One of the nice things about being a small food producer is that we can make food to order. Over the years Squisito have catered for many couples in the Italian way but it all started with Sara cooking me parcels of Tuna Wrapped in Parma Ham with Squid Ink Linguine - my stomach fell in love instantly!
One Italian wedding later (yes, we catered for ourselves) and the Italian food business you know well, Sara and I would like to share some of our Valentine's Day favourites for you to share with the one you love . . .
So, for collection this Saturday at Kings Norton Farmers Market ('Farmers Market of the Year 2013' finalist) you can order our key ingredients for the perfect romantic dinner at home by calling Sara on 07824 314 235 or clicking on the order form to the right. For Alex's wine recommendations for Secret Squisito Supper Club this Saturday click here.
Olives with Real Ciabatta & Basil Bread
You might think that a bit of bread and a few olives is just trip to the supermarket and a jar of olives. Until the day that you take your loved one to Puglia or the Amalfi coast where you find the Nocellara olive and the most amazing artisan breads made with fresh basil or that airy newcomer, ciabatta, which was discovered by accident by a baker who left a rather wet batch of dough to ferment whilst on holiday. What distinguishes our favourite Nocellara olive is not the Jack-Marble-meets-Kermit-the-Frog green but the cool crisp flavour that leaves olive lovers craving for more and persuades Marmite haters that maybe they have been wrong about savoury flavours all along. Put together real bread with a great olive and good olive oil you have a simple and unassuming introduction to begin your symphony of love (I don't remember getting the symphony! - Sara xxx) We'll have ciabatta and basil bread this Saturday at Kings Norton Farmers Market.
An easy and romantic dinner for two . . . not too filling or too heavy. This is the first dish my wife Sara cooked for me when we were courting. One Italian wedding, two children and a food business later we cure our own pancetta & prosciutto. Tonno in Pancetta is one of my favourite dishes all these years later and you will always see squid ink linguine on our market stall as a result. It makes a good primi with a small tuna steak or a main with two 200g steaks. You can pan fry with pancetta or use the oven with parma ham which is a bit more delicate. Either way, it's the perfect recipe for lovers.
Tagliata (that's ta-lee-ahta) is striploin or sirloin of beef - one of the most expensive cuts you can buy and worthy of simple cooking and a glass of good red wine. Tagliata is Sara’s favourite dish in Italy and pretty hard to beat all round. Easy to roast in a pizza oven or on a barbecue or hot griddle - the secret is to have the meat slightly charred on the outside and very rare on the inside so cook it hot and fast - it is perfect served thickly sliced onto a bed of quartered roast potatoes roasted with good sprig of rosemary then liberally tossed with coarse sea salt and wild rocket. Unusually, tagliata is a recipe so good that it doesn't really need garlic or nouvelle cuisine sauces since it is about good steak. Just remember to buy your meat from a real butcher not a supermarket since the one you love deserves the best from you!