Following on from my Germanic-inspired meal, I made one with an Italian flavour this time, but rather eccentrically interpreted, very much a la frangourou. The menu consisted of: Entree of various vegetable antipasti(not illustrated)--our home grown olives and preserved eggplant and cauliflower, on a bed of rocket and sorrel salad; a main course of a frangourou version of the famous veal dish 'saltimbocca', and risotto with roast pumpkin and roast whole mushrooms. Dessert was a jar of our bottled greengage plums, heated up and served with cream.
Here's my frangourou version of saltimbocca: Take some veal steaks, pound till quite thin, then spread with shavings of semi-hard goat cheese, chopped sage and garlic. Roll up to form neat parcels and fry them in olive oil, turning over so both sides get brown. About 5 mins into cooking add some Marsala to the pan (we use the Australian variety that goes by the charming name of 'Boronia' as 'Marsala' is of course a protected appellation)and cook till meat is cooked and has absorbed the Marsala. (The pan can then be deglazed and sauce poured over the meat.) The risotto, whose basic idea I've pinched from the repertoire of a friend's son(thanks, Ned and Sue!)needs a little more preparation but is pretty easy too. You prepare the diced pieces of pumkin and whole mushrooms, brush with olive oil and a little salt, and bake in oven till done. Meanwhile, fry some diced onion and garlic in a little olive oil, add the arborio rice, as much as you need(we find 1/2 cup is enough for a good serving for 2 people, not the 1 cup recommended on many rice packets!)and once you've given the rice a good stir through, add half a cupful of white wine, and stir till wine is absorbed, then add stock as required, as many times as required till risotto is nice and sticky and cooked but not overdone. I made some very appropriate stock by steeping thyme in water with olive oil and salt, turned out very nicely. Then once rice is cooked, put into serving dish, add the pieces of roast pumpkin throughout, and put the roast mushrooms on top.