I hope you are keeping well.
As you know I’ve learned to cook Italian meals late in my life and when I think about it, my passion for Italian food started on my 60th birthday. Bethan bought me a book called “The Vegetarian Student Cookbook” for my birthday which included recipes for caponata, pizza, risotto and panzanella salad and so on. From that point to the present day, and I’m sure into the future, cooking and eating Italian meals for ourselves and our family has given me pleasure and great happiness.
I’m about to ask your assistance by cooking one of my Italian recipes yourself and letting me know how it turned out. I have sent you two recipes and hope you will choose one of them which you are comfortable with, to cook at home. After you have eaten the meal all I ask is that you report back to me saying everything you did, how you feel about the meal, the cost of the ingredients which I will reimburse and if possible a phone photo of the plated meal. You know me well enough to be honest either way.
My intention is later in the year to collate my favourite Italian recipes into a Photobook for my personal use and enjoyment. As well as the recipes the Photobook would include comments, photographs and information about the area of Italy from which the recipe originated.
The recipes I am using are my own version and adaptation of traditional Italian cuisine from many of the diverse regions of this remarkable country. They are drawn from documented recipes established in cookbooks, on websites and happily from my own visits and eating experiences in Italy. I trust you will like the recipes I’ve sent to you and that you will enjoy cooking and eating the one that you chose.
Not all cheeses are vegetarian, so I’ve used mainly vegetarian Italian pecorino sheep’s cheese in my recipes. Pecorino cheese is currently available either in Tesco, M&S and Sainsburys (all in the UK). Pecorino is a vegetarian cheese from Italy. It has a firm texture and a delicate flavour and has had a protected status in Italy with strict controls for over 20 years. It is widely used across Italy as an alternative to Parmesan. We use it very often and we have bought it from Sainsburys and Tesco. I have found the Sainsburys type a bit too hard and it has a strong nutty flavour. I prefer the Tesco version because it’s a little softer and doesn’t crumble when you grate it. I hope you find this helpful. As an alternative, most British Cheddar cheese is vegetarian.
I need to mention that the recipes I’ve sent you have ingredients to serve 4 or 6 people. If you need to you can scale the quantity down to fit or do what we do sometimes which is to go along with the quantities in the recipes and keep any leftovers for the following day. It’s up to you.
If there is anything in the recipes that is not clear or any other problem you come across please just ask me. I’ll do my best to sort it out.
I hope you are keen to help and I would be very grateful if you did. Please let me know what you think. I know you have a busy life and if this idea doesn’t fit in don’t worry if you want to say ‘Not this time John’ say it.
Hope to hear from you soon.
I hope you are keeping well.