(I am) one Greedy Italian

Watching the new Greedy Italians and I was struck by a number of things (most in wavy line flashback form from previous episodes); the comedic value of an old man with a live octopus down his pants is limited, cooking and dating shows go together like raspberries and chocolate (works for some, not for me), Campanilismo could be considered a polite word for a mild form of racism which precipitates (amongst other more serious issues) a reluctance to experiment or push any boundaries in food. If it’s always been done that way then it’s for a good reason and don’t try anything new. Ever.

Most importantly, during the Sanguinaccio dolce skit I started to wondering why Italians don’t have an ubiquitous pigs blood sausage ?  There are some lesser known (I think mainly Tuscan) Sanguinacci; buristo, biraldo, mallegato but no king-of-the-pork-hill as found in other porcine enamoured lands.

We’ve got amazing black pudding ‘up road’ (another use for oats!) , a variation of which provided the smoky undertones for the best mixed grill I’ve ever eaten (twice in 2 weeks and another coming up this week). Another great plate of food, another wobbly, lousy and poorly focussed photograph.

The French have boudins aplenty. Make this because it’s great, and then make it again with pork belly (instead of mutton) and boudin noir scattered amongst the layers of potato.

The Germans have Blutwurst, made with typical consistency and efficiency and often eaten cold (which is how most German food leaves me).

The Spanish on the other hand deeply respect blood (being so hot blooded themselves) and Morcilla is the purest expression. It varies greatly and is identified regionally by different ‘fillers’ of rice, onion, and potato. Cut into thick chunks and then quickly fried or hot roasted in bountiful olive oil the deep, savoury aroma overwhelms the kitchen and predicates the crispiness of the edges and moist yielding centre, a hot rice blood truffle.

Incredible recipes to showcase blood sausage abound often involving scallops, bacon, apple (like this masterpiece ignore the foam, its still good) and delicious they are too. My absolute favourite returns me to Spain; Alberto Asin’s Garbanzos con Butifarra Negra (from Bar Pinotxos in Boqueria market, Barcelona) is a super savoury smorgasbord; sweet, smoky, salty, sour and the black pudding provides a touch of bitterness satisfying all five points of the flavour compass.

Garbanzos con Butifarra Negra

This link isn’t quick enough so here’s how to make it.

  • 2 large onions thinly sliced sweated in plenty of olive oil with a big pinch of salt
  • Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic and fry for a minute
  • 2 skinned, chopped morcilla and fry quite hard for 3-4 minutes
  • 2 handfuls of pine nuts added to the pan and coloured
  • A big splash of sherry burnt off.
  • 2 handfuls of plumped lexia raisins soaked in hot water,
  • Lots and lots of chopped parsley and a good splash of sherry vinegar.
  • Season to taste
  • A final stir and then onto a serving plate [or into little dishes] topped with a little more finely chopped parsley

Feeds 2 or 1 greedy me.

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Italian, Spanish, Recipes