DELICIOUS VERSATILE AMALFI COAST RECIPES MEET A COOLER CLIMATE!
How can I soothe my nostalgia of the Amalfi Coast summer when I’m on the other side of the planet in the dead of winter? There is only one thing missing when you have someone special over there RIGHT NOW deliver to your front door step an incredible gift of Amalfi Coast native herbs, fruits and plants…which I lucky received just days ago from two very kind souls… How lucky am I? THANK YOU Bruce & Chyka xxx baci! So now I have to get cooking to complete this delicious simulated vacation!
Some more Sydney stuff that reminds me of the Amalfi Coast!
So I am climbing into my favourite apron, not the one with William and Kate on my chest from their London wedding a few years back, but the one with all the Italian implements on it that I hand printed for my Positano T shirt shop years ago. I now have to get cooking with my favourite Neapolitan music by Pino Daniele blaring in the background. But I also have to shed a tear for my darling Pino passed away sadly at the early age of 59 just after Xmas this year. What a tragic loss! Thank God we have his music. And just the smell of those lava bubbling tomatoes, the rich odour of sautéed garlic and generous pinches of lemon zest – all start up my Mediterranean motor!
Here below are some of my favourite Amalfi Coast winter/summer recipes which are “good to go” any time of the year. Your belly will sing Mediterranean food whilst your memories will play back up! Any month, any season. Lots of ‘closed eyes’ humming will do the trick…from these stuffed veggie dishes and more! And just for fun, these are all ‘veggie’ dishes which will warm your soul and digest in a flash! Prepare them as a main OR as a contorno (side dish) to any of our favourite roasted or grilled meat or fish, if that is your love.
more recipes available in Amalfi Coast Recipes.
Pomdoro Sorrentino Imbottito x 6 pers Antipasto
Stuffed Oxheart Tomatoes.
Consiglia Giudone Positano
Oddly enough this was a very popular dish at Da Adolfo restaurant during those hot summer months. It never ceased to amaze me what healthy appetites the Italians had during this warmer period. They would so often opt for warm soups and stews, big baked pastas or hearty stuffed vegetables while sitting around the beach in wet swimmers in searing temperatures! I guess the two hour nap on a sun bed under the umbrella following lunch, took care of their digestion!
6 large bullock/ox-heart tomatoes
50 gm capers in brine or salted but rinsed well (chopped finely)
150 gm fior di latte (cow milk mozzarella, best day before) chopped into small cubes.
10 basil leaves chopped
1 fillet of anchovies finely chopped
50 black and green olives finely chopped
500 gm Arborio rice boiled in water & a little salt till ‘al dente’ ( apx 17 mins) and rinsed.
½ white onion chopped finely
50 gm EVO
Tomato pulp from the 6 tomatoes
Carefully cut a decent size hole at the top of each tomato putting aside these lids. Keeping the tomatoes intact, scoop out their pulp with a spoon. Fry the onion in EVO on a medium flame and add the rice. Cover and toss the rice then add the tomato pulp plus ½ litre of boiling water. Cook all together for approx 10 mins until rice is ½ cooked. Turn off the flame and let cool for another 10 mins. Then add all the other ingredients except the mozzarella. Stuff the tomatoes with this rice mix and poke one 1.5 cm cubes of mozzarella into the middle of the rice stuffing and cover with the tomato lids.
Pour a spoon of EVO into a baking dish and put in the stuffed tomatoes with their lids and a thread of EVO drizzled over the top and cook in over for 25 mns for 180 .
Peperoni Imbottiti x 8 pers Antipasto
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Angela Giannullo – Positano
I do love bell peppers in this area, they are sweeter than anywhere else in the world and this could be the reason the locals have so many ways to prepare them. Angela’s stuffed peppers are definitely at the top of the list! I’ve listed them here as an Antipasto, but seriously if they are big & juicy enough, then just one is a perfect vegetarian Secondo with not even room at the end of the meal for a spoon full of gelato! I think this was the first dish that Julie Gibbs from Penguin and I rushed home to try as soon as we had savoured Angela’s while shooting my recipe book on the Amalfi Coast. They were an absolute triumph!
8 med red and/or yellow bell peppers. Whole and grilled on a hot plate (or baked in a hot oven) until the skin in burnt, so you can peel it away easily, but the flesh is still al dente.
250 gms of old bread white ciabatta bread)
300 gm mozzarella
50 gm green olives without seed
50 gm black olives without seed
40 gm capers under salt rinse for 2 hours in water. Or from the jar without vinegar
2 anchovies cut into small pieces
5 leaves of basil
1 glove garlic cut into small pieces
4 spns of EVOil
Bread crumbs to finish off
Wet bread in water, squeeze out water well and amalgamate with all ingredients cut into small cubes. Mix well together with one beaten egg.
Lay out each cooked bell pepper cut into four on a flat surface and cover very lightly with salt – there is no salt in the mixture due to the capers.
Put a decent amount of mixture onto of each pepper and roll up firmly but gently. You do need string or toothpicks to close them. in a porcelain baking dish, pack them in tightly with the round side up. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Cook at 170 in a fan forced oven for ½ hour. Eat hot, warm or cold…….they are unbelievably good!
Peperoni con Caperi e Olive – 6 pers – Contorno
Bell Peppers with Capers and Olives
Mario Rispoli – Bar Bruno Positano
This wonderfully balanced Contorno is a classic in this region of Italy. The sweet bell peppers balance beautifully with the salty capers and olives. Certainly not one of the prettiest Contorni once you have added the bread crumbs to amalgamate everything, but this is a side dish fit for a King! A sensational accompaniment for any meat or fish course…and naturally you can make a hearty winter meal of this delicious dish if you want only veggies!
6 red bell peppers – cut into stripes
6 mixed olives cut into pieces – pips removed
4 teaspns of salted capers – soaked to de-salt
5 tablespns of bread crumbs
EVO – 6 tablespns
Pinch of dried chill
1 squashed garlic clove
Heat oil in a pan with chilli , squashed garlic, capers and olive on a med flame until garlic is golden. Remove the garlic then add red peppers and lower the flame adding a little water at a time every so often. Cook together until red peppers are tender; a good half hour. At the end fold in the grated bread crumbs and serve hot.
So stock up on your winter veggies and start creating these wonderful warming dishes to keep your heart and soul humming southern Italian Joy! and if you are planning a trip to this magnificent region, let me know so I can assist you with the perfect accommodation, wonderful restaurant bookings and any other fabulous events you’d like organised whilst there. I can also give you all the right tips and hints to get your appetite on the best tables on the Amalfi Coast! BUON APPETITO!
All food/chef shots by C. Coulson.