Cook and Eat Recipes October 2018 La Dolce Vita

Fresh pasta with cherry tomatoes and mascarpone


pasta tomato mascarpone


  • 175g/6oz fresh pasta or good quality dried pasta if preferred
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • garlicclove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp dried chilliflakes
  • 150g/5½oz cherry tomatoes, halved across the equator
  • 4 tbsp dry white wine or vermouth
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesanplus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, plus extra to serve
  • salt


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta until ‘al dente’, should be only a few minutes for fresh.
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil and anchovies into a heavy-based wok, and cook, stirring over a medium heat for about 1 minute, or until the anchovies have almost dissolved into the oil. Stir in the garlic and chilli flakes, then turn the heat up a little and add the tomatoes, stirring gently for 2 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  3. Pour in the wine or vermouth, let it bubble up, then stir and push the tomatoes about in the pan for 2 minutes until they have broken down a little in the thickened, reduced sauce. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the mascarpone and, when it’s all melted, stir in the Parmesan and parsley.
  4. Before you drain the pasta, lower in a cup to remove some of the cooking water. Add a tablespoon or so of the cooking water to the pasta sauce; this will help the sauce coat the pasta. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss well to mix, adding more of the pasta cooking water if needed. Sprinkle with a little parsley and take the Parmesan to the table to serve.


Italian tenderloin of Pork stuffed with figs, caramelised onions and Gorgonzola wrapped in Parma ham served with porcini mushroom sauce.

stuffed pork



  • 2 x 500g tenderloin of pork
  • 4 fresh figs
  • 100g gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 large red onion
  • 8 slices of Parma ham
  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50g fresh brown cap mushrooms
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp dry white wine
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 300g green beans
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • salt


Preheat oven to 180 C. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water.

Chop the red onion finely and caramelise over a medium heat in a little butter, oil oil and a tsp of sugar. Cook slowly and do not burn.

Cut the tenderloins lengthways and flatten out. In the centre, along the length put pieces of chopped fresh fig, the caramelised onions, and pieces of gorgonzola. Add fresh thyme leaves and black pepper. Roll the filets and wrap each with slices of Parma ham. Oil two pieces of aluminium foil and wrap each tenderloin tightly into a large sausage and cook in oven on a baking tray for half an hour. After 30 mins take out of oven, open foil and decant the juices (to be used in sauce). Leave the foil open and return the tenderloins to oven to roast for another 15-20mins until the ham browns.

For the sauce: sweat a finely chopped shallot in some butter and oil. Add finely sliced fresh mushrooms. Add a glass of dry white wine, reduce. Chop and add the rehydrated porcini. Add the reserved juices from the meat and some of the liquor from the mushrooms, cook to reduce liquid, season as necessary. Add either a spoonful of crème fraiche or some cream. Continue to cook and adjust seasoning. Before serving, melt in a good knob of butter to make the sauce really glossy.

Bring a pan of water to the boil with plenty of salt. Top and tail beans and cook for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and refresh with cold iced water. In a hot pan, infuse some oil with two garlic cloves and some chilli flakes, remove the garlic. Add the beans and cook on a high heat until charring slightly. Try to do quickly to keep beans crisp.


Italian Pear and Hazelnut Tart


pear tart



2 oranges
275g unsalted butter (cold)
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 large free-range eggs
Olive oil
150g blanched hazelnuts
150g golden caster sugar
3 firm pears


To make the pastry, finely grate the zest of 1 orange into a food processor, add 125g of butter, the flour, icing sugar, vanilla paste and l egg, then pulse until it comes together into a ball of dough. Wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Lightly oil a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin. Preheat the oven to l80 degrees C.

On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick, then loosely roll it up around the rolling pin and unroll over the oiled tin, easing and pushing it carefully into the sides. Trim off any excess patch up any holes. Line with a double layer of non-PVC clingfilm, then fill with uncooked rice. Bake blind for IS minutes. Remove the clingfilm and rice, bake for a further 5 minutes, then leave to cool.

For the frangipane, blitz the nuts into a fine powder in the food processor. Add the remaining 150g of butter and the caster sugar and blitz again to combine. Finely grate in the remaining orange zest, crack in the remaining 2 eggs and blitz again. Just before assembling, peel the pears, quarter lengthways and remove the cores, then toss in the juice of half an orange.

Spoon the frangipane into the pastry case in an even layer, then arrange the pear quarters on top. Bake at time bottom of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden. Leave for 5 minutes in the tin, then release and serve warm. Nice with orange and amaretto spiked crème fraîche and crumbled toasted hazelnuts.