EMILIA-ROMAGNA MARE - 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 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.

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 wide saucepan or deep sided frying pan for the risotto
  • 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
  • Toast the bread, lay the anchovies on a plate and spoon over their juices, then top with the parsley
  • Eat
  • 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

    ENJOY

    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 deep sided frying pan or wide saucepan, bring 475ml water to a boil
    • Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps
    • 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

        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 barozzi

          Directions:

          • Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before eating
          • Pop onto plates
          • If desired, dust with a little icing sugar. Or not
          • Enjoy!