Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts) by Russell Norman

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    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: fresh sardines; pine nuts; onions; white wine vinegar; raisins; French sticks; Italian 00 flour
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: tinned chickpeas; anchovies; parsley; tahini; French sticks
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: shallots; chicken livers; brandy; Port wine; hard-boiled eggs; French sticks
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: crème fraîche; horseradish; French sticks; smoked salmon; dill
    • Categories: Sauces, general; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: crème fraîche; horseradish
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: French sticks; prosciutto; figs; mint
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: rocket; walnuts; Parmesan cheese; garlic; French sticks
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried cannellini beans; onions; bay leaves; parsley; French sticks
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: tinned tuna in olive oil; mayonnaise; brandy; French sticks; leeks
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: olive oil; garlic; vegetable oil; salt cod; milk; bay leaves; black peppercorns; white onions; French sticks
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: zucchini; shallots; thyme; vegetable stock; risotto rice; Parmesan cheese; instant polenta; vegetable oil; buffalo mozzarella cheese
  • Mozzarella bocconcini
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: panko breadcrumbs; lemons; dried oregano; Italian 00 flour; buffalo mozzarella cheese; vegetable oil
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: floury potatoes; Parmesan cheese; eggs; vegetable oil; instant polenta; lemons
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: mozzarella cheese; cherry tomatoes; basil
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: mortadella; green olives; Emmental cheese
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: artichokes; speck (Italian)
  • Grissini, pickled radicchio & salami
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: juniper berries; radicchio; grissini; salami
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Italian
    • Ingredients: white wine; white wine vinegar; juniper berries; radicchio; olive oil
  • Fried stuffed olives
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: anchovies; sage; Parmesan cheese; egg whites; Italian 00 flour; panko breadcrumbs; vegetable oil; queen olives
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: white anchovies; fennel; dill
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: Gorgonzola cheese; mascarpone cheese; walnuts; mortadella
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: rocket; Parmesan cheese; bresaola
    • Categories: Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian
    • Ingredients: ricotta cheese; lemons; dill; smoked salmon
  • Aubergine & Parmesan wrap
    • Categories: Sauces, general; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Small plates - tapas, meze; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: aubergines; onions; chilli flakes; tomatoes; canned tomatoes; oregano; Parmesan cheese; mozzarella cheese; basil
    • Categories: Pizza & calzones; Italian; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: strong white flour; yeast

Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Burrata with lentils & basil oil

    • Cheri on April 26, 2015

      The previous reviewers have said it already, this is a terrific dish. Served with roasted cod and an artichoke. The sum of the parts makes this really a satisfying and interesting dish. Filling. Definitely will repeat. Highly recommended. Don't skip the basil oil or the mustard salad dressing, these components really make this dish stand out.

    • westminstr on April 24, 2015

      I made a half recipe of these lentils and thought they were quite good. I served with a half recipe of the mustard dressing (from pear gorgonzola salad) and together they made a punchy lentil salad that stood on its own. Use less dressing of course if you are going to use the lentils in other dishes as written. 1/18/2018 - have made these lentils a bunch of times but last night both kids refused to eat them bc of the carrots/celery mixed into them. So note to self to stick w Richard Olney's lentils until we get through this no-mixing stage we seem to be in.

    • westminstr on August 19, 2016

      I made this dish using the Smitten Kitchen shortcut dressing and Richard Olney's lentils. The burrata/lentil combo was delicious. Perhaps one day I will get around to making this dish as written! Here's the link to the SK version: https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/08/burrata-with-lentils-and-basil-vinaigrette/

    • Breadcrumbs on August 01, 2013

      p. 218 – We love lentils and especially Puy lentils so with salmon on the menu, I simply couldn’t resist this recipe. We especially enjoyed the brightness the basil oil added to the dish. This was great warm and we could imagine it being nice at room temp as well. A beautiful, fresh-tasting summery dish that we’ll happily make again. The mustard dressing is terrific and really enhances the nutty flavour of the lentils. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911447#8234052

    • SheilaS on October 27, 2018

      The basic warm lentil and vegetable salad dressed with a mustard vinaigrette was delicious on its own and would be a great base for any sort of lentil bowl. The burrata and basil oil are the icing on the cake.

    • sosayi on April 12, 2018

      The lentils portion of this dish is all I can speak for, but it's great. Worked amazingly with the cod cheeks recipe and leftovers were great for lunch (although I added a bit more vinegar and mustard to punch them up when cold).

    • pattyatbryce on January 10, 2023

      Don't skip the basil oil and burrata - they make this dish fantastic.

  • Runner beans with red onion & pecorino

    • westminstr on July 28, 2016

      easy to put together, very fresh tasting, makes good leftovers. use the full amount of onion and cheese so you can get a little bit of each ingredient in every bite.

    • tekobo on September 04, 2016

      Nice, simple way to treat runner beans. You end up with a cold dish if you refresh in cold water as instructed. Next time will leave warm and eat quickly!

  • Chickpea, leek & fennel soup

    • westminstr on April 24, 2015

      I made a half recipe entirely with stuff around the house - leek tops, fennel stalks, canned chickpeas and water. Also subbed a bit of onion and garlic for the shallots and added a parmesan rind & extra olive oil for richness. I had to add extra chickpeas because there was too much water. The broth suffered a bit from the simplicity and the soup would have been better either starting with dried chickpeas or with some chicken stock added. The flavor improved with an overnight rest. Lunch served drizzled with more olive oil and freshly ground black pepper was quite good. This was still a good soup even with all my changes and would have been outstanding if made as written.

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      A second try on this soup this time with chicken broth. The chicken broth really did add some important flavor that was missing the first time around. This is really a delicious soup.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 06, 2015

      p. 231 – Soup is the perfect antidote for many a woe and when the cold weather is unrelenting, the sky is grey and the grass is the same colour as straw there is little more satisfying or consoling than tucking in to steaming bowl of delicious soup. Well, mission accomplished Polpo soup…it may be miserable outside but we feel much better inside! I used cicerechie vs chickpeas. Their flavour profile and texture are very similar although to my palate they are just a little nuttier. This is a wonderful, hearty soup reminiscent of split pea soup but without the smokiness or ham. The vegetables really get to shine here and play a supporting role to the peas. In this case they bring sweetness and balance to the soup. I added fennel fronds and and a drizzle of grassy evoo to the finished dish. They added a subtle touch of contrasting colour and freshness to the soup. We enjoyed this with some crusty bread. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9512532#9512532

    • mirage on October 02, 2015

      Light. Delicious.

    • stockholm28 on December 11, 2016

      I liked this a lot. I made half a batch and I used homemade chicken stock and dried chickpeas. I ended up having to add 2 additional cups of liquid (one while cooking the chickpeas and a second cup while pureeing the soup. It was still quite thick. Definitely drizzle some nice olive oil on top as the recipe suggests. This was very easy and a nice hearty soup for a cold night.

  • Borlotti beans, savoy cabbage & rosemary breadcrumbs

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      This is a shining example of cucina povera - beans are cooked with aromatics, cabbage is blanched, the two are briefly mixed together and topped with garlicky breadcrumbs. The combination of these humble ingredients is quite tasty indeed. I had to make some substitutions based on what I had on hand - so I used Rio Zape beans instead of cranberry (the two are actually quite similar, though Rio Zape makes a darker broth) and instead of rosemary I put sage in my beans and thyme in my breadcrumbs. I also salted my beans from the beginning and cooked my cabbage in salted water so that these two elements would be seasoned right through. As others have reported, the soft and silky cabbage is great with the beans, and the crumbs add texture and a flavor punch. Would you like this dish? Does the combination of beans, cabbage & breadcrumbs sound good to you? If it does, definitely give this one a try.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 226 - Three components separately prepared then combined to produce a dish greater than the sum of its parts. We loved the creamy beans with their subtle rosemary flavour. I worried that the cabbage would be well, just cabbage…bland without being dressed per se but I needn’t have, I think the point of using savoy cabbage is to have it blend in. Not as pungent as other varieties, what we appreciated most about the savoy was the lovely texture it brought to the dish. The breadcrumbs served a dual purpose adding another textural element and their wonderful garlicky flavour. We liked these very much indeed. I served them as a side dish with some grilled meat but this dish could easily stand alone as a main course. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9541804#9541804

    • TrishaCP on October 17, 2017

      Loved these ingredients together. I pressure-cooked my beans, so they were a little softer than intended but absolutely beautifully perfumed with rosemary. The breadcrumbs are needed and wonderful. Will make this again.

  • White beans & wild garlic

    • westminstr on July 28, 2016

      Made with previously cooked white beans and ramps. I made it a couple of times during ramp season. Very yummy.

  • Garlic & chilli prawns

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      Have made these twice and I'm sure I will make them many more times. So easy and just outstanding.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 10, 2015

      p. 115 – Great! Everything I want in a weeknight dish, minimal prep, super-simple execution and delicious result. I used 1.5 not-so-Venetian Thai bird chillis in this and the heat was perfect for our taste. With so few elements to this dish, quality ingredients are the key. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9517405#9517405

    • TrishaCP on July 23, 2018

      Couldn't be easier and super flavorful.

    • L.Nightshade on April 24, 2015

      This couldn’t be easier. It didn’t knock our socks off, and certainly wasn’t unusual, but for something so quick, it was pretty darn good. The best bites came from the shrimp at the bottom of the bowl, as all the buttery, spicy, garlicky liquid slipped down there.

  • Cod cheeks, lentils & salsa verde

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      This is a wonderful dish with many component parts, though each component is pretty easy. The whole family loved it and my kids ate lots of fish and lentils when they were served with the salsa verde! I have since repeated this dish in a similar format using seared scallops & Richard Olney's lentils (no chopping) and that was a hit too and much easier on a weeknight.

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2016

      p. 110 - No cod cheeks here however I found some gorgeous fresh halibut that seemed fitting for a New Year’s day dinner. We especially loved the tang the dressing brought to the salsa verde and we felt it worked beautifully to counter the richness of the lentils and halibut. When I prepare this dish again, I’ll double up on the salsa verde to ensure we don’t run out. Instead of pan frying the fish I prepared it atop my cast iron griddle under the broiler (a fantastic technique I learned from FWAD). This worked really well though it did remind me that my oven is in dire need of a cleaning. Guess what’s on the agenda today?!! Another delicious dish from this book that I’ll happily repeat. This one holds particular appeal as the various elements can be prepared ahead so it would make for a terrific, easy but elegant company dish. Photo here: http://www.chowhound.com/post/april-2015-cotm-polpo-chapters-3-4-fish-meat-1009437?commentId=9787031

    • L.Nightshade on April 06, 2015

      Halibut just came into season here, and Mr. NS came home with a fillet. Not cheeks, but i have to say this dish is flexible, and probably works with a number of different fish. My salsa was more relish-like than saucy, but was moist and delicious. It was the perfect enhancement to the fish and lentils.

    • sosayi on April 12, 2018

      Agree with the previous positive comments. I used pacific cod, which was good substitution. Each component was quite easy to make and the whole was delicious. Notes: I added more of the mustard dressing to both the lentils and the salsa verde than called for and I did NOT double the lentil recipe, as specified. Definitely do again.

  • Tuna & egg tramezzino

    • westminstr on April 13, 2015

      Facing the last of some hardboiled eggs and homemade mayo leftover from Easter, and with a can of tuna in the larder, I decided to make this sandwich for lunch. No fluffy soft white bread around, so I used our regular whole grain sandwich bread and sliced the egg rather than leave it whole. This was a decent tuna sandwich but nothing spectacular. It could have used a bit more mayo but I only had a little bit left.

    • Smokeydoke on December 02, 2016

      This is a basic tuna sandwich recipe. It's tasty. I tried doing the egg in the middle, but it didn't slice correctly, so I ended up mashing it into the tuna spread. Therefore, I couldn't get a great photo like the one in the book. The red onions were a bit strong, next time I'll either soak them in water first or add less then called for.

  • Bresaola, rocket & Parmesan wrap

    • westminstr on December 29, 2015

      Easy and wonderful. Everybody loved these little guys.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 55 - Well, while Bresaola might be “readily available these days” in London as Norman says, here in the great white north, in the culinary waste land part of the GTA I call home, it isn’t. Go figure! Nevertheless and thankfully I was able to find this cured meat by travelling north west and visiting an Italian meat market. We loved these little rolls. Our Bresaola was sliced perfectly, wafer thin. The bitter greens, buttery olive oil, umami of the Parmesan and tart lemon all came together to make each bite a harmony of deliciousness. A wine-friendly bite indeed! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9539957#9539957

    • Astrid5555 on September 06, 2015

      Lovely, quick and easy and a big hit with my dinner guests. Will make again!

