MARE, MONTI & TRUFFLE - step by step instructions

This menu features some of our very favourite dishes– orecchiette & tagliata have rarely left the restaurant menu since our inception so many years ago, and tiramisu has been an ‘At Home’ favourite for nearly as long as we have been sending foods to your doors. This is a superlative choice; a regional tour from Puglia, through Tuscany, up to the Veneto - exactly what we have always strived for in the restaurant, and now available in your home – with the addition of a whole native lobster & a whole black winter truffle adding a little whiff of decadence. Mare e monti – the sea & the mountains – is the Italian surf n’ turf; cow from the land, lobster from the sea & truffle from deep beneath the ground.

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, lobster, potatoes & asparagus
  • A truffle slicer, mandolin or grater for the truffle 

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

  • Bring the steak 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 & eat
  • Grill the steak
  • Grill the lobster, potatoes & asparagus
  • Slice the steak & dress with rocket & parmesan
  • Shave black truffle over everything
  • Eat steak, lobster, salad & potatoes, the lot showered in black truffle
  • Decide you’re too full for dessert, then change your mind and delight in the tiramisù

 

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.
  • Shower with truffle 

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, then halve it, remove any wobbly bits, and crack the claws. You grill it, nestle it alongside the steak, then eat them both. Buon appetito! 

Your pack contains:

  • A native lobster, blanched, halved and 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, or fire up the overhead grill* in your oven.
  • 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.
  • Remove from the heat, douse with oil, and shave over copious truffle

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

We leave any roe and tomalley (brown meat) in, because it is delicious – please feel free to rinse it our before cooking if you prefer.

Grilled potatoes & asparagus

Grilled potatoes are a wonderful thing – perhaps best thought of as a barbecued chip – and even better when grilled alongside fat spears of asparagus 

Your pack serves two as a side and contains:

  • Some lovely potatoes, scrubbed, par-boiled and sliced by us
  • Some fine olive oil
  • A few fat spears of asparagus

Directions

  • Heat your barbecue until the flames have died and the hottest white embers remain – or alternatively, heat a griddle pan until smoking. If you don’t have either you can sauté the potatoes and asparagus together – just cut them up into bitesize chunks.
  • Gently rub the cut surfaces of the potatoes with some of the oil, then season generously with coarse salt.
  • Grill the potatoes for a total of 5-7 minutes, turning over halfway through – the oil and salt should prevent them from sticking but if they have, worry not – just wait a minute or two longer and they should ‘cook off’ as their crisped surface loosens from the metal bars.
  • Meanwhile, grill the asparagus – place the spears dry on a hot part of the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until well coloured on one side
  • Turn over and repeat on the opposite side, then remove from the grill, season with salt & pepper, and douse with the remaining oil
  • Place both potatoes & asparagus on a serving platter, shave over plenty of truffle, and feast

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

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