Ciao a tutti e spero che si sono impressi con il mio italiano–Good eh? I got it off Babylon translator. Me speak Italian? Me speak any language come to that? I once tried Danish when we were lost in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Denmark It was so bad the guy asked if I spoke French instead. Sanglante joue.
I wouldn’t like to say I am a complete Denholm Elliot’s character in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I am proficient at swearing and ordering a drink in every language going. The important things.
So, today as you can see, it is an advent calendar day.
Anne has the next line of our song over on her blog. OOH, we had sumexy pirates last time. I have to say, OMG! I would happily have done this next line too…especially given I don’t just write about pirates.
Tomorrow…well, tomorrow we will be revealing certain covers.
It’s OKAY, I think I can get Kara to deal with Dug. IF she doesn’t hotfoot it to Anne’s blog today. Dug that is. Kara is too refined… Men in certain things do nothing for her whatsoever …ahem. It is very obvious when she first meets Callm.
I will also be revealing my book trailer.
TA-DAH… special big thanks to Incy Black for helping me NOT have a nervous breakdown at 1 am in the morning, when she’d no heating. Oh..and prising the 12 Days of Christmas song and the crummy accompanying naff illustrations off of it.
Guesses anyone as to what carol I kept??? It’s today’s BIG question.
Talking Christmas, Lady Fury has a special visitor on her blog
Yes…Ranting Crow, sharing not only some very questionable Dear Santa letters we must hope authors Antonia Van Zandt and Noelle Clark don’t see… Ranting didn’t write them, the pirates did. But Ranting does have that recipe for Dutch Apple Pie.
Plus some fabulous pics of cocktail cup cakes. Gorgeous all of it. What, or rather who I have today by way of something different again is
Pietro Lombardi, hero of Noelle Clark’s lovely new book, Rosamanti set in Capri in Italy–what do you think I was speaking Italian for? The good of my health and the badness of everyone else’s? Being as Pietro’s also a chef, do sit back. We are not only in for a special treat if you haven’t got the Christmas dinner sorted, look no further.
Buon giorno. My name is Pietro Lombardi and I am the owner and chef at Alberto’s. This Christmas will be our first, and my wife – Sarah – and I are looking forward to welcoming our family and friends to our restaurant for a traditional Caprese meal.
A lot has happened this year. I met the love of my life quite by chance, when she came to Capri from Australia, to stay at Villa Rosamanti – my Nonna’s villa, set high up on the cape near the ruins of Villa Jovis.
Christmas on the island of Capri is glorious. There are very few tourists, the weather is quite cool, and it rains a lot. The local Caprese people take this opportunity to meet up with family and friends, and enjoy the peace and quiet of our island.
There are many Christmas traditions here that my wife does not know. She comes from Australia, where Christmas is celebrated at the height of summer. She loves to come on la passeggiata with me around Capri, and especially at Christmas when la piazzetta is all lit up. Children gather in the towns and recite poems, and sing traditional Christmas songs. The children here have to wait until Epiphany – January 6th – to open their presents, which are delivered by ‘Befana’, a kind, ugly witch who rides on a broomstick.
If you have read the book (Rosamanti), then you will know the history of Alberto’s. So, to honor my Nonna, our menu for Christmas dinner will be traditional Caprese fare, made entirely from ingredients from our very own land at Rosamanti. We do hope you will join Sarah and I, Therese and Bruno, our brave little friend Carlo, and of course Zia Maria, as we celebrate Christmas on my Island of Capri.
Buon Natale from Pietro and Sarah. Ciao. Now the Menu!
Starter: Potato and Cheese Pie, served with Caprese Christmas Wreath Salad
(hmmmmm Very fantoosh)
Main Course: Traditional Caprese Ravioli
(like what’s on Anne’s blog today, a must have)
Dessert: Italian Panettone – which is a traditional cake filled with candied fruit that is very popular during the holiday season.
(Let us eat lots of it.)
