The best Italian dishes are not necessarily served in Italian restaurants…

A while ago, we gathered with a few fellow passionate Italian aficionados to share our home cooked Italian dishes with each other.

Delicate mushroom pasta

Having lived in Italy, Danielle was the most authentic Italian cook amongst us and she brought, besides her husband, a panettone, two pasta dishes and the Italian flag along!

At first we had to toast with an aperitif. Glasses of bittersweet Sanpellegrino chinotto soda were raised whilst we nibbled on savoury, circular biscuits from Southern Italy – known as taralli.Italian aperitif with taralli

Janie repeated the tricoloured Italian flag in her assembly of antipasti – rounds of salami; glistening caper berries and olives; soft white cheese mounds topped with red pepper pesto and thin leaves of prosciutto.


Ludolf’s bruschetta with fragrant brinjals and roasted peppers followed. As we started to dish the long anticipated delicate layers of pasta and porcini, we filled our wine glasses with robust Barbera from Piedmont – a gift from dear friends.

The second pasta dish brought meat to the table, infused with roasted tomato and herbs. A fresh garden salad provided some added texture and colour.

An Italian classic, Tiramisu, adorned our green dessert bowls whilst we sipped on sweet Amaro, bought in Napoli. Janie is well know for her sweet delights.

Tiramisu with flair


And it was with pure delight that I opened my gift of Bonifante panettone weeks later. I used the golden, yeasty bread with candied orange and citron to create a heavenly bread and butter pudding – served with a butterscotch sauce.


Long live the Italian legacy …