This would go just as well with squid. Be careful when removing the cuttlefish ‘bone’ as it’s important to leave the body sack whole. Don’t worry about skinning them as the skin will burn off on the grill. Serves 4
8 medium cuttlefish
150 grams pecorino Romano — grated
150 grams bread crumbs
1 medium egg
2 cloves garlic — finely chopped
1 sprig parsley — finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers — finely chopped
4 fillets anchovies — finely chopped
salt and pepper
Clean the cuttlefish, keeping the body whole. Finely chop the tentacles.
Mix together in a bowl, the tentacles, bread crumbs,egg, garlic, parsley,
capers, anchovies, pepper and a good slug of olive oil.
Carefully stuff the bodies with the mixture.
Brush with olive oil, season with salt and grill for about 20 minutes
I had quite a few clams left over from the previous recipe, so I had a look around and came up with this recipe. It has very few ingredients, and allows the flavour of the clams to shine through. Click here for the basic risotto method. Serves 6
risotto with clams ingredients
600 grams risotto rice
2 kilograms clams — scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Put the clams into a saucepan and cover with water
Bring to the boil and simmer until the clams open.
Remove the clams and reserve the water.
Remove the meat from the clams, reserving a few for decoration.
Add the butter and oil to a frying pan and fry the clam meat and parsley for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice and stir fry until the rice starts to turn transparent
Add a little of the cooking liquid and wait for it to be absorbed, stirring all the time.
Keep adding the cooking liquid, little by little, until the rice is cooked.
This is a real Italian classic. There are a lot of different recipes for vermicelli con le vongole, some using tomatoes and/or chilli, but this one uses neither. The juice from the clams provides the sauce. Serves 4
vermicelli with clams ingredients
1 kilogram clams — Scrubbed
2 cloves garlic — thinly sliced
350 grams vermicelli
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Discard any clams with broken shells or which are open
Heat some oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and clams
Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes
Remove from the heat and lift out the clam. Discard any that remained closed
Remove the clams from the shell, saving a few for decoration
Strain the liquid from the saucepan into a frying pan and add the meat from the clams.
Cook the vermicelli until al dente, drain and add to the frying pan.
This is another dish from the north. I think the last time I cooked it was more than ten years ago when my brother came to visit. Radicchio is a little bitter, but the harsh flavours mellow into a great, creamy risotto.
radicchio risotto ingredients
160 grams radicchio di treviso
320 grams risotto rice – pref Vialone Nano
30 grams onion – about 1/2 a small one — finely chopped
Somebody was asking for vegan recipes on one of the forums I visit. She is due for a visit from her daughter-in-law and was stuck for ideas. My first thought was ‘Easy! Most of the recipes on the blog are vegan.’ . On closer inspection, however, I realised none of them are 🙂 Vegans eat cheese, don’t they? 😉 I asked around my Italian friends, and after much explanation of the concept of veganism, I came up with this recipe. Baking the dish concentrates the flavour of the tomatoes wonderfully. If you’re cooking it for a strict vegan, check that the bread crumbs don’t contain any milk. Serves 6
300 grams rigatoni
1 kilogram top quality tomatoes — sliced
1 large bunch of basil — chopped
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Cook the rigatoni in salted water. Drain and dress with plenty of olive
oil, half the basil, and the bread crumbs.
Put a layer of the tomatoes in an oiled oven proof dish
Top with some basil, a drizzel of oil, a little salt, and a layer of
Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up. Finish with a layer of
This dish is common all over the south of Italy. As simple as can be! Two main ingredients. This being Bari, I was told that the only possible pasta to have it with was orecchiette 🙂 30 minutes down the road they’d tell you something else. I’ve also seen the recipe with bucatini and spaghetti, so I’m sure it would be good with whichever you care to try it with. I asked the person who gave me the recipe how many anchovies to use and she said ‘it depends how much you like anchovies!’ . I like them a lot, so I used 2 whole ones per person (it would have been more but I ran out 🙂 ) Serves 4
orecchiette with anchovies ingredients
320 grams orecchiette
8 whole salted anchovies — filleted, soaked and chopped
4 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
Fry the anchovies gently in the olive oil until they have completely
Mix with the cooked orecchiette and serve, sprinkled with the bread crumbs
Another one of my favourites. It’s really easy, but it takes a while to prepare. You must use the freshest anchovies as they are only ‘cooked’ in lemon juice. If you can’t get fresh anchovies where you are, you can use small sardines instead. Great with salad as an antipasto.
Clean, wash and fillet the anchovies and dry with kitchen paper.
Layer the fillets in a non-metallic dish, season with salt and squeeze
over plenty of lemon juice.
Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours. They are ready when they are white all the way through.
When you are ready to serve, remove the fillets from the lemon juice, dress with a little oil and sprinkle the parsley on top.
I posted a recipe for orecchiette with cauliflower a few days ago. The same recipe works just as well with broccoli. Just substitute the cauliflower for 400g of broccoli florets. I think that’s enough orecchiette for a while 🙂