Mr. Alpenglow’s go-to cookbook of the moment is Russell Norman’s POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts). Think crostini, cod cheeks with lentils, meatballs (polpette), walnut and honey semifreddo: uncomplicated dishes that you’ll want to make for parties big and small. The book itself is beautiful beyond words, best enjoyed with a Campari spritz or two.
ANCHOVY & CHICKPEA CROSTINI
(makes 10 crostini)
1 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 anchovy fillets chopped, plus some of their oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 handful of flat parsley leave chopped
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
about 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients, then pulse a few times in a food processor to create a chunky paste. Spread roughly onto lightly grilled slices of bread.
FENNEL, RADISH & MINT WITH RICOTTA
(for 4-6 servings)
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100 mL extra virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs
12 red breakfast radishes
1 small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
Season the ricotta with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. Smear a generous spoonful onto each plate. Slice the fennel and radishes as finely as possible (using a mandoline if you have one) and place them in a bowl. Add the mint, a pinch of salt and pepper, the olive oil, and lemon juice. Turn gently until everything is lightly coated. Place on top of the ricotta.