An Italian feast – the carb light version

On Wednesday it was Halloween. Last year on Halloween, I got some sweets in and waited for the kids to come trick-or-treating.

They didn’t come.

I ate the sweets.

Apparently the thing you’re supposed to do is put something Halloweeny in the window or somewhere visible, to show you’re in on the fun. So this year, I got a few little pumpkins, put them in the window and planned to bake some goodies, flapjacks or something.

Well, then I got cooking for dinner as I had a friend coming over and didn’t get time to bake goodies for the kids, so good job no-one knocked! (I think I might be feeling a bit offended though. Why didn’t they want my sweeties?)

So I was back in the kitchen with my favourite cookbook, Polpo, by Russell Norman. My friend and I are both ex-Dukaners so try to not to go too mad on carbs. I definitely don’t avoid them, you can’t really, when eating like an Italian, but I just try not to have loads of them.

The antipasti was the carb-heavy part but I kept it out of the mains. Here’s the antipasti plate.

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Top centre are my signature grissini sticks, wrapped in prosciutto and pickled chicory. To the left are music paper crackers. To the right is one of my favourite things in life ever, truffle butter, and just behind that, black truffle oil. In the white dish to the left is homemade basil pesto, in which I used pecorino and black truffle oil. Right at the front, the little pink squares are ham hock terrine and to the left are cherry tomatoes with a little shred of mozzarella and some torn basil on the top, then sprinkled with truffle salt. In the middle are little crostinis with ricotta, mint and broad bean on half of them and goat’s cheese, roasted walnut and grape drizzled with white truffle oil and thyme on the other.

For the mains, they unfortunately don’t photograph well so I will just have to tell you about them. I made a parmigiana with aubergines and courgettes, in which I used fresh basil and oregano where I usually use dried as the flavour is more concentrated. After having used just fresh this time, I think I will go back to using dried as the lovely oregano smells you usually get with a parmigiana definitely weren’t as strong. I also made a duck, black olive and tomato ragu which was far tastier than I expected. You spend about two and a half hours just slowly cooking the tomato sauce so the flavours are really strong and lovely. I also steamed some kale, spinach and fresh basil together as a side dish.

The dessert was vanilla panna cotta with blackberry coulis on top.

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I also made something called a chocolate salami for having with the espressos I decided were a good idea at 9.30pm.

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It is chocolate with egg yolks whipped into it, with crushed up sponge fingers, chopped dried fruit and loads of nuts. You just fridge set it until it is hard enough to cut in slices and have as little biscuits.

We then proceeded to have a super long chat about my visit to Mr Red Wine’s house. I must just add that I washed quite thoroughly, thirteen times, in between visiting Mr Red Wine and preparing this food!

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Chocolate salami sounds deliciously intriguing! Did you like it?

    Reply

  2. Beautiful!! You are an excellent cook. I love the chocolate salami. I had it on my blog some time ago but I accidentally deleted the photos so I will need to make it again. Never mind I quite fancy some chocolate again! It is really yummy!

    Reply

  3. This is a gorgeous meal! A great variety of flavours.

    Reply

  4. I gotta move over there. I need to make the breadsticks, tell me more about the breadsticks.

    Reply

    • Melt 50g butter and 200 ml milk together in a pan. Put 280g italian 00 flour and 100g wholemeal flour in a bowl, 7g dried yeast, 1 handful parmesan and 10g salt in a bowl. Add milk mixture slowly. Then knead until nice and springy. Leave somewhere warm for 30mins. Knead then refrigerate. Oven on 150c. Roll out thin pencils and bake on sheets for 25-30 mins. Enjoy! Love from Lucille x

      Reply

  5. […] we got something called chocolate salami, which I have made before at home. It was tasty when I made it so we ordered some of that as well as all the other things we were […]

    Reply

  6. […] celebrator. I have put pumpkins in the window and got sweets and waited and the children have not knocked on the door anyway. And that’s the most I’ve done. This year, however, Ham House was in charge and […]

    Reply

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