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tried & tasted

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tried &tasted

Italian spreads Italian cuisine offers a plethora of spreads and pâtés that can be used to top crostini or bruschetta for a tempting antipasto. Here are a selection of the best varieties available to buy this spring... 1 Sun-dried tomato patÉ

2 Wild asparagus cream

From www.seggiano.co.uk Price £4.95 for 180g

From www.trestelle.co.uk Price £4.99 for 200g

This chunky spread is packed with vegetables and less oily than many of the varieties we tried. The sun-dried tomatoes provide a juicy texture, while flakes of chilli add a bit of a kick. The only downside is the slightly sour aftertaste.

A fresh-tasting spread which marries the flavour of asparagus with a hint of acidity, this asparagus cream is incredibly moreish. It also has a well-balanced texture, being creamy while still containing small flakes of the vegetable.

This wild game crouton is perfect for anyone who likes hearty meat patés as deer, boar, hare and pheasant meat combine to create a smooth, spreadable paste with a substantial consistency. A liver flavour dominates, but is enhanced by tomato, wine and herbs.

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4 Taggiasche olive pÂtÉ

Wild game crouton

From www.olioefarina.com Price £5.99 for 180g

From www.olioefarina.com Price £4.99 for 180g This smooth, deep brown coloured pâté is packed with good-quality taggiasche olives, producing a strong, very fresh flavour without being overpowering or too salty. Spread on crostini it’s perfect as an antipasti, as it guarantees to get your tastebuds going.

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78 TasteItalia May 2011

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tried & tasted

editor’s choice

5

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Broad bean purée and pancetta crostini Serves 6

✤Preparation 10 minutes ✤ Cooking 15 minutes 5 L’artigiano della ‘nduja

6 Crema di funghi porcini

7 Delicious of Gustardi cream

From www.gourmelli.com Price £6.75 for 200g

From www.valvonacrolla.co.uk Price £3.99 for 130g

From www.trestelle.co.uk Price £4.99 for 200g

Harking from the region of Calabria, this paste is not for the faint-hearted as the considerable amount of chillies really pack a punch. It’s a type of sausage paste, which shines through in both the texture and flavour, and there’s a good hit of tomato too.

A light, subtly flavoured option, this porcini paste has a delicate mushroom taste with a very smooth, creamy texture. It needs to be served on a mildly flavoured bread so not to overpower, but can also be stirred into risotto to bring out the character.

This unusual combination of tuna, pepper and capers produces a really interesting spread – the pepper appears first, followed by the fish, with a final kick of chilli. The overall effect is quite rustic, and it has a chunky texture that works well on crostini.

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1 onion, peeled, chopped 2 tbsp unsalted butter 400g fresh or frozen (defrosted) broad beans, podded 2 tbsp crème fraîche salt and ground black pepper 200g pancetta, cut into cubes 12 slices of ciabatta bread, lightly toasted, cut in half, rubbed with a peeled clove of garlic extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

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chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

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Place the onion and butter in a frying pan and cook until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the broad beans and stir well. Cover the pan and leave to simmer gently until soft, adding a little warm water or stock if necessary to prevent the beans sticking. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan, add the pancetta cubes and fry until crisp. Once the beans are softened, remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and blitz with a hand blender or in the food processor, until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread onto the warm toasted ciabatta and scatter with the fried, crisp pancetta cubes. Serve on a board or platter, drizzled lightly with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of flat-leaf parsley.

May 2011 TasteItalia 79

O&F at Taste Italia 05/2011  

O&F TAGGIASCHE OLIVE PATè. This smooth, deep brown coloured pâté is packed with good-quality taggiasche olives, producing a strong, very fre...

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