Friday, 18 January 2008
This month we wanted to add a healthy recipe to our collection and have chosen a simple but delicious pasta, primavera. Ideal for resolutions of healthy eating and a recipe that can be re-invented with different pasta shapes and as the seasons, and the availability of fresh or homegrown produce changes.
We also have a great January offer. So delighted are we with the Silver Spoon cookbook that we have decided to give away our last remaining copies!! Worth £24.95 and containing 2,000 recipes, this cookbook is a must for every kitchen. So if you were quietly disappointed that the Silver Spoon was not in your stocking, then simply spend £100 online at http://www.letsgoitalian.com/ or in our Lossiemouth deli and a copy of the Silver Spoon will be included in your order. If Lossiemouth is not on your doorstep, we recommend this month's Taste Italia magazine which features Denise and the Let's Go Italian deli in its deli in focus section. Fame at last!!
Let's Go Italian will also be attending a number of shows and events this year and our news page will be filled with the dates as they are confirmed. We have already booked in to the 2008 Good Food Show in Glasgow and will return to the Taste of Grampian to name a couple. Our pasta classes will also recommence shortly and the dates will be posted on our website very soon. To register interest for our January classes, please email email@example.com.
If your calendar is looking a bit quiet in January and you want a good excuse to get friends together, why not host a Let's Go Italian evening. Enjoy sampling our Italian food and stock up your own cucina at the same time. Our aim is to create a relaxed, fun evening and we even bring our own crockery and do the washing up! To book, call 0845 373 6781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All hosts will receive a free gift as well as money off their own order.
500g pasta, cooked, any shapeolive oil for cooking1 onion, chopped finely50ml white wine500g mixed green vegetables such as asaragus, green beans, broad beans and peas400g ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and choppeda handful of basil and minta handful of Parmesan cheese80g Parma ham (cut into strips) salt and pepperbasil leaves
1. Cut green beans and asaragus into 2-3cm lengths.2. Cover the base of a frying pan with olive oil and gently heat.3. Add the onion and gently fry until softened. Add the wine and bubble until evaporated.4.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
“Eat well! Eat Italian”
“La buona fortuna e gode”
Most of us will have eaten and enjoyed Italian Food at some stage either cooked professionally or provided in the home.
In Italian cuisine, there is a high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce and menus vary region to region.
For example, Roman Italian food uses a lot of pecorino (ewe’s milk cheese) and offal.
Tuscan Italian food features white beans, meat, and unsalted bread, whilst pizzas vary across the country.
Sicily is the home of gelato (ice cream) and Emilia-Romagna is know for lasagne and tortellini (stuffed pasta).
Northern Italian food versus Southern Italian food
Traditional Italian food is very regional and does not follow strict North-South patterns. The main differences are primarily the north uses more butter and creams whilst the south uses more tomato.
Generally there is a marked difference between regional use of cooking fat and traditional style of pasta.
Inland northern and north-eastern regions tend to favour:
· More butter
· Grana padano and parmigiano cheeses
· Risotto and fresh egg pasta.
Coastal northern Italian food and central Italian food regions often use tortellini, ravioli and are know for prosciutto.
The southern Italian food regions are traditionally known for:
· Cacciacavallo and pecorino cheeses
· Olive oil
· Dried pasta
Southern Italian food also makes far greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.
Italian food cannot be separated from Italian Wine. Most Italian wines of great renown are produced in three main Italian regions. In fact they are:
· Piemonte (Barolo)
· Veneto (Amarone, Pinot Grigio, etc)
Other great wine producing regions such as Puglie (Primitivo) and Sicily (Planeta) also produce some highly respected wines.
TRADITIONAL ITALIAN FOOD MENU STRUCTURE
Most of us will have eaten Italian food at some stage. However, how many of us have eaten a full Italian meal from a traditional menu? In fact there are 7 key elements to a traditional Italian food menu structure:
A traditional Italian food menu consists of:
1. Antipasto – hot or cold appetizers.
2. Primo (“First Course”), usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup. There are usually abundant vegetarian options.
3. Secondo (“Second Course”), the main dish, usually fish or meat. Traditionally veal is the most commonly used meat, at least in the North, though beef has become more popular since World War II and wild game is very popular, particularly in Tuscany. (Pasta is never the main course of a meal).
4. Contorno (“Side Dish”) may consist of a salad or vegetables. A traditional menu features salad after the main course.
5. Dolce (“Dessert”)
6. Caffe (“Coffee”) Expresso
7. Liquors/Liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello).
These are sometimes referred to as ammazzacaffe (Coffee killer”)
A notable and often surprising aspect of an Italian food meal is that the first course, is usually the more filling dish, providing most of the meal’s carbohydrates and this will consist of either risotto or pasta.
The secondo, which in French or British cuisine really is the main course, is often scant in comparision. The exception to this tends to be in Tuscany, where a traditional menu would see soup served as a primo and a hefty meat dish as the second