Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tuscan Reunion

About a year ago I went to Italy to do a course at Organic Tuscany. It was great fun and we've all kept in touch since. This weekend we all met up for a meal at which I volunteered to cook.

I decided to start with a mixed antipasti, followed by an asparagus risotto for main course and finally a tiramisu for dessert.

The antipasti I based on the veggie antipasti that they do at Carluccio's. It consists roasted peppers with pesto - I used a selection of green, sundried tomato and aubergine pesto, green beans with mint and garlic, mozzarella and caponata. The caponata recipe is in Antonio Carluccio's Vegetables if you want to try it. It's the best caponata recipe I've tried, and everyone seems to enjoy it whenever I make it. If you make it, then make it the day before, as it tastes much better after the flavours have had a chance to mingle. Also, make a lot of it, as it is great stirred into pasta, as well as part of an antipasti plate.

For the main course, I did an asparagus risotto. This was one of the dishes that we made in Tuscany and, as asparagus is in season at the moment, it seemed the perfect choice. I like to drizzle a little lemon-infused olive oil around the outside of the risotto after it is plated, just to give it a little extra "something".

Finally, it was time for the tiramisu. This was a favourite on the course and this was the first time that I had got around to making it. I've always been put off of tiramisu as I always feel that it had that '70's "Abigail's Party" kind of feel to it, but I have to admit that it is a really nice dessert. I decided to go a bit "posh" and serve it in a cocktail glass, which worked quite well.

It was a great afternoon, and I hope that everyone enjoyed the food. The plates were all empty at the end of each course, so I guess that means that they did!

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