    • stockholm28 on April 26, 2015

      Very easy hors d'oeuvres.

    • joneshayley on February 08, 2020

      Really nice, easy but impressive canapé.

    • hlange on November 16, 2023

      Way more than the sum of their parts. Was unable to find Bresaola. Used Proscuitto instead which was certainly delicious but made wrapping these tricky. Crave-worthy.

  • Grilled fennel & white anchovy skewers

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      I made this dish by roasting the fennel at high heat in the oven. But for some reason it didn't wow me. I think it was the white anchovies themselves - I just didn't love the ones I ended up purchasing at WF, would have been better to get them at the Spanish market where they would have been better.

    • Breadcrumbs on May 24, 2015

      p. 53 - Well I finally managed to get my hands on some white anchovies and we couldn’t wait to try this lovely little cicheti. Needless to say RN didn’t disappoint and even the self-confessed anchovy-averse in the crowd were picking up seconds of this dish. I honestly didn’t expect to love this as much as I did, this really is an exceptional dish. A light and delicate appetizer that is well worth repeating. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9575906#9575906

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      Mr. NS grilled the fennel in a basket over a wood fire. I followed another chowhound's lead here by not using skewers, and also by using the fennel fronds along with the dill. My version was more like a tossed salad, rushed to the table, one in a series of dishes. The anchovies were in high demand, and I ended up reloading them atop the remaining fennel. No leftovers on this dish; another success.

  • Tuna & leek crostini

    • westminstr on May 01, 2015

      Like others, I enjoyed the boozy tuna and leeks. I used applejack but brandy would have been better. My tuna wasn't oil packed so I added a bit of olive oil. Italian oil-packed tuna is probably best for this dish.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 04, 2015

      p. 37 – This is another ridiculous recipe. I first read it and it sounded like a good old tuna fish sandwich. Tuna, mayo, S&P, bread. Did someone really put this in a cookbook? No picture, no wonder…right? So then I took a second pass through the book and I read it again. This time I noticed the brandy and the leeks. Brandy? Why would someone put brandy in their tuna salad? And not just leeks but raw leeks…we love leeks but never have I served them raw. So there you go, I just had to give this a try. Well guess what, we loved it. Not only did we love it, our guests loved it. They asked what it was. Somehow the addition of brandy and those slivered, fresh leeks disguised this tuna fish sandwich and turned it into something sublime. I used Italian tuna packed in oil. I expect the quality of your tuna will make or break this dish. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9508941#9508941

    • SheilaS on October 17, 2018

      The recipe calls for a "splash" of brandy. In the chopped liver recipe, he identifies a splash as 25 ml. I added it by the teaspoon and stopped at 3 t, ~ 15 ml. I might try adding more to the leftovers but I was wary of making it too strong. I sliced the leeks as thinly as I could and gave them a short soak in ice water to make them look perky. I found them quite mild in the end. I think very thinly sliced red onion or scallion could also be used if a leek wasn't handy. I also added a tiny sprinkle of parsley for some color.

    • L.Nightshade on April 08, 2015

      I used a small tin of Spanish tuna, so halved the other ingredients. I made quick stick-blender mayonnaise, and dribbled in some Courvoisier. I figured that if this wasn’t going to be mom’s tuna salad, I might as well use the best of everything! They’re not very attractive, pretty monochromatic. I wish I had added a tiny bit of green like Breadcrumbs did. But they were certainly a hit. They were supposed to be a little bite before dinner, but Mr. NS kept having “just one more.” We ended up having a very late dinner.

  • White bean crostini

    • westminstr on August 03, 2016

      Wow, these were good. I made them with canned beans. I was honestly shocked that it was so easy to turn a can of white beans into something so tasty. My kids weren't big on the marinated beans (too garlicky) but they loved the spread.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 04, 2015

      p. 36 – I think it would be easy to pass by this recipe. There’s no picture. It sounds like something you might have made or eaten many times before. I almost made that mistake but mr bc is a wanna-be Tuscan and he loves his beans so I decided to take a second look. What struck me about this recipe is that the beans take two forms. There’s a fluffy hummus-like mixture that’s spread atop your Crostini then there are the remaining beans that are marinated in a mixture of evoo, lemon juice and zest, parsley, S&P. If you still think this sounds a bit pedestrian, you’d be wrong. Somehow, somewhere along the way these seemingly-simple, humble ingredients come together and create a symphony of flavour by the time they hit your palate. One of our guests asked if I could get him a spatula so he could get the last smear atop his toast. Yes, it is that good! photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9508919#9508919

    • hirsheys on March 05, 2017

      This was completely fantastic. I expected them to be good, because I saw the rave reviews on Chowhound, but was still impressed. I used canned beans, too, so I bet they would be even better with the dried ones. ETA: I actually preferred this with canned beans, plus it's easier.

    • Yildiz100 on May 01, 2017

      I already have 2 or 3 versions of white bean crostini/bruschetta in my repertoire but this will go into rotation as well. My favorite is still the version in Verdura, but this will be nice when I need a change. I chose this as a way to use up some already cooked-from-dry white beans, so since I didn't plan ahead to make this the beans were not boiled with the bay leaf and onion. Maybe that is what's needed to make this recipe really stand out.

    • julesamomof2 on April 13, 2020

      Super easy, super delish, and inexpensive too. I made these with canned beans and served with a thin, smallish crostini. The recipe instructs to lightly toast the bread, so I did that without the addition of a brushing of olive oil, which how I usually make crostini. I think I like the lightness and simplicity of the plain toasted bread better. Served 2 per person as a light appetizer before the main course.

    • Jojobuch on March 04, 2018

      Great appetizer to serve while people are waiting for the main course! I added a bit of lemon juice and garlic to the puree as well (as I used canned beans that weren't boiled with any aromatics beforehand). They were a hit!

  • Smoked salmon, horseradish & dill crostini

    • westminstr on December 04, 2017

      I can't believe there are no notes on EYB for these crostini! I made these for a dinner party and they were fabulous even though I had to use the whole foods salmon. The horseradish creme fraiche was so good! They made a beautiful presentation as well.

    • pistachiopeas on February 04, 2018

      I made these for a dinner party and everyone loved them. The horseradish creme fraiche is outstanding.

  • Anchovy & chickpea crostini

    • westminstr on May 15, 2015

      Like others, we loved these, Very easy, healthy and most important tasted great! Kids liked it. I could see this spread becoming a staple.

    • westminstr on May 15, 2015

      Like others, we loved these, Very easy, healthy and most important tasted great! Kids liked it. I could see this spread becoming a staple.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 26 – I don’t love anchovies. I find a little go a long way so I was a bit apprehensive when I read that this recipe called for 10 . . . yikes! I had a jar of anchovies in the fridge that a friend recently gave to me so I thought I’d break those open for this dish and give it a whirl since Mel’s review on CH was positive and mr bc (who isn’t much of a fish & seafood eater) happens to love anchovies…go figure! Against all odds, I ended up loving this spread! I’m wondering if perhaps the tahini balances out the flavours because I’ve had an anchovy/bean dip in the past and it wasn’t great but this, this I found totally addictive. Salty, tart, creamy and a little nutty this spread hit all the right notes. I’d also add it goes very well with red wine! Cin cin! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9510119#9510119

    • L.Nightshade on May 01, 2015

      I’m an anchovy lover so I had eyed this recipe earlier. Tonight, I had anchovies I wanted to start using up, a can of chickpeas, and a (less than called for) bit of parsley on its way out. No bread, so not crostini, just spread it on slices of cucumber. The chickpea, tahini, and lemon combination sounds more middle eastern, but then the anchovies present themselves, and take it in another direction. Another very easy recipe with a nice outcome. I know I would have liked it more on toasty bread, but this worked out alright. I have a lot leftover, it will be lunch tomorrow.

    • Astrid5555 on September 04, 2015

      Yum, this was delicious! I am not a big anchovy lover but hubby is, and we BOTH loved it a lot. I also like that the spread comes together very quickly and keeps in the fridge for several days.

    • lilham on February 29, 2016

      I made a quarter of the recipe to serve two adults and two very young children. I used tortilla bread because that's what I had. Absolutely delicious. Norman is right that chickpeas and anchovies are bed fellows.

    • IsaSim on April 25, 2016

      Delicious but salty as one can expect, great with dry Madeira wine.

    • Lepa on October 21, 2018

      I love anchovies so I was expecting to like this more than I did. It was decent but did need salt and was lacking something (garlic?) I like the idea enough to play around with this until I am happy with it.

    • Smokeydoke on December 06, 2016

      Add me to "love" list. Thought it was great, texture stayed creamy after a day in the fridge, and I loved topping it on a crostini instead of pita chips, it made such a difference.

    • Totallywired on July 29, 2019

      Key here is the anchovy oil, add to taste.

  • Spicy pork & fennel polpette

    • westminstr on April 13, 2015

      In our house these were liked but not loved. I served them with pasta at my family's insistence and maybe that was the problem. I think they are better as pictured with bread and lots of that fabulous sauce! I made two-thirds of the recipe, have leftovers and froze half for another day.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 153 – Outstanding! mr bc & I are huge fans of fennel. Whenever I visit London I make the Borough Market my first stop and the lady at Spice Mountain immediately starts getting her wonderful fennel seeds off the shelf as soon as she sees me! Good thing another trip is on the horizon as this dish used up the last of my recently acquired stash! In my opinion it’s the heady aroma and sweet flavour of the toasted fennel seed that really differentiates this meatball dish and needless to say, it’s a new house favourite. I decided to follow the example of the photo in the book and shape my polpette into logs vs balls and the benefit of that shape seemed to be the larger surface area that caramelized in the oven. The sweetness of the sauce and the toasted fennel seed balanced out the spiciness of the chili perfectly. A very special dish indeed. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9504442#9504442

    • Gio on March 20, 2015


    • TrishaCP on February 17, 2016

      These were enjoyable but not my favorite meatball recipe as they came out a bit dry for me. (Made better with lots of the Polpo sauce, which goes beautifully with the meatballs.) I shaped as directed but larger logs would have been better. I also have very mild chile flakes that I normally adore for their smokiness but this dish was crying out for more heat to play off the fennel. Update 2/24/17: Made again with hotter chile flakes and they were much better. But I think Westminstr is right that these are better with bread rather than pasta.

    • pandasaurusrex on April 03, 2017

      YUM. The ground toasted fennel seeds make all the difference in the world. Simple ingredients resulting in tender, almost fluffy meatballs. I thought they were perfectly moist (not dry, as another reviewer experienced). He has you first (incompletely) bake the meatballs then poach them in simmering tomato sauce. Agree with Breadcrumbs that the log shape nicely increased the surface area for caramelization. Cutting recipe down by 1/3 still made ~25 meatballs. It was the sauce that was a bit underwhelming right off the stove (we thought it was fine but nothing that complex or special -- though it did grow on me as leftovers when the flavors were given time to develop in the fridge).

  • Basic tomato sauce

    • westminstr on April 13, 2015

      Absolutely outstanding. This sauce could not be more delicious. A new house favorite, and worth the price of the book. (I had no fresh tomatoes so used 3 28-oz cans, everything else as written.)

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 149 - Truly scrumptious! I’ll definitely make this again without hesitation as it produces a hearty, sweet and sumptuous and subtly sweet marinara. Full disclosure, “fresh” tomatoes is a bit of a misnomer in Ontario Canada at this time of year so instead I opted to replace them with tinned San Marzano tomatoes. This recipe differs from my standard marinara in that it calls for onion and chopped garlic where I use sliced. I also add water to my marinara so this thicker, lusty sauce was a bit of a revelation. I have to say I was hesitant to blitz it with my Bamix because it looked sensational in all its chunky glory but since I was serving it with the meatballs, I proceeded as directed. The sauce quickly transforms from a deep red to an orangey-red colour, I suspect the evoo plays a role here. Blitzed or not, this sauce is a keeper. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9504453#9504453

    • Gio on March 27, 2015

      http://sallyservesitup.tumblr.com/post/32124674996/polpo-basic-tomato-sauce NB: error appears second to last full sentence.

    • TrishaCP on December 13, 2015

      I had made a batch of this back in August-I don't can either so I froze it. We defrosted some recently and enjoyed it on pizza and as a simple pasta sauce. Delicious. I really like the oregano in the sauce.

    • debkellie on April 24, 2015

      What is "a handful"? Other than trying to gauge how much of the oregano trailing over my back steps (great rockery plant) to pick , and perhaps adding a tad more chilli flakes than was called for this makes a great base sauce - freezes well too!

