Friday, 29 October 2010

Sformato di porri, salsa di peperoni - Leek and red pepper custards

This is an antipasto dish in the Bolognese tradition, invented in England. The sfomato, essentially a baked custard, is a very versatile way of preparing almost anything. Accompanied by a red pepper sauce, it looks and tastes delicious. When I cooked this at Locanda dell’ Castello, Sasso Marconi, Marcello dall’Aglio suggested that a few grilled prawns would make a fine accompaniment. But I’ve left them out of this version of the recipe.

To make it easier to unmould the custards, try placing a small piece of waxed paper in the bottom of the moulds before you pour in the mixture. Jam making kits have just the object.


3 large red peppers

2 large leeks thinly sliced

50g butter

2 egg yolks medium

1 egg medium

300g double cream

50g grated parmesan

salt and pepper

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 piece

1cm long ginger, finely chopped

4 shallots finely chopped

15ml olive oil


1. Put the pepper to roast in a medium oven for 45 minutes

2. Sauté the leeks gently in butter until soft.

3. Place leeks, eggs, cheese and cream in a bowl or jug and use a hand held processor to create a smooth puree. Season to taste.

4. Spoon the mixture into four buttered moulds or ramekins, place in a bain marie, cover with foil and bake in a medium oven until just set.

5. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge.

6. Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a plastic bag to make it easier to remove the skin.

7. Fry the shallots until soft in the olive oil.

8. Make the sauce by removing the skin from the peppers when they are cool enough to handle and processing them with the garlic, ginger and shallots.

9. Run a warm knife around the moulds and unmould the custards, spoon some sauce alongside.

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