Potato and Cheese Pie serves 6
- 2 lb potatoes
- 7 oz ham
- 7 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 7 oz Emmentaler cheese
- salt to taste
- 1 ¾ oz butter
Preparation – 15 minutes preparation + 1 hour cooking
Boil the potatoes in salted water, then peel them and cut them in rather thin slices.
Grease an oven dish, arrange a layer of potatoes in it, on top of the potatoes put the ham cut into slices, Emmental and Parmesan cheese. Continue to make layers of potatoes, ham, Emmental and Parmesan until all the ingredients are used up. Finally, put a few small knobs of butter then put in the oven at 350°F° for about 30 minutes.
Recipe from http://www.academiabarilla.com/italian-recipes/search-recipes/potato-cheese.aspx
Ravioli Caprese style
Filling Ingredients: 1/3 cup of ricotta cheese, 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, 1 table spoon of grated parmesan cheese, basil.
Preparation: To obtain the filling for our exquisite ravioli, mix together through a food processor ricotta cheese, mozzarella, basil, a handful of grated parmesan minimum one hour in advance and leave the mixture in the refrigerator. In the main time prepare the dough. N.B. It is advisable to buy all cheeses the previous day and keep them in the refrigerator.
Pasta Ingredients: 1 cup of regular white flour, ¼ cup of water, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Italian pinch of sea salt.
Preparation: Place the flour on the work top and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the egg and a pinch of salt. Use a fork to incorporate the flour, adding the water a little at a time. Cover with flour and pat down by hand. Knead until a smooth dough is obtained. Divide the dough into two parts. Take one half of the roll and roll until a thin base is obtained. Add flour to keep from sticking to surface and rolling up, but do not over – work this dough. Brush off excess flour from both sides of base. Brush the top of base with beaten egg. Place teaspoonfuls of the filling at a regular intervals on the base (you can also do little balls). Filling should be 2 finger – widths apart. Roll out the other half of the dough and place over the base. Cut out the ravioli using a ravioli cutters, smaller one to press, larger one to cut.
To cook: Place the ravioli in a pan of boiling salted water. After few minutes the ravioli will rise to the surface. Using a skimming ladle, remove the ravioli and add to the previously prepared tomato sauce. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan and fresh basil and the dish is ready.
Recipe from http://www.amalficoastcookingvacations.com/recipes/caprese-ravioli-style
Recipe for panettone
OF COURSE we can’t just have Pietro here. We need to find out more.
Fate drew her to Rosamanti. Love made her stay…
After the death of her husband, best-selling mystery author Sarah Halliman has lost her desire for just about everything. Desperate to break out of her funk and rediscover herself, she answers a newspaper advertisement—For lease: Isolated villa on Capri, Italy. Must love cats. Traveling alone to the beautiful island of Capri, she locates Villa Rosamanti, a gorgeous 400-year-old dwelling nestled in the hillside of Monte Tiberio. Above it lies Villa Jovis, the 2000-year-old villa of Emperor Tiberius, ripe with history and intrigue.
Sarah soon discovers a strong resonance with Rosamanti and its gardens and quirky pets. She begins to feel a deep connection to Elena Lombardi, the deceased owner. But it’s not just the villa Sarah’s fallen in love with. Elena’s grandson, Pietro, is handsome and charming, the epitome of the passionate Italian. His dream is to own a restaurant of his own, but such dreams are for wealthier men.
Between the sparks that Pietro kindles in Sarah’s heart—and her kitchen—and the mystery of nearby Villa Jovis, Sarah’s muse begins to stir. She senses stories in the ancient stones, and romance in the phosphorescent blue waters of the Blue Grotto. But when her curiosity takes her to Elena’s library, a child’s notes and maps lead Sarah to a mystery that could be the answer to everyone’s prayers—or perhaps, be the destruction of everything they hold dear…
Available now from:
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks
Website and Blog www.noelleclark.net