3 Recipes for May

 Artichoke, Peas and Broad beans


4 artichokes

500 g broad beans

500 g peas

1 leek

30 ml olive oil

100g guanciale or pancetta, diced


black pepper


Heat the oil and add the guanciale, let the fat run out then add the finely chopped leek. Remove the tough leaves from the artichokes and cut into quarters, removing the “choke”. Add to the oil with the mint, salt and pepper. Cover and stew gently for about 15 minutes. Now add the shelled beans and 2 minutes later the peas and a little water if necessary. Cook until the vegetable are soft and the liquid almost disappeared.

I sometimes add a little more oil and use to dress a plate of pasta.

­Spaghetti with anchovies and orange­ sauce 

 Spaghetti con acciughe in salsa di arancia

I first ate this in Calabria at the restaurant “Alia”.  In Sicily oranges are often used with fish but this is an unusual combination for the mainland.

500 g spaghetti

200 g anchovy fillets in oil, or in salt, chopped

2 oranges, peeled and cut into small cubes

50 ml orange liqueur

1 tablespoon fresh mint

1 tablespoon fresh breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

30 ml. olive oil


If you are using anchovies in salt you need to wash well  and remove the central bone.. Heat the oil and gently cook the garlic until it begins to change colour. Now add the anchovies, pushing them down with a wooden spoon until they ‘melt’ and form a thick cream.

Add the orange to the anchovies, together with the breadcrumbs and the liqueur.

Taste to see if more salt is needed.  Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, drain and stir in the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped mint and serve at once.

Ricotta soufflé

This is a ‘new’ recipe from the south of Italy, using traditional ingredients like ricotta cheese and citrus fruits in an original way.

300 g ricotta cheese

3 eggs

100 g candied citrus peel (preferably orange)

sugar to taste

juice of 3 oranges

50 g sugar to make orange sauce

Put the ricotta cheese in a strainer to drain off the excess liquid for at least 1 hour. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the ricotta cheese. Stir in the candied peel and a little sugar. The mixture should not be too sweet because it will be served with orange sauce. Heat the sugar and juice to make a sauce to serve with the cooked dessert. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the ricotta mixture. Spoon into the ramekin dishes, cover with buttered foil, and cook by standing in a large pan of boiling water over a gentle flame as in a ‘bain marie’.  After 15 minutes remove, brown the surface under a hot grill and serve with the warm fruit syrup. The souffles can be baked if preferred.

 images 057



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