This is what an Italian Easter meal Looks like

colomba pasquale

If you’ve ever wondered what a typical Italian Easter meal looks like, you are in the right place. This article will guide you through the best bits of the Roman Culinary tradition.

A carefully chosen, well-mixed types of starters, mains and second main courses will be on the menu from early in the morning to fill you up until you really don’t need anything else (aside from dozing off). Might worth to note that each Region has its own peculiarities in terms of traditions, but we will find out what these traditions are in Rome, my hometown.

Easter in Rome: breakfast

Breakfast has been linked to Italian culinary traditions for centuries, however, the Easter breakfast might actually surprise you. The day will start with a meal consisting of unusual ingredients, on the table on Easter Sunday in Rome, in fact, you will not find either a brioche nor a cappuccino, but boiled eggs, offal, quiches, dove, salami, pizza pasqualina (a type of sweet and sour cheese bread) the ubiquitous chocolate, Easter pizza and  finally a nice frittata with either artichokes or spinach.

It may sound as a “challenging” meal to start the day with, however, this reflects ancient Christian tradition of celebrating the end of the pre-Easter fasting with all kinds of good things.

Easter in Rome: Lunch

For those who survived the breakfast, a round of starters, mains and second mains will be there on the table for the second round of glorious tastiness. Pasta, quiche, asparagus and the irreplaceable lamb with roasted potatoes.

The Roasted Lamb belongs to the Lazio culinary tradition and is the typical dish of the Easter period.
As per tradition, this is cooked with rosemary, garlic and a glass of wine, however, lamb can be offered in three (and equally tasty) variants: agnello alla cacciatora, agnello alla romana (full browned in garlic, olive oil, chopped ham  and roasted potatoes), or lamb chops.

Note: Lamb should be eaten with your hands, you don’t want to spoil the taste!

After the meal, each one gets its own easter egg full of surprises.

 

Buona Pasqua!    from…

A Roman In London

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Recipe Ideas: Cake with Yoghurt and raisins

Today, I want to share with you the recipe of my favourite Italian childhood cake (In Italian Plumcake, although no plums are in this recipe). This is super easy to make and also very versatile, you can literally mix the dough in 15 minutes and the oven will do the rest! Good for breakfast or for an afternoon tea. This time I’ve added 0 fat Greek Yoghurt and Raisins but you can be more creative and add whatever you like the best.

Good for breakfast or for an afternoon tea. Delicious!

 

Cake with Greek Yoghurt and Raisins
Cake with Greek Yoghurt and Raisins. Photo by Roman In London

 

Ingredients

3 medium Eggs
 140 gr of Sugar
Greek yoghurt  250 gr
Vegetable Oil 100 ml
00 flour 180g
Potato starch 60 g
Zest of 1 Lemon
 a pinch of salt
16 gr of Baking powder

Recipe

  1. Firstly, weight all the ingredients at room temperature. Place the eggs in a large bowl along with the sugar and a pinch of salt; mix them all with an electric mixer at low-speed initially, then you can increase it. When the mix becomes light and fluffy use the non-electric whisk instead. Add the greek yoghurt a little at time, stirring it with the whisk.
  2. Grate the zest of one lemon and add it to the mixture. Mix all the ingredients, then gently pour the oil in while continuing to stir.
  3. In a bowl, sift the flour, potato starch and baking powder, then add the powder a spoon at a time to the mixture, stirring with a spatula from the top downwards until you get a smooth mixture.
  4. Grease a loaf pan of 23 x 10x 7,5 cm and gently pour the dough while levelling it with a spatula. Bake it in a preheated oven to 170 degrees for 55 minutes.
  5. Test if it’s done with a toothpick: if pulling it out remains clean, it means that is ready; alternatively you’ll need to keep cooking for a few more minutes. When the plumcake is well browned, let it cool completely.
  6. Your Italian yoghurt ‘plumcake’ is ready to be served!

Note

Store the cake out of the refrigerator under a bell jar for 3-4 days max. Once cooked, it can be frozen and stored for up to 30 days.

