Flavours guest Gabrielle enjoyed cooking from ‘Veneto’ by Valeria Necchio. The recipes reminded her of time spent in Tuscany on one of our Cooking Holidays!
Recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen
I have really enjoyed reviewing this lovely cook book! With its chapters divided into sections of ‘Then’, ‘Now’ and ‘Pantry’. I can see myself using it for years to come. Having loved the Flavours Cookery course in Tuscany, reading this book and making the recipes transported me back to that wonderful place and an unbelievably good holiday.
Almond Polenta Shortbread Tart: from ‘Then’ Chapter
There is something very nice about the texture that polenta brings to cakes that I absolutely love when combined with a citrus flavour, which is the reason I choose to make this particular recipe.
I decided to double the mixture to make two tarts, one for a dinner party to be served with crème fraîche with a squeeze of lemon and hint of mint, and the other to be eaten with a cuppa tea! I decided to use 75% hazel nuts and the remaining 25% almonds. I didn’t have unsalted butter so I used salted and still added the pinch of salt to the mixture. For one of the batches I was only able to rest the mixture in the fridge for half an hour. The other batch was rested for well over two hours, however this didn’t seem to make a difference in the outcome. The tart went down well with the crème-fraîche, and I can imagine it being enjoyed dunked in coffee.
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce: from ‘Now’ Chapter
Having only eaten and cooked Swedish meatballs, it was nice to try something different. The meatballs were easy to make and I decided to use 50:50 beef and pork mince. In England, unless you are able to get to a butcher, the pre-packaged pork mince is harder to find in small quantities. The meat balls took on the flavour of the sauce, and they went down very well at my dinner party! I will be making this recipe again and again.
Marinated Courgettes: from ‘Now’
I love courgettes and will often order dishes with them in it when eating out at Italian restaurants. I was looking forward to making this recipe. On reflection, making this at leisure with the aid of a deep fat fryer is the best way. I gave myself a very fretful 40 minutes to make it before people arrived for dinner. They did taste delicious and the pickling liqueur was to die for.
“I would thoroughly recommend this beautiful cook book. It has been thoughtfully laid out and is a lovely insight into the old and new recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen.”
We love how this book has been split into chapters that reflect the past and the present. Italian cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition and regionality, and ‘Veneto’ certainly seems to display that. Gabrielle has definitely used these recipes the way they were meant to be: shared with friends and family around a big table!
To learn more about Venetian Cuisine, take a look at our Cooking Holidays to the Veneto Region.