Friday, 28 May 2010

May weekend in Bologna

Highlights of last weekend in Bologna? Here are the top ones from me and Ruth – you will hear more about these in the coming weeks

1. Discovering the delights of Osteria del Sole, one of the city’s social institutions

2. An aperitivo in the warm glow of the setting sun reflected off the seven churches of Santo Stefano

3. Hanging out with Bolognese eager to share their latest restaurant discoveries and their pride in cucina Bolognese

4. The chic wonders of Eataly, an enticing all in one bookshop, food shop, wine shop and cafes on three floors at Ambasciatore

5. Learning how to make tortelloni and tortellini at the hands of Aurelia, the sfoglina (pasta maker) of Locanda del Castello at Sasso Marconi

6. Tagliolini with zucchini and prawns at Bistro 18, a new wave place or with spaghetti a la chitarra at La Locanda

7. Coffee and a pastry at Zanarini or Gamberini after a hard morning exploring the city’s fleshpots

8. Ice cream from Cremeria Funivia licked up on a shady bench under the trees in Piazza Cavour

9. Shopping for cheese, ham and baby artichokes in the indoor market

10. The stunning  360 degree view of Bologna from the terrace of Hotel Touring

Monday, 3 May 2010

Ricotta and parmesan terrine

Terrines, moulds, sformati make simple and delicious starters. All you need is a set of well greased small dariole moulds. Choose a small size – about 6cm high and 7.5cm rim diameter - of these useful aluminium containers, or failing that use a ceramic ramekin. (Nigella Lawson recommends putting a small circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom to make it easier to slide out the terrine.) This one teams up ricotta with grated parmesan to make a very Bolognese dish. We’ve added a very un-Bolognese spice – green peppercorns – because they add contrast and piquancy, and because that’s how it was when we first tasted the terrine in the lovely cafĂ© of the Danish Museum of Art and Design in Copenhagen. Best served chilled, when it is easier to un-mould, or even as a semi-freddo after a brief stay in the freezer. Goes well with a tomato and rocket salad as in the photo.

Makes 4.

250g Ricotta

100g Grated parmesan

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Green peppercorns

1 tablespoon Olive oil (for greasing the mould)

Salt and pepper

1. Begin by greasing the moulds with the olive oil.

2. Mix together the remaining ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste.

3. Carefully spoon into the moulds.

4. Place the moulds in a roasting tray and fill it with hot water to within 3 cms of the top of the moulds.

5. Place in the centre of a hot oven, 180 degrees centigrade, for 30 minutes. Cover the moulds with a piece of greaseproof paper to protect them from the heat.

6. After 25 minutes check the moulds with a skewer. If it comes out clean they are ready.

7. Remove and cool, or place in the freezer for 20 minutes for semi-freddo.

8. Run a hot knife around each mould and unmould carefully onto separate serving plates.

9. Add the salad.