 A Roman In London

 

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36 Hours in Bilbao

bilbao

 

Bilbao, in the heart of the Basque Country in Northern Spain, has become more and more famous through the years with the opening of the Guggenheim in 1977. Aside from its notorious titanium-clad museum, Bilbao is also well renown for its fine gastronomy. Food is, apparently, a religion in the Basque Country. Art & Food, do we need anything else?

We stayed at the NH hoteles a hop away from the centre, a very convenient and a short walk and we were able to reach the top attractions within a maximun of 30 minutes walk.

 

 

 

Bilbao
Photo by Roman in London

This is Frank Gehry’s masterpiece.  Stunning from the outside but also houses some of the finest art in Spain. The entrance is guarded by a Puppy made of flowers, a creation of the American artist Keff Koons which has become practically, the mascot of the City.

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

The interior of the Guggenheim is just as amazing as the exterior, where the contours are made of fish like titanium scales.

 

Richard Serra’s ‘The Matter of Time’ Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

Richard Serra’s ‘The Matter of Time’ is made from 1,000 tons of weathered steel and is designed for visitors to move around and through each piece.

 

Photo by Roman in London

Coming from London we were delighted to find a ‘warmish’ almost spring couple of days of sun.

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Roman in London

 

The food is amazing, many places to eat and Micheline’s starred restaurants but no tapas here, Pintxos instead. Fine, delicate but epic in taste. I’ve tried the classic montadillo con jamon serrano and queso, chorizo and tortilla as I’m a creature of habit..but there’s a lot more that tempted my palate so I’ve basically spent most of the 36 hours bar crawling between pintxos cafe’, a ritual known as a txikiteo which involves lots of pintxos with your kuadrilla (group of friends) and xakoli, the local white or rosé wine.

 

A bar at Plaza Nueva. Pintxos. Photo by Roman in London

 

Street art. Photo by Roman in London

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

Once, an industrial City, now it’s 19th Century facades have been renovated and give colours and add prettiness to the City. The Gran Via is a mix of old and new and there are lots of green areas.

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

Bilbao at night from Mount Arxanda. Photo by Roman in London

As a conclusion of the trip I recommend taking the Funicular to Mount Arxanda as the view is breathtakingly beautiful. From Bilbao to the middle of nature.

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Home made roast Chicken Salad

Being sunday I thought that this would be an appropriate recipe to share, because who doesn’t love a roast on a sunday?

Whilst looking for some inspiration online I set a challenge to myself: to find a quick and easy recipe that it’ll use (possibly) as many ingredients as I already have in my fridge. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, but thanks to Jamie Oliver I found what I needed.

This salad is also healthy (which is a major bonus) and really really tasty. Please note: my version is slightly different from the original one.

Here is a list of what you are going to need:

 

For the Roast Chicken

Olive oil

1 Free Range chicken

salt

Pepper

fresh thyme

juice of a lemon

500 gr of cherry tomatoes

1 bulb of garlic

For the salad

200 gr of green beans

Extra virgin olive oil

parsley

6 spring onions

bread (I’ve used 2 slices of toasted bread)

So, first up pre-heat your oven and marinate your chicken with oil, salt and pepper. I’ve used leftover chicken strips instead, but the original recipe says that “it’s fully worth cooking the whole chicken to perfection”, so why not trying?

Once you’ve mixed these flavors you can put the chicken into the roasting tray and leave it cooking for an hour (if you have used chicken strips instead, as I did, half of the time will be enough).

Whilst the chicken is cooking you can start with the preparation of the salad. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and mix them with the garlic cloves. After 30 minutes throw them into the roasting tray with the chicken.

Once the the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove it from the tray and leave it to cool down. Put the bread into the tray and leave it into the oven for 20 mins until crispy and slightly brown.

Remove the skin from the chicken and mix the meat with the resting juices. Cook your green beans for up to 6 minutes and add them to the meat, then add extra virgin olive oil, parsley and spring onions. Finally put the chicken back into the oven until crispy. Serve everything together in a tray (as I did) or a nice platter.

And .. Bon Appetit! Hope you ‘ll enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

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When in Rome…

… Do as Romans do!

