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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 21 May, 2017

This feels like a pizza week and I don’t mean using your JustEat app. I know – carbs, cheese, all that the Gen Z-ers dread these days but it actually isn’t that bad if you’re sensible and make your own, dough and all. And hey, I’m Generation X after all and don’t care for the clean eating nonsense – or not every day.

Make the pizza over a couple of days, that way you can fit a pizza feast in mid-week. Make your own tomato sauce – it will cook while you’re re-watching the original Twin Peaks on fast forward, in anticipation of the new series. Then put the dough together and leave it to prove overnight: the next day you’ll have the best pizza this side of Naples.

Not a pizza aficionado? All right – let’s stick to the Italian mood and cook a risotto. I'm milking the asparagus season for what it’s worth, while the green spears are still fat and beautifully cheap. Asparagus risotto will be one of the finer things to eat this week, if you make the stirring effort.

And for a lazier option, there’s always orzo pasta bake, or orzotto as I call it. Orzo is pasta masquerading as rice, in case you didn’t know. All it needs is flavouring with whatever you fancy (asparagus for instance), sousing with stock and half an hour in the oven.

Italians have a way with sardines too – sandwiched and stuffed baked sardines are definitely a dish to try. If you can get ready-filleted fish, it’s a 20 minute job. And if all you have in the fridge is chicken fillets, how about my twist on saltimbocca: chicken saltimbocca with prosciutto and sage?

For dessert, we could do worse than the torta sette vasetti which is a simple yoghurt cake. No kitchen scales necessary, you have measured out your life with yoghurt pots… And for the slightly more ambitious (egg separation involved) the best Italian hazelnut and ricotta cake: Torta di Nocciole e Ricotta. Your efforts will be richly rewarded. Buona cottura!

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