This month we had our second ever La Cucina Club. Following the success of the first we were a little nervous, they were big boots (or bowls?) to fill.
Giovanni brought his A game and made a delicious three course meal – including a unique Italian inspired cheese cake that went down a treat.
If you missed this La Cucina, you can still get the recipes down below.
Aubergine, Scamorza with Porchetta
2 Medium Aubergines
Vegetable Oil for Frying
250g Scamorza (Smoked Mozzarella) sliced thickly
Rinse the Aubergines and cut into thin slices across the width, arrange them into layers in a colander and sprinkle each layer with salt. Allow to stand for 30 mins.
Rinse the slices under running water to remove the salt, squeeze them between your hands to remove any excess water and then dry with kitchen paper. In a bowl beat the eggs. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
Take a slice of the aubergine arrange a slice of the scamorza then Porchetta then top with another slice of the aubergine. Secure the sandwich with a cocktail stick to keep it together.
Completely immerse the slices into the beaten egg then dip into the breadcrumbs taking care to make sure the sides are also covered.
Bring the vegetable oil up to a high temperature then put the aubergine sandwiches into the oil and fry till crispy.
Take out the oil and dab off the excess oil with kitchen paper.
If you want to cook in the oven put the Aubergine Sandwiches on baking paper and bake in oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins turning over halfway through.
Serve with a green salad.
Mushroom Soup with Orzo & Beans
100g Tinned Cannellini Beans
100g Tinned Chick Peas
100g Tinned Borlotti Beans
50g Orzo Pelati (soaked for 30 mins)
200g Dried Porcini mushrooms (soaked for 10 mins)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (chopped)
1 Litre Vegetable Stock
250g Pancetta Lardons
Bay leaves, Rosemary, pinch of Chilli
150g Chopped Speck (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan add the onions and garlic pancetta and Speck. Leave to cook for 5 mins then add some of the vegetable stock and the mushrooms (and liquid) with the herbs, leave to simmer for 20-25mins adding the vegetable stock as needed.
Finally add the beans and chickpeas and the cooked Orzo simmer for another 5 mins. Then Serve.