Tagliolini with clams

This dish is definitely on my list of things worth living for. Isaac Davis (Woody Allen’s character in his film Manhattan), makes his list including amongst other things Louis Armstrongs’ recording of “Potato Head Blues”, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, the incredible pears by Cézanne and the Crabs at Sam Wo’s. These creamy tagliolini are highly quoted on a similar list of mine. The dish is Napoli originated and has conquered the tastebuds of Italy and the world. Like so many Italian dishes, it’s so simple, but as always it is the quality of the ingredients and the attentive cooking that rule the outcome. You can of course make this pasta dish with normal spaghetti, but fresh egg tagliolini are exalting in the most delicious way the creaminess of the clams and delivering the salty lightly spicy taste of the sauce.

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Apple fritters from Tyrol

There’s something about fried food that is so comforting and satisfying for the tastebuds. The aroma of the fried ingredients, the crunchiness of the dough that surrounds it…. Heavenly indulgent.
I particularly love fried apple slices in batter, and they are the main reason why sometimes I go skiing. It’s really worth while (independently from the breathtaking view), to take the funivia up to a couple of thousands of meters altitude, and savor these Tyrol Apple Fritters in their perfect surroundings.
The dessert is originally from the Trentino Alto Adige region, which is by the way Italy’s most important apple cultivation area. Then the ski ride down the mountain serves to burn the calories and admire the spectacular view.
When I make them, the sweet, fresh and comforting smell brings out the the imagine of a sunny skiing day in the Alps.

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Risalamande

The milky rice pudding Risalamande is of Danish origin and in Scandinavia it is written as pronounced: risalamande.
The word Risalamande is taken from French, and is built out of the three words: riz à l’amande, that literally means: almond rice. For my senses as to many other Scandinavians, this dessert
is tightly connected to Christmas. Immediately from its “boiling” perfumes in the pot, fragments of memories are shaped in the mind and help recall various atmospheres connected to the feast of the heart, love, faith and light.

 

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Truffle eggs

There are some food combinations that seem like a match made in heaven. Like butter and truffles, like eggs and truffles, like eggs, truffles and butter……

Playing with the quantity of eggs (from 1-3) remains a big challenge together with their delicate cooking process. You need to chose well your skillet, of the right measure and non-stick or iron cast would be best. The pan needs to embrace well the eggs and not be too large for the eggs with slightly high soft borders. We wish to obtain a well cooked but glossy white and a soft and creamy yolk. This recipe foresees 3 eggs, and is the perfect portion for a romantic tête-à-tête, or as a “gourmand brunch” for one person that wishes to fill up with seasonal flavors wrapped in the perfumed and comforting creaminess of the eggs.

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Barley ricotta bread with smoked trout


Icelandic-Italian fusion. Tastes that remind of late summer and autumn. Birch smoked Icelandic trout, barley bread with freshly milled organic barley from Móðir Jörð, Vallanes, Iceland, pomegranate seeds from the amazing autumn fruit, pomegranate, freshly picked in Puglia, sheep ricotta cheese from Staffolo, Marche, a dash of orange Sicilian orange blossom honey and a couple of free range eggs. These fabulous ingredients come together in this “smörrebröd” open sandwich suggestion. The scrambled eggs match heavenly with the trout and the pomegranate gives a great acidity contrast to its slight fattiness. Autumn really tastes good, and this toast is in theme with its beautiful colors as well.

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Tiramisù with buffalo ricotta

The soft, fluffy inviting Italian dessert “par excellence”, tiramisù, offers variation possibilities in the creamy consistency part as for the topping. I love to make the dessert with ricotta and mix in with the heavy cream and without eggs. You still will have an extremely fluffy and rich dessert, beautifully white and tasty, but a little “lighter” in calories. I adore buffalo ricotta in the recipe, but you can of course use sheep-, cow or mixed ricotta depending on your taste preferences.

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Getting to Varenna

 

Como Lake is really a world of its own, and discovering it bit by bit is an extremely rewarding experience. It’s also a great lesson in learning how many treasures and endless beautiful surprises you can discover, without covering too many kilometers. The lake’s spectacular three-armed shape, mountainy surroundings and history unite in making the lake a really adventurous place, a timeless place, a natural paradise, where the atmosphere could be described as a mixture of an eternal “Belle Epoque”.

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Steamed shrimps with aïoli

This is one of the easiest and fastest recipes I know, as one of the most rewarding one. Ready in less than 10 minutes, this simple seafood dish, is the perfect refreshing nutritious lunch on a hot summer day in good company or as a starter in the summer party. Of course it’s great in any season. Important that you get the freshest shrimp available, to enjoy at the most the natural flavor of this precious ingredient. Taste them on their own or with fresh sauces of choice. I love them dipped in home made aïoli garlic mayonnaise or cocktail sauce.

 

Ingredients

  • 900g medium sized shrimps with shell
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper or normal ground pepper
  • some lemon wedges

Method

  1. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the shrimps and let it rest for marinating for 5 minutes.
  2. Arrange the shrimps in a steaming basket (or a steamer) and bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a pot of same diameter. The shrimps should not touch the water.
  3. Steam the shrimps for about 3 minutes (5 if they are particularly large).
  4. Remove the shrimps from the steaming basket, squeeze some lemon juice on top, and serve alone or with aïoli garlic mayonnaise or cocktail sauce.
    *Put some bowls next to plates with hot water and extra lemon wedges and a small towel for washing hands that you will need for removing the crunchy shells.

Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is one of those whole meal salads that speak of summer. As can be understood from the name, its origin is the city Nice. There exist quite a few variants of the recipe. This is a “light” version I like very much. Light because I omit both boiled potatoes and green beans often present in the salad. Sometimes for extra indulgence I throw in a couple of mozzarella “bocconcini”, that aren’t exactly what comes to mind thinking of “light”, in matter of calories, but I love the white, soft texture and freshness they add to the whole. This salad is extremely rich and colorful, the perfect summer dish, with a glass of Provençale rosé, reflecting the warm and generous flavors of the South of France.

 

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Refreshing taziki dip

This refreshing originally Greek Taziki dip associated with Greek food, is to be found served in various places across the Mediterranean and Middle east with slight variations. F.ex. the Egyptian version doesn’t include cucumbers. This is a quite classic version. In summer it is an absolute MUST in my diet, and I even have it for breakfast….without the garlic in that case.

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