All posts tagged: Italian Food

Dinner at Eco, Clapham Common

I’m sure you all know by now that I adore Italian cuisine, but I hadn’t actually visited any Italian restaurants nearer to where I live, now that I’m south of the river. A week or so ago, I was kindly invited to try out Eco in Clapham with Ceri – I’d driven past it a few times and it had always looked really cosy and inviting, with a big orange pizza oven in the middle. We kicked things off with some bread, olives and cocktails – I started on a Bloody Mary (using organic tomato and balsamic) and Ceri had a Gin Giardino (gin, elderflower syrup, apple and cucumber). Both were lovely, although the Gin cocktail had the edge for me, so I moved on to this one afterwards! They were a little too easy to drink!! The menu really made our mouths water. We were both in the mood for pasta, and it was nice to see quite a wide range of pasta dishes on offer – I’ve found in some Italian restaurants (especially …

Italian Cooking at La Cucina Caldesi with Healthy Food Guide

What comes to mind when you think of Italian food? Pizza and pasta would seem like fairly obvious choices. Regular readers of this blog will know that I adore both Italy and the gorgeous cuisine it produces, but it’s normally a bit of an indulgence, with a lot of carbs and calories. I was recently invited to a cookery class with Healthy Food Guide which focused on healthy Italian food, so I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us to rustle up! The class was held at the La Cucina Caldesi Italian Cookery School in Marylebone, which I hadn’t been to before, so it was nice to discover somewhere new. And the class was held by Kate Caldesi herself! We started off making almond milk. I’ve seen this being used in recipes for a while but hadn’t actually tried it myself. It was made by blending the almonds (which had been left to soak overnight in water – both to make it easier to break down in the food processor and to …

A Modern Way of Italian Dining at Vapiano

As many of you will know, I adore Italian food. Bread, cheese, meat, fresh herbs and vegetables, I mean, what’s not to love? Last week I tried out a restaurant which is taking a unique spin on Italian dining, called Vapiano. Originally established in Germany in 2002, it now has over 150 restaurants across Europe, and I visited one of the three London branches, in Southwark. Upon arrival we were each given a card which we were told the food and drink would be charged to, which we needed to keep hold of, and we would then pay at the till on our way out. There are three main ‘sections’ to the restaurant, a pizza counter, a pasta counter and a drinks/dessert bar. You order your food/drink from each section, hold up your card to the scanner, and your order is added to the bill. And what’s great about the open plan layout at Vapiano is that you can see your food being prepared right in front of you. The chefs will whip up your …

Gluten-free Italian cooking with Coori

It’s taken me quite a while to write this blog post. I always try to write up a post a few days after reviewing something or attending an event, but this one has taken me considerably longer. Not because I’m being lazy, or because I didn’t like it. But because I really felt like I needed to do it justice. I know a couple of people who can’t eat gluten but I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really know the full scale of gluten-intolerance or coeliac disease. So when I was invited to a Coori cookery class, I hoped that I would learn a lot about this subject. The class was being held at Food at 52, near Old Street and upon arrival, I was greeted with a mountain of Coori food products, many of which we were available to try and were really tasty. Coori was set up by gluten-intolerant Italian Julia Zardetto, who saw a gap in the market for gluten-free items without sacrificing the flavour. She set out to create well …

Dreaming of Italy at Pulia, Borough Market

Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world and holds a lot of special memories for me. I spent my 21st birthday in Rome, thanks to an incredible surprise birthday present from my parents. Florence is where Tim got down on one knee and popped the question! And we’ve had incredible holidays along the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano). Venice, Lake Garda and Tuscany are still on list. But after last week, I’ve had to add another place to that list – Puglia. I was invited to dinner at Pulia Restaurant just around the corner from Borough Market, with the lovely people at Zomato. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew it was going to be an excellent evening. Pulia is designed to be as authentically Italian as possible – the decor was just beautiful, with white wood, airy open spaces and shelves brimming with Italian produce.     Their furniture is imported from Puglia (a shame, as I had my eye on a gorgeous kitchen worktop/island and had …

Moretti Gran Tour, Hackney

The Moretti Gran Tour is unlike any other pop up dining experience I’ve been to recently, as it solely focuses on the best of Italian food and beer, from various regions around the country. The London part of the tour was held last week at Space Studios in Hackney. For some unknown reason, the event venue, street number and postcode gave three completely different locations in Hackney and after 40 minutes of walking and getting lost, I eventually found it – I’ve never wanted an ice cold beer more! Upon arrival I was given a cute ‘passport’ with details on Moretti beer and all of the vendors at the event – each vendor stamped your passport when you bought food from them, and if you completed the passport, you went away with a goody bag! Moretti is a lovely refreshing Italian beer, with a long history. Luigi Moretti’s ‘beer and ice factory’ was founded more than a century ago in Udine – the first bottle was sold in the summer of 1860.     Today Birra Morretti …

Chicken Basghettilli Recipe

When I was a child, my mum used to make a chicken and tagliatelle dish called ‘Chicken Cacciatore’ – I always used to look forward to it! Looking at recipes for it online, it seems to vary quite a lot. So this is my own take on it, which I’m naming ‘Chicken Basghettilli‘ (basil, spaghetti and chilli…see what I did there…) Ingredients 2 free range chicken breasts 1 onion (chopped finely) 2 cloves of garlic (chopped finely) 1 red chilli (chopped finely) 4 mini portobello mushrooms (chopped into small pieces) 1 tin of chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato purée Generous dash of red wine Handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped finely, plus a few for decoration) Spaghetti for two people (usually about a quarter of a standard sized pack of spaghetti) Salt and pepper to taste Olive oil for cooking Method Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Heat some good quality olive oil (I used PS Lambis Cypriot olive oil) in a pan on the hob (it needs to be a pan that can also go …