    • hirsheys on March 19, 2017

      I was really looking forward to this sauce given all the great comments. It was good, but I wasn't as enthused as everyone else. Perhaps I used too small a handful of oregano,.. Also, I only made 2/3 of the meatball recipe and still found the sauce to meatball ratio off.

    • stockholm28 on September 06, 2015

      I bought a huge bucket of Roma seconds at the farmers market (12 lbs) to make sauce from. Needless to say, I used all fresh tomatoes rather than a mix of fresh and canned. I really love this sauce. I think I like it better than the standard tomato basil sauce. The oregano and red chili gives it a little kick. I blanched the tomatoes to peel before adding to the sauce. I used an immersion blender to puree the sauce. I've yet to learn how to can (someday), so this sauce went into ziploc bags in 1 cup portions to the freezer.

    • joneshayley on February 08, 2020

      Really nice sauce, simple but beautiful ingredients, prepared well. I loved this

  • Pork & beef polpette

    • westminstr on September 06, 2016

      I made two thirds of a recipe, half pork and half beef. I thought these were pretty good, perhaps a little dense. I salted as specified and they were slightly underseasoned to my taste.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 12, 2015

      p. 150 - I think mr bc would eat meatballs every day if left to his own devices so it was only a matter of time before I made these for him to try. RN says they make 25,000 of these a year for the restaurant! While these make a very nice, tender and juicy meatball, like others here have said we do prefer my go-to version. I use veal/pork and beef in mine and fresh bread soaked in milk vs dry breadcrumbs. Nevertheless the Polpo meatballs are very nice and perfect for a small plates meal. I’ll excited to have these in the freezer now as they’ll make an antipasti supper much easier on a weeknight or a hurried weekend. Since the photos posted so far show the meatballs sauced, I thought I’d be a little more risqué and share some “naked” meatball photos!! ; ) Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9520345#9520345

    • TrishaCP on January 15, 2018

      My husband absolutely loved these meatballs and I thought they were good too. I didn't think they were dense at all- we used the proportions called for in the recipe (2 parts pork to 1 part beef). Scaling down (I made a half batch), I only used one egg. I didn't have parsley, so added some dried oregano instead. Served with linguine rather than bread (as suggested in the headnotes) and used the Gjelina marinara sauce.

    • hirsheys on March 19, 2017

      These were fine - easy enough to make and fine tasting. I just don't think I love meatballs that are mostly pork. I made 2/3 of a recipe (like westminstr), but used the original proportions of pork to beef.

    • joneshayley on February 08, 2020

      Brilliant with the sauce suggested.

    • metacritic on October 13, 2021

      Terrific and dead easy, not least as these cook in the oven and then are braised to finish. I used 50/50 beef pork as that is what I had on hand. I added pine nuts at the request of my son, which were very good, though these are also great without the addition.

  • Mussels & clams with garlic breadcrumbs

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      I made this as part of Christmas Eve dinner. It got rave reviews but I wasn't really into the breadcrumbs with the mussels, though both the mussels and breadcrumb elements were great on their own.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 128 - Well, the ice finally broke yesterday and mussels made their way to Southern Ontario for the first time this month. Trust me, I was on mussel-alert and arrived at the fishmonger’s shop bright and early to ensure I had my fair share! I love mussels and clams so I’ve been keen to make this dish since I first looked through the book. Subsequent reviews here have only further piqued my interest. What separates Norman’s version from the rest in my view are his delicious breadcrumbs. I was judicious in my use of the chilies as well and needless to say this dish was a knock-out! Plenty of bread is required to sop up the sensational broth. Outstanding! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9539970#9539970

  • Breaded sardines with caper mayonnaise

    • westminstr on April 24, 2015

      I subbed flounder for sardines and thought this dish was quite good. I used 1/4 of the breadcrumbs for 1 pound of flounder fillets, along with zest of an entire lemon and chopped oregano. The lemon and oregano flavor was discernible, but only barely so. I might skip this for a busy weeknight. The caper mayo was dynamite.

  • Warm squid salad with cavolo nero & chickpeas

    • westminstr on April 20, 2015

      this came together easily after work and was very good indeed. i made a half recipe with one pound squid from the csf and subbed regular kale for curly kale. healthy, flavorful and quick, yum. ETA: Have now made this several times, and I really like this one-dish meal. But I need to remind myself to take the extra step of reducing the copious liquid before serving. Otherwise it can be a little bland.

  • Linguine vongole

    • westminstr on May 01, 2015

      We enjoyed this dish, but it was too spicy for the kiddos. My clams took more like 8-9 minutes to open, but I expected that and adjusted the timing accordingly. There is lots of broth at the end. I still prefer the Mark Bittman version from HTCE, where the pasta cooks for longer in the clam broth, absorbing the briny flavor.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 24, 2015

      p. 118 - My turn with this classic and I really can't add much to all the great info that's been provided ahead of me. I will say that like LN, I found my clams took much longer than usual to open. I was actually concerned they may not have been fresh but at the 9 min mark, they opened up. I'm left wondering if the oil plays a role here. I usually start my clams and mussels in a hot, dry pan. Like ncw, I typically finish my LV with some butter but I prepared Norman's recipe true to his instructions and it produced a tasty meal. Truth be told, I do like the richness a little butter brings to the dish but I suppose I could have achieved a similar result if I'd have finished this one with a buttery olive oil. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9536403#9536403

    • Smokeydoke on December 28, 2016

      I admit I cheated and used canned clams. Whatever the reason, the dish came out very bland. There's better versions out there, imo.

  • Warm octopus salad

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      I made a reduced version of the recipe since octopus is kind of pricey and I wasn't sure how it would go, never having cooked it before. Well that was a mistake! This recipe was easy to cook (though a bit time consuming for boiling the octopus) and we loved it. Would definitely make again, my only regret was not having more octopus!

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 120 - Oh my this is yummy! Well worth the wait and no worse for the advance prep of the octopuses (I’d be curious if that’s still the correct term for 1.5 octopuses RN) this made for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. I prepared the potatoes tonight and instead of 30 seconds in the microwave, I suggested that mr bc toss our suction-cupped friend on the grill to give it a smoky char. This worked beautifully. We loved this dish, what a treat for a weeknight. A beautiful spring evening with a meal that rose to the occasion. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9542820#9542820

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      Mr. NS made this dish, and, against his instincts, pretty much followed the recipe. He did come over to me in the kitchen at one point, and whispered his confession that he wasn’t going to peel the potatoes. That was OK with me; we had red-skinned and yellow-skinned potatoes, so they just added a little additional color. When I finally found the creatures, they were baby octopodes (the correct Greek plural per RN, I had been guilty of calling them octopi), so he followed the directions for cooking moscardini on page 137. This only took about 15 minutes. This dish can be made well ahead, and it presents so nicely at table (assuming no one is squeamish about tentacles, certainly no one was at our table). It’s a lovely combination of flavors and textures.

    • Livia on May 13, 2020

      Only addition was a sliced green chilli which worked really well. This was divine.

  • Zucchini, basil & Parmesan salad

    • westminstr on April 24, 2015

      For me this was just good, not great. I omitted the basil but don't think that was it. My hand-sliced zucchini was not ideal and I will try the FP if I make this again, and extra parmesan would have improved it as well.

    • L.Nightshade on April 08, 2015

      For today, this was just zucchini and basil, no rocket or any other green. Although the book says to serve it immediately, I took my cue from COTM posts and let it sit a bit while I worked on the main course. Just a solid, easy salad. I added a bit of extra parmesan and ground pepper at the end.

    • Yildiz100 on April 02, 2017

      If I made this again I would combine the arugula and basil first then add sliced zucchini to taste as I think it would be better with less. I would also slice the zucchini in the food processor for ultra thin slices.

    • Totallywired on July 22, 2019

      Delicious peak of summer recipe.

  • Panzanella

    • westminstr on June 22, 2016

      Very simple, and simply delicious! I used three field tomatoes and a bit more bread than indicated.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 198 - The one thing I most anticipate is access to in the summer months is homegrown tomatoes and the one dish that I’d eat morning noon and night when tomatoes are in season is panzanella. This is a dish that screams summertime. Mouthwatering tomatoes, the heady aromas of fresh basil, rich delicious olive oil and good quality crispy/soggy bread. I found some locally grown greenhouse tomatoes on the weekend, they were still on the vine and they actually smelled like tomatoes. The first thing I thought of was panzanella! This is one of the best versions I’ve made. I really like the inclusion of red wine vinegar. Mine was a Niagara-region Pinot Noir vinegar. mr bc is not normally a fan of this dish as he hates soggy bread but RN’s toasting method ensured the bread maintained some crunch and mr bc loved the dish. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9541323#9541323

    • nicolepellegrini on July 24, 2016

      Good basic recipe for panzanella but I thought something was off in the ratio of tomatoes to bread. 20 tomatoes to ~4 ounces of bread? Only if using very small cherry or campari tomatoes, I think. I used 2 large heirlooms and a little more bread, and still wanted more bread in it.

    • Elbea on September 29, 2020

      This is a very simple, but tasty salad. A definite Summer staple.

  • Prosciutto & butternut squash with ricotta salata

    • westminstr on October 31, 2016

      A nice treatment for squash. Made as written except that I subbed toasted hazelnuts for pumpkin seeds. Quite nice but I used a honeynut squash and left the peel on. I think I should have peeled the squash, or else used another variety like kabocha.

  • Cavolo nero, gnocchi & pecorino romano

    • westminstr on March 08, 2017

      I've been so curious about this dish, but I knew I didn't have time to make my own gnocchi, so I tried it with purchased gnocchi. And while I enjoyed the dish, I didn't love it. So I conclude that part of the special quality of this dish is the homemade gnocchi! I have to say that I found the sauce directions a little sparse. It didn't help that I was super late getting home and pressed for time which is not the best place to be in for trying new recipes. I thought I was making a half recipe with one bunch of kale. But I had to add more parm and garlic to get it to taste right, and way more than 2-3 glugs of olive oil. And though I processed for longer than I expected, I still never got the sauce to look as smooth as the photo in the book (it looked similar to blowfish's above). It was a bit more "vegetal" than I expected. A *weight* on the kale would have been helpful. I have to say that when I got everything plated together, the pecorino really added to the overall flavor of the dish

    • Breadcrumbs on May 01, 2015

      P. 194 - Truly lovely. Who knew an autumn/winter green like cavolo nero could taste so fresh and vibrant. I suspect RN may have used more evoo than I did as my sauce was electric green and just as bold in its flavours. I’d honestly never thought of pasta for a small plates menu but if ever there were a candidate, this would be it. No one needs a lot of gnocchi and this sauce is so different and interesting it really lends itself well to a cocktail type affair. I know I’ve gushed about this already but RN’s gnocchi is really the best! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9547001#9547001

    • Breadcrumbs on April 12, 2015

      p. 194 - I’ve never made gnocchi before and comment on the preparation of this version vs others. What I can say is that this book’s version is very novice-gnocchi-maker-friendly as I was able to prepare it following the book’s directions without issue. I made my gnocchi earlier in the day so I used RN’s make-ahead instructions by blanching the gnocchi then draining and tossing in some evoo then placing in the fridge until ready to re-heat. This worked brilliantly. The recipe has a relatively high yield so I also froze some for later use. Everyone loved the gnocchi. What sets these apart IMHO is their lightness. Somehow the gnocchi managed to be light and airy, not at all heavy or dense. You actually know this will be the case as you roll out the dough into ropes, it is at once sturdy enough to roll, yet light enough to feel delicate. Until I learn otherwise, these will be my go-to gnocchi…amazing! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9520950#9520950

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      I made the gnocchi from this recipe when I made the Duck Ragu from page 165. At that time I made them just as written in the recipe, but I couldn’t get the dough past a rather mushy state. So while they cooked up and tasted OK, I wanted to see the grooves from the gnocchi board, which pretty much melted away. Our cooking teacher in Italy was adamant about never adding eggs to gnocchi, so I thought I’d try it his way. His recipe also calls for grated parmesan in the dough. However, the gnocchi made without eggs fell apart when cooked (apparently I need to go back to school in Tuscany). So I added a tiny bit of egg and re-mixed the dough. This batch came out fine, kept the grooves, and held together when cooked. I did like the addition of the parmesan in the dough. I liked this “sauce,” which was an easy, and very pleasant, way to get a leafy green into the pasta course. I will certainly be making this again. As I need more gnocchi practice!

