Ribollita is an Italian soup that was traditionally seen as peasant food. The great thing about this soup is that it makes an ideal base for any additional ingredients that you might want to add. Think of it as an opportunity to give a last moment of glory to any miserable veggies left at the bottom of your fridge! I keep leftover Parmesan rinds in my freezer, which I add to sauces and soups like this to give a unique rich flavour. Add a couple while the soup is simmering and simply fish them out before serving.
Swedish cinnamon buns, or 'Kanelbulle', were the first thing I learned to bake when I stayed in Sweden. Pearl sugar is sprinkled on top to give it that distinctive finishing touch, but if you can't get your hands on any simply sprinkle a little Demerara sugar to finish.
Chorizo is one of my favourite ingredients to use, it provides really delicious smoky flavours and, when fried, renders the most amazing red oil. One of the first few times I visited London, I got myself down to world-famous Borough market where you can pick up some of the best Spanish chorizo outside Spain. This salad is nicest if you can get your hands on some really good-quality chorizo – you will generally find the best stuff in Spanish specialty food shops.
This is definitely one of my favourite recipes in the book. It’s made using pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut that, when cooked in this manner, results in wonderfully tender meat and crispy crackling. If the idea of rolling and stringing up the shoulder around the stuffing is too much, take the stuffing with you to the butcher when you buy the meat and ask for it to be stuffed and rolled for you. Then it’s simply a case of roasting it.
During my search for the perfect whoopee pie, I was sent this recipe by a reader of my blog, whose mother in law, Mrs Linda Daunt, has lived all her life in Maine, New England and is a fantastic cook. Mrs Daunt's special touch is to add buttermilk instead of regular milk, to give the pies a richer taste. The original recipe uses a marshmallow-type filling, but I prefer to stick with regular buttercream frostings.