Food and Drink

From island to island... spicing up my kitchen

From island to island... spicing up my kitchen

Back from New Years celebrations in Cyprus with my in-laws, I could not miss the chance to buy spices at Limassol old market for some friends and for my own kitchen, in particular.

Right in the centre of the Eastern Mediterranean sea, the island of Cyprus where my husband is from, is in a key strategic position which caused the country centuries of political unrest and foreign invasions, but also turned its cuisine into a true celebration of Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern delights.

2010 Christmas recipe: Ravioli with Piacentino cheese, Walnuts and Pasta amara

2010 Christmas recipe: Ravioli with Piacentino cheese, Walnuts and Pasta amara

The 2010 LoveSicily Christmas recipe is my Ravioli with Piacentino cheese, Walnuts and Pasta amara (100% cocoa) served with a sage and butter sauce.
Produced with whole pasteurised sheep milk, it is flavoured not only with saffron but also black peppercorns.
I can assure you that combined with walnuts and a bitter touch of pasta amara (100% cocoa) as in my recipe, you get delicate yet flavorful tasting ravioli, perfectly enhanced by the simple sage and butter sauce.

Vintage persimmons alla Katia

Vintage persimmons alla Katia

After a full immersion into Modica's chocolate and its Chocobarocco festival, today I decided to prepare something special with yet some more chocolate I had made few days ago for the occasion: vanilla chocolate stuffed persimmons with amaretto crumble.

I know, the idea of a stuffed fruit sounds very 80sh, but the taste is great and it is enough I refer to it as a "vintage recipe" , and I am back into the reign of cool cooking;)!

Saffron risotto with Noto Antica wild crocus

Saffron risotto with Noto Antica wild crocus

Few weeks ago, a nice family Sunday in the woods around Noto Antica offered a fantastic ingredient for a great risotto: wild saffron.

The fields were blooming with wild crocus and I could not resist the temptation to pick my own saffron. So the whole family helped me out and we brought back home a nice bunch of beautiful purple-blue flowers hiding the tasty golden stems.

The work in the kitchen was easy, I took the stems out and made a simple saffron risotto, prepared using butter, white onion, spumante and, obviously, the saffron stems.

In and out of fashion: when patacchi become topinambur

In and out of fashion: when patacchi become topinambur

For many years "Patacchi" (Jerusalem artichokes), now known with the more elegant name of "topinambur", were a mysterious ingredient to me. I knew they existed, but neither my grandmothers nor other people in the family ever cooked with them.

I remember negative remarks and suspect it reminded them of war times, it was a "poor" ingredient and simply rather not use them. I do not even remember cook books or magazine mentioning topinambur during the 1980s or the 1990s, they were simply a "non-fashionable" ingredient.

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