A few years ago, I met Chef Davide at his restaurant in occasion of a catering event. I went there together with my Italian friends and as soon as we started eating the antipasti we felt at home: the flavour of the food reminded us of our home country. From that day I’ve always been a trustworthy client of Tavola Calda, and a spectator of its changing: from being a take away to becoming and authentic and super cozy restaurant.
Recently, Davide told me his story and I got to know that he lived and worked in many different places around the world. What was amazing was that he maintained his Italian soul in his cuisine, and was not influenced by the cultures surrounding him. Coming from Bologna, one of his specialties is obviously the homemade egg pasta.
During a recent Christmas dinner I ate his Antipasto (which I loved, and can’t wait to eat again) consisting of 4 small appetisers. That night we had been served a perfumed zuppetta di pesce, some crispy fresh fried artichokes (my favourites), a light carpaccio with puntarelle chicory and Parmesan flakes, and last but not least, grilled radicchio with burrata and prosciutto crudo.
Beside that he treated us with his delicious homemade spinach Tortelloni filled with Ricotta and Potatoes, seasoned with Truffle Pecorino cheese.
Davide perfectly paired these Tortelloni with a special Belle Vignole IGP white wine.
This organic wine with no yeast and no sulfur is only made with the Fiano diSalento grapes in a natural farm Tenuta Macchiarola based in Lizzano – Apulia – Southern Italy. This version sees 3 weeks of skin contact before pressing and natural fermentation.
Thanks to Davide for sharing this recipe with us and letting us taste this intriguing light-orange color wine.
One of the most colourful vegetables that can be found, and that is widely used in the Nordic cuisine, is the red beetroot.
As the countdown to Christmas has started, we’ve tried out a few recipes with this ingredient. We have come to a conclusion, so today we are pleased to present to you all the one we like the most.
So here we are with our colourful dish: Red Beetroot Tagliolini that will cheer up the guests gathered around your Christmas table.
The week’s seasoning will be up to you: you are going to be able to decide wether preparing the seasoning with Gorgonzola Dolce (Sweet Gorgonzola), or Gorgonzola Piccante (Spicy Gorgonzola).
Whether you decide for one or the other, you might have to choose a wine to pair. A bold and structured Italian red wine (like a Chianti Classico Riserva or a Barolo) is always a good choice to pair with the Gorgonzola Piccante, while a Riesling or a Pinot Bianco go nicely with the Gorgonzola Dolce.
The best you can do now is to roll up your sleeves and start kneading. Have fun!
Spinach is available year round but in this period you find the fall variety characterised by more succulent leaves. Spinach is a good reservoir of minerals and vitamins, as long as it is consumed strictly raw. If you have to cook them as in this recipe, it’s better if you steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients. Now you are all set to prepare this recipe from Tuscany: the Gnudi. This name, in Tuscan dialect, means naked, as they are not covered with dough. The lightness and delicacy of this dish is the strength of the Gnudi, which are best accompanied by a fresh dressing light tomato sauce or butter and sage.
Plum Gnocchi are one of those dishes featuring the culinary tradition in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italian Northeastern region). These Gnocchi actually have a Bohemian origin, as they were introduced when the Austro-Hungarian dominion was in the region.
When I’m in Italy for the autumn break to visit my husband’s family, my mother in law never fails to prepare these Gnocchi for me, as she knows that it is my favourite dish of her repertoire. Recently I was authorised to “steal” the recipe, which she jealously keeps in her recipe book, just because I had to share it on the blog 😉
This is a dish that can be served either as a main dish or as a dessert. In my family we use to eat it without pairing anything else beside as it is a complete meal in itself. Perhaps the only thing you’ll want to ask at the very most, after eating a few, will be a digestive. :-))
Home made Cavatelli are a type of pasta originating from Southern Italian prepared with semolina flour and water. This type of pasta is versatile: its shape and texture mix well with many types of sauces.
For today’s recipe we have seasoned the Cavatelli with shellfish (mussels) and legumes (cannellini), following a traditional Mediterranean – Apulian recipe. The strong flavour of these thin with a tender and floury heart beans goes well with the mussels.
So, roll up your sleeves and let’s prepare the Cavatelli.
Thanks to the nice weather and the pleasant temperature, on Whitmonday, I went hiking with my family to further discover the stunning landscape in the Zurich area. It was a long time since we wanted to reach the top of the Uetliberg mountain and its peak, the Uto Kulm. The peak offers a scenic view over Zurich, the lake and the Alps. I have to admit that the trail up to the top was a bit of a challenge, as it was very steep. As we were hiking to the top, we started to notice that we were surrounded by different species of plants. Among them, we spotted wide clusters of wild garlic, also known as Bear’s garlic, Ail Des Ours or Bärlauch. This plant is widely used throughout Europe due to its blood-purifying properties, and to lower cholesterol.
How could we not have gotten attracted by these fresh leaves? As we started to collect them, we began to wonder how to use this precious mountain plant in an Italian recipe.
These pumpkin gnocchi are served with a simple sage butter sauce which enhances the sweet taste of the pumpkin. We used the Delica variety, as it is one of the most versatile winter squash and it takes well to many cooking methods, from roasting to pureeing, and more.
The compact orange – yellow flesh is perfect to be deep fried and to fill the tortelli from Mantova (city in Italy’s Lombardia region) and the cappellacci from Ferrara (a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region). Tortelli and cappellacci are two typical filled fresh egg pasta.
This week our Italian friend Elena, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, shares with us a tasty and traditional recipe from Lucca, a beautiful small town in Tuscany. If you are arranging a journey in Toscana don’t miss a stop there, even just to taste the tordelli di Lucca!