I Should Never Have Made the Don's Daughter Cry

Monday 28/3/2005

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Diary and Notes

It's a dangerous game I've been playing of late - what with my besmirching the wife of Don Dadi Croccanti (11/12/2004) knocking off all the assasins he sent to kill me (12/1/2005) and eventually seducing his only daughter (29/1/2005) but I think I may have really gone too far this time.

I can't really plead innocence. My only excuse would be that being a hot blooded English-Italian love machine, I am incapeable of resisting the charms of sophisticated, beautiful women - oh pity me, the lovable rogue. I didn't mean to upset anybody, I was weak in the face of overwhelming power.

So now I am a wanted man again and this time there is no messing about. The Don has sent the very best after me, Albero Sottile, most feared assasin from all the the seven families, famed for his use of the stilletto knife and an odd smell of mothballs.

So once again I am a hunted man and must take action to protect myself. I have decided to head North and lay a trap for my pursuer so will be unavailable for a few days. If you hear from me again you know I will have been successful, if not, may God take pity on this poor handsome soul.

Cake Blog

Apricot Clafoutis: I'm starting to run out of cake options and having to make things myself. 'Tis a sad day indeed. Clafoutis is one of those home cooked French classic desserts that every French housewife knows how to make off by heart (or they used to, I don't know what today's generation are like). It's a sweet batter baked with fruit - a bit like a heavy, fruity, Yorkshire pudding.


  • Spicy Penne with Mushrooms and Pepperoni

  • Duck with Black Olives (Anatra con le Olive)
  • Focaccia (from yestderday, warmed in the oven)
  • Apricot Clafoutis and Syrup


    75g Penne Pasta
    Olive Oil
    1 Green Chilli
    3 Mushrooms
    Knob Butter
    25g Pepperoni
    1/2 tsp Minced Basil
    Black Pepper
    Parmesan Cheese
    Duck with Olives
    1 Duck breast
    100ml Duck Stock
    Olive Oil
    1/2 Onion
    1/3 Carrot
    1/2 Stick Celery
    1 Rasher Bacon
    2 Bay Leaves
    Pinch Rosemary
    2 Anchovies
    20 Black olives
    10 Cherry Tomatoes
    1/2 Tube Tomato Puree
    Black Pepper
    Clafoutis (four servings)
    2 Eggs
    2 Tbsp Flour
    1 Drop Vanilla Essence
    150ml Milk
    2 Tbsp Sugar
    Butter (for Greasing)
    1 Can Apricots
    150ml Maple Syrup


  • Pasta: Put the pasta on to boil. While the pasta is cooking, chop the chilli and fry in a little olive oil. After a minute or so add the mushrooms and the chopped pepperoni and fry until the mushrooms soften, add a knob of butter, a little minced basil and pepper. Continue cooking until the pasta is ready. Add a few spoons of the pasta water to the mushrooms, then stir in the drained pasta. Serve with loads of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Duck: First make the sauce - finely dice the onions, carrot and celery and sweat in a little olive oil until soft. Add the chopped bacon and fry a little longer. Add the bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, half of the olives, the anchovies (chopped) and rosemary. Simmer gently for 1/2 and hour then remove the bay leaves and liquidize to make a rich thick sauce. Stir in some tomato puree and water, season and simmer for a further 1/2 hour. When the sauce is quite thick and the tomato puree cooked in, heat a frying pan and fry the duck (skin side down first). Fry for about 3 minutes on the skin side, drain off the excess fat and then 3 minutes on the other side. Next add the duck stock and simmer the duck gently for 10 minutes allowing the stock to reduce to about 1/4 volume. Add the tomato sauce and the rest of the olives. Season and eat with the warm bread.
  • Clafoutis: Make the batter - mix the eggs and sugar with a drop of vanilla then whisk in the flour. When the flour has been thoroughly mixed, add the milk and whisk again. Butter a pie dish and dust with flour (to stop the dessert sticking) and pour in the batter. Layer the apricot halves on top and bake to 30 minutes (medium heat). The clafoutis should be brown and puffy. If eaten hot it should be served immediately so it will stay risen, it will sink a little if allowed to go cold, but is really good for breakfast with coffee. Serve with mapple syrup if you have a sweet tooth.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person