Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Spinach pesto...



Everyone loves pesto, whether it’s simply spooned through trofie pasta, stirred into a risotto, seductively drizzled over a tomato and fresh burrata salad starter, used as a topping on toasted bread or spooned through potato gnocchi, the uses are truly endless. 
There are many combinations and variations of pesto. From a delicious fragrant basil pesto to a roasted pepper pesto, nettle pesto, asparagus pesto and beyond. This spinach pesto is a favourite of mine. I normally make a medium sized kilner jar full and once made top with olive oil before placing it into the fridge. This pesto will keep for up to a month, no double dipping though!!  

200g freshly washed and dried spinach
60g pine nuts un-toasted
1 large clove garlic
60g parmesan
Twist of salt and pepper
Olive oil 80ml

1. Into a food processor add the spinach, pine-nuts, peeled garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper. 
2. Blitz for 30 seconds.
3. Pour in half of the oil and blitz for a further 30 seconds. Add the remaining oil until you have achieved the perfect pesto, a loose dropping consistency would be ideal.
Spoon into a sterilised jar and top with a little olive oil.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Carmela's Kitchen - Pop up restarant


Well what a relief. Blood sweat and allot or organisation, shopping, cooking, seasoning and tasting pulled off and made the first Carmela's Kitchen pop up restaurant an overall riding success. Hard work and a passion to succeed with an amazing team in the kitchen and front of house made the evening even better. Preparation in advance was key, using the best authentic ingredients with most of them coming from the Italian Shop in Northampton also made the menu interesting and a little diverse.

I'm a cookery teacher and food writer but I just have a hunger for more. A friend put this idea into my head a few months ago. So after pondering for the whole of 60 seconds, I thought 'I can do that, can't I'. What could be better. Showcasing my recipes and dishes that have been included in my new to be released cookery book out on the 20th November...'Southern Italian Family Cooking'.

It was not easy at all and I take my heels off to all the chefs that cook and prepare amazing food for us in restaurants everyday working incredibly long and unsociable hours. A pop up restaurant was just that. I hired a hall with a small kitchen and cooked for 60 diners. A full combination of antipasti, filled peppers, caponata, filled shells with a slow cooked meatball sugo, freshly made herb gnocchi with a spinach pesto or gorgonzola sauce, fennel and Italian leaf salad and to finish amaretto tirmaisu and berry pannacotta. Delicious food that I serve at home to my family and friends.

Just planning the menu for the next pop up. I aim to make it even more delicious with authentic recipes. Thank you to all my staff and diners for your continued support, appreciation and appetite for Italian food.

Here are a few pictures from the evening. Grazie Carmela x

To book the next pop up, keep an eye on my official website..www.carmelas-kitchen.co.uk