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Italian – 2

Minestrone Soup (per person)

Dried spaghetti30g / 1oz
Celery1 inch stalk
Garlic1 clove
Cabbage30g / 1oz
Flat leaf parsley1 sprig
Small carrot¼
Small onion¼
Stock112ml / ¼ pt
Tomato puree1 teaspoon
butter60g / 2oz
Bacon1 slice

Chop the potato, celery, onion, and tomato. Shred the cabbage. Heat the butter in a pan. Add all the vegetables and puree, except the garlic, add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Wrap the spaghetti strands in a tea towel and break into small pieces. Add the spaghetti and simmer for 5 minutes. Fine chop the bacon, parsley and garlic to paste and drop into soup to cook

Caprese Salad (per person)

Large tomato1
Mozzarella cheese30g / 1oz
basil2 sprigs
Olive oildrizzle

Slice the tomato and cheese. Shred the basil. Arrange the romato, cheese and basil in layers, overlapping each other. Drizzle with olive oil.

Basil Pesto

Garlic1 clove
Pine nuts2 table spoons
Basil8 leaves
Parmesan2 table spoons
Olive oilTo cover

Place all in a container then blend.

Classic Italian Meatballs (serves 6)

Vegetable oil2 tablespoons
Garlic4 cloves
Celery1 stalk
Basil2 sprig
Oregano1 sprig or ½ tablespoon
Thyme1 sprig
Parsley3 sprig
Tomato paste2 tablespoons
Chopped tomato2x14oz can                              
Water5 cups
Mince beef225g / 1lb
Mince pork112g / 8oz
Bread crumbs1 cup

Chop garlic. Finely chop celery and onion. Chop herbs. For the meat balls add some water to the bread crumbs and moisten. Mix together the pork and beef mince, half the garlic, half the parsley, 2/5 parmesan, and egg with the breadcrumb mixture. Shape into golf sized balls. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until cooked. For the sauce, add the celery, and half the garlic and cook over medium heat. Add paste, water, tomatoes and half the chopped parsley. Bring to the boil. Season. Simmer for 15 minutes.  stirring occasionally. Add extra water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Add oregano add end. Before serving, stir in the rest of the parsley. Pour over the meatballs. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Chicken Marsala (per person)

chicken1 breast
Butter2 Knobs
Dry Marsala60ml / 2 fl oz
pancetta30g / 1oz

Place the chicken on a baking tray in the oven at 200 deg for 8 minutes. Melt the butter in a pan. Pour in the Marsala wine and cook over a low heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve with potatoes parmigiani.

Potato Oregano (serves 8)

potatoes24 baby potatoes
butter60g / 2oz
oregano4 tablespoons

Slice the potatoes across but only three-quarters of the way down. Melt the butter. Coat the potatoes with the melted butter and season. Place on a roasting tray and bake for 30-40 minutes at 220 deg C / Gas mark 7. Remove from oven and check. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Chocolate and Orange Baked Risotto

(serves 1)

Arborio rice60g / 2oz
Double cream¼ pt
Milk112 ml / ¼ pt
Icing sugar½ tablespoon
Chocolate buttons30g / 1oz

Put the rice, double cream, milk and sugar into a ramekin. Cook in the oven at 170 deg C for 45 minutes. Peel the orange. Juice the orange. Melt the chocolate. Remove the risotto from the oven and stir in the orange juice. Top with melted chocolate.


Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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