BGE first tour of Europe!

La Scottiglia revisited – how close had we got in recreating this dish?

La Scottiglia revisited – how close had we got in recreating this dish?

We were very lucky to be able to go back to the restaurant La Scottiglia in Pescina near Seggiano in Tuscany.  Last year, 2018, we wrote about the wonderful dish La Scottiglia that the restaurant has been named after since 1972.  This year we arrived […]

Melanzane alla parmigiana – Aubergine, tomato and parmesan bake

Melanzane alla parmigiana – Aubergine, tomato and parmesan bake

Melanzane alla parmigiana This is such a sumptuous dish and a perfect vegetarian dish to serve to anyone who says they do not like vegetarian food. We first had it in a hotel in the Dolomites in Northern Italy. In winter, a mountain ski lodge, […]

Veal Forestiere with Pasta

Veal Forestiere with Pasta

On a wet winter’s day it is good to remember some of our summer cooking which has inspired one of the upcoming recipes.  The summer dish was based on veal, earlier in the week we had cooked two delightful “Veal Minute Steaks” – (see here) – […]

Porcini in the pan

Porcini in the pan

Porcini are really fabulous and I still find it very exciting to walk into a little shop here in Tuscany and see a basket of newly picked Porcini. This is something I am yet to see in the UK – but although

Magret de Canard aux figues – Duck Breast with Figs

Magret de Canard aux figues – Duck Breast with Figs

I am always staggered when we journey through France and Italy at the variety and quality of the meat the local supermarkets carry in contrast to the picture I find in my part of the UK.  We were driving along the Rhone on the way […]

Pork Loin with Tuna and Caper Sauce – Lonza di maiale Tonnato

Pork Loin with Tuna and Caper Sauce – Lonza di maiale Tonnato

We had really enjoyed our “Vitello Tonnato” when we were in Italy and wanted to try something similar now we were in France, but on this occasion we couldn’t find any veal.  So ‘necessity being the mother of invention’

Italian Sausages in France

Italian Sausages in France

After a lovely break in Tuscany we had driven into France, to the Rhône-Alpes to meet part of our “French family”.  

Veal Minute Steak

Veal Minute Steak

Well one thing is certain, Italians like veal!  It is so much easier to buy veal in Italy than we have found at home.  This is a real shame as the UK Rose Veal probably has the highest welfare standards 

Update on Octopus

Update on Octopus

Having said that we had only come across grilled octopus once in Tuscany, the very next time we went out to eat – there it was on the menu.

Acciughe alla griglia – grilled anchovy

Acciughe alla griglia – grilled anchovy

When is a sardine not a sardine………..? Out shopping I saw what I thought were some lovely looking fresh sardines – only later when I checked the spelling of Acciughe (also often called Alici) did I realise that the sardines were in fact anchovy!!   I […]

Italian Smoked Turkey Breast

Italian Smoked Turkey Breast

On our wanderings we came across a butcher selling ‘home reared’ turkey and turkey breasts.  Well for 2 of us even a 1kg turkey breast seemed quite a lot of meat and even that was going to be a bit of a ‘tight squeeze’ on […]

Grilled Octopus – Polpo alla griglia

Grilled Octopus – Polpo alla griglia

Grilled Octopus is not something commonly found in the restaurants of Northumberland!  As yet I have only come across it on one occasion in restaurants in Tuscany but perhaps we need to get out more!!  Anyway, octopus has the reputation of being tough and chewy […]