FOOD&DRINK EXTRA Simple pleasures
Yotam Ottolenghi is going back to basics with his new cook book. The chef and restaurateur discusses his foodie highs and lows with growing up. things have gone wrong for me over
“One of my most wonderful and the years. earliest memories is a dish she used “A few years ago, I had a woman to cook sometimes which is called come over to London from New gnocchi alla romana, which is really York to write a long feature on me not gnocchi as people know it made for the New Yorker magazine, and from potato, but made from she spent a long time with me, quite semolina. a few days, day-in-day-out. On the
“Essentially it’s very few last day, on the ultimate ending to ingredients; only semolina, milk, her time here, I invited her for some butter, some cheese and eggs dinner in my house and I made a – you make it as you would a dish from Jerusalem. semolina porridge, but then you set “It’s a casserole with chicken, it in a tray and cut it into circles or cooked with rice in one pot, and squares, layer them overlapping, put halfway through the afternoon, a some cheese on top and put them friend called and said he’s going to under the grill. show up with his partner. I adjusted
“You get this cheesy crust, it’s the the recipe quickly and added more ultimate comfort food, especially for rice and more water. kids. It’s really good and it is “But when we all sat down to have something that really reminds me of that very elaborate meal, some of my childhood, but it’s still something the chicken pieces were quite raw in I’m very happy to eat any day.” the middle, haha, and couldn’t really be eaten. We all laughed about it – but she did mention it in her article!” “FOR me, every time a book comes out and I get really healthy sales figures, these are my high moments. It’s nice – obviously – to sell lots of books, but it’s particularly nice for me, because these books are really meant to be cooked from more than anything else.
“When people buy the books, I assume they cook from them – those are the moments I’m very proud and very happy.” “I HAVE to say it was a good cake! The recipe is from [my baking book] Sweet.
“It’s a strawberry and vanilla cake, and is very good for birthday cakes, because it’s both delicious and very easy to work with. I wasn’t 100% happy with my Peppa Pig cake though, because I was rushing it!”