For the foodie section of Italian Notes’ readers, here is a list of the ten most popular food notes in 2018. And the list comprises both side dishes, main dishes, pasta and cake.
It is always interesting for me to see what recipes that appeal to your tastes in particular, and the last year – running from early October 2017 to late September 2018 – is no exception. I am particularly pleased to some of my own personal favourites top the list.
If you are looking for inspiration and want to check out previous foodie hit lists, here are the ones from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.
2018 was the year I really discovered the joy of cooking with fish and seafood, and I’m glad to see this is reflected in your preferences as well. Black pasta with prawns is a simple dish of spaghetti spiced up visually and aromatically by the addition of squid ink in the pasta dough. An example of how to make fun food tasty (- or tasty food fun).
I always find a lot of food inspiration from travels and restaurant visits around Italy. I owe the idea of giving mackerel fillets a minuscule sprinkle of sugar before frying to an unforgettable visit to the Franceschetta 58 in Modena, where the fish appeared tastier and more crisp than I had ever experienced it before. This remake of the restaurant’s starter is almost as good.
It is surprising that after 10 years of blogging, I have never before shared my recipe for cantuccini biscuits, but in August I published the classic version and it has been one of the blog’s most sought after recipes since.
Every year at Christmas I try to dig out a traditional cake recipe, and last year it was the spongata from the Emilia region and northern Tuscany. A cake best described as a crossover between panforte and the Sicilian Buccellato.
For the second and not last year in a row, stuffed chicken from Basilicata has been a lean alternative to the typical Danish dishes of fatty pork and duck on our Christmas table. The stuffing makes an otherwise ordinary roast chicken festive and tasty.
Like the cantuccini, lamb skewers from Abruzzo are a classic regional Italian preparation that ought to have been shared years ago on this blog. And as many of the best Italian dishes it is both easy to make and exquisitely tasty.
Like the caramelised mackerel, the ultimate winner of the most popular food notes 2018 is an unusual combination of tastes inspired by a great restaurant experience. I for one had never dreamt of stirring my tomato sauce with a liquorice stick, before I was introduced to the notion at the Trattoria della Paesello in Cosenza. The effect is at once surprising and soothing with a delicate, long-lingering flavour.