MARE & MONTI - step by step instructions

For your meal you will need:

 

  • A large pan for boiling water for the pasta
  • A frying pan or wide saucepan for the sauce
  • A bbq, griddle pan, or heavy cast iron pan for the beef, potatoes & asparagus

 

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

 

  • Bring the steak & aubergines to room temperature
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and warm the pasta sauce
  • Cook the pasta, add to the sauce, top with pecorino
  • Grill the steak
  • Grill the lobster
  • Slice the steak & dress with rocket & parmesan
  • Eat steak, lobster, salad & aubergines
  • Decide you’re too full for dessert, then change your mind and delight in the tiramisù

 

ENJOY!

 

 

Orecchiette with ‘nduja

 

In Puglia they make orecchiette - ‘little ears’ - and often serve them with a sauce of tomato, red onion & rocket. In neighbouring Calabria, they make ‘nduja, a devilishly good salami made with up to 40% chilli, and fatty enough that it is spreadable even when cured. I put the two together and found a very memorable match indeed, even more so when tempered with a little cream and sharpened with the tang of pecorino romano. It has become a classic at Bocca di Lupo, and now too at home.

 

Your pack serves 2 as a starter, and contains

 

  • Handmade orecchiette
  • A sauce of tropea onion, datterini tomatoes, ‘nduja & cream
  • A little rocket
  • A little grated pecorino

Directions:

  • Bring a large pan of well-salted (10g/lt) water to the boil
  • Decant your pasta sauce into a frying pan or wide saucepan, and gently warm
  • Add the orecchiette to the water, and cook for 7-8 minutes, until cooked but still toothsome
  • Drain well, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water, and add to the sauce
  • Cook together for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and creamy (add the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen)
  • Toss the rocket through and allow it to just wilt a little in the pan
  • Decant onto a plate and top with grated pecorino

 

 

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 2 as a main, 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

 

Native lobster & sorrento lemon

Few things are more suited to the grill than a lobster, plump and succulent inside its rigid carapace. We blanch it, which loosens the flesh from the shell a little, and crack the claws. You halve it, grill it, nestle it alongside the steak, then eat them both. Buon appetito!

 

Your pack contains:

  • A native lobster, blanched and claws cracked
  • Some fine olive oil

 

Directions:

  • Heat your barbecue until the flames have died and the embers are white hot – or alternatively, heat a griddle pan until smoking.
  • Sit the lobster on a chopping board, head facing you
  • Take a large, heavy bladed knife, and insert it point down in the the indent (marked by a pale natural cross) at the back of the lobsters head
  • Push down until you have cut to the base of the lobsters head, and bring the base of the blade down to cut right through
  • Turn the lobster around so the tail faces you, and repeat with the back end
  • Use a touch of the oil to lubricate the flesh, then season lightly with salt & pepper.
  • Grill, cut side down, for 2 minutes over a high heat, until the flesh is golden, then turn over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the flesh feels just firm to the touch, and the liquid inside the shell is bubbling a little.

*if cooking under an overhead grill, just grill the lobster cut-side up for 6-8 minutes or until starting to brown

 

Grilled aubergines, roast tomato, chilli & mint

 

A favourite dish of mine, here we slice and grill aubergines until tender and smoky, marry them with roasted datterini tomatoes and spike the lot with chopped chilli, garlic & fresh mint.

 

Your pack serves two and contains:

 

  • Grilled aubergines, marinated with roasted datterini tomatoes, chilli, garlic, mint, wine vinegar and spectacular oil

Directions

  • Remove the aubergine from the fridge at least half an hour before you wish to eat them
  • Arrange the aubergine neatly on a plate, and serve alongside the tagliata

 

Tiramisù

 

There is something insanely satisfying about retro foods, and tiramisù is no exception. It is almost the definition of a cliché dessert – very safe… and very vanilla, to couch it in a bedroom term. It is hard to describe my delight when I learned its origins are not so salubrious as one might imagine. Tira-mi-sù means ‘pick me up’ – a rather charming name for a cheery pudding, spiked as it is with espresso. The academy of tiramisù (yes, there is such a thing – Italy treats its culinary heritage with due import, and every dish of note has its own guild or knighthood or foundation) tells a different story: ‘… this dessert was invented by a clever “maitresse” of a house of pleasure in the centre of Treviso. The “Siora” who ran the premises developed this aphrodisiac dessert to offer to customers at the end of the evening in order to reinvigorate them and solve the problems they may have had with their conjugal duties on their return to their wives.’ Not such a frumpy dessert after all...

 

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • A tiramisù, to share

Directions:

  • Remove from the fridge 10-15 minutes before eating, to take the edge off
  • Spoon gently onto plates, then eat