All the pictures were taken by me - sorry they're not the greatest quality but it's the only camera I own at the moment! Maybe I'm not the greatest photographer, but I'm a decent cook and all week my mum and I were spoiling ourselves with some delicious, traditional Italian cooking.
These are the things we made and if you need any tips on how to make them please don't hesitate to ask!
On my first day we bought some super-fresh anchovies and prepared them in two ways.
The first way was to stuff them (if it's possible to stuff such a tiny fish) with breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and parmigiano with olive oil then roll them in flour before frying them.
The second was was to roast them in tomato sauce with some of the leftover stuffing on the top. Both ways were delicious but I liked the fried ones more. We also fried peas with garlic in olive oil which were yummy and I've never before had peas served in that way.
On my second day in Italy we had fish again. This time we bought dogfish which is a kind of shark. We rubbed the stuffing from the previous recipe on it with some crunchy pine nuts. We combined it with fried young zucchini and lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Yum!
Fritto (Fry up)
It's one of my favourites! I've had it for the first time in Viareggio where I went with my boyfriend to celebrate his birthday and it was love at first bite! This time we've only used vegetables because I refused to eat seafood three day in a row and it was too hot to eat anything bigger than this.
We used zucchini flowers and young zucchini, carrots and salvia leaves. We made the batter from beer and water and then fried it all in a deep pan :)
The next day I was ready to return to eating seafood :) so we bought two squid - my mum had to clean them cause I couldn't force myself to do it :) We stuffed them with the same stuffing as we used before (breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, parmigiano and olive oil).
Then we made a tomato sauce with the squid tentacles and fried the stuffed squid in it for 30 minutes. I know it looks like an alien but it was really nice and the best part was scooping the leftover sauce from the pan with some bread :)
I love lasagna but it was too heavy in the Italian heat and I didn't want to eat meat so we made a vegetable lasagna with zucchini flowers, zucchini and ricotta cheese. It was very nice and light, perfect on a hot day!
It's another one of my favourites! The combination of aubergines and tomatoes is just perfect and with some mozzarella on top it was a match made in heaven :)
Remember to grill the aubergines first on a non-grease cast iron pan because otherwise it will soak up all the olive oil like a sponge! We had it with loads of red wine so it was the best parmigiana of my life :)
For me it's a perfect starter! It makes me sick how some English people pronounce bruschetta so please, please make sure that you do it the proper way! It's 'bru-sket-a', not 'bru-shet-a'!
We didn't roast ours, it was too hot and Italian bread is hard and crunchy anyway so my mum just rubbed some garlic on it and drizzled it with olive oil.
Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce
The classic, simple Italian dish will be ready in only fifteen minutes and it has a good reason for being known as a classic all over the world - it's light and delicious! We added some mozzarella cheese and homegrown peperoncino (chillies) to it. Eat it while it's hot, otherwise the cheese will get too chewy!
I hope you enjoyed my Italian culinary adventure and next week I'm coming back with my regular recipe discoveries - next time it will be something very, very summery!
Mangia! Mangia! :)