Hey hep cats, word is out, I have moved back to my favourite neighbourhood! The old Crystal Palace once again enjoys the patronage of Itinerant Epicure (and boy she does love it so..)
The good news is, in the 2 years during which I have been exploring other pastures, there has been a crop of exciting new openings, and none I can rave more about than The French House. The original cafe/brunch/all day eatery opened in West Dulwich and has now found space for a second wave on Westow triangle.
I had the pleasure of meeting and cooking with the delightfully sweet and brilliant Sardinian Chef, Roberto Petza of Michelin-starred restaurant S’Apposentu in an evening organised by Great Italian Chefs. His restaurant resides in Siddi, a peaceful, bounteous, mountainous paradise in the centre of the island – far from the tourist hordes and better known beach resorts – a calm tranquil and earthy terrain dotted with sheep and donkeys and fertile soils giving rise to a wild array of native herbs and vegetables of which Roberto makes stars on his menus. Continue reading
Spaghetti con zucchine
A quick, simple, colourful and tasty spring treat, this easy Spaghetti con Zucchine is best enjoyed al dente and with a glass of dry, fruity young wine, red or white. Look out for varieties of yellow or stripey zucchini for added colour.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 1 large courgette
- 160g of dried spaghetti (try De Cecco or Garolfalo)
- 1 large glug of Olive Oil
- 3 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 pinch of dried birds eye chilli flakes
- 1 fistful of chopped flat leaf parsley
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Bring a large, deep pot of salted water to the boil. Whilst you wait for it to boil, thinly slice the courgette and season. Heat the oil in a sautee pan, sweat the chopped garlic, chilli flakes and parsley, then drop in the courgette slices. Fry until the courgettes have started to brown, lower the heat. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling water. Cook to a minute less than indicated on the packet for al dente pasta. Add a spoonful of cooking water to the courgette pan as they cook to soften them.
Drain the pasta when cooked, tip the spaghetti into the cooked courgettes and toss to coat with the flavoured oil and courgettes. Serve with grated Parmesan.
You’d be hard-pressed to beat a first night in Marrakech with dinner at Riad Farnatchi. As an introduction to the Riad lifestyle in general – these private Moroccan palaces converted to guest-houses, of which the city boasts over a thousand – Riad Farnatchi compels the senses with a full-blown whammy of exotic plushness. As per my request, the Chef also didn’t hold back with an assault on our taste-buds of Marrakchi classics, liberal with the spicing and rich on the best bits of the animals…
Strozzapreti with Sicilian prawns and butternut squash – Cucina Asellina
Not for cage-dancing, this is a respectable establishment
We were taken here by friends of ours on our last trip to Portugal – a couple clearly aware of my recent metamorphosis into a middle-aged homewares shopaholic drawn to “Homes under the Hammer”-type design shows like addicts to crack. A vast stone house at its front, shaded by pines and softly lit by hidden garden lights, Al4uatro Italian interior design shop conceals – in a massive industrial greenhouse at its rear – Casavostra pizzeria, like an open plan Californian designer home, brimming with hungry families and smelling of baked oregano bread. Continue reading