last week offered another occasion for cooking a lavish dinner – and naturally, i grabbed it. we had a long, four days off (the agency was officially closed throughout). so i planned my dinner for friends meticulously, and enjoyed every second of it.
i actually planned to sleep in every day and then start the cooking – but i was so giddy with excitement and the prospect of making my own pasta for the first time, that i almost couldn’t sleep anymore. so i got up on thursday morning at seven, to start the day with making amaretti morbidi. they were supposed to be part of my guest favors. and though i didn’t really underestimate the challenge – something went completely wrong with them… they turned out ‘nulla’ (as in: flat and melted). well, seems my (youtube & google & blog) recipe research wasn’t that profound, after all. i successfully baked cantucci once, but even so, my respect for amaretti is now officially huge. will i try again? i’m not sure. at the moment i think i might just buy them, and that’s that. mental note: amaretti on the next nirvana cooking level – just not yet.
oh but i’m sorry, you probably wanted to know how dinner turned out, and, to begin with, what was on the menu! eeep! okay, here goes…
italian menu for friends
prosecco con salvia e limone (with sage and lime)
insalata di carciofi crudi (raw artichoke salad)
carpaccio di finocchio con menta (fennel salad with mint)
deconstructed labneh with pistacchio black olives pesto
roasted radicchio with honey and peperoncino
ravioli al tartufo – fatti a mano
scaloppine al limone con piselli (veal cutlest with lemon and peas)
selection of italian cheeses with confit di pere al tartufo
profiterole alla vaniglia
chocolate mocha coconut cake
after dinner drinks
hendricks gin & tonic
i hope you like it? it was quite a lot of work – but also so much fun to make. for now, i’ll just archive the recipe for confit di pere al tartufo (that turned out to be my guest gift, since the amaretti… well… coughing).
confit di pere al tartufo (pear confit with truffle)
the perfect companion for dessert cheese
6 medium pears, cubed
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple juice
1 vanille bean, extracted
5 black pepper corns, freshly crushed
5 dried chili flakes
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. truffle oil
start by washing and cleaning three to four small canning jars in hot water. melt the sugar in a saucepan, until brown and caramelized (do not stir in the process). add the pear cubes and the apple juice. add the spices: vanilla seeds, black pepper, chili flakes and the lemon juice. cook to reduce until the caramel sauce is slightly thick again and the pear cubes are cooked through. then, add the truffle oil for fragrance. pour the still hot liquid in the canning jars and close the lids. turn the jars upside down for half an hour, then let cool entirely. serve a spoonful with cheeses or to a roast slice of chicken or as a spice in a cheese sandwich.
note on storage: since this confit doesn’t contain the same amount of sugar as a conventional jam, my guess is it can’t be kept forever (like with a jam). i’d recommend to store the jars in the fridge for up to two weeks.
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