It’s that time of the year when I finally manage to book myself into one of these cheap flights and travel to my beloved hometown: Rome.

But before doing so, I thought I should give you a heads up of what Romans, usually do (or go) when visiting their hometown. Even if only for a few days…

First things first: let me eat! And my taste buds will be eternally grateful.

Eating out in Rome is not a secondary activity, something that you leave in between other things. eating out is the Core activity! It is one of the main thing we’ll end up doing most of our time during the vacation.

Whether it’d be with my family, friends or by myself you’ll see me spending most of my time seating on a table and happily tasting all variety of delicious food. And I promise that I will be enjoying it every time as much as Julia Roberts did on her Italian vacation in the movie “Eat, Pray and Love”!

 

 

Recently, I have been to La Zanzara, Ristorante il Fico and Porto Fish and Chips.  Nice places in the centre of Rome where you can eat fresh seafood and drink good wines.

Sightseeing is not difficult when  free art and architecture is everywhere around you  in historic and ancient Rome. In fact, you’ ll easily find yourself stumbling upon few “hidden” gems such as beautiful Churches (Santa Maria del Popolo, Santa Maria della Vittoria), and ancient ruins (I Fori Imperiali or the Palatine Hill). You can pass by ruins, gardens, and fountains. Rome is a “compact” city and easily walk able

 

Colosseum_at_night

 

Taking a day trip with my friends or alone to the nearest beach. Ostia, Fregene or Maccarese are the ones I usually end up going when visiting for a short period of time.

They may be not as glamorous but are the closest to Rome. All of them are equipped with some nice private sandy beaches as well as free to the public ones

 

lido11(1)

 

Shopping. As weird as it may sounds I am talking grocery shopping. My luggage on the way back to London will be full of things I crave to eat and rarely find troughout London (spices, vegetables such as artichokes, sometimes meat and wines).

 

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That’s all for now, but I’ll be updating you soon on what’s on the Roman Agenda.

 

 

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House n. 4 | Dalston – East London

            Finally I managed to move into the new flat and spend some time around to explore the area and.. here I am to tell what are my first thoughts about it.

When it comes to changes and transitions I’ve always experienced some sort of excitement, but, sometimes,  this excitement does translate to a  bit of stress. Luckily, and as soon as I finished unpacking, I started to feel a little more at ease in the new “Environment”. It definitely didn’t last long!

At first sight, Dalston,  seems to be just a random and chaotic east London Suburb, with a big daily market, few cheap shops and lots of Turkish restaurants (I would also add “an interesting concept of Clean),but although hard to believe, I have to admit that I can see why it has been defined as one of the coolest and trendiest postcode in London.

“You can walk down the road and see everything from Pam Hogg squeezing a melon in the Ridley Road market to a man wearing a sack preaching to the traffic lights,” as Hanna Hanra, editor of the Pix. “Everything is possible. It’s a fabulous, optimistic place.”

Here is a list places that I’ve been to over the last couple of weeks and which I have absolutely loved:

 1) Viva Tapas Bar, Mexican Restaurant

 

image

 

Small, informal and intimate. Decorated with a nice vintage touch,  exposed bricks and low lightings. The big painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe does not intimidates me as soon as I enter the restaurant and I can truly enjoy a fresh tequila based cocktail.

To complete the Mexican atmosphere, I had Nachos with guacamole and a Quesadilla with pork. Delicious!

2) Walk by the Canal 

 

canal-geese

 

Walking down the river can definitely help you in changing the pace of the day. From the busy Kingsland Road to the calmest atmosphere.. it’s, in fact, just a matter of few minutes walk.

I’d recommend heading straight down to the canal and walking in either direction – either to Angel or Victoria Park.

3) Farmers Market – Broadway Market

 

market

Given the fact that I’m a food lover, I couldn’t really miss the opportunity to go first thing after moving to a new areas in search of the best market, grocery shops that it has to offer.

The Broadway Market is open on saturdays in a ittle East End street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields.

It offers a variety of different tastes and cultures: stalls, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

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