Can it be more italian?

2017-04-03_22.11.34[1]Start with a Bagna Cauda which probably has many variations. Perfect for sharing. In Torino we tasted the first real bagna cauda which is a dish filled with raw (or sometimes slightly cooked) vegetables and a warm sauce based on anchovies. Since then I serve it regularly as appetizer-first course for wider audience. Try to fill the plate with different colors of vegetables (today yellow bell pepper, radishes, cucumber, orange and violet carrots, daikon, romanesco cauliflower, but white celery, mushrooms, springonions, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, ….any vegetable which can be eaten raw). For the sauce I read already many variations. My anchovies sauce is based on 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 4 pickled anchovies, 125 ml of light cream and black pepper (this amount is enough for 2/3p). I heat the sauce in a recipient which I bought once as small chocolat fondue set. This combination is heated with a tea light and thus it will keep the sauce warm while eating. Use  fondue forks to pick the vegetables.

For 5-6 p a menu inspired by the ‘Two gready Italians’, Carluccio and Contaldo, serves gratinated fennel, a potato dish and for each a delicious dorade all prepared in the oven (so three layers in the oven are essential).

Cut four medium sized fennels in four quarters and remove the hard central part. Pre cook them in the microwave for 8 mins. Put in an oiled dish. Make a kind of crumble with toasted or old bread (2 slices), 4 table spoons of parmigiano, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 table spoon of dried oregano, 2 table spoons of dried basil and pepper.

Slice 750 grams of potato. Halve 400 grams of cherry tomatoes. Slice 2 medium sized red onions (300 grams). Chop 2 garlic cloves and a handful of fresh basil. Start with a layer of the potatoes in an oiled dish. Add a little bit of salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Spread some red onion and a few cherry tomatoes. Spread some of the garlic and basil. Continue to make layers. Finish with the basil and a little drizzle of olive oil. Add 50 ml of white wine.

Clean the fish. Chop 3 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, fresh basil, lemon pieces (with zeste). Add pepper and salt. Fill each fish with a table spoon of the mixture. Put the fishes in an oiled dish. Put one slice of lemon on each fish. Add pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

When your guests arrive, put the potato dish, covered with aluminium foil in the oven at 180°. After 30 mins put the fennel dish in the oven. After another 30 mins remove the aluminium and put the fish also in the oven. Count 20-30 mins and everything will be ready.

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