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Cooking Together – Italian Street Food – Cicchetti

Our cooking together cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your evening and are ready to recreate the meals at home. The recipes work really well as delicious dinners and make a great combination for dinner party ideas. 

Cicchetti means little dishes, so we don’t usually cook all of these recipes at a cooking together, but will choose a selection.  Enjoy cooking.

Arancini

We used leftover risotto to create our delicious arancini, the recipe below adds goats cheese but you can choose any filling you like.

Ingredients – makes about 8 arancini

For the balls

  • 250g Left over risotto
  • 50g soft goat’s cheese

To Serve

  • Chopped parsley

For the Pané (weights are approximate, you can use less)

  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 200g panko breadcrumbs, blitzed
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Mix the goats cheese through the chilled risotto – if you want to add more herbs at this stage you can.

    Divide into 8 equally sized balls – if you want to be really precise, weigh the risotto rice into equal amounts.  Roll into balls by hand.

    Line up your pane ingredients in saucers – flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs

    Roll the balls in flour, then in the egg and then into the crumb – you should have an even coating.

    Refrigerate for at least an hour

    To cook

    Choose a deep pan and add enough oil to totally cover the balls.  Make sure the pan is only a third full as the oil will expand up the sides of the pan – Heat the oil till almost bubbling, test the heat by dropping a small piece of bread in – it should bubble immediately and brown. 

    Drop the balls in, in small batches – and once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove and place on a piece of kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

    Serve immediately – maybe with some aioli, scatter some parsley over the top to serve

Baked Meatballs – Polpette al forno

Ingredients -serves 2

  • Mince – we use a mix of 200g beef and 100g pork, but you can use any combination
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Stale bread 100 g or panko breadcrumbs
  • Pecorino or parmesan cheese – grated 40 g
  • Eggs 2
  • Parsley 1 – small handful
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons
  1. Method
  2. To prepare meatballs with tomato sauce, start with the meat mixture: cut stale bread into pieces and place it in a mixer with blades and make your breadcrumbs
  3.  
  4. Mix in a bowl together with the mincemeat. Add oregano, a pinch of grated nutmeg or other spices and chopped parsley.
  5.  
  6. Add grated Parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs and the egg.  Mix everything with your hands until you have a meatball texture.
  7.  
  8. Use this mixture to form little even sized balls As soon as all the meatballs are ready, heat some oil in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, place the meatballs in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes each side to gain some colour.
  9. Add water, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes. Once ready, season with dried oregano and enjoy your meatballs with tomato sauce from above.

Bruschetta – with Butter Bean & Sage – we used BroadBeans & Dolcelatte

Ingredients -serves 4

You can use any toppings you like

  • French bread – thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Spread

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 can of butter beans or fava beans
  • 6 tbsp of juice from the can of beans
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
 

Method

  1. Toast bread on both sides under the grill; 
  2. While still hot rub both sides of bread all over with garlic.
  3. Drizzle with small amount of olive oil.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the onion, garlic, sage, and lemon peel for 5 minutes until soft but not golden.
  5. Add the beans, with about 6 tablespoons of their liquid, the lemon juice, and cayenne.
  6. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  7. Mash the beans with a potato masher to form a rough paste.
  8. Season to taste.

Orange, fennel and rocket salad

Ingredients for the salad

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 small red onion , thinly sliced
  • 2 big handfuls rocket
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Method for the salad

  1. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, shred the fennel into thin slices.

  2. Remove the skin of the oranges with a knife and gently cut out the segments. Do this over a bowl to catch all the juice for the dressing. Squeeze any excess from the oranges after they have been segmented.
  3. Tip the onion into a bowl with the fennel, orange segments and rocket leaves.
  4. To make the dressing, combine the juice from the oranges with the olive oil and mustard. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

Spinach & sweet potato tortilla

Ingredients -serves 4

  • 300g bag baby spinach leaves
  • 8 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 large onions , thinly sliced
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (800g), peeled, cut into thin slices
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 8 large eggs

Method

  1. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettleful of boiling water. Drain well and, when cooled a little, squeeze dry, trying not to mush up the spinach too much.

  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a 25cm non-stick pan with a lid, then sweat the onions for 15 mins until really soft but not coloured. Add another 3 tbsp oil and add the potatoes and garlic. Mix in with the onions, season well, cover and cook over a gentle heat for another 15 mins or so until the potatoes are very tender. Stir occasionally to stop them catching.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, tip in the cooked potato and onion, and mix together. Separate the spinach clumps, add to the mix and fold through, trying not to break up the potato too much.
  4. Add 2 tbsp more oil to the pan and pour in the sweet potato and egg mix. Cover and cook over a low-medium heat for 20 mins until the base and sides are golden brown and the centre has mostly set. Run a palette knife around the sides to stop it from sticking. 5 To turn the tortilla over, put a plate face down onto the pan, then flip it over. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook for a further 5-10 mins until just set and golden all over. (Don’t worry if it breaks up a little on the edges as you’re turning it – it will look perfect when it’s cooked through and set.) Continue cooking on the other side until just set and golden all over. Again use a palette knife to release the tortilla from the sides. Allow to rest for 5 mins, then tip onto a board before cutting into wedges.

Panzanella – salad with crunch

Ingredients -serves 4

  • 1kg ripe mixed tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
  • 300g day-old sourdough or ciabatta, torn into large chunks
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot (or red onion), finely chopped
  • 50g tin anchovies, drained and roughly chopped
  • 100g black olives, pitted
  • large handful of basil leaves, torn

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle over 1 tsp sea salt, then leave to sit for 15 mins.
  2.  
  3. Spread the chunks of bread out on a baking tray and toss with 1 tbsp of the oil. Bake for 10-15 mins, or until lightly toasted.
  4.  
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, the vinegar and shallot. Season to taste. Toss the anchovies with the tomatoes, croutons, olive oil dressing, the olives and half the basil in a large bowl. Spoon the Panzanella onto a serving plate and top with the remaining basil.

Shrimp & Tomato Kebabs 

Ingredients -serves 4

If you aren’t a tomato fan, try this with fennel or butternut squash

  • 1 lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 500g prawns peeled and deveined
  • Cherry tomatoes – enough for 3-4 per stick
  • 12 wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

For the dip

  • 1/2 block crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
 

Method

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, shallot, and oregano and whisk to combine. Add the shrimp and tomatoes and toss. Let rest for 10 minutes to let flavours infuse the shrimp.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, place all of the dip ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and well combined. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl, cover, and store in the fridge until needed.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Thread the shrimp and tomatoes onto the  soaked skewers, alternating between the two. Place the skewers on the oiled grill and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until the shrimp is cooked through.
  4. Serve hot or at room temperature with feta dip on the side.

We hope you enjoyed the class!

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