Shrimp cocktail, the spicy side

I've always been in awe for fish, first of all because it doesn't create as much of a hubbub as meat does (hence it's more convivial), and secondly because, when fresh, I'm personally on a verge of a lust for life. In range of my collaboration with DeliSnacky, which previous videos you can find here and here, I developed this shrimps cocktails recipe, which has then been turned in a video. The pitch is allusive to an antipasti which became popular in Italy over the '80s. This vintage snack is now ready for a comeback, but with a twist: avocado spicyness. The recipe video has got French subtitles, so please refer to the instructions below in order to make it at home.

Spicy shrimp cocktail

  • 150 gr mayonnaise
  • 1 fresh unwaxed lemon
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado
  • a bunch of salad leaves
  • a few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 36 tiny shrimps

In a bowl, pour the mayonnaise, 5 or 6 Tabasco sauce drops, and the juice of one lemon. Mix well and put aside. Now prepare the avocado by cutting it in tiny dices. Mince the salad with the aid of a knife. Lay it in a big cocktail glass, starting from the salad on the bottom, then the avocado, followed by the shrimps and its sauce on top.

With love and avocado,


Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

September. Time for new season's resolutions, full body scrubs to keep our sunkissed skin tight...and preserves. Loads of them, may they be fruits or vegetables based. Over the summer I spent a good amount of time food researching in my native land, Puglia, and spent entire afternoons picking the most luscious gastronomic delicacies. Wearing a straw hat, which I often filled with enchanting tomatoes, I would go to my favourite fig tree and laid there with a book. It was full midday heat one august fine day when, after a few pages and far too many mosquito bites I headed back home, and I came across a recipe idea that could convey both the figs deliciousness and the summer freshness. I posted its result on my Instagram feed and I am now publishing its sought after recipe following my lovely followers request.

Figs Pie

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 500 gr. all purpose flour
  • 250 gr. cold butter (not the spreadable version)
  • 1 unwaxed organic lemon zest
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80 gr. caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 350 gr. fresh figs
  • 100 gr. almonds
  • 1 lemon

Start off by preparing the shortcrust pastry. In a mixer place the flour, a pinch of salt and the butter right out of the fridge, cut into chunks. Blend all the ingredients until the mixture is sandy and chalky-looking; place the obtained mixture on a work surface (or alternatively in a bowl) and add the sifted icing sugar.

Make a well in the center and pour in the lemon zest and egg yolks (you can also flavor with orange zest, the seeds of vanilla bean or cinnamon). Start to mix the ensemble with a fork first, then when the eggs have absorbed the flour you can continue by hand. Knead briefly, just long enough to compact the mixture so that the crust doesn't get too hot with the heat of your hands and thus remains brittle. Form a dough and flatten it before you wrap it in plastic wrap; store it in the refrigerator to firm up for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven at 180°. Unwrap the figs from their skin and put them in a pan, leaving 3 fruits aside for decoration; with the help of a mixer, mince finely 80 gr. of almonds until floury, then add them to the figs, spray the juice of a lemon on top and let the whole ensemble cook on a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

Have a pie tin of around 20 cm. of diameter ready. Take the shortcrust pastry off the fridge, remove the foil and tap the dough with your own hands on the pie tin. Fill the pie with the figs conserve and decorate with slices of fresh figs and the remaining almonds, roughly chopped.

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered. That's how I remain, often enough, at the site of my Italy. Gaining access to astonishment is ever so easy, just by turning a corner from a tiny pedestrian sidestreet to a magnificent Renaissance style landscape, just keep my eyes ready for surprises over and over again. Knowing that the season will be delightful and the best... oh yes, the best is yet to come.



At home in the Amalfi Coast - part 3

And then you want to enjoy the view, or at least one of the best perspectives, since it’s all about breathtaking sights around here, in the Amalfi Coast. bruno1

The cosiest yet stunning foodie spot to do so, along with some good old fashioned people watching, is Bar Bruno. “It’s not a bar, it’s a restaurant” – insists Ornella, the owner, who runs this place, open 18 hours a day, along with her husband and her children, three handsome guys in their twenties who crack up jokes with the young ladies and are the epitome of the Neapolitan chap.


Haut couture designer Giambattista Valli comes every day during the month of August, and when he’s not around, his friends are: Lee Radzivill (sister of Jacqueline Kennedy) as well as Hollywood stars of the likes of Meryl Streep are all returning customers. The peculiarity about this small place located on the public road is that it’s not only about Amalfi Coast dishes.


Some people may fall for them, but others, who are seaching for fuss-free gastronomic purity, would like to enjoy some simple Italian standards, and that’s where they’d come, certain to be in for a treat.


When I've been served marinated fillet of fish with oranges, vegetables, Parmesan cheese and rocket I couldn't believe my senses as I tasted the latter one. The rocket here grows as an erba spontanea (spontaneous herb), and is particularly bitter, almost peppery. Excellent on its own, it was a sublime indulgence in front of the wild horizon.


And then there's Lemon. Definitely the king around here, you find it on top of your drink, inside out any kind of food, on granita (lemon slush), it’s transformed in candles, home & personal scents. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if people would even pray in front of it. Honestly, one never gets enough of it.


Fillet of fish of the day & seafood au gratin on a bed of lemon leaves is one of the most audacious and well achieved food ideas I've seen around here these last days.bruno10

A gentle breeze welcomed the evening in, and the clouds layered with the sky. The Sfoglia alle Fragola, the signature dish of Bruno, is fragile and filled with antioxidants. Every meal seems effortless and successful. Maybe because of this lack of stress, that put me in a delightful state of #foodhappiness.

With love and the sea in front of my eyes,