Italian Notes combines travel tales from Italy with food recipes, so as we get over Christmas and prepare for a New Year here’s a list of our most popular recipes 2016.
The list of the most popular recipes 2016 has been accumulated with the help of Google Analytics, and to a wide extend it reflects my own preferences. There are classic antipasti, sturdy vegetable dishes based on cauliflower that rarely gets all the love it deserves, nice pasta and gorgeous cakes. Everything I need for a delicious dinner though I’d miss the salad, and you can always search for a secondo to match.
For more inspiration, please follow the links to the most popular recipes from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
On top of the list we find a recipe for crisp cauliflower fritters. Perhaps because the fried crispiness disguises the characteristic flavours that many people find deeply revolting. After all what’s not to like about a vegetable fried with a batter of flour, eggs and parmesan?
2. Asparagus Cappelletti with Cheese Sauce
I adore asparagus in the springtime, when they announce the coming of a new vegetable season. Made with fondue ingredients, this recipe of asparagus Cappelletti with cheese sauce is perfect for the transition from rich wintry comfort food to the lighter, grassy notes of fresh asparagus spears.
I don’t know any Italians who bake their own panettone. But with the right kind of flour and a preparation stretching over several days, it is possible to produce a passable version of this classic Italian Christmas cake that tastes as good as any even though it looks a little clumsy.
For obvious reasons the idea of a giant potato crisp with oozy cheese with crunchy edges appeals to a lot of people, which explains why this recipe for Frico cheese fry has attained to popularity to come in 4th on this year’s top recipes list.
Bright green, spiky cauliflower from Rome looks ever so appealing when you find it on farmers’ markets or at the local greengrocers. Still it’s difficult to find out how to deal with it at home in the kitchen. For me the solution is something like this romanesco cauliflower loaf. A tasty and filling side dish that goes well with meat and gravy.
6. Fettuccine with Peppers from Senise
To me fettuccine with peppers from Senise is the taste of Basilicata. A simple peasant dish based on a few low-cost ingredients that highlights the warm, dusty aroma I associate with the arid and rugged landscape.
If you’ve ever been in Rome around the end of October and the beginning of November, you’ll know that there’s pasta with pumpkin on every menu. In this version, the pumpkin is creamed up with ricotta and caciocavallo and served with good home- or handmade pasta.
8. Cured ham and melon
Cured ham and melon is probably the most clichéd Italian antipasti ever. But it’s also a very old combination with roots dating back to the 2. century AD. And knowing the origin of the dish makes it easier to appreciate the refreshing coldness, sweet juice, hot meat and dried saltiness of this simple starter.
A snack of bread, cheese and sausage meat sold from bakeries in Ragusa on the southern tip of Sicily. Tomasini sausage rolls should ideally be made with authentic Sicilian ingredients, but substitutes can be used instead.