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The flavours of Italy.

Italy resumes in one breath the elegance of Rome, the romance of Venise, and the mystery of Verona; Italy, it’s also Calabria’s 800 km of coastline, Tuscany’s vineyards running through the hills, and Sardinia’s lunar sceneries. Italy, it’s simply some twenty regions that, crossing from the North to the South, take us from a continental climate to a hot Mediterranean one.

Well before Jesus Christ, Apicius (famous author of numerous recipes that were being taught to others by himself) was already speaking highly of this genuine gastronomy "boot". The kid is the Northern cuisine speciality while the veal belongs to the South, but we can appreciate the tasty "al dente" pasta everywhere: spaghettis, cannelloni, fettuccines, etc... and we will always be amazed at its surprising variety of forms, colours and accompanying sauces: cream, tomato, Parmesan, mushrooms, basil...

And then, what a treat to have a plate flowered with a tomato rose, laced with thin strips of Mozarella or Parmesan and a luminous trickle of olive oil, and this osso-buco or still this moist and soft risotto with its aroma full of promise! Still, how to compare this creamy tiramisu perked up with some alcohol, and this delicious espresso, which only the Italians know the secret stir!

Simply, a tasty and easy cuisine. So, what about dining Italian tonight?

Crostini (starter)

- 2 big slices of a farmhouse loaf
- 8 slices of Mozzarella cheese
- 8 slices of tomato
- some basil, salt, pepper
- a trickle of olive oil

Toast the bread slices on one side only on the oven grill.
Remove and sprinkle with some olive oil.
Arrange the slices of tomato and Mozzarella as well as some chopped basil on the bread. Add salt and pepper.
Put in the oven and toast till the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Osso-buco served with vegetables (main dish)

- 2 slices of knuckle
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 glasses of stock
- 2 glasses of white wine
- 4 potatoes
- 4 carrots
- 2 onions, 1 garlic clove
- parsley, salt, pepper
- some flour and olive oil

Coat the knuckles in flour and brown in a stewpan with some olive oil.
Add the onions, the minced garlic, the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Pour in the wine then the stock.
Cover and allow to cook over a low heat for 1 hour, and then add the vegetables and cook for 30 minutes more.
Reduce the sauce for some minutes and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Panna cotta with strawberries (dessert)

- 40 cl thick fresh cream
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 sheets of gelatine
- 1/2 sachet of vanilla sugar
- a punnet of strawberries

Heat the cream together with the sugar and the vanilla sugar.
As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the gelatine, which has been soften beforehand in some water then dried.
Stir well and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the mixture in ramekins, which already contains the strawberries sliced in half and slightly sugared.
Reserve in the refrigerator.