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To continue this month’s theme, a three course menu features fresh strawberries, a produce of the fertility of spring, and quail egg to symbolise new life. This recipe is designed to inspire you to recognise and celebrate the season with family and friends.

Brodetto all’ uovo di quaglia (broth with quail egg)

 

Ingredients
1lt of good stock (chicken or beef, degreased)
75ml of dry sherry (Tio Pepe)
4 quail eggs
1 medium size carrot
1 white stick of celery
2 spring onions or 1 small leek

 

Preparation
1. Cut the vegetable into a Julienne (strips 4cm long and 2mm thick)
2. Prepare 4 suitable soup bowls with one shelled quail egg in each and refrigerate
3. Plunge the Julienne (except the spring onions) in boiling, salted water for 1 minute and drain
4. Place the Julienne (including the onions), in the stock and bring it to the boil. In the meantime prepare the soup bowls for serving
5. When the stock and Julienne are boiling, add the sherry and when it reaches boiling point again, immediately divide it into the 4 bowls
6. Serve at once
This dish goes well with parmesan cheese and
Grissini (breadsticks)

 

Saltimbocca e Peperonata
Ingredients for the Saltimbocca
8 x 80g veal (or skinless & boneless pork) steaks
cut from the loin
8 slices of Parma ham
16 leaves of fresh Sage
100ml good stock
50ml dry Marsala
Olive oil and butter as needed (proportion 70/30)
2 shallots finely chopped
Seasoning

 

Ingredients for the Peperonata
1 sweet red pepper
1 medium sized aubergine
1 medium sized onion
1 large courgette
1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes
10 sprigs of parsley roughly chopped
50ml oil and 30g butter
Seasoning

 

Preparation for the Peperonata
(This should be ready and kept hot by the time the steaks are cooked)
1. Wash and cut all the vegetables into about 20mm cubes
2. In a suitable saucepan (preferably non stick) heat the fat and fry all the vegetables, stirring at intervals.
3. When the ingredients are soft, season to taste and transfer into an oven proof dish, cover and place into an oven at 100ºC until required

 

Preparation for the Saltimbocca
1. Beat the meat to 5mm thick
2. Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan and when the fat is really hot, seal the meat. Repeat this operation until all the steaks are sealed
3. Place two sage leaves in the middle of each steak and wrap each in one slice of Parma ham, keep it flat
4. Again heat the fat and gently cook all the steaks for no longer that 10-12 minutes. It is important that the pan is not washed until cooking has terminated but it is used again and again so as not
to lose the cooking residue
5. Make sure that all the steaks are kept hot after being cooked
6. After the last steaks, cook the shallots and when nice and soft, add the stock. Reduce by half over a lively heat and then add the Marsala, reduce again stirring all the time. By now the stock,
Marsala and the cooking residue from the meat, will have formed a sauce
7. Season to taste

To serve
Place the Peperonata into one or more large serving platters, place the meat over it and pour the sauce over.
Garnish with watercress and serve.

Boiled new potatoes (Jersey Royal), are the ideal accompaniment

 

 

Strawberry delight

strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
500g fresh strawberries
350ml double cream
100ml Di Saronno Amaretto
16 leaves of mint
100g soft light brown sugar
16 Savoiardi biscuits

Preparation
1. Wash and hull all the strawberries (except the four largest ones which are set a side) and roughly chop them
2. Whip the cream and sugar
3. Gently mix into it the Amaretto and then the chopped strawberries
4. Divide the mixture into 4 suitable dishes, place on each a saved strawberry and two leaves of mint
5. Serve with 2 Savoiardi per person

 

“Buon Appetito” –  Giovanni Fontebasso

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