  • Chicken cotoletta

    • westminstr on May 01, 2015

      Don't make chicken cutlets too often but these were quite good. The chicken was very juicy and tender (I think from the lemon juice) and the outside was crispy. My only issue was that the coating didn't really stick to the chicken (probably because of the lemon juice?) - If making these again I would make the cutlets much smaller so that each one is just a few bites. I used 1 pound of chicken breast, two eggs (but one would have been enough) and 1 cup of panko.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 04, 2015

      p. 177 – This is another recipe that would be easy to pass by. I suspect most of us here have prepared a breaded chx before. We all know the drill, flour (with or without seasonings depending on how much time and interest we have), eggs and breadcrumbs. We might have used panko to mix things up a little and in this case, so does the author. So again, why make this recipe? Well, there is a little something different here. In this case RN has you season the raw chicken with lemon juice…huh, lemon juice…well that caught my attention and I thought I’d give it a whirl. Well, for whatever reason, and you know what maybe luck was just on my side tonight but, by far and away, these were the juiciest, crispiest chicken cutlet I’ve ever made and, since mr bc thinks he’s Italian (he’s not…he’s Canadian/Scottish) I’ve made a LOT of chicken cutlets. Delicious. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9508984#9508984

    • TrishaCP on January 20, 2017

      I agree these were really tender and juicy- loved the lemon juice here. I had no problems with the coating adhering to the chicken. I also only needed two eggs.

    • hlange on November 28, 2023

      Couldn't be simpler and yet so so tasty. Hubby gave these 10/10. Served with a dollop of mayo and a side of arugula dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and flaky salt.

  • Flank steak with portobello mushrooms

    • westminstr on April 20, 2015

      I made this with flap steak and absolutely loved it. Easy and just delicious in every way. Made a half recipe w two portobellos. Next time I will use three. Also note to self to cook the meat a bit longer next time - it was a bit too rare.

    • Breadcrumbs on April 06, 2015

      p. 167 – Sometimes it pays not to trust your instincts and this is one of those occasions. Only because I’ve had tremendous success with this book was I able to curb my desire to add some balsamic vinegar to the greens in this dish. Instead, I put my trust in RN’s hands (and recipe writing) and threw caution to the wind by simply dressing my greens w salt, pepper and evoo. Who knew something that looked like a simple salad could be so much more. I truly believe this dish works because it isn’t a salad. It plays with your senses. There’s a whole lot of earthy tamed by the bitterness of the greens and the richness of the evoo. I sliced my mushrooms so that they would be identical to the size of the sliced steak. I can truly understand why this is a favourite on the Polpo menu, it shines in its simplicity and every single ingredient plays a key role in the success of the dish. We loved this. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9512811#9512811

    • kari500 on September 11, 2019

      We don't cook much meat in this house, but this is our go-to steak recipe. Simple and great.

    • TrishaCP on October 31, 2015

      Just as easy and delicious as everyone else indicates. I did find that the steak (in my case a skirt steak) needed more time-so did the mushrooms. I would estimate that added another 10 minutes to the total cook time, but that is still doable for a weeknight.

    • L.Nightshade on April 17, 2015

      Add me to the group of not-huge-steak-fans, also to the group that liked this simple dish. It’s really dependent upon quality ingredients. We got flank steak from Three Sisters Farm, some very peppery arugula, and big, plump portobellos. We deviated from the recipe only by grilling the steak on the big egg, instead of a grill pan, all else was as written. There was some resistance to the plan: “The steak doesn’t get marinated?;” “There’s no vinegar or anything else to dress the salad?” But of course, it all worked out just fine. This was a lovely, easy dinner, and healthy to boot.

    • pistachiopeas on April 27, 2015

      Couldn't be any easier. I may have over salted the steak a touch, as I was worried about thelack of marinade. But it was fantastic! Loved the portobellos especially. Great, healthy dinner.

  • Beetroot salad with rocket & walnut pesto

    • westminstr on January 02, 2016

      I really like this pesto but for me it didn't do much for the beets. concur with others that the dish needs some lemon. (I didn't cook the beets with vinegar, and perhaps that's why they seemed to be lacking acidity?).

    • L.Nightshade on April 24, 2015

      I made half a recipe, and the pesto easily went into the FP in one batch instead of two. I followed a chowhound's suggestion and added a squeeze of lemon at the finish, which did indeed brighten the dish.

  • Walnut pesto

    • westminstr on April 20, 2015

      Wow, this was a really fantastic pesto. I made 1/5 the recipe with 60g each arugula and walnuts and that filled up my food processor and made a large portion. Loved this. The kids didn't seem to like it though, but they may have liked it better on pasta. Loved this on toast.

    • TrishaCP on April 13, 2016

      I really liked this wintery version of pesto, but you need to enjoy bitter flavors to like this. I used half of the arugula and garlic, but eyeballed the rest of the ingredients as I didn't feel like measuring in grams. The cheese sets off the bitter arugula and walnuts nicely and I didn't need to use much oil.

  • Pear, Gorgonzola & chicory salad

    • westminstr on May 01, 2015

      Really loved this salad! I used one head each of Belgian endive and treviso radicchio, 1 pear, 1/2 recipe of the dressing and the gorgonzola - this seemed to work well. Really delicous salad.

    • SheilaS on October 27, 2018

      This is a delicious fall salad! The mustard vinaigrette for this salad is used in several other dishes in the book. I had some leftover from the burrata and lentil dish so it was easy to toss this together. The recipe says to mix the Gorgonzola into the dressing but one could easily just sprinkle it over the salad if you have any blue cheese haters. Do use ripe pears so the sweetness will contrast with the bitter greens.

    • TrishaCP on December 31, 2018

      I have made many variations of pear and blue cheese salad- but this is a particularly delicious version.

  • Fennel, radish & mint with ricotta

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 216 – Lovely bright & crunchy salad, perfect little dish for a small plates meal. We had some friends coming for lunch and I’d planned on making Grilled Lamb Chops Scottaditi. I marinated the lamb in a lemon/mint/garlic/evoo mixture so the flavours married well with this dish. Like LN mentioned, the lemon is a real standout here it works beautifully with the earthy pungency of the radishes and really seemed to draw out the anisey flavour of the fennel. I had a little fresh basil leftover so I tossed that in as well. This is a real keeper. The ricotta at the bottom of the plate is a nice surprise and its creaminess adds a nice textural element to the dish. Another knockout dish from this book. My guests left with this recipe. I’m sure it will make many an appearance on our menus this summer. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9511080#9511080

    • L.Nightshade on April 05, 2015

      Ricotta seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil is smeared onto each plate to create a “wide blob.” Thinly sliced radishes and fennel are tossed with mint, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice and plopped on the blob. That’s all there is to it! I loved the brightness of the shaved radish and fennel against the creamy ricotta; Mr. NS thought the tartness of of the lemon in the salad nicely contrasted and complemented the sweetness of the peas in the main dish. Yet another simple yet delightful dish.

  • Mozzarella pizzaiola

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 217 - mr bc & I loved this dish! Unlike dk, we haven’t tried a number of versions of this recipe so for us, this was a whole new ballgame. I portioned this down since it was just the two of us enjoying an Polpo-inspired meal of small Venetian plates. I had an embarrassment of hand-chopped garlic so I added a smidge atop each tomato half. Our imported buffalo mozzarella nestled comfortably amidst our super-sweet tomatoes and the whole lot sat atop a nest of dressed arugula as RN suggests. I’m even willing to admit I might have shamelessly scooped some of this mixture atop my Asparagus Taleggio pizzetta…and loved that too!! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9539981#9539981

  • Gnocchi

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 195 - I prepared RN's recipe for use in his Duck Ragu and these little potato-pillows were exceptional! Light, fluffy and tender. A gnocchi knock-out. More info in my Duck Ragu review. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9520909#9520909

  • Mustard dressing

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 207 - Lovely light and tasty dressing. I prepared this for the Burrata with Lentils dish on p. 218 and have made subsequently for salads. A great multi-purpose recipe to have on hand.

    • sosayi on April 12, 2018

      Tangy and delicious dressing. I used it for the Cod Cheeks and Lentils with Salsa Verde recipe. Quick to prepare and well balanced.

  • Roast potatoes & rosemary

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 103 – Perfect roast potatoes. Crispy-crunchy on the outside, tender and fluffy on the inside – no one could resist these spuds and despite the fact that I’d made a large batch, I didn’t have any leftover. These potatoes are prepared in what I think of as the British method whereby you par-boil them, then drain, let them dry off and rough them up a bit before you toss them with oil in this case (or another fat of your choosing) then roast them off. The author has you heat the oil and some rosemary on your baking sheet before adding the potatoes then turning and shaking every 15 mins until ready. My Yukon Golds were done within 30 mins. I find that sometimes rosemary can overwhelm so I didn’t bother removing my leaves from the stems and this resulted in a subtle rosemary flavour infusing the potatoes. Perfect for our tastes. This recipe served as a great reminder that taking the extra time to par-boil the potatoes really does produce a far superior result.

    • L.Nightshade on April 01, 2015

      This method was new to me. When I roast potatoes cut into bite size pieces, it only takes about 45 minutes, so I wasn’t sure about boiling them first and then roasting them. And, ultimately, mine did not come out browned and crispy looking. Too much oil? These tasted fine to me, but as Mr. NS is the crispy potato fan, I’m sure he would have preferred to eat the browned version. ETA Breadcrumbs thinks the problem was my waxy potatoes. Next time use a floury variety!

    • Astrid5555 on September 06, 2015

      Delicious, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a subtle rosemary flavor. I have tried many roast potato recipes before, but this was the first one where you parboil the potatoes before roasting them in the oven, which makes this recipe a little bit more time-consuming. Still, this will be my go-to recipe for roast potatoes in the future.

  • Osso buco with saffron risotto

    • Breadcrumbs on April 20, 2015

      p. 168 - On a sunny but brisk day something hearty was in order and this recipe hit the spot precisely. I’d been hoping to make this during our COTM month but we’d actually been having some nice weather so I held off. As luck would have it, the warm air headed south so I figured I better make this stat! Needless to say we loved the dish. I too just used my LC pot and cooked the veggies after removing the veal to preserve the caramelized meaty bits. I’ve never served osso buco atop risotto and we loved the combination. The risotto was rich and creamy. The tomato sauce was robust and the tender veal melted in our mouths. Oh, and the neighbour’s dog jumped the fence to come sit at my open door so it seems the aromas appealed to more than just those here at Casa bc!! I’d highly recommend this. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9530404#9530404

    • Melanie on July 08, 2014

      The osso buco worked well but I wasn't a huge fan of the end flavour - I think this was due to veal aversion on my behalf though, so not the recipe's fault. The recipe instructions direct you to brown the veal in one pot, cook the vegetables in another, and then place everything in another dish to bake in - this seemed like a waste of pots to me (I used a Le Creuset pot to brown the meat, removed to do the veg and then added back in before placing in oven - cover with foil and the pot lid). I really enjoyed the risotto although I didn't really follow the recipe - I used white wine not vermouth and didn't have any saffron. Really delicious though and would make again to serve with braised beef.

    • meginyeg on January 30, 2023

      The risotto and osso buco went well together. I used beef instead of veal since that's what I had. It was a tasty dish.

  • Rabbit cacciatore

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 178 – This dish was sensational. I used skinless, bone-in chicken thighs. Our tinned tomatoes were San Marzanos. I didn’t chop my herbs, I just tossed the sprigs right into the pan. This is a dish that embraces your home with its tantalizing aromas. The heady herbs, the comforting combination of tomatoes, onions and garlic all wafting through the air and drawing you into the kitchen. This is pure comfort food. After a small plates lunch with friends we somehow found room in our bellies for this hunter’s stew. We did forgo the suggested mashed potatoes and favoured the second option, crusty bread. Though no wine was suggested, we enjoyed some of that with this meal. I’ve made a Cacciatore or two in my time, I’d count this among the best. The sauce was sweet and the tomato flavour was intense. I think it was the Kalamata olives that really rounded this out. We look forward to the leftovers. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9511232#9511232

    • TrishaCP on October 01, 2017

      Another terrific recipe from this book. We had a whole rabbit, and cut it into eight rather than thirteen pieces. It cooked just fine in the time specified. We used oil-cured black olives and I thought they were perfect, though the brininess of kalamata would also be nice, as Breadcrumbs describes.

