Cooking from An Appetite for Lombardy in 2016

Christine Smallwood Briefs

I’m often asked to name my favourite recipe from An Appetite for Lombardy.

Impossible. Not least because I don’t have favourites – I’m far too fickle to have a favourite book, band, film, song etc. My choice at any given moment depends on the time of year, where I am and how I’m feeling.

But, here are the recipes that, in the last year, and ignoring any cooking dems or events I’ve done, have been cooked most frequently at home.

La Millefoglie di Sardine con Chips di Polenta
Fish and Crispy Polenta Millefeuille

I’ve yet to serve this to anyone – even people who aren’t big polenta fans – who doesn’t love it. I most often use smoked mackerel at home and even though making the crispy polenta takes some time, it’s one of those repetitive, hence quite relaxing, tasks once you get into the rhythm of it.

Tarte Tatin con Pomodori Passiti e Melanzane al Forno
Tomato and Aubergine Tarte Tatin

A great light lunch or supper dish especially when tomatoes are at their best. Add a green salad, chilled wine, music of your choice and some friends and you’re all set.

Gnocchi di Patate Ripieni di Ragù su Crema di Piselli
Potato Gnocchi filled with Ragù on a Pea Cream

I love gnocchi and stuffed ones are fun to make. This works well with frozen peas and children love them.

I Pizzoccheri alla maniera di mamma Lucinda
Mamma Lucinda’s Pizzoccheri

Rib-sticking, winter food. Perfect after a walk across muddy fields in bracing air and a warming whisky in the pub, or following a tough day at work when comforting carbs are the answer to the day’s tougher questions. If you have a bottle of Valtellina red to hand, even better.

“Pecora nell’Orto”
“Sheep in the Veg Garden”

The perfect year-round dish as it requires seasonal vegetables so is a dependable standby whether your veg rack holds radishes, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, turnips or parsnips.