All posts filed under: Main Course

Ravioli di Zucca e Amaretti

A few weeks ago, in our old village church, my twin sister got married. It was wonderful, and I was floating atop a fluffy wedding cloud for days afterwards. Not just because it was such a gloriously happy day, but because it objectively was the best kind of wedding. You know, the sort that sees you chauffeured to the reception in 1940s jeeps, laughing and giddy because it’s raining and windy and you’re driving along an A road in a car without doors. But you don’t care! Because your sister’s getting married and there are pies to eat, and oh look, a swing band’s just started, and hurrah! Your love is there to spin you round the dance floor the whole night. So yes, it was the best sort of wedding. But that was three weeks ago, and I definitely should’ve told you all about it before now (sorry), largely because quite a lot has happened since. For one, I started my MA at SOAS last week, resulting in me heading back to London for the first time in two months. And oh Read More

Stuffed Aubergine with Apricot

Last Saturday, we held a party. It was somewhere between a house party and a dinner party  – a halfway house celebration between youth and adulthood, which seems pretty apt considering this Friday we get the keys to a three-bed cottage in the East Midlands. But back to last Saturday afternoon, and the slow cooker humming, chicken braising, radishes pickling and beans bubbling. We were making tacos, proper tacos with orange braised pork; pilbil chicken and deep and spicy beans (for the vegans in the house). All talk of the EU had been quietened by Buena Vista Social Club and a very earnest pledge to move to Canada at the earliest opportunity, and – modesty aside – we turned out some of the best tacos I’ve eaten this side of Mexico. I mean, we even had pickled radishes. Our guests, half expecting a bowl of pringles and a tub of thousand island dip, seemed to agree. But better than homemade tacos and pico de gallo was the fact that in the space of an evening, we’d become the couple who cooks. Feeders, if you will – Read More

Lemon and asparagus risotto

As a teenager I spent a few years working in a greengrocers. On the whole, I hated it. There was no heating so I’d spend those dreaded Saturday mornings wrapped in scarves with a hot water bottle stuffed inside my coat. When I wasn’t fending off the advances of the butcher boy opposite, I was hauling sacks of veg into the shop, or advising on varieties of potatoes, but mostly I was just  desperately trying to stay warm. The highlight of the year was always the day we sold our first bunch of asparagus. It meant spring had arrived. There was no greater job than piling the trestle table high with those slender stalks. Soon the local strawberries would arrive too — sweet, plump, joyous — and then the gooseberries, bullet-like next to the soft wisps of elderflower that crowned the table. From there, the fruit and vegetables would come flooding in. Most were brought in by locals. We even had peaches, ripe, blushing and as big as your fist, picked only hours earlier from an Italian lady’s garden. Read More