From the fine racing lines of a red Ferrari to the muscular opulence of a Gran Turismo Maserati, the Italians have never been shy of style and flare. It is no wonder then that this passion has no limit, not least in the kitchen - where each Italian must begin their education. Just as their automotive industry has led the world by storm, innovation has led their culinary skills beyond traditional Pizza and Pasta dishes, and here are some that use smoked salmon perfectly...
Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Risotto
A smoked salmon and asparagus risotto is a deliciously simple Italian dish, ideal for dinner parties. It's also a perfect way of relaxing your mind mid-week, if you need a bit of cooking therapy. This is a popular dish in Italy that combines the taste of smoked salmon with the fresh and subtle flavours of asparagus and lemon. A must try if you enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes.
Simply add half a chopped onion to a frying pan, lightly toast 250g of arborio risotto grains with the onion and then slowly add in 800ml of fish stock one ladle at a time. Stir the risotto while adding in 150g of smoked salmon, 8 chopped asparagus stalks, half a glass of white wine, black pepper and lemon juice. Keep stirring and adding the fish stock until the rice is cooked and you are happy with the taste. Add some butter and parmesan cheese for an extra creamy result, or more lemon juice for a fresher and zestier flavour.
Smoked Salmon and Spinach Lasagne (Serves 4-6)
Italians certainly know how to make comforting food, and this creamy lasagne uses smoked salmon to do this perfectly. This dish is perfect for those days where you just need a hearty meal to indulge your senses, and it's easier to make than you think. It's also a real treat of a meal to cook for your dinner guests!
Pre-heat your oven to 180C, then boil 400g of chopped spinach for a couple of minutes with a pinch of salt. Drain the spinach and stir it into 500g of mascarpone cream in a frying pan, and season it with black pepper. While this is cooking boil 500g of lasagne sheets for three minutes, drain them and leave on the side. Once that's done, spread a small layer of tomato sauce on an oven dish with some grated parmesan cheese to make the first layer of the lasagne.
Build your lasagne by layering the pasta sheets over the tomato, and by adding a layer of the spinach and mascarpone, a layer of smoked salmon, of tomato sauce and then a layer of lasagne. Start again and continue until you have about five layers, topped with tomato sauce and grated parmesan cheese. Now put it in the oven for 40 minutes and patiently wait. Perfetto!
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Rolls (5-8)
This classic salmon dish can be served either as a starter or as a main with a salad. They’re fresh and tasty, and always go down a treat! To prepare, just blend 500g of our roasted smoked salmon with 350g of Philadelphia cream cheese, and season it with some black pepper and lemon juice to create your creamy mousse. Add a layer of this mousse onto 12 slices of smoked salmon and carefully roll the salmon into a tube. You can then cut the roll into smaller pieces and place it on top of a bed of rocket salad. Add capers, sliced boiled eggs and lemon slices on the side, and it's ready to go.