Why. Because there’s no place more beautiful than a beach at sunset: it’s still Winter and only the right scent can make you feel like stretching on the sand. And because artichokes “are good in taste, and for those who find enjoyment in serving madam Venus” (Costanzo Felici, 1558).
When. When you feel like surprising someone’s senses, body, mind.
How. Clean some raw prawns, place them in a container with water, few drops of lime juice, juniper berries and pink pepper; leave them to marinade for about half an hour. In the meanwhile stir fry in little olive oil a thinly sliced shallot, celery and fresh hot pepper by the taste – and cook penne in boiled salted water (1L water per 100g pasta), drain when al dente. Sautè penne and smother if too dry with some of their own cooking water, then add Sommariva’s artichoke patè (bittersweet, frothy, sensual) and stir off-heat. When plating, decorate with the marinated prawns, some pink peppercorn, and if really the chase gets to the last gasp with a couple of sea urchin fillets.
Pork fillet gravlax, peppers in jam
Why. Because raw is primitive and close to the instinct. Because the glazing and the freshness of peppers are dangerously sensual. Because transgressing the ordinary is a real pleasure.
When. SIf it’s the first time you ask someone over for dinner – or for a snack to tickle fantasy without stealing too much time for way more important matters.
How. Place the pork fillet in a sealable glass container and sprinkle it with a mixture of sea salt, black pepper, crushed szechuan pepper, verbena or marjoram and thyme. Massage the meat, letting the spices penetrate in depth. Seal the container and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 10 hours; from time to time taking out the liquids from the container. Slice thinly and serve with some pieces of glazed pepper and dill: raw, carnal yet sweet; moved by a freshness which easens the contact of bodies.
Pancakes with Apricots Jam
Why. Because in the morning you’ll feel like laying back and relaxing. Even if more likely you’ll have to deliver some breakfast in bed…
When. As a dessert and a warm prelude to a night of endearments, or as a last endearment after a night of warm preludes…
How. Sift together 350g. cake flour, a teaspoon sea salt, half a teaspoon baking soda, tow teaspoons baking powder, two tablespoons white sugar. Stir in 400ml buttermilk, a slighlty whisked egg and two tablespoons extravirgin olive oil: warm on medium-low heat a big nonstick skillet and lightly rub it with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. Pour the batter according to the thinckness you desire and let it sit in the skillet untile the surface turns bubbly: using a spatula flip pancakes and complete cooking. If you wish, moisten them with a few drops apricot brandy. Serve topping with apricots jam: fleshy fruits, toasted edges, and a soft heart will loosen muscles and any kind of resistance.