Around the World in Eighty Recipes: Italy

There’s more than one way to travel the world! While St Andrews has tons of Italian eateries to try, Italian cuisine can be done just as well in your kitchen. These delicious recipes will upgrade your Italian cooking beyond just pasta!

Tomato Bruschetta

This Italian classic makes the perfect appetizer! Perfect for potlucks, you can add a little something extra by getting creative with the seasoning.

1 loaf crusty baguette

8 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped and drained

Half a small red onion, finely chopped

2 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic

6 to 8 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped or chiffonade

30ml balsamic vinegar

60ml to 80ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, mix the onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil using a large spoon, taking care not to mash or break up the tomatoes too much.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the contents again.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will allow the flavors to soak and blend together.
  5. Slice the baguette loaf diagonally, into thick slices and lightly toast the slices until they are light brown on both sides.
  6. Serve the mixture on the warm slices of bread. If you prefer the mixture at room temperature, remove from the fridge half an hour before serving.

Aubergine Rolls with Spinach and Ricotta

An easy take on ‘melanzane alla Parmigiana’, this veggie bake is the perfect hearty dish for cold winter nights!

2 aubergines, cut into thin slices lengthways

2 tbsp olive oil

500g spinach

250g tub ricotta

Grating of nutmeg

350g jar tomato sauce

4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

4 tbsp parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

  1. Heat oven to 220°C. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with oil, then lay on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tender, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, put the spinach in a large colander and pour a kettle of boiling water over them to wilt. Cool, then squeeze out the excess water, until dry. Mix with the ricotta, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning.
  3. Dollop a spoonful of the cheesy spinach mix into the center of each aubergine slice, fold over to make a parcel and lay, sealed-side down, in an ovenproof dish. Pour over tomato sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and piping hot.

Spicy salami, courgette, basil, tomato & mozzarella pizza

What Italian list would be complete with pizza! This easy recipe combines tons of colorful flavors! The best part about pizza – you can choose any toppings you want.

4 tbsp tomato sauce

6 thin slices courgette

8 fresh basil leaves

10 thin slices spicy salami

50g mozzarella

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pre-made pizza dough

  1. Smear your tomato sauce evenly over the pizza base.
  2. Lay over your courgettes and basil, then your salami – you want this to go on last so it goes crispy. Place small pieces of mozzarella in between the gaps, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook in a pre-heated oven 250°C until crisp and golden, about 7-10 minutes.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own pizza dough! Recipe here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-pizza/

Tiramisu

Another timeless classic, Tiramisu is the perfect non-bake dessert.

568ml pot of double cream

250g tub mascarpone

75ml marsala

5 tbsp golden caster sugar

300ml strong coffee, made with 2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water

175g pack of sponge fingers

25g chunks of dark chocolate

2 tsp cocoa powder

  1. Put the cream, mascarpone, Marsala and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until the cream and mascarpone have completely combined and have the consistency of thickly whipped cream.
  2. Get your serving dish ready. Put the coffee into a shallow dish and dip in a few sponge fingers at a time, turning for a few seconds until they are nicely soaked, but not soggy. Layer these into your dish until you have used half the biscuits, then spread over half of the creamy mixture. Using the coarse side of the grater, grate over most of the chocolate. Then repeat the layers (you should use up all the coffee), finishing with the creamy layer.
  3. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. This can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, dust with cocoa powder and grate over the remainder of the chocolate.

Nini Bellini

This Venetian cocktail is refreshing and sweet, perfect for parties or to enjoy alongside your cooked-up dinner!

2 ripe peaches, though nectarines or berries work too!

750ml Prosecco, chilled

  1. Halve your peaches, remove their stones, then pop them into a liquidizer and blitz until smooth. Add a splash of water if needed and put the purée into a jug.
  2. If you don’t have a liquidizer just use your hands to squeeze, mash and really push the peaches through a sieve.
  3. Pour your Prosecco into the jug and gently mix together. Divide between six glasses right away, and top up with a little more Prosecco if need be, and enjoy!

Photos courtesy of: Abi Porter, Joy, Star, Karen Neoh, and Collect Moments

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