MARE & MONTI NOVEMBER - STEP BY STEP GUIDE

This menu features some of our very favourite dishes– tagliatelle, tagliata & cannoli have rarely left the restaurant menu since our inception so many years ago. This is a superlative choice & a regional tour with sumptuous red prawns and Risotto, Shell baked scallop, seasonal and sweet roast pumpkin and tagliata - exactly what we have always strived for in the restaurant, and now available in your home.

RED PRAWNS RISOTTO
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BAKED SCALLOPS WITH PARMESAN, LEMON & THYME
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ROAST PUMPKIN WITH PARMESAN & BALSAMIC
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CANNOLI SICILIANI

 

For your meal you will need:

  • A medium Saucepan for the Risotto
  • A griddle pan or heavy cast iron pan for the beef
  • A baking tray for the Pumpkin and Scallops

The detailed recipes are here, but in essence:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Roast the pumpkins with the sage
  • Dress the pumpkin with the Balsamic
  • Grill the steak
  • Slice the steak and dress with rocket and parmesan
  • Dust the Scallops with the Crumb and roast in the oven
  • Cook the Risotto and add the prawns
  • Eat and enjoy

 

Red Prawns Risotto

Gambero rosso – the red prawn – is such an iconic Italian ingredient it has given its name to Italy’s leading food guide. These deep-sea crustaceans are blood red – a bright colour where we see them, out of water, but one which renders them invisible in the depths of the big blue.

The have a uniquely delicious, and intense, flavour – and are delicious raw or lightly cooked (take care not to overcook them – poof! The magic is gone). For this risotto we toast the rice, braise it in sofritto with a little stock from the prawn heads, and provide you with more of this special broth in which to finish cooking the risotto. It will take you 10 minutes, or less (to cook it, or indeed to eat it)

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Risotto base, bisque, datterini tomatoes, basil & butter
  • Bisque

Directions:

  • In a medium pan, bring the stock provided to a boil
  • Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps
  • Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring all the while, until the rice is nearly cooked to your liking and the texture liquid not viscous and gloopy
  • Add the prawns, chopped tomatoes, oil and butter to the risotto. Stir over the heat for 45 seconds, until the prawns are half cooked. Taste for seasoning
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the basil. In this time the prawns will have cooked enough
  • Serve on warm plates

 

Scallops

Italians will tell you there is a cardinal rule that seafood must never, ever, be served with cheese. What they don’t tell you is that they’re really not very good at obeying rules. Here we have a rule-breakingly good dish of scallops baked with parmesan crumbs, scented with lemon zest and thyme. Mum’s the word.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Two fat scallops, on the half shell
  • A little butter
  • Some Breadcrumbs, flavoured with parmesan, lemon zest & thyme
  • Half a lemon

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 230C (fan) or 240C (static)
  • Season the scallops with salt & pepper, then dot with the butter
  • Loosely mound the breadcrumbs atop, then pop into the oven
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes, until the crumbs are crisp and golden, and the scallops lightly cooked
  • Serve with the lemon

 

Tagliata

Tagliata just means ‘sliced’ – a steak which is sliced when grilled. Sometimes, they are served plain – other times, with porcini mushrooms, or asparagus, or butter and sage, or rocket & tomato, or…

At any rate, at Bocca di Lupo we buy whole sirloins of 28-day aged British ex-dairy cows, and cut them into whopping 800g steaks ‘for 2’, though they are big enough probably for 3. We serve these behemoths with rocket salad on the side, everything garnished with rosemary oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan shavings.

The trick with steak is to get great, deep browning all over the outside, and cook the inside to an even temperature. Most cooks like to cook all the way then rest. I like to cook a little, rest a little, cook a little, rest a little

For a 2.5-3cm thick steak, you get to blue in 2 minutes on each side (high heat), then 2 mins rest. Subsequent stages (rare, mid-rare, medium, etc) are each about 1 min each side & 1 min rest. I like to cook to blue and rest, then cook to rare and rest, then cook to mid-rare and rest. Then I serve it, cos I like my steak medium rare – but if you like it more cooked, continue in the same manner. For a steak twice as thick (5-6cm), double all the cook and rest times.

