Giovanna was my first Sicilian friend and it was she who gave me my first Sicilian cooking tip, twenty years ago: "Always put a potato in the pasta water." I have never been able to establish the scientific basis for this but I have been adding that potato ever since! Giovanna is one of the most creative cooks I know and she is not afraid to mix sweet and savoury or to experiment with ideas from afar. Now I'll let you look at the feast she prepared for New Year's Day:
I loved her new idea for presenting antipasti:
There were these as well:
As I can't eat fish, I had to pass on the fried baccalà [salt cod]:
Then we sat down, first to lasagne:
I had to pass again on the shrimp and strawberry risotto but I'm sure it was delicious:
Next there was veal in a carrot and mint sauce for the non-fish eaters
and vitello tonnato for the others:
There were stuffed peppers, too:
Pineapple is popular at this time of year to refresh the palate:
Giovanna's tronco was a work of art:
I'd made and taken along another semifreddo di marrons glacés, as it's light and everybody seems to like it:
And what could be better than a Sicilian cassata with the champagne?
Grazie di nuovo, Giovanna!