martini

Mozzarella panini

You don't really want to cook but you still feel like treating yourself to something utterly delicious? Then mozzarella panini is definitely the answer. At home, when the clock strikes 6 p.m., I can feel an almost tangible excitement inhebriating the air. It's aperitivo time! So here is what we do: we pour ourselves a drink, whatever it's available in the house, usually the wine from last night which hasn't been used to cook the lunch's risotto, and make some soul-satisfying food: little nibbles, most of the time, made of leftovers - that's when those little ingredients looking all gloomy and disoriented in the fridge come back to life and handy at last!

As part of a collaboration I have with Martini, which I've already mentioned here and here, I've developed a series of recipes to go with a well deserved drink before dinner. The mozzarella panini, a crunchy assault on your gluttony, is ready in under 10 minutes and will divert you directly into happy helplessness.

Mozzarella panini (serves 4)

Ingredients for 4 people:

• 4 bocconcini buffalo mozzarella • 1 large organic tomato • 1 bunch of fresh basil • 1/2 courgette • 1 clove of garlic • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the courgette into thin slices. In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil with the garlic, and sauté the zucchini for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Add a sprinkle of salt and place the cooked courgettes in a small bowl.  Cut each small mozzarella in half as you would with bread to make a sandwich.

Inside, place a slice of tomato, a basil leaf, 4 courgette slices and sprinkle each mozzarella with a tablespoon of oil. Close the sandwich and add salt and pepper to taste.

With love and mozzarella,

Eleonora

Polenta panini

Cornmeal has been for generations the alternative flour option as opposed to the more refined wheat. Boil it into a porridge and you will get polenta, which has been for centuries the staple food of entire populations in north of Italy areas. A large dish of polenta accompanied by mushrooms and, in the holidays, by wonderfully sticky sausages, was very common in peasant tables. When white flour was hard to spot, for children's snacks, polenta was offered with the addition of milk and sugar. I love the idea of turning a huge traditional dish into a miniaturized heavenly version with an assured yummy effect. In this aperitivo snack that I created exclusively as part of my collaboration with Martini, which I previously talked about here, I combine the tastiness of cotechino Modena (a fresh sausage made from pork, fatback, and pork rind to be found in specialty stores) with Taleggio cheese's mountain piquancy. The mouthwatering result will be an instant success for your spring parties in #foodhappiness mode on. Want to give it a try?

Polenta Panini for Aperitivo time

Ingredients for 4 people:

• 1 Italian cotechino (500 gr.) • 350 gr. Polenta Valsugana type • 4 lt. plain water • 250 gr. taleggio cheese • 1 pinch of pink peppercorn •1 pinch of fine salt and a handful of rocky salt

In a large pot, boil 1.5 lt. of water at medium fire. When the water gets to a boiling, add  a handful of rocky salt, lower the heat and pour the polenta in. Stir carefully for about 8 minutes and always in the same direction, with a wooden spoon. Spread the polenta cooked on a large dish and let cool for about an hour.

In another saucepan, boil 2.5 lt. water. When the water gets to a boiling it's time to add the cotechino in. Let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut the cold polenta, cotechino and cheese into rounds using a small pastry round cutter. Divide the polenta slices, 2 by 2, and fill each sandwich with a slice of cotechino and one of taleggio cheese. Heat the polenta sandwich in the oven at 180 degrees for 3 minutes (enough to melt the cheese). To serve, place a stick on each sandwich and sprinkle with pink peppercorn.

With love and polenta,

Eleonora

polenta2

Martini, it's time for aperitivo

For me, transmitting gastronomical heritage is key to a functioning passing of the baton. To exist, tradition must evolve and trespass its own boundaries. I'm proud to annouce my partnership with Martini ® as their brand ambassador in France. For them, I'm introducing the concept of aperitivo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbbp3aOdLL4

In fact behind every dish there's a story I decode with anecdotes, the characters animating them, the art, the land. Whether in Paris, London or New York, with my friends and family we often find ourselves at dawn for a drink. In Italy we do too, but our way. We call this pre-dinner time the aperitivo time. We share a cocktail and we accompany it with very generous buffets of antipasti. Food is central.

So it's a journey to the heart of Italy that I propose to discover through four major cities: Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples. Come on I'll take you, andiamo!

With love and a cocktail,

Eleonora

A night in Positano

Sooner or later, we all have been nurturing a dream where medieval towers overlooking the Mediterranean sea meet trouble-free states of mind. Or haven't we? Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The switch-off mode is immediate as I visited the Amalfi coast, where these long wished for dreams got surpassed by reality, especially during the absolutely somptuous night I spent at the hotel "Le Sirenuse", the boutique-styled gem of Positano. More than an hotel the place is truly another dimension. The glorious hospitality linked with a unique off-the-etiquette approach of its glamourous yet down-to-heart owners, Antonio & Carla Sersale, made for a delightful stay among friends, by way of gently disclosing doors that would have normally been accessible to locals only. Until today.

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This magical corner of Positano looks very much like a very private key to the secrets of living: here the triptych for excellence binding "luxe, calme and volupté" is topped by one of many glasses of well stirred Martini's, preferrably served on one of the numerous terraces overlooking the gulf of this spectacular island that is Positano.

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Yes, there's a pool, but not only. Enjoying the spa, designed by archistar Gae Aulenti, has been one of the highlights of my stay, as this movie by talented Poppy de Villeneuve shows, with breath-taking scenes capturing the enchanting scenario of the sorroundings.

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Back in the kitchen, fully equipped with copper elements, Tuscan native chef Matteo Temperini blends tremendously well the Mediterranean gastronomic heritance with highly skilled local product sourcing. Not only did he treat us to a lavish dinner, perfectly al fresco on a terrace enlightened by the moon and a few shy stars. The breakfast ceremony, which on holiday is to be consumed (compulsorily as part of a #foodhappiness state of mind!) as if time stops, was dotted by smells and tastes of unimaginable purity. I was happy to find the local buffalo yogurt provided by Casa Madaio,

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as well as a selection of signature breakfast delicacies from the Amalfi coast, ranging from the Capri Chocolate Cake through to the perfumed Sorrento lemon pie to the Babà , the epytome of Neapolitan bakery tradition. All prepared in an immaculate open kitchen. Just taste and see for yourself.

Luckily the whole place, which was Sersale's family summer palazzo turned into a hotel in 1951, is accessible to the general public for meals and spa treatments.  On our way back from what was a too short of a break, we couldn't help but going to the hip & chic hotel shop graciously run by Carla Sersale, the Emporio Le Sirenuse, and got ourselves the refinely scented Eau d'Italie, a fragrance originally created in honour of the hotel guests only and now widely sold around the world. For those who can smell it.

We then wondered around the area, finding delight in purchasing fresh products from Anna, picking the best anchovies from Delfino in Cetara and visiting Sorrento to pick some juicy lemons.

The moon is the same moon above you Aglow with its cool evening light But shining at night, in Positano, Never does it shine so bright

With #foodhappiness and love,

Eleonora