  • Bresaola, celeriac radish & parsley

    • Breadcrumbs on May 24, 2015

      p. 186 Given how much everyone cooked from this book during the COTM it’s hard to believe no one’s actually made this dish yet! Undeterred by my market’s lack of bresaola I opted to go with Prosciutto instead and this worked out beautifully. This dish shines in its simplicity. Celeriac is grated, tossed w some salt and sugar and left alone for 30 mins while you slice your radishes and arrange your meat on a plate. Any moisture is then pressed from the celeriac before combining it with the radishes along w some evoo and parsley. The salad is then plated atop the meat and topped with some freshly cracked pepper. So simple yet really fresh and tasty. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9575871#9575871

  • Whole sea bream

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 125 - On a trip to a local Italian market I was fortunate enough to find Sea Bream and I couldn’t wait to get home to prepare this dish. I love fish and I’d never tried Sea Bream before so this was a very exiting day indeed. Especially since I was in Norman’s hands and he hasn’t let me down yet. Although it was still a bit chilly outside, it was definitely a bright, sunny day and with that, we decided to grill the fish. As Norman instructs, we dried our fish well (though we opted out of the blow-dryer method!). The fish was perfectly cooked with 6 mins per side. The flesh is so buttery and rich. Its creaminess came as a complete surprise. The evoo, parsley and lemon were all we needed alongside. This was fish perfection. If I could only eat one fish again, it would be sea bream…prepared just like this. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9539948#9539948

    • Astrid5555 on September 06, 2015

      A very simple yet truly amazing fish recipe! Whole sea breams are grilled 6 minutes per side and just topped with a little parsley, olive oil and garlic drizzle. Lovely!

  • John Dory with orange, fine herbs & pink peppercorns

    • Breadcrumbs on April 14, 2015

      p. 131 - The photo of this dish in the book is so appetizing. It’s precisely the type of plate you hope to be able to serve special guests. LN’s photo was equally enticing and I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. Yesterday mr bc picked up some Chilean Sea Bass and the plan was afoot. Despite the beautiful photos and LN’s positive review, I wasn’t prepared for just how much we’d love this dish. I too was skeptical of the cooking method but needn’t have worried because this dish is simply sensational. It’s as perfect as a fish preparation could be. If you have a buttery fish, the tang of the sauce is the absolute perfect offset. The peppercorns provide little bursts of tongue-tingling heat and the herbs bring the freshness to the party. I reserved a handful of fresh herbs to finish the dish and I’d recommend doing this as the remainder becomes a little dull looking during the simmer. Ridiculously good! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9522347#9522347

    • TrishaCP on February 14, 2016

      This is a great dish- very fresh and light. I used sole as John Dory isn't available where I live. The peppercorns added some needed bite, but were by no means too sharp or spicy. I used mint, dill, and parsley as my herbs (what I had on hand)- these were good but would love to try with all four when my herb garden is no longer buried in snow!

    • L.Nightshade on April 01, 2015

      This recipe calls for John Dory, which is something we’ve never seen around here, so fresh and local petrale sole (actually a flounder) stood in for John. For a dish that presents beautifully, this certainly took no time at all. The entire dish literally took minutes, and tasted great. It feels light and healthy, but rich and complex at the same time. Loved the colors with the pink and green peppercorns and all the fresh herbs. This is another do-again.

  • Lamb & pistachio polpette

    • Breadcrumbs on April 14, 2015

      p. 154 - I’m starting to feel a bit like a broken record but honest to Polpo, we loved this!! My butcher had some beautiful, fresh Ontario lamb and ground some shoulder for me. I’m not a nut-lover and wasn’t too sure about the five-spice powder but I put my faith in Norman (as I’ve come to know him) & proceeded as set out in the recipe. Even when I was tempted to steer in a different direction and serve these with a pomegranate orange urfa biber pepper sauce I ultimately changed my mind and stayed the course instead opting to grill some of my Polpo Focaccia and serving the MB’s atop with some of the fabulous Polpo Tomato Sauce. The rest is history. Once again Norman had us smitten with his recipe. I don’t know why I doubted the tomato sauce because its sweetness was the perfect match for the earthy lamb & the roasted nuttiness of the pistachios. I love having this in my arsenal of antipasti options; Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9522383#9522383

    • JoanN on September 03, 2017

      Made half a recipe (full roasting pan) with the ground lamb from the farm. Outstanding. Both the Polpette and the Tomato Sauce. Especially liked the pinch of 5-spice, which I was pleased to find was discernible.

    • TrishaCP on April 10, 2018

      Incredibly delicious. I made about a third of the recipe, but using half an onion, one garlic clove, and an egg- the texture was still good. The five spice powder brought a nice anise flavor to the table that worked with the Polpo tomato sauce.

    • stockholm28 on April 04, 2016

      These meatballs are quite good and I really like the pistachios; however, for me the tomato sauce is really the star of this dish. I only had 1 lb of lamb so I made 1/3 of the recipe. That resulted in 14 meatballs.

  • Duck, black olive & tomato ragù

    • Breadcrumbs on April 12, 2015

      p. 165 - This dish is exceptional. The richness of the roasted duck meat, the sweet tang of the roasted tomatoes mixed with NR’s outstanding tomato sauce, the saltiness of the black olives and the bursts of heat from the occasional green peppercorn…this dish has it all. Of course it would be nothing without the gnocchi and it’s no surprise that NR’s gnocchi (p. 194) is a standout. So airy and tender, so unlike heavy gummy store-bought gnocchi. You could actually reduce the prep time for this dish by making certain components in advance. The tomato sauce and gnocchi could be prepared ahead (RN tells you how to hold the gnocchi in his recipe), the duck could be roasted off in advance then there would be much less to do the day you planned to serve this. I think this would make an excellent, impressive company dish so I appreciate that next time around I can reduce prep time considerably. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9520909#9520909

    • debkellie on April 24, 2015

      Having been persuaded by previous correspondents, I sought out Polpo, specifically for this recipe - I had some sous-vided confit duck legs to use up. A first time effort for home made gnocchi (over a 45 year cooking career) this was a simply stunning taste sensation - definitely worth the effort.

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      Not much to add to Breadcrumbs’ report above. I don’t think I had quite the same success with the gnocchi, but I will continue to work on that. I made the tomato sauce and roasted the duck legs in advance, so this came together very quickly. I worked on the gnocchi with one of our weekend guests, which made for a fun project. I love the roasted tomatoes that get popped in at the last; I might even be tempted to leave some out then drop them onto the finished dish.

  • Cotechino, lentils & mostarda

    • Breadcrumbs on April 30, 2015

      p. 158 - I’d never heard of Cotechino before reading about it in this recipe. I adapted the prep somewhat. Instead of sullying 3 pans, I didn’t start the veggies until my sausage was cooked then I just drained off the water and re-used the pan to cook the onions et al. Also, I retained my lentil cooking liquid and stirred that back into the dish vs using water. Our Italian Mostarda di Arance was a wonderful addition to this dish and even mr bc loved it which surprised me since he’s not a fan of marmalade. While we really liked this, our Cotechino didn’t appear to be ground as finely as RN’s and the lumps of what I can only assume (from RN’s headnote) to be “back fat” to be a bit off-putting from a textural perspective. I would likely have preferred LN’s wild boar sausage variation. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009437?commentId=9545581#9545581

    • L.Nightshade on April 08, 2015

      Not a chance in the world that I’d find cotechino sausage here, but I had wild boar sausage in the freezer, and that is what I used. Fortunately, I had made mostarda for holiday gifts this year, and had frozen the small amount left over from filling the jars. This was a very nice dish. It’s the same lentils that are used in a couple other dishes, with the addition of parsley and mustard. I had such a small amount of mostarda left, I just plopped it on each plate. The sweetness of the fruit works so well with the sausage and braised lentils.

    • tekobo on January 02, 2020

      Cotechino is only available in Italy in season i.e. early winter and into the new year. We buy the sausage and bring it home to the UK and it is sooo worth it. We cook it for three hours in a water bath and serve with this lentil dish and chopped up mostarda, also from Italy. Delicious! And it brings you wealth and good luck for the new year.

  • Mozzarella bocconcini

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 43 – I rarely deep fry anything but these sounded far too good to pass up and I loved RN’s suggestion to prepare the bocconcini earlier in the day and then just fry them before serving. We were having friends for a small plates lunch and these seemed like just the thing to welcome folks in the door. I made double the amount and still there wasn’t a morsel leftover. I also warmed up of RN’s sensational tomato sauce so folks could smear some of that on their plates as well if they wished. The lemon zest adds a nice and unexpected flavour to the breading and with a spritz of lemon just before serving, no sauce was required. These are truly scrumptious and I’d happily make them again. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9511152#9511152

  • Mortadella cube

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 47 - As Norman says, “this is a very simple cicheto that evokes the 1970’s classic served at suburban dinner parties: pineapple chunk with cheese”. With that pineapple chunk in mind I decided to add a tiny Italian pickled pepper to the end of each of my spears. I think the key to success with these is to ensure they’re served at room temperature. I did a little sampling as I cubed the Mortadella and it was a bit rich “one note” cold IMHO. Once the olive did worked its magic though this was a one-bite wonder. Loved these, we’ll be serving them on the deck this summer without a doubt! I should note that some of my leftover cheese was too short to wrap around my fat olives so I used some tiny gherkins instead of olives and they worked a charm! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9539876#9539876

  • Artichoke & speck

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 47 - What a delightful bite these make! My tinned artichokes were pretty hefty so I cut them in half before wrapping in the speck. We especially loved the smokiness of the speck contrasting with the bright, fresh flavour of the artichoke. A drizzle of evoo tied everything together nicely. Another hit well worth repeating…I’m really feeling the urge to host a cocktail party on the deck!! Cin cin! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9542752#9542752

    • L.Nightshade on April 23, 2015

      Yes, it would be a bit of an exaggeration to me to say I completed another “recipe” in this book, as there was absolutely nothing to it. But I had little bits of speck leftover, and a few remaining jarred artichokes. Mine were not merely baby artichokes, but more like preemie artichokes. Fitting, however, as I only had small pieces of speck left. A nice little bite!

  • Smoked salmon, ricotta & dill wrap

    • Breadcrumbs on May 24, 2015

      p. 56 - It took me far too long to prepare this delicious dish but I’m glad I finally got to it as everyone enjoyed it. The ricotta is an important component in this dish so it’s worth ensuring you have a high quality product. I agree with LN, the ricotta works so nicely with the smoked salmon and I much prefer its lightness. The subtle lemon flavour was perfectly balanced. Definitely a great little appetizer to have up your sleeve (or in your belly!!). Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9575895#9575895

    • TrishaCP on May 25, 2015

      I also made this over the weekend with beautiful goat's milk ricotta from my farmer's market. I was unexpectedly out of dill so subbed chives and their blossoms- it worked but I would have preferred dill. The salmon I had didn't come in nice long pieces so the final product looked a bit messy but tasted great. Don't forget the lemon juice at the end!

    • L.Nightshade on April 03, 2015

      Couldn't be any easier. I really prefer ricotta to cream cheese, and use it even when eating toast or a bagel with salmon. But the addition of lemon zest and dill just cranks it up a notch. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9508657#9508657

    • Barb_N on March 02, 2019

      I made this for a mezze dinner with homemade ricotta .It took but a moment once the ricotta was made.

  • Pizzetta bianca

    • Breadcrumbs on April 24, 2015

      p. 65 - You know what I love about this cookbook? Everything! Well, aside from that, I love that within a few minutes and no advance planning you can through together a delicious little something or another to nibble on before dinner with a glass (or two) of wine. Friday night, home from work. Tired, starving. Remember we have some pizza dough in the fridge. While I pull out Polpo and start slicing onions, mr bc grabs a ball of dough and gets the oven on. 20 mins later we’re sitting down to Pizzetta Bianca. This really hit the spot for us. I didn’t fresh thyme (I did unearth some brownish grey used-to-be-fresh thyme in the crisper but we took a pass!) so I toasted some fennel seeds and used those instead. I liked that the flavour of the crust actually shines through in this pizzetta and the olive oil just enhanced everything.

    • Smokeydoke on December 11, 2016

      This is a tasty, delicate-flavored pizza. Highly recommend using red onions and a thin crust.