If you have a meat thermometer, internal temperatures are

How do you like it

Before resting

rested

Blue

35-40C

40-45C

Rare

45C

50C

Medium-Rare

50C

55C

Medium

55C

60C

Medium-Well

60C

65C

Well Done

65C

70C

 

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • A bone-in slab of sirloin
  • Wild Rocket
  • 24 month aged Parmesan shavings
  • Rosemary oil mixed with balsamic vinegar

You can cook the steak on a BBQ, on a griddle pan, in a frying pan or under an overhead grill (high up, and on high)

 

Directions:

  • Heat your grill smoking hot. You should be able to hold your hand 5cm above it for 5 seconds without burning yourself (don’t touch it, obviously)
  • Take the steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking
  • Season well with salt on both sides
  • Warm your serving platter
  • Grill the steak on 1 side for 2 minutes. Move it only if it starts to flare. Grill the other side, the same.
  • Then rest 2 minutes and the steak is blue.
  • Cook a further 1 minute each side and 1 minute rest for rare
  • Same again for medium rare
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID to carve your steak too raw – if it looks too bloody when you cut it, you can cook it more before or even after cutting
  • DO BE AFRAID of overcooking it. There is no ‘wrong’ in liking your steak well done – but if you cook it more than you like, there is no going back…
  • Carve the steak off the bone then slice thinly. If the bone is configured to permit standing it up in priapic glory, go for it. Arrange the meat slices carefully around.
  • Mound the rocket up next to the carved steak. Sprinkle some salt over the rocket (and maybe a bit over the carved beef)
  • Scatter the parmesan shavings, drizzle the rosemary oil and balsamic vinegar.

 

ENJOY! Steak isn’t cooked piping hot, so should be eaten soon after cooking, before it gets too cold

 

Roast pumpkin with sage & balsamic

Pumpkin has a bit of a bad rep in this country – no doubt a result of watery specimens fit only to be hollowed and lit with candles. Not so in Italy; delica squash is regarded as the finest of all the orange fleshed jewels, and ours come from an obsessive by the name of Oscar Zerbinatti; a man who grows the world’s most beautiful melons in the summer, and the finest pumpkins the rest of the year. After harvesting they are dry aged for a number of weeks to reduce moisture and concentrate the flavour. Roasted until dark gold and sweet, then topped with bittersweet vinegar and rich, savoury parmesan, they are a delight.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Some large hunks of roasted pumpkin
  • Parmesan shavings
  • The finest butter, and some whole leaves of sage
  • Aged balsamic

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 200C (fan) or 220C (static)
  • Sit the sage on an oven tray, then the pumpkin on top
  • Dot the butter on top of this, then place the lot in the oven
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the pumpkin is hot and browned, and the sage crisped
  • Remove from the oven and plate, then pour the sizzling butter & sage over
  • Scatter the parmesan atop, and drizzle the lot with the balsamic

Cannoli Siciliani

Cannoli – fried tubular biscuits of Marsala-infused pastry, filled with sweetened ricotta and spiked with candied orange, bittersweet chocolate and fine Bronte pistachio, is  man playing God with your palate. We make ours too thin, and sweeten the ricotta too little, which is revelatory to eat but less robust: fill them at the last minute, or even at the table for a DIY dessert.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • 2 freshly fried cannoli tubes
  • Enough sweetened ricotta (studded with dark chocolate and candied orange peel) to fill them
  • Finely chopped Bronte pistachios

Directions:

  • You can fill these before you start cooking your meal - they keep fine for a few hours - or the moment before serving. Or you can do as we do in Bocca - decant the ricotta into a small bowl, and DIY the filling at the table.
  • Hold a cannolo tube ever-so-gently
  • Snip a corner from the bag of filling, and pipe the filling into each tube
  • Use the spoon to scrape the filling level to the slanted open ends of the cannolo

Dip both ends in the pistachio, to render them a perfect green

 

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