When I was little I loved helping my Mum out with drinks parties. It felt exciting and somehow glamorous to be staying up late, dressing up smart and pushing trays of canapés round a room of grown-ups, eavesdropping on their conversations and sipping soft drinks from my very own champagne glass. And then there was the food – making it in advance with my Mum, arranging salamis and cheese straws on plates or punching cocktail sticks into a melon (this was the ’80s, after all), offering plates of treats to guests and seeing the smiles on their faces with that very first bite. Continue reading
This week I finally made it down to da Polpo, the latest outpost in Russell Norman’s ever-expanding fleet of New York-inspired, Venetian-style bàcari. I had a great time, and the food was good, but I’m not planning to post a review as I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it all before; thanks to the owner’s prolific presence on Twitter (@polpo), the opening of da Polpo a couple of months ago was one of the most talked about, tweeted and trending topics in the online foodie world.
What I am going to post is a recipe. It’s not for meatballs or pizzette (if that’s what you’re craving, see my earlier post here) but it does involve pork. Salty, spicy, perfectly piggy pork. This recipe is a combination of flavours influenced by two of the highlights of our meal – golf-ball sized pork and fennel meatballs, doused in ever-so-slightly sweet tomato sauce, and pork shoulder pizza, rich and salty with the slight sharpness of pickled peppers. It’s a British interpretation of the Venetian tradition of little snacks or cicchetti; bite-sized mouthfuls of salty goodness to enjoy with a crisp, cold drink. Slightly less glamorous, perhaps, but every bit as delicious.