EMILIA-ROMAGNA MARE & CAVIAR - step by step instructions

The seafood of Emilia Romagna is often overshadowed by the success of its inland cuisine – the food havens of Bologna, Modena and Parma. But it has a long a varied coastline on the east of Italy, from past Comacchio in the North down below Rimini in the South. The seafood is rich and varied, and well worth celebrating. Here we have tigelle, little Bolognese lardy breads, smothered in stracchino & heaped with caviar, followed by fresh anchovies, bathed briefly in vinegar and perfumed with lemon and chilli, a risotto of clams with a springtime bounty of asparagus & samphire, and dense, rich and nutty Torta Barozzi. 

Caviar, tigelle (lardy muffins) & stracchino

Fresh marinated anchovies with lemon & chilli

Clam, asparagus & samphire risotto

Rocket & fennel salad

Torta Barozzi (chocolate & almond cake)

For your meal you will need:

  • A rolling pin or handy wine bottle for the tigelle dough
  • A round dough cutter, or a knife to cut the dough
  • A frying pan to cook the tigelle
  • A wide saucepan or deep sided frying pan for the risotto (medium sized)
  • A wooden spoon

The detailed recipes for the dishes are below, but in essence:

  • Remove the anchovies from the fridge half an hour before you plan to eat them
  • Do the same with the Torta Barozzi
  • Meanwhile, prepare the tigelle – roll the dough out, cut them, and cook gently in a frying pan moistened with lard
  • Eat them, smothered with stracchino and heaped with caviar
  • Toast the bread, lay the anchovies on a plate and spoon over their juices, then top with the parsley
  • Eat these
  • Bring the water to a boil and add the rice
  • Add the clams, asparagus & samphire, and cook until the rice is done
  • Add the oil, butter and cheese, and stir well
  • Pour onto warmed plates and eat this too
  • Dress the salad, then eat either with the risotto, or after
  • Eat the torta barozzi

Caviar, tigelle & stracchino

At Bocca di Lupo we serve a Bolognese specialty called crescentine – heavenly pieces of soft dough deep fried in lard – an ethereal savoury donut. Tigelle is its close cousin – the same dough, gently pan-fried in a touch of the same lard –

just as wonderful, and a little lighter on the stomach. It is the ideal partner for caviar – soft, pillowy dough & rich, mildly acidic cheese marrying wonderfully with the saline pop of sturgeon eggs. 

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • Tigelle dough, and a chunk of lard in which to cook it
  • A packet of stracchino
  • A 50g tin of oscietra caviar

Directions:

  • Dust your work surface with a little flour, and roll out the dough just under a centimetre thick
  • Cut into large disks (any trimmed dough can be happily re-rolled) – 8cm or so in diameter, or cut into your desired shape with a knife
  • you can cook these straight away but they’re even better if you can proof them, covered, for an hour first
  • Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat, and add the lard
  • Let it melt, then add the tigelle (cook one after the other if need be)
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook gently for about 6 minutes, turning over halfway through
  • Serve on cool plates with the stracchino and caviar

Fresh marinated anchovies with lemon & chilli

Less ubiquitous than their salted cousins, though just as delicious, are anchovies fresh from the sea – here we fillet them, layer them with a little salt, and sit them in wine vinegar mellowed with a little water until they lightly cure before dousing them with fine olive oil, aromatic with lemon zest and chilli. You grill the bread, and eat a very fine plate of food.

 Your pack serves two and contains:

  • Fresh anchovies, filleted and marinated with lemon zest, chilli, wine vinegar and oil
  • Some sliced red onion and whole leaves of parsley
  • Bread, ready to be turned to toast

Directions:

  • Lay out the anchovies neatly on cool plates
  • Pour over a little of their marinade and scatter with the parsley
  • Toast the bread and serve alongside

Clam, asparagus & samphire risotto

This is a superlative risotto, briny with clams & samphire and sweet with young asparagus. We add a little parmesan – partly because it is authentic, though mainly because it is delicious. You may choose not to - Italians will tell you they never, ever serve seafood with cheese – but that’s just because they don’t want to give the secret away.

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • Vialone nano rice, par-cooked by us
  • Sliced asparagus and samphire
  • Clams
  • Butter, fine olive oil, and a little parmesan (optional)

Directions:

  • In a medium pan, bring 475ml water to a boil
  • Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps
  • Give the bag of clams a shake, then open it and discard any open ones
  • Cook for 4 minutes, stirring from time to time, then add the asparagus, samphire and clams
  • Continue cooking for a further 7 minutes, stirring regularly
  • As the clams open, remove them to a warmed plate
  • When the rice is just cooked, though still with a little bite (if too runny, or you want the rice particularly al dente, cook on a high heat to reduce the liquid; if too gloopy or you want the rice to become softer, add a little more water and cook to the desired texture), return the clams to the pan
  • Remove from the heat, then add the butter, oil and parmesan (if using), and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon
  • Let sit for one minute, then serve on warmed plates

A note on shellfish: there is always a risk of food-borne illnesses from lightly cooked shellfish. We source our shellfish exceptionally carefully, and prepare and check them with diligence. However, the only reliable way of maximising pathogen destruction in this type of food is by thorough cooking. Should you wish to reduce your risk as much as possible, please ensure you cook this product to an internal temperature of 75C.

     Rocket and fennel salad with lemon dressing

    Shaved fennel is crisp & refreshing with a beautiful aniseed flavour. Mixed with a little rocket, and some fine olive oil, it forms an exceptional salad. 

    Your pack serves two as a side and contains:

    • Wild rocket
    • Shaved fennel
    • A dressing of fine olive oil and Amalfi lemon juice

    Directions:

    • Put the rocket and fennel in a bowl
    • Give the dressing a shake, then pour over, and dress well with your hands
    • Enjoy!

    Torta barozzi

    If you take a drive out of Bologna and head west, after a little while – half an hour or so, or less if you drive like an Italian - you’ll reach Vignola, a small town on the banks on the Panaro river. In the centre of town, at a crossroads where one of Italy’s numerous Via Giuseppe Garibaldi’s meets a Via Jacobo Barozzi, there sits a typically grand Emilian pasticceria – this one called Gollini. There, in 1886, Eugenio Gollini invented a wonderfully dense and rich cake, moist with ground nuts and aromatic with coffee and rum. It found a name in the statesman honoured by the street outside, and the rest, as they say, is history. Pasticceria Gollini have remained fierce custodians of the original recipe, but we’ve worked on one ourselves, and we’re rather proud of it. 

    Your pack serves two and contains:

    • 2 fat wedges of torta barozzi

    Directions:

    • Remove from the fridge before you start cooking your starter & main course
    • Pop onto plates
    • If desired, dust with a little icing sugar. Or not.
    • Enjoy!