Family Italian, a new cookbook release from famed Italian chef (and Jamie Oliver mentor) Gennaro Contaldo, is packed with the recipes we want to cook. From haute cuisine to rustic peasant food — we love the whole spectrum — Family Italian is one of those books that puts you in the mood for a big, hearty dinner. Preferably one that starts with the classic meat, cheese and "extras" platter known as antipasto.
This classic Italian starter is traditionally served on special occasions such as Christmas. In rural Italy years ago every family had a pig, which was killed each year so that different cuts of cured meat would be available in the larder (pantry). The family also made numerous jars of preserved vegetables and their own cheese. All this produce would be carefully assembled to be enjoyed as an antipasto or starter. Nowadays, all you need is a trip to the supermarket or Italian deli to find these delicacies. Arrange them on big platters in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves. Make sure you have plenty of good bread and grissini. You can also enhance this course by making some bruschetta.
- 4 slices Parma ham
- 4 slices mortadella
- 4 slices capocollo (cured pork shoulder)
- 8 slices Milano salame
- 9 ounces buffalo mozzarella, roughly sliced
- a handful of green and black olives
- a selection of preserved vegetables such as bell peppers, aubergines, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms
- grissini, bruschetta, focaccia and country bread, to serve
Arrange the meats, mozzarella, olives and preserves on a large platter. Serve with grissini, bruschetta, focaccia and country bread.
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