesan salad

 & rosemary roast potatoes

 

Florentine T-bone steak traditionally comes from Chianina beef, a large, muscular, slow-growing breed of cattle from the Chiana Valley in Italy.  This cut has it all: on one side of the bone is a tender fillet and on the other side is a piece of flavoursome sirloin steak.  It is so called thanks to some excitable English knights who, in 1565, Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, called out “Beef Steak!  Beef Steak!” during the wedding feast of Paolo Orsino and Isabella, daughter of the Duke of Florence.  Typical Brits on tour.

 

Piedmontese Peppers (v)

Roasted red peppers with tomatoes, black olives, capers, basil, garlic & thyme

 

First discovered and brought to this country by Elizabeth David in her 1954 book “Italian Food”, Piedmont Peppers is one of her most famous recipes that brought sunshine to a post-war Britain, tired of austerity.

  

Tuscany: DOLCE E DIGESTIVO

 

Vin Santo con Cantuccini

Sweet wine with almond biscuits

 

These biscotti are twice baked to dry them out and were originally invented as a long-life food to be carried by the Roman Legion during the Roman Empire. All traditional Tuscan meals end with the dipping of the crunchy Cantuccini into a small glass of Vinsanto, the sweet wine of this region.  Sure beats a cup of Tetley & a Rich Tea.

 

 

Rose Lloyd Owen