Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 649

27 25 MAY 2023 Serves 4 Prepare 15 minutes Cook 30 minutes 35g blanched almonds or walnuts 80g ricotta ½ clove garlic, grated to a purée ½ unwaxed lemon, zest 40g Parmigiano Reggiano, nely grated 70ml extra virgin olive oil 3 sprigs oregano, leaves nely chopped, or ¼ pack basil, leaves only 260g ciabatta, cut into 16 slices For the tomatoes 400g cherry vine tomatoes 2 tbsp olive oil ½ tbsp Mazzetti Bianco Speciale White Condiment ¼ tsp chilli akes (optional, to taste) Crostini withwhite pesto & roast cherry tomatoes If you can’t find fresh oregano, use basil instead and put small sprigs on top Food for sharing with Diana Henry I amusually reluctant to push spring towards summer. Youmiss out on somany ingredients if you start cooking as if you’re beneath a burning August sun. But this year, with somany bitterly cold spells during winter, I’m in holidaymode already and thinking about Italy. I was there last October – when you only needed a T-shirt – and I’m longing to go back. This menu, Italian in spirit, is easy. There’s no pudding – just a handful of strawberries – and it shows what a great place Italy is to seek inspiration. The ricotta I had last year in Naples was superb –milky and sweet – and it turned up in somany dishes. It’s a great ingredient to pair with spicier foods, such as ’nduja, and I love the way it softens a tomato sauce. Keep this recipe, as it’s brilliant tossed with pasta as well as spread over crostini. The chicken scallopini is a dish I’ve been making for years. It’s from the great Italian food writerMarcella Hazan, although I’ve tweaked it slightly. She uses veal, but good quality chicken thigh fillets work just as well. I’d get the component parts of this ready just before your friends turn up for dinner, then bake it while you’re eating the crostini. Sgroppino is a drink from the Veneto region and was once considered a palate cleanser during ameal of many courses. I suppose it now counts as a cocktail. People nowadays have it as an apéritif, but I love it instead of pudding. DianaHenry is The Sunday Telegraph’s food writer. @dianahenryfood Food&Drink 1 Lightly toast the nuts in a frying pan, then cool and roughly chop. Put the ricotta, nuts, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, olive oil and oregano (or basil) into a food processor and blitz to a paste using the pulse button. Season. If your food processor is too big or you don’t want the washing up, use a pestle and mortar. 2 Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Put the tomatoes in a roasting tin in a single layer. Add all the other ingredients, then turn everything over with your hands. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are a little shrunken and scorched in patches. 3 Put the slices of ciabatta onto a baking sheet and, when the tomatoes have cooked, toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. You don’t have to turn the slices over, but you might have to turn the baking sheet around to ensure even toasting. Leave to cool a little. Spread the toasts generously with the white pesto. Cut the tomatoes into little sprigs – or pull them o their stems – and put on top of the toasts, spooning over any juices. Per serving 2173kJ/522kcals/33g fat/7.6g saturated fat/39g carbs/7.5g sugars/ 6.3g bre/14g protein/0.8g salt Photographs: Hannah Hughes, Food styling: Joss Herd, Styling: Tony Hutchinson, Art direction: Sharon Davis