This year I'm taking part in the Cookery Calendar Challenge organised by Penny. The idea is simple: the first week of every month, choose a cookery book from your shelf and, over the course of a month, make two recipes from it that you've never made before. You can choose to take part each month or as the mood takes you!
I'm a bit late with my March post but am trying to catch up now that I'm off work for a week. As I write, the house is filled with the most amazing smell from a blueberry and amaretti cake - recipe to follow if the taste is as good as the smell!
Anyway, back to the challenge. My March pick was Gino's Italian Escape by Gino D'Acampo which was a Christmas present. I hadn't made anything from it at that point so was expecting plenty of choice. There were definitely recipes which appealed (especially the desserts!) but much of it was pretty standard fare. Here's what I ended up making.
First up was Fettuccine with a chicken and gorgonzola sauce, except that I couldn't find fettuccine so we had tagliatelle instead. I also didn't make the pasta myself - life's too short. Oh and the supermarket didn't have gorgonzola so I had to use stilton. But Gino does say you can use other kinds of blue cheese - in fact, if you follow the recipe link, you'll see he's using dolcelatte.
Other than all those changes, I followed the recipe to the letter! Sadly it didn't stop it being a bit bland for our tastes. Some garlic wouldn't have gone amiss and maybe a bit of crunch from walnuts or pine nuts. Chickpea even suggested adding vegetables! Well, that comment alone says it all!
Tagliatelle with mushrooms, spinach and basil pesto
There was still half a packet of fresh tagliatelle left so, a couple of days later, I used another of the recipes to make a sauce. The original recipe was actually for baked pancakes but I just used the filling and loosened it down with some of the cooking water. Really tasty.
Lamb chops with a honey and rosemary sauce
The final recipe was very simple as the lamb chops are grilled or griddled as preferred and then drizzled with the honey and rosemary sauce. The sauce itself is made by warming the honey with the rosemary and leaving it to infuse. To be honest, I couldn't taste the rosemary but the combination of lamb and honey was delicious. One to make again.
So, two out of three isn't bad but I don't think it'll be one of my go-to cookery books.
Next up is Diana Henry's Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons which I used during my own challenge 3 years ago but has been pretty neglected ever since.
If you want to see what the other participants have been making you can see the links on Penny's blog. More information about the Challenge can be seen here.
Hope you're all well and looking forward to the long weekend :) xx