Peas and cheese please!

What! The tomato field is bare?! Usually a visit to Italy in balmy August or September means Mama Romeo’s and Uncle Mario’s tomatoes are deep red and ripe for the picking. We went in May this year and I was too busy counting nappies and packing porridge to think about the change of seasons.

cheesy pics

As tomatoes are the King of summer in Italy, peas are where it’s at in Spring. I would love to poetically say, we ate all the fresh flavours of Spring and nibbled on freshly podded raw peas and broad beans but the Italian’s know better than that, there was also an abundance of …. cheese, cheese, cheese and more cheese! Most likely because they think it’s bloody cold in May! (us Brits were in shorts and T-shirts – but that’s a whole other post).

So I slurped up broth-style pea soups, and gorged on omelettes – loaded with stringy mozzarella and hot deep-fried potato polpette – loaded with er… stringy mozzarella!

This was one of my favourite dishes  – so simple but oh so tasty (serve with plenty of Parmesan!)

Pasta e piselli

1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
350g fresh or frozen peas
Small bunch parsley, chopped
350g pasta shells (a few peas will fall into some of the shells – like they’re in a little pod of pasta! Little things…)
4 slices prosciutto
Grated Parmesan, to serve

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1 Heat the olive oil over a medium-low heat, add the onion and cook until softened. Stir through the peas and add 1 L of boiling water. Return to the boil, then add the pasta.

2 Simmer for 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to your liking. Stir occasionally (add a little more boiling water and loosely cover if the liquid is evaporating too quickly). One minute before the end of cooking time, stir through most of the parsley. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3 Meanwhile, cook the prosciutto (in batches if necessary). Place a dry griddle-pan over a medium heat, add the prosciutto and cook for 3-5 minutes until darkened and crispy.

4 Ladle the pasta, peas and broth into 4 bowls, sprinkle generously with the Parmesan, top with the crispy prosciutto and garnish with the remaining parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#10 FOOD NEWS: Italy vs England, the Wild West & World Cup telly food

It’s in the bag: England vs Italy

Whenever we visit the Romeo family in Italy we end up coming home with our suitcases full of food and busting the scales. This left me thinking about what the players (and their mums) might be putting in their suitcases when packing for the biggest football competition on earth:

England player1

Italian players bag

One all!

On the night of the match we’ve been invited to a Wild West 4oth. Give me any excuse to whack on a pair of cow-girl boots and a hat and I’m all over it! I’m not sure if it’s a Giuseppe (or an Italian or man) thing but he’s less keen on the whole idea of fancy dress. Before I could tell him about my grand plan for him to dress up as Toy Story’s Woody and me to go as Jessie, he said he already had the night booked out with the boys to watch the football at Donna Margherita’s in Clapham.

Dressing up as Woody Vs gay pizza and football with the Italians? I didn’t stand a chance (re: gay pizza that’s not me reverting to playground insults, they really do sell ‘Pizza gay’ at Donna Margherita’s – it’s apparently very good). Anyway, I’m happy to leave him to it and make mine a girlie night (and go as fancy dress-crazy as humanly possible)!

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Huumm Pizza lesbica? So Pizza gay isn’t just a google translate mishap for happy pizza then.

If you’re supporting Italy on the 14th, I’m sure Donna Margherita is a great place to be – heaving with Italian passion [school boy humour] and pizza!  http://www.donna-margherita.com/

World cup TV nibbles

If you’re planning on watching the match in the comfort of your own home here’s some fab Britalian-style TV nibbles. They also make a great starter – I’m going to be serving these up to my old dad to kick off his Father’s day menu:

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