We like to put our cookbooks to the test. This month Bintu from Recipes From A Pantry has been testing out Theo Randall's classic cookbook, My Simple Italian. Find out how she got along with his recipes in her kitchen at home.
I love, love, love, food. One of my favourite things to do in the whole wide world is to curl up on the sofa and lose myself in a cookbook, discover new flavour combinations, remind myself of classic recipes, and generally just drool over recipes and pictures.
So you can imagine my excitement at being able to browse through a list of cookbooks and choose one to cook from for The Happy Foodie team. I love Italian food (who doesn’t?) and I’d had my eye on Theo Randall for a while. His simple cooking really chimes with me – making dishes that would normally sound complex really lovely. So I chose his book, My Simple Italian.
And I was not disappointed. I read his cookbook from cover to cover in one evening. The first thing I cooked was his pork loin wrapped in coppa di parma. I was actually going to photograph and share that recipe but it the pork loin was so succulent and flavoursome that we could not resist having it it for lunch there and then.
The second recipe I tried was sardines grilled with fennel sticks and slow cooked red peppers. At this time of year there is something of a longing for fish. It is just one of those summery things to have. So a quick supper of sardines is perfect. Especially with fennel which is one of my favourite vegetables and flavouring.
My third recipe, his healthy and warming minestrone verde soup, went down treat during our recent family get together. It was easy, packed full of pantry staples and has now gone on my ‘very good to feed a crowd’ recipe list.
One of the things I also really like about My Simple Italian, is that Theo gives a rather handy guide of what to cook from his book depending on the amount of time you have. So for example, he suggests his omelette with goats’ curd and lavender honey ready in under 20 mins; his gorgeous chestnut risotto ready in 30 mins and his gnocchi with globe artichokes and parmesan that take an hour. He has pretty much got you covered, however busy you might be.
I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of My Simple Italian.