We have travelled the globe to bring you, our beloved audience, some of the finest recipes know to mankind. You lucky things...
1. A wonderful fresh pasta dish from Gioia Mia, a great restaurant in Rome. Would probably work with dried pasta if you dont want to make fresh.
La Ricetta di Gioia Mia
Pappardelle all Granduca
500 grams of fresh pasta
80 grams of prosciutto crudo
200 grams of mushrooms
50 grams of butter
1/2 litre of cream
fresh tomato sauce
Cook the mushrooms (sliced) for a couple of minutes till they are partly cooked, then add the thinly sliced prosciutto, butter, cream, a spoonful of tomato sauce and a splash of cognac. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the (cooked) pasta to the pan and add a dusting of parmigiano.
2. The secret to the best italian pizza dough.
When we were in Rome we attempted to make pizza in Pat and Bob Ware's pizza oven. A moderate success since it was our first attempt at making the dough from scratch but it wasn't as crispy as our favourite Italian pizza restaurant in Rome which, according to Mariana's grandad, makes the best pizzas in the world. The next day we went down there to ask for the secret for good pizza dough which they kindly shared with us:
1kg of OO flour "grana dura"
1/2 litre of water
10 grams of yeast (fresh not dried)
2 fistfuls of salt (equates to roughly 20 grams)
a shotglass of sunflower oil (roughly 15 centilitres)
a shotglass of extravirgin oliveoil (roughly 15 centilitres)
1. Dissolve the yeast in the water (NB water should be cold ideally, tepid is ok but never hot!)
2. Add the flour to the water very slowly, stiring constantly (not the water to the flour)
3. Once the water has been added then add the sunflower and olive oil
4. Last of all add the salt. It is very important to add the salt at the end as otherwise you risk a chemical reaction between the salt and the yeast which stops the dough from rising
5. Cover with a damp cloth and leave until it has risen about 1 1/2 times (this can take between one and three hours depending on the temperature)
6. Once risen, divide the dough into small balls (100-200 grams each). The dough will go down again once you have divided them into balls
Leave again to rise as before (up to 3 hours)
NB when rolling out the dough it needs to be done on a floured surface to prevent it from sticking. However before adding the 'passata' make sure you dust excess flour off the top of the pizza (the experts do this by throwing and spinning the pizza!) as otherwise the flour mixes with the tomato sauce and it goes soggy.
3. Perde Pilav from Ciya - a pilaf "veiled" in a pastry crust (in Kadikoy, Istanbul)
This recipe is from the best restaurant in Istanbul (in our humble opinion!) Contains meat so only Rob was able to eat it and it absolutely melted him. Apparently it is a wedding dish with the crust symbolising the couple's new home, the nuts the couple themselves and the raisins the future babies.
For the dough
5 cups of high protein flour
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup of yoghurt
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
For the filling
One whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
1 onion (chopped)
1 medium carrot (chopped)
2 ribs of celery (chopped)
3 tbsp fresh lemon
5 cups baldo rice
12 tbsp butter
2 cups of sliced almonds
1 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups dried currants
4 tsp oregano
2-4 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chopped dill
20 mint leaves (chopped)
6 Scallions - white part only, minced
10 tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 cup blanched almond halves
For the dough
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl using your hands. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough comes together in a small ball (3-4 minutes) Cover and rest for 1 hour
For the filling
Put chicken, onions, carrots, celery and lemon juice into a large pot. Add 6 cups of water. Season to taste. Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 mins. Remove chicken, discard skin and bones, strain and set aside. Strain and degrease the broth. Set aside five cups for later use.
Wash rice and soak in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain rice. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring often, till golden. Add rice and toast it for 10-12 mins. Stir in chicken, stock and currants. Season to taste. Cover and cook till liquid has absorben and rice has softened but is not fully cooked (roughly 20 mins). Remove from heat to rest for 10 mins. Then add oregano, dill, mint and scallions.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of ovenproof pot with butter. Arrange almonds round the bottom and along the sides in vertical straight lines. Roll out dough and press firmly into the pot, pressing it into the almonds leaving a 2 inch overhang. Pour filling into the pot and gently pull the edges of the dough over the filling. Bake for 30 minutes covered and 30 mins uncovered till golden. Let rest for 20 minutes before inverting onto a plate and serving.