Pasta Alla Norma ( 4)

I am just back from a three week holiday in Sicily, where my vegetarian husband often had little choice other than pasta with tomatoes or this local favourite which originates from Catania. . This very good version, which I have previously cooked at home, is from ” Simple” by Yotam Ottolenghi . The aubergines are cooked in the oven which I find far less time consuming than frying in batches.

Polenta with Fontina (6)

One of my favourite vegetarian cookbooks many years ago was ” Cooking from an Italian Garden” by Paola Scaravelli and Jon Cohen. Here’s and easy recipe for polenta from them. For a variation you can cooked the cornmeal, add the cheese and then spread the mixture half an inch thick on a wet worksurface. When cooled and firm cut it into small squares or discs then fry in butter until golden on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

Christmas Tiramisu ( 6-8)

I still have a larder and fridge well overstocked with festive food offerings due to unavoidable but last minute plan changes in the numbers catered for at several points. So I have been searching around looking for new ways to use this up. Here’s a dessert offering from Matt Tebbutt .

Tuna and Bean Salad (4)

Many Mediterranean countries have a version of this salad which is ideal for the hot summer months. This version, known as Tonno e Fagioli, is from Sardinia . I found it in ” Gino’s Italian Escapes” by Gino D’Acampo. Serve with crusty bread.

Pork Cooked in Milk (6)

Another easy recipe from ” River Cafe 30″ by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray. I love the simplicity of many of their recipes – just a few ingredients and easy cooking methods. This could be served with some mashed potatoes and green vegetables.