Our food journey begins in Matteo’s home region of Emilia Romagna! Famous for it’s food & hospitality! Matteo’s home is a 20 minute drive from the Adriatic Coastal towns of Milano Marittima, Cervia and Cesenatico or well over an hour in peak summer season. Italians and foreigners flock to these seaside destinations for the sun and to be seen, Milano Maritima being the most famous for VIPs and people watching. Personally I prefer the beaches on the Mediterranean coast in Liguria however it is well known the hospitality you will discover in Emilia Romagna is far superior. August is the peak summer season, I would try to avoid it as it’s the most expensive and sometimes the beaches have to be closed because of the water quality…ahem yes which can be quite uninviting. Italians, as I discovered, don’t necessarily go to the beach to swim and for crystal clear waters, more for the right “Bagno” with a good bar/restaurant to meet up with friends. Milano Marittima comes alive at night time with bars, restaurants and shops staying open till late in the summer season. Cervia is possibly more beautiful in winter especially when the sun is shining, I have great memories of long walks along the canal after a long lazy lunch… Matteo’s first kitchen job was in Milano Marittima at a bar/restaurant called “Loco Squad”, we still love going there in summer time with it’s casual yet romantic setting, delicious food and a great wine selection. It is always first on our list! Perhaps the most historic produce from the region is the Sale di Cervia from La Salina Camillone, sea salt has been harvested here since Etruscan times (pre-Roman). In summer from June to early September you can take a guided [...]
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Tagliolini al Nero di Seppia con Vongole e Fiori di Zucca Squid Ink Tagliolini with Pippies & Zucchini Flowers Great fish markets are like lolly shops for Matteo, and we always buy more than we planned! The day he made this pasta dish he bought enough produce to make: - Scampi, prepared similar to sashimi, butterflied and served with lemon zest, EVOO & Sale di Cervia - Anchovies, crumbed & fried - Squid Ink Tagliolini with Pippies - Poached sting ray wing salad with steamed potato, cherry tomatoes, celery & parsley - Calamari with fresh figs & rocket - Sea Bass risotto with wild herbs Needless to say it was a big day spent in the kitchen and a wonderful afternoon of eating! Ingredients for 4 serves: 400g Squid Ink Tagliolini 1Kg Pippies Garlic 2 cloves Fresh Thyme or Marjoram 2 sprigs 8 Zucchini Flowers (clean and cut in thin strips) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt Black Pepper Parsley, finely chopped Preparation: First step is “blanching” the pippies. In a large saucepan pour water (just to cover the bottom); add garlic, herbs, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the pippies. Turn the burner on and cover with the lid; as soon as the pippies start opening, remove them from the pot into a tray to cool down. If your saucepan/pot is not big enough for a whole kg of pippies, you can do this in smaller batches (using the same liquid). As soon as you can handle them, start removing the pippies from the shell. Pour the cooking liquid through a sieve to remove any sand from the pippies and reserve on the side. Bring 5 litres of water to the boil (with 40 to 45g of salt in it); in another [...]