  • Focaccia

    • Breadcrumbs on April 11, 2015

      p. 98 – Let me start by confessing that I’ve never made bread before. Sort of. Years ago we rec’d a breadmaker as a wedding gift - I put ingredients inside it and it produced something that remotely resembled but didn’t taste at all like bread. The breadmaker found a new home with a nice lady and her son that purchased it from me at a yard sale and since then, I’ve never attempted baking a loaf of bread and the idea of doing so has been pretty intimidating. Since the other recipes I’ve tried from this book have been terrific, I thought I’d take a shot at this bread. The focaccia breads I’m familiar with tend to be flat but I trusted Norman when he said to shape my dough into a large dome and as it baked, it grew into a bigger dome. This is one big ass, 1kg bread! I didn’t have rosemary so I brushed the top with some basil/garlic oil. The crumb is even with a nice chew. The crust is absolutely delicious. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9518696#9518696

    • joneshayley on February 08, 2020

      A good bread, but very large

  • Cotto & piccalilli tramezzino

    • Breadcrumbs on April 28, 2015

      p. 96 - Imagine my excitement when I found the perfect bread for these at my supermarket! These delicious little sandwiches came together in no time and made for a perfect mid-day meal. Bread is spread with mayo then piccalilli before meat is piled in the centre of the bread. Edges are pinched tight to keep the filling safely tucked then the sandwiches are cut in half. I loved how neat and tidy these looked, so different than typical sandwiches and just the right size. I think these would be fabulous on a buffet table if you were serving a crowd. Tasty and attractive! No surprise to have another hit from this book and, a preferred way of preparing something you thought you already had mastered! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9542227#9542227

  • Cotto & Fontina panino

    • Breadcrumbs on April 14, 2015

      p. 93 - mr bc totally surprised me by saying he was going to make a sandwich he saw in Polpo! His bread of choice was the Polpo focaccia. We had Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and some baby arugula so he was in business. I was totally impressed that he even pulled out some good evoo to drizzle atop. He was quite happy with his creation and said it tasted great, he really liked the evoo on the bread. So there you have it…next thing you know he’ll be ordering cookbooks!! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9523200#9523200

  • Stracchino, fennel salami & fig bruschette

    • Breadcrumbs on May 18, 2015

      p. 88 - Delicious even though we didn't have dried figs. I turned to the crisper and emerged with some red grapes. In an attempt to emulate that robust sweet and earthy flavour I thought I'd roast the grapes so I tossed them with a little evoo and some freshly ground black pepper and into the oven they went and you know what, the results weren't too shabby if I do say so myself! mr bc quickly declared he'd give this dish a 10/10. My vote would be pretty close as well. The roasted grapes worked beautifully. My only concern was the cheese. We both really loved it but it didn't melt like the cheese in the book's photo, not even by a long shot. I'd purposely left it out at room temp for 2 hours prior to preparing this dish so I can only imagine there must be richer, higher fat variations. Another fabulous dish Polpo! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9567354#9567354

  • Goat's cheese, roasted grape & walnut bruschette

    • Breadcrumbs on May 01, 2015

      p. 84 - mr bc loves goat cheese and I detest it. He’s been talking about this recipe all month and I finally broke down and made it for him. Not surprisingly, he loved it. He said he’d give it a 10/10. He said I don’t know what I’m missing and judging by reviews here (bruschetta-fatigued-cucina-LlM clan excluded!) he may be right. I just can’t get past the pig-pen (goat-pen?)/barnyard smell of that repulsive cheese. Anyway, our sourdough was huge and he had 3 servings. He said he’d happily have this for breakfast tomorrow as well. If you like goat cheese, I suspect you’ll love this dish as well. I didn’t have thyme so I used toasted fennel seeds here. I used a clover honey atop. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9546988#9546988

    • SheilaS on October 07, 2018

      Absolutely delicious and so easy. Excellent ROI

    • TrishaCP on July 06, 2015

      Amazing. I made it with the honey (lavender) and it wasn't too sweet for me (thanks to both the cheese and the garlic).

    • Astrid5555 on September 06, 2015

      These are truly amazing! The combination of grapes, walnuts and goat cheese makes for a great flavor combination with contrasting textures. Topped them with truffle honey from Italy. Big hit with dinner party guests!

    • lilham on May 10, 2015

      This is very good. I used dried thyme. And like stockholm28, I used only one roasting pan for both the grapes and the walnuts. Mr lilham was skeptical because he doesn't like sweet dishes for main courses. But even he thought this was terrific.

    • stockholm28 on April 13, 2015

      I thought it was terrific. In order to avoid dirtying two pans, I put the grapes in first and added the walnuts to the same pan after 5 minutes. I tried it both with and without the honey and liked it better with the honey. I liked the flavor of the honey against the sharp goat cheese.

    • joneshayley on February 10, 2020

      These are truly delightful. Simple ingredients prepared and served to their absolute best. The flavours complement and surprise. Definitely worth making.

    • Barb_N on January 09, 2020

      I also roasted the grapes and walnuts together, with fresh thyme. The first night I plated with ricotta (a la Half Baked Harvest Super Simple). Second time around I used goat cheese - unexpectedly I preferred the flavors with the ricotta.

  • Tomato bruschette

    • Breadcrumbs on May 01, 2015

      p. 82 - I know tomatoes aren’t in season but mr bc so hell-bent on having the goat-cheese grape bruschette and I needed to have something to nibble on. I had some greenhouse tomatoes on the vine that were pretty tasty so I thought I’d throw this dish together. Sourdough was sliced and grilled then rubbed w garlic before drizzling w some evoo. Tomatoes are cut into small pieces then tossed w basil, evoo, chopped garlic, S&P. The tomato mixture is spooned atop your grilled bread and you’re good to go…provided you have a glass of wine in hand at this point…which of course I did…it is Friday afterall! Cin cin! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9546976#9546976

    • Astrid5555 on January 01, 2016

      Very good and simple recipe for tomato bruschette.

  • Prosciutto & rocket pizzetta

    • Breadcrumbs on April 20, 2015

      p. 79 - What an outstanding lunch this was today! I made these a little larger than the book suggests so they’d be substantial enough for a lunch. I couldn’t make these fast enough to meet demand. I loved NR’s suggestion to fold them in half and eat them like a sandwich. While I still prefer my knife and fork, the men in our crowd immediately took the opportunity to fold theirs as soon as I mentioned it! Photo here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9530412#9530412

    • joneshayley on February 10, 2020

      Delicious. An absolute gem

  • Asparagus, Taleggio & speck pizzetta

    • Breadcrumbs on April 26, 2015

      p. 73 - We loved this combo! This little pizza sure does scream springtime with its lovely sweet asparagus. My Taleggio was far too soft for grating so I just scattered some small dollops around the pie. The saltiness of the speck was a perfect match for the creamy cheese and sweet asparagus. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9539851#9539851

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      I’ve made this pizzetta twice now, like the Pork and Pickled Pepper pizzetta, once over a wood fire, once in the oven. The oven won out, but this was a tasty little round either way. The recipe calls for grated taleggio and mozzarella, I only had taleggio, and it was too ripe to grate, so I chopped it best I could. Asparagus (previously blanched and shocked, then cut into a few pieces) is scattered onto the dough over the cheese. Once the pizzetta is cooked thinly sliced speck is layered on. It’s finished with a few drops of olive oil and some ground pepper. Just wonderful. And I will always use taleggio only, it works beautifully with the asparagus.

    • joneshayley on February 11, 2020

      Whenever I use this book I’m left staggered with how simple pairings are used to best possible effect. This is a beautiful combination that I’ll make again and again.

  • Olive & white anchovy pizzetta

    • Breadcrumbs on April 18, 2015

      p. 76 - Our turn with this one! Alas no white anchovies to be found in my neck of the great white north so instead, I opted to go with some lovely white sardines. This little pizzetta was such a hit I had to make an extra one to meet demand. Did I mention how much I love this book? It is so nice knowing that every dish you make is going to knock it out of the park! Not to mention make your home smell delicious!! Photo here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9529257#9529257

    • L.Nightshade on April 14, 2015

      I made the pizza dough in the bread machine, and we popped this little pizzetta on the outdoor grill. Pretty simple: halve some olives, grate some mozzarella, add anchovies and basil after cooking. Very tasty combination.

  • Pork & pickled pepper pizzetta

    • Breadcrumbs on April 18, 2015

      p. 74 - Pizzetta perfection! I loved this combination of the pickled jalapenos with the ham. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get coppa so I used Prosciutto Cotto. This is the perfect mix of sweet, sour, spicy and savoury. I had a tiny amt of mozzarella leftover from another dish so I tossed that on top as well. Loved it.

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      I didn’t use jalapenos. I had a box of padron peppers that needed to be dealt with, so I roasted then pickled them in anticipation of making this recipe. We were unable to slice the coppa paper thin, which I think is a necessity, so it was julienned. I’ve actually made this pizzetta (along with another one) twice in succession now: once over a wood fire, and once in the oven, both on a pizza stone. In spite of the indoor version requiring frequent smoke alarm resets, it came out a bit better. Anyway, enough details, I loved this pizzetta! The sweet-tart peppers with the rich and salty parmesan and coppa, just a great combination.

  • Aubergine & Parmesan wrap

    • Breadcrumbs on April 04, 2015

      p. 58 What a clever idea, two-bite rolled eggplant parmesan! These little nibbles are simply sensational. I even made another batch of NR’s brilliant tomato sauce to smear inside these little lovelies! I found the recipe online here for those of you without the book as yet. I don’t have much to say other than we absolutely loved these. I’d double the amount next time because folks couldn’t get enough of them. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009436?commentId=9508858#9508858

    • moppe on March 09, 2015

      So delicious, worth the labor. Try to not make the slices to thin, as they will get super thin during grilling.

  • Grilled zucchini salad

    • Breadcrumbs on April 14, 2015

      p. 212 - Outstanding! We didn’t like this, we loved it! This salad shines in its simplicity. Barely dressed greens with just the right amount of freshness from the lemon, the pepper of arugula and the creamy smoky flavours of the zucchini and the crunchy garlicky breadcrumbs all come together and pack a real punch. Not only does this taste great, it looks pretty delicious as well. I can imagine this on many a dinner buffet this summer! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9523729#9523729

    • TrishaCP on September 04, 2016

      We loved this one too and will be making it frequently during zucchini season from now on. It was both the combination of textures as well as the flavors that makes it so delicious. Both are really well-balanced and it is just extremely tasty.

    • nicolepellegrini on June 28, 2020

      I greatly reduced the quantity (who needs to eat 6 zucchini as a side dish salad?), though I do love my tasty seasoned breadcrumbs so I kink of overloaded my salad with those! (I toasted the garlic with the bread because I do not like/can't eat raw garlic). Really nice flavor combination and I liked that the dressing was just oil and lemon.

    • Jojobuch on March 04, 2018

      I love grilled zucchini and hadn't actually tried this on my indoor griddle pan. I'm glad I did, and the garlic breadcrumbs makes this a bit more special. Great summer salad!

    • moppe on March 09, 2015

      Very nice salad with a variety of textures.

    • Lepa on September 02, 2018

      This is good but wow, it was a lot of work grilling all that zucchini. It made an enormous salad and we didn't eat all of it so I think I'll make 1/2 the zucchini next time to shorten the prep time.

  • Asparagus with Parmesan & anchovy butter

    • Breadcrumbs on April 07, 2015

      p. 225 - Goodness gracious did we love that anchovy butter!! I don’t adore anchovies but I found the flavours of the butter perfectly balanced and I didn’t find it fishy at all. Thanks to those who prepared this dish before me as I was able to incorporate your suggestions to ensure success. Serving plate was placed in the warming oven well in advance. Butter at room temp. Parmesan grated vs shaved. Our asparagus was sweet and we loved the contrasting salty umami of the compound butter. I served the asparagus with roast Atlantic salmon that I’d rubbed with evoo, lemon zest and garlic. I couldn’t resist melting some of this fabulous butter atop the fish once it was removed from the oven. I'm keen to come up with additional uses for this fabulous butter. Next stop, melt it atop pasta...yum! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9514373#9514373

    • L.Nightshade on April 01, 2015

      This butter is processed ahead of time, a blend of butter, anchovies, basil, garlic, and chile flakes. Asparagus are trimmed and blanched, refreshed in cold water, then heated briefly before serving. The butter is dolloped onto the asparagus, and it is topped with parmesan shavings. The original recipe calls for plating the asparagus and adding knobs of anchovy butter, there is a bloggers interpretation that calls for heating the asparagus and butter in the oven. I think I will try the oven method next time, as, even on a warmed plate, the asparagus cooled enough that the butter remained somewhat knobby. But delicious!

  • Asparagus risotto with prosciutto

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 234 - This dish is just screaming springtime and with the sh#&ty winter we’ve had, we needed something to shock us into spring! I’m not even a fan of risotto and I absolutely loved this dish. Sweet, tender asparagus in a tangle of Italian prosciutto sitting atop a creamy, parmesan-infused risotto. The recipe (link pasted below) is intended to serve four or six. I served it with chicken so I imagined it would serve four. Everyone asked for more. This is just delicious! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9508887#9508887

    • Astrid5555 on May 16, 2017

      This is incredibly good! From now on we will only eat asparagus risotto topped with prosciutto. Delicious!

    • Jojobuch on March 04, 2018

      Great risotto recipe - I loved the addition of prosciutto at the end (though the risotto was so good on its own that you didn't need it; you can easily leave it out to make it vegetarian). Setting aside some spears of asparagus and cooking them separately also makes for a really nice presentation.

