Local Table: Recipes inspired by Lo Sfizio, West Green Rd

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Our new series whips up simple home-cooked dishes using produce from a neighbourhood store, starting with Tottenham’s amazing new Italian deli


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One of the newest additions to West Green Road is a great little deli called Lo Sfizio. It’s run by Mustapha Mouflih, who we interviewed on Seventhsister last year.

He is owner and head chef at both Passione e Tradizione (located almost opposite the deli), plus the award-winning Anima e Cuore over in Kentish Town.

This place is a real foodie treasure trove – an absolute must visit, particularly if you haven’t done so already.

Carol Tennant and myself delved in recently to see what they had on offer, then Carol devised the following recipes based around the wonderful produce we found.

Carol Tenant’s Lo Sfizio Italian recipes

Starter: Puntarelle alla Romana

This crunchy, super-fresh salad is equally at home as a starter or a side dish. Here, I’m letting it stand all by itself, perhaps to be served with some hunks of bread to mop up the simple but powerful dressing.

Ice cubes

1 large head puntarelle

For the dressing:

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3-4 anchovies, drained or rinsed if salted

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Davenia Extra Virgin)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

First, half fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes. Set aside.

Prepare the puntarelle by removing the outer, green leaves, These won’t be used in this dish, but can be set aside for cooking later in another recipe.

You’ll be left with the pale green, celery-like core. Break this into individual stalks, then slice each stalk lengthwise as finely as you can. Transfer the puntarelle to the ice water as you slice them. Once you’ve finished, leave aside in the iced water for around an hour, during which time the strips may begin to curl, and will become very crisp.

Right before serving, put the garlic cloves into a mortar and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt. Add the anchovies and mash them up as well – a thick paste is what you’re aiming for. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and then whisk in the oil. Season to taste. Scrape this mixture into your serving bowl.

Drain the puntarelle well (put into a salad spinner if you have one). Transfer to the serving bowl and toss everything together well, to coat. Serve immediately.

Main: Pasta with Creamy Tomato & Basil Sauce

I first came across the foundation for this recipe in ‘An Invitation to Italian Cooking’ by Antonio Carluccio, when I was working for his publisher in the late 80s. I’ve been making it ever since, though I’ve tweaked it gently over the years.

This is an unusual and simple but utterly delicious sauce, which gets its creaminess from the addition of beaten egg. It’s absolutely the perfect sauce with Lo Sfizio fat hooped calamarata pasta.

Serves 2

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Davenia Extra Virgin)
1 onion, finely sliced
340g jar Cipriani chopped tomatoes or passata
200g dried chunky pasta, e.g. Calamarata pasta shapes
1 egg, beaten
75g freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
Handful fresh basil, finely sliced, plus a few leaves for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good quality extra virgin olive oil, to serve (Davenia Extra Virgin)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the sliced onion. Cook over a low heat for about 10-15 minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary, until the onions are completely softened but not brown (this is important as browned onions will alter the flavour of the finished dish).

When the onions are soft, add the passata or tomatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or so until slightly reduced and thickened. Take off the heat.

Stir a large spoonful of the hot tomato mixture into the beaten egg and whisk together, and then begin adding the egg mixture very gradually to the tomato mixture, off the heat (this step will help to ensure that the eggs don’t scramble). Once all the egg is incorporated, return the pan to a low heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thickened and creamy. Add the Parmesan and sliced basil, stir well and season to taste.

Meanwhile, being a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir to coat well, and serve immediately with more parmesan, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Side: Roasted Heritage Carrots with Cumin & Lemon

Cumin and lemon are the perfect complement to these deliciously sweet carrots, which Mustapha sells in mixed colours at Lo Sfizio. Easy to prepare, they’re delicious as a warm salad, but would be equally good next to the Sunday roast. Ordinary orange carrots will also work – they’re just not as pretty!

Serves 4

8-10 large heritage carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
Good quality olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 lemon, zest and juice
A little chopped parsley

Butter an ovenproof dish (the one we used measured 23x23x6cm) and preheat the oven to 175C.

Slice the panettone into 1.5cm thick slices. Butter generously and spread with the apricot jam. Now cut the slices into small pieces, about 5x5cm.

Arrange the slices, jam side up and overlapping, in the prepared baking dish. Break the chocolate into chunks and stick them in and amongst the bread slices.

Whisk the eggs, then add the cream and milk and whisk again. Pour this mixture over the panettone. Set the dish aside for about 20-30 minutes to allow the custard to soak into the bread.

Bake the pudding for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crispy on top and set underneath (press gently here and there on the bread – if any liquid comes up, bake for a further 5-10 minutes).

Stand for about 10 minutes, then serve in slices with extra double cream.

Dessert: Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding

I think anyone who’s ever bought a panettone has found themselves with some left over. This is the perfect way to use up whatever you have left, or indeed make use of the one you found in the sale after Christmas. Measurements are approximate, as this recipe is adaptable to whatever you have to hand.

Serves 6

About 250g panettone (about half of a standard large loaf)
About 6 tbsp butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
About 6 