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Italian

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Everybody knows mortadella, the famous Italian sausage from Bologna. Last year I even tried to make it myself. When I was in Bologna last year I discovered a sausage that is related to mortadella but almost unknown outside Italy: Salame rosa.

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Because I was so delighted by the flavour combination of rosemary and orange zest in the vetricina teramana I made recently I thought I might give this a try in a proper meal. It turns out that it works well.

Ventricina Teramana – almost original

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When I asked my sausage making Facebook friends what kind of salumi other than guanciale or 'nduja to make from a pork jowl, someone proposed vetricina teramana. I had heard of that sausage before but never tried it before, so I set off to make it.

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Italy is famous for its cured meats, be it ham, salami or others. One lesser known cured sausage is a regional speciality from Calabria: 'Nduja. The name derives from the French Andouille, but this is a completely different beast. This sausage is made from very fat pork and is spiced with 30% hot Calabrian peppers. You can spread in on bread or use it in the kitchen.

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Here is a nice summery chicken dish in mediterranean style. Lemon is a great match for chicken, and caramelizing them adds another layer of flavour.

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Actually I wanted to make pulled pork last weekend. But it was pouring at the time when the barbecue smoker would have needed to be fired up, with no improvement in sight. So I had to resort to Plan B. I deliberately made a "dry" roast because any basting would interfere with the delicious crust of herbs and spices that will develop.

Asparagus With Guanciale and Parmesan

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Guanciale is a cured pork speciaity that so far is hardly known outside Italy, but this is beginning to change. It is made from pork jowl and roughly resembles bacon or pancetta. It is the key ingredient of the traditional pasta preparations alla carbonara and all'amatriciana. But just like bacon, guanciale is much more versatile than to be used only for pasta.

Restaurant Review: “Da Cesari”, Bologna

I just was in Bologna for a few days of culinary holiday, and I would like to share my experiences here. I picked "Da Cesari" pretty much by random when looking for a place to have dinner in the central area of the town. It looked nice from the outside and the menu was interesting, so I gave it a go.

Horsemeat Salami – Cacciatorini Di Cavallo

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Some of the best salami I have ever eaten I was made with donkey meat. Donkey salami is almost uniquely made in Italy and Corsica. Unfortunately it is very rare, so in my quest to make something similar at home I resorted to horse meat.

The Mortadella Burger

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Now what to do with the mortadella I made a few days ago? Normally it is used sliced as a cold cut or part of an antipasti platter, it is also wondeful cubed along with an apertif. But mortadella can also be fried which makes it a great hot snack.