    • Lepa on March 16, 2020

      This was pretty good. Not the most complex risotto I've had but good.

  • Blood orange & Campari cake

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 274 – I’m not someone who spends much time looking at the dessert sections of my cookbooks but the first time I flipped through this book and stumbled across this recipe, I just knew I had to make this dish. Aside from looking beautiful, the combination of ingredients held immediate appeal This cake was a resounding success. Everyone just loved it. My oranges were extra-juicy so I had lots of syrup. I had enough to super-saturate the cake and still serve some when plating. I love the subtle floral element blood oranges bring. This is a cake I’ll be making for years to come. Looking at the photo in the book though I have to question how they achieved the caramel/brown colour on the crust of that cake baking for 20 mins. I needed to bake mine for 35 mins for the cake tester to come out clean and my crust was golden at best. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009439?commentId=9510160#9510160

    • TrishaCP on March 08, 2016

      I loved the flavor of this cake. I had problems with the texture-partially user error since I used overly large eggs and didn't adjust the amount, but I didn't like the almond flour here either. It seemed to add a denseness and heaviness. I would absolutely make the syrup again, but would probably use the semolina cake base from Falling Cloudberries instead.

    • L.Nightshade on April 01, 2015

      The only problem I had with this cake was probably user error. Either that or blood orange error. The syrup that gets poured over the cake didn’t really sink in much, and turned into something akin to candy as soon as it slightly cooled. My oranges didn’t have much juice, so perhaps the proportion of sugar was too high. Or perhaps I let the syrup get a bit too thick, although it certainly seemed “medium-thick” as described in the recipe. Anyway, the cake was irresistibly delicious just a little hard to cut with that candy coating! I love the little bit of bitter added by the Campari The ground almonds come through in the taste of the cake, and the semolina flour makes it just a bit different. I will definitely be making this again, and working on the syrup texture.

  • Negroni sbagliato

    • Breadcrumbs on April 05, 2015

      p. 285 – Cold weather be-damned, here comes this little glass of sunshine to sweep you away and bring back memories of summer. Prosecco makes even the dullest of days feel festive so the final top up is critical here. A bright, fresh and beautiful cocktail. Photo here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009439?commentId=9510058#9510058

    • TrishaCP on March 21, 2016

      This is addictive. I love a Negroni and this has the same Campari-based bitter goodness, but in a lighter tasting version from subbing the gin with Prosecco. Will definitely be repeating this.

    • Lepa on September 02, 2018

      We really enjoyed this little aperativo before an Italian-themed dinner party this evening. I love negronis but this is a nice, light alternative that whets the appetite instead of leaving one feeling like you've had too much before you even started the evening.

  • Cauliflower & Fontina gratin

    • Breadcrumbs on April 08, 2015

      p. 244 – The stars were aligned, all the ingredients were in the house and our main course of (Italian meatloaf) seemed like it would work well with this cheesy side dish. No surprise at all that like those who have gone before me, we loved this! For extra colour and crunch, I decided to top with the optional garlicky breadcrumbs and they too were excellent. The cooking instructions were spot on and the cauliflower was perfectly done and still a little toothsome. This would be a terrific company dish as you could be assured it would impress and if you wanted something a little more colourful you could go with the cheddar cauliflower or even broccoli. This is definitely a dish I can see myself serving for years to come. Oh, and our chow-hound golden retriever wasn’t the only one wanting to lick the dish this evening…she types hanging her head in shame!! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009438?commentId=9515904#9515904

    • L.Nightshade on April 14, 2015

      We got the world’s smallest cauliflower in the CSA, so scaled this down appropriately. It fit in a small, individual baking dish. Nothing to add to Breadcrumbs’ note, except I wish I had noticed the garlicky breadcrumb option! I actually asked Mr. NS “Don’t you think this needs some breadcrumbs or something?” But, thinking I was following the recipe, I left them off. So, a simple, cheesy vegetable it was.

  • Affogato al caffè

    • Breadcrumbs on May 01, 2015

      p. 250 Try as I might, I couldn’t achieve the look in the cookbook photo. Not sure what the issue was, perhaps my ice cream was just too airy? I used Hagen Daz vanilla but it was purchased at the beginning of April and already had some ice crystals. The recipe has you place the ice cream into a small glass then top w espresso. It only occurs to me now as I type this that perhaps the idea is to let the espresso cool before doing this? I didn’t, so on attempt #1, my espresso quickly melted the ice cream and made for a latte-looking beverage. Next, I thought I’d add the espresso 1st since the photo in the book clearly shows the espresso on the bottom, however that made no difference and as soon as I lowered the ice cream into the glass, it promptly melted. I gave up at this point. I had no interest in drinking a cold glass of melted ice cream w coffee. Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009439?commentId=9547016#9547016

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      I don’t have a real espresso maker any longer, just a stovetop Bialetti Moka. It worked adequately. I shaved a little bittersweet chocolate on top. This is a nice simple sip and spoon after a complex meal.

  • Sgroppino

    • Breadcrumbs on April 18, 2015

      p. 251 - So Norman tricked us and snuck a boozy drink into the desserts section. Well, no fooling me...I managed to sniff it out and cocktails were prepared in short order. Evidently a Sgroppino is made by whizzing 100ml Prosecco and a large scoop of lemon sorbet in the blender. In the "corrected" version that we served a 25ml shot of vodka or Campari is added to the mix. We used the latter. These are bright and refreshing. The quality of the sorbet will make or break you. I'd suggest using a not-too-sweet version if you're making the Campari version. A delicious grown-up slushie...what's not to love!! Photo here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1009439?commentId=9529173#9529173

    • SheilaS on September 02, 2023

      I made the version that adds a small amount of Campari. It looks very pretty and tastes delicious. The slight bitterness from the Campari perfectly complements the sweet/tart flavors in the lemon sorbet. I used the lemon sorbet from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

  • Pizza or pizzetta base dough

    • mirage on October 02, 2015

      Made a cracker-y crust. We liked it a lot, for a change. Freezes nicely - maybe even better after freezing.

    • hirsheys on September 25, 2021

      I made these last year and regrettably didn't take good notes. My memory is they tasted good and were cracker-style. Made nice little pizettes.

    • Yildiz100 on October 15, 2017

      Not my favorite dough either, but it was good for a quick dough.

    • joneshayley on February 10, 2020

      A good recipe for a crisp and delicious pizzette

    • moppe on March 09, 2015

      Not my favorite Pizza Dough. Turned out somewhat dry.

  • Piedmontese peppers & white anchovies

    • Gio on April 19, 2015

      Piedmontese Peppers and White Anchovies, Pg. 239... I used quartered vine tomatoes from Maine, seasoned with S & P & sliced garlic, then everything drizzled with EVOO. Started the oven at 325F then raised it for the final few minutes to 350F. In all the peppers took about 46 minutes to soften to our satisfaction while still holding shape. No fresh basil so we used fresh arugula. The white anchovies were lightly salted and packed in EVOO so they were very mild

    • L.Nightshade on April 06, 2015

      Fortuitously, I had just purchased white anchovies when we were in Vancouver last week. I used a huge red bell pepper for this dish, cut into quarters, And as we will not see a ripe tomato August, if ever, I used yellow greenhouse cherry tomatoes to roast in the peppers. With a bit of salt, pepper, sliced garlic, and olive oil, the peppers are popped into the oven. Mine took quite a bit longer to roast at 325 (160C), but it all worked out in the end. Topped with only torn up basil leaves and white anchovies, these peppers pack a pure pop of fresh, interesting flavor. Yet another easy but delicious do-again recipe.

  • Tuna carpaccio & pink peppercorns

    • SheilaS on May 12, 2023

      The bright, zippy flavors of the dressing make this simple dish absolutely delicious. Very pretty, too!

    • L.Nightshade on March 04, 2017

      Easy as can be for a stunner of a dish. The tuna goes into the freezer for 30 minutes to facilitate thin slicing. Meanwhile, the dressing is put together: olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, diced red chile, thinly sliced garlic, a touch of sugar (erythritol here), chopped fennel fronds, flaky salt, and black pepper. My only deviation from the recipe was to add a few paper-thin slices of Buddha’s hand. All the ingredients are shaken up in a “jam jar.” Once the thin slices are plated, they’re topped with pink peppercorns, a few fennel fronds, and the dressing. Absolutely delicious, and definitely dinner-party worthy. I can’t wait to make it again.

  • Chopped chicken liver crostini

    • SheilaS on October 17, 2018

      This recipe is very similar to other chopped liver recipes except that, being Italian, olive oil is used instead of schmaltz. The amount of port and brandy added is small but elevates the flavors nicely. As written, this makes 60 crostini so I quartered it and used a bit over a half pound of chicken livers.

  • Broad bean, mint & ricotta bruschette

    • SheilaS on October 07, 2018

      I used frozen fava beans for this and it worked well. I'm sure fresh beans would be better but with the lemon juice and zest brightening things up, I thought these were great.

    • TrishaCP on May 26, 2019

      I used fresh and fairly small fava beans and this was absolutely heavenly. The mint and lemon lifted the fava beans but didn’t mask their flavor.

    • pistachiopeas on April 27, 2015

      I tried this with frozen lima beans and it was good. Needs to be seasoned well and depends on quality of ricotta. We had it on homemade no knead bread.

  • Pasta, beans & rosemary oil

    • MelMM on February 01, 2019

      10-22-2017 A repeat dish for me. The rosemary oil makes it.

  • Pork belly, radicchio & hazelnuts

    • nicolepellegrini on July 04, 2020

      This was stunningly good for something so unbelievably simple. The cooking technique renders the pork belly with a wonderful crunchy exterior texture, and it married perfectly with the bitter radicchio. Most of the fat rendered off the pork for me so I didn't find it excessively fatty (and I did "dilute" the dressing for the radicchio with a little olive oil before serving.

    • L.Nightshade on May 01, 2015

      I’m not sure what drew me to this recipe, except RN talking about it being a signature dish, and how people complain when it goes off the menu. That and my love-hate relationship to pork belly. It’s so dearly loved by so many, and there are such interesting treatments for it. But bottom line, it’s just too fatty for me. In this recipe the pork belly is placed on a bed of thickly-sliced onions and cooked in the oven (pork belly with skin is called for, we only have access to the skinless), for about 15 minutes at 240º C, then at 160º C for another hour. Once cooked, the dripping are passed through a sieve and tossed with the radicchio and hazelnuts. A little salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar are added and everything is scrunched by hand, working the dressing through and wilting the radicchio. So, like I said, too fatty for my taste, but quite flavorful. Mr. NS liked it a lot.

    • Elbea on September 29, 2020

      I couldn't get radicchio, so used red chicory instead. Still delicious.

  • Ham hock & parsley terrine

    • nicolepellegrini on March 10, 2017

      Interesting, something different to try with ham hocks, but not sure I would make it again. Prepared it for a holiday party and while some of the more adventurous eaters tried it, others were a bit put off by the texture.

  • Rìsi e bìsi

    • nicolepellegrini on June 01, 2020

      I must have compared at least a half dozen recipes for risi e bisi before deciding to try this one first. Very glad I did. Making the simple stock with the pea pods instead of using chicken or beef stock, plus leaving out any vermouth or white wine, really let the flavor of the peas and fresh herbs shine through beautifully.

    • pistachiopeas on August 01, 2018

      Stunningly delicious, despite the simplicity.

    • Hansyhobs on July 03, 2023

      I had podded the peas a few days earlier (I was lacking space in the fridge) so I couldn't use the pods to make stock. I used chicken stock instead. Delicious recipe but I'll try again with pea pod broth.

  • Beet-cured salmon

    • L.Nightshade on April 20, 2015

      BEET-CURED SALMON, page 130. We make gravlax somewhat frequently, here in the land of salmon, and are always looking for new treatments. This one has you curing the salmon in grated beet root, salt, sugar, dill, orange zest, black peppercorns, and vodka. I left it in for about 36 hours. I also made the horseradish cream from page 30 to accompany the salmon. This was fun. The beet taste is somewhat faint, but the color is profound. Just a nice little treat on a cracker with the horseradish cream.

  • Soft-shell crab in Parmesan batter & fennel salad

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      My batter was probably too thick as the crab lost all definition once plunged in the bowl. I was reluctant to add more ice water as the recipe makes a ton of batter, much more than is needed, but it could have been thinner. I am normally loathe to deep-fry, but as I said, I was drawn to this dish, and went for it. The oil was probably a bit too hot, as the batter was nicely golden while still having some mushy spots inside (our thermometer had broken). A little mayonnaise (I used some homemade, rather greenish due to our olive oil) is smeared on a plate and topped with shaved fennel, on which the crab sits. In spite of errors, I did like this dish. The parmesan comes through in the batter, and works with the crab. I think the fennel could use a little something more, I’d like to see it with a different dressing and maybe some radishes or greens.

  • Spinach, chilli & garlic

    • L.Nightshade on April 24, 2015

      Spinach is briefly blanched and shocked, and is then drained and tossed into a skillet with hot oil, garlic, and chile flakes. A little salt and pepper, and that’s it. I didn’t add the splash of water called for to keep the spinach from sticking, as it didn’t appear it would stick at all. Consequently I did not have to squeeze out the water at the end, as the recipe states. Not much to look at, but a perfectly decent side dish.

  • Fried stuffed olives

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      The olives are stuffed with a mix of chopped anchovy, parmesan, sage, garlic, black pepper, and lemon juice. Once stuffed, they are rolled in egg white, then flour, then, supposedly, panko. Once I rolled the olives in the flour, no panko would stick to them, it just seemed to brush off the flour. So I dipped in egg white, flour, egg white, then panko, which sort-of worked. Mine didn’t look like the photo in the book, but they looked pretty good. These really pack a punch, as you can imagine, with olives, anchovies, garlic, pepper, lemon. The only “calming” ingredient is the parmesan, which is also pretty sharp. I’m not sure I’d make these again, unless I was deep-frying something else. The olive-stuffing is a bit tedious. But they certainly pack a punch, and would be a nice addition to a cichèti assortment.

  • Rocket & walnut pesto crostini

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      I just made a few crostini with the rocket pesto left from making the beet dish. They looked rather dull, color-wise, and I was making a few caprese stacks also, so I stuck a few stacks (without the basil) onto the crostini. You really had to take them off to eat them, but the colors looked nice.

    • lilham on August 07, 2015

      A rather bitter pesto. Not unexpected given the rocket and walnuts. I served it with sourdough bread and pitta, and it worked better with the pitta. The children found them too bitter, but Mr Lilham and I liked it. It made a lot of pesto and I used the leftover for pesto pasta. This really didn't go well with pasta. I don't think I'll make this again.

    • joneshayley on February 10, 2020

      Made this as part of a mezze spread and it was lovely.

    • sosayi on April 12, 2018

      My pesto turned out a bit flat-tasting, so I added a bit of lemon zest and it really brightened it up. I didn't find it too bitter at all, though. With a whole wheat pasta, I also loved the leftovers for a quick lunch. I'd definitely make it again. Half a recipe was plenty for crostini and for leftovers, fyi.

  • Baccalà mantecato

    • L.Nightshade on April 27, 2015

      This was a long process with uncertain results. Measurements are unclear, what is "a little" milk? The of pounding with a rolling pin, and whipping with a wooden spoon is supposed to be a smooth, shiny paste. Mine did turn into something of a paste, but certainly not completely smooth, and not shiny. But my arm gave out before that happened, if it ever would have. So our baccalà had, for the most part, that slightly stringy, fishy texture. I looked at a zillion recipes and images online, and those with the smooth texture all required finishing in a food processor or mixer. A lot of them even included potatoes or cream. There were quite a few that appeared to have the same texture as this one. So I don’t know if I was supposed to keep the wooden spoon whipping until my arm fell off, or if this particular style, unlike brandade or some other bacalao treatments, was supposed to have a fishier texture. Mr. NS prefers the tuna with brandy that takes about 20 seconds to make.

  • Mushroom piadina

    • L.Nightshade on April 09, 2015

      I made one as written, with sautéed mushrooms, parsley, and garlic. When it became clear that piadine would be dinner, I threw some salad on the table, and made one with added mozzarella and parmesan. With or without the cheese, both received raves. The recipe uses the pizza dough on page 62. I didn’t have 00 flour, so, just for fun, I used a mix of AP and semolina, which worked out great. Cheat disclosure: I just threw all the ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. Easy peasy.

    • joneshayley on February 10, 2020

      Another wonderful recipe- the bread crisps beautifully for a delightful flatbread, the mushrooms are full flavoured- simple and delicious. Just one more brilliant recipe from this brilliant book

  • Peperonata & coppa panino

    • L.Nightshade on April 08, 2015

      I made this using a small slice of a baguette (with the dome sliced off) (ciabatta was called for), some quickie peperonata, tomatoes, onion, capers, olives, parsley, coppa, and mayonnaise (I used homemade). I did not have rocket, so I threw on a few basil leaves. I cooked it in a grill pan with brick atop. It was a bit of a balancing act, my sandwich was small, the brick kept falling off, the filling kept falling out, so I ended up just holding and pressing the brick until it was done. If you have everything on hand (and you’re at home at lunchtime!), this comes together quite quickly. All those salty flavors, the fresh leaves, fresh tomatoes, piquant peppers, the crunchy bread… Totally worth it!

  • Butternut risotto

    • L.Nightshade on April 08, 2015

      This goes together like most any risotto I’ve made, except that dry vermouth is used instead of wine. The vermouth just didn’t hit the right note for me. A little too sweet (in spite of being “extra dry”), a little too much botanical/floral element. The photo of the risotto looks odd to me. Although mine was a little less creamy than the risotto I usually make, it was not nearly as dry-looking as the photo, which looks more like, well, plain old clumpy rice. Mr. NS asked me why I made it, when I have do my own butternut risotto. (Of course he likes that one, as it has has Italian sausage in it. One year I even made it using pumpkin beer!) Well, it’s about trying something new, of course. But this one just wasn’t a big success, and I don’t think the step of adding the squash peel to the stock would have turned it around for us.

    • Charlotte_vandenberg on October 08, 2017

      Not a large success, tasted a bit bland. The stock could have used more time boiling or standing, and the butternut might be better when prepared in the oven without the aluminum foil. Could be very nice autumn comfort food when the adjustments work out.

  • Americano

    • L.Nightshade on April 09, 2015

      It’s true that you don’t know how strong the author’s drinks are, as you don’t know the size of the tumbler. I’m just guessing larger than an old fashioned, but not super-sized. Refreshing indeed.

  • Negroni

    • L.Nightshade on April 01, 2015

      Nothing difficult about this recipe, in fact it’s the same Negroni I usually make. Equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth are poured over ice and garnished with a slice of orange. I used a peel, as the body of the orange I had was dedicated to making juice for the main course. The usual yum applies.

  • Flourless orange & almond cake

    • L.Nightshade on April 29, 2016

      I made half a recipe, in a six inch pan, to create the same depth and, presumably, cooking time. Boiling the oranges includes the entire orange. I used Valencia oranges, with thinner peels than navels. I’ve not had perfect success with cake crumb in prior recipes, when using all almond flour, so I arbitrarily substituted one fifth of the almond flour with semolina. This cake has a lot of sugar, personally, I’d cut down on the sugar a bit, but it is nicely offset by the mascarpone. The cake was a hit! Good texture, good density, and very orangey. A nice sweet, with a bitter hint from the peels. http://www.chowhound.com/post/april-2015-cotm-polpo-chapters-6-7-desserts-drinks-1009439?commentId=9845134

  • Zucchino, mint & chilli pizzetta

    • lilham on April 25, 2015

      Simple, quick but tasty.

    • Yildiz100 on October 15, 2017

      I made a few different pizzas with the Polpo dough and this was my favorite. The texture of the zucchini even made it seem like a better crust. The recipe is definitely greater than the sum of its parts both in texture and flavor. When I read the recipe I wanted it to have garlic because I love the combo of garlic, mint, and chili, but I didn't add it at first. Instead I taste tested the finished pizza without it then rubbed a clove over the slices. This worked great and allowed the other delicate flavors to shine. I added mint both before and after baking and will do this again. Also note, took longer to bake than stated, even in my 250 degree oven, though my douh was not as thin as Polpo's.

    • Jojobuch on July 26, 2016

      Not strongly flavored but delicious! I added some sliced red onion on one of the pizzette, which added a nice extra dimension.

  • Prosciutto, mozzarella & rocket panino

    • lilham on April 28, 2015

      A ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Italian style. You know what to expect and you hardly need a recipe for this.

  • Chocolate salami

    • meggan on December 26, 2019

      delicious but very unattractive as a gift. We billed it as reindeer logs because there is no getting around that's what it looks like.

  • Mortadella, walnut & Gorgonzola wrap

    • stockholm28 on April 13, 2015

      This is super rich. This would be a great hors d'oeuvres as it is so easy. I'd cut it in thirds and stick a toothpick in each to make them bite size.

  • Spinach, soft egg & Parmesan pizzetta

    • joneshayley on February 12, 2020

      A delightful pizzete, it may be the best in the book - which is high praise as all of the recipes are so so good. This is rich and flavourful, so delicious

  • Ciambella

    • Tinala523 on January 18, 2022

      Cooked much faster than 45 min. Like a biscotti in texture, mild flavor. The chocolate sauce makes it! Thick, Rick, and scrumptious!

  • Tiramisù pots

    • moppe on March 09, 2015

      The perfect tiramisu recipe. Love the flavor. Very simple and traditional. Lovely served in drinking glasses as pictured. Doesn't get very stiff, serving in a big dish and cutting slices out of it not recommended.

  • Saffron pears with meringue

    • Charlotte_vandenberg on August 17, 2017

      The pears are cooked in a mixture with wine, sugar and saffron, which gives them a lovely color and flavor. Next time I'm going to try with a little less sugar. A third of the recipe (for 6 persons) is more than enough for 4. The meringue turned a little light brown in the oven, so I brought the temperature down after 40 minutes in the oven. Very beautiful dish. Takes some time, but not too difficult to make.

  • Caponata

    • Smokeydoke on December 14, 2016

      A light and summery dish, it's a great way to use up leftovers. It serves as a great companion to a fatty meat like steak. Very easy to make.

  • Grissini, pickled radicchio & salami

    • sosayi on April 12, 2018

      I absolutely loved this combination. The ingredient list leaves out a few key things: vinegar and sweet wine. To pickle the radicchio, it called for both white wine and white wine vinegar. I subbed with sweet red vermouth and red wine vinegar, however, to enhance the purple color of my anemic radicchio. It was fabulous. You do need a very thinly cut salami, though, to make sure it'll stick to the grissini. Easy to have all ingredients ready in advance and prep right before serving.

  • Braised scallops, pancetta & peas

    • patioweather on August 02, 2020

      Is lacking something. Could use maybe lemon or garlic or both.

    • TinyCitiKitchen on July 19, 2023

      This recipe surprised me. Both in flavor and in the brothy presentation, it's very different from anything I usually cook. I can't say that it's something I'll make often, but I very much enjoyed it. It's a good dish to have up my sleeve. Crusty bread is a must!

  • Stracchino, potato & rosemary pizzetta

    • Hansyhobs on January 09, 2023

      I used flatbread dough I had leftover from a black axe mangal recipe, and parm instead of moz. Really tasty and would do this combo again.

  • Prawn risotto with monksbeard

    • mmmoofff on August 08, 2023

      Samphire can be used instead of monksbeard

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    Picked for Food52's October 2018 Cookbook Club.

    Full review
  • Ms. Marmite Lover

    The recipes are simple, in fact there are quite a few pages on different types of bruschetta which, lets face it, is basically things on toast, but you are likely to cook from it.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1408816792
  • ISBN 13 9781408816790
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jul 05 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 320
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Bloomsbury

Publishers Text

Tucked away in a back street of London's edgy Soho district, POLPO is one of the most irrepressibly buzzing restaurants in town. Critics and food aficionados have been flocking to this understated bacaro where Russell Norman serves up dishes from the back streets of Venice. A far cry from the tourist-trap eateries of the famous floating city, this kind of cooking is unfussy, innovative and exuberantly delicious. The 120 recipes in the book include caprese salad; zucchini fries; asparagus with Parmesan and anchovy butter; Jerusalem artichoke salad with radicchio and truffle oil; pumpkin risotto; rabbit cacciatore; warm duck salad with beets and walnuts; crispy baby pizzas with zucchini, mint and chilli; scallops with lemon and peppermint; mackerel with parsley salad and smoked almonds; linguine with clams; whole sea bream; warm octopus salad; soft-shell crab in Parmesan batter with fennel; walnut and honey semifreddo; tiramisu; panacotta with poached rhubarb; warm autumn fruits with amaretto cream; ricotta and chocolate crumble; fizzy bellinis and glasses of bright orange spritz. With luminescent photography by Jenny Zarins, which captures the unfrequented corners, the bustling bacari and the sublime waterways of Venice, POLPO is a dazzling tribute to Italy's greatest hidden cuisine.

Polpo's Russell Norman on his inspiration: Venice. from touchfood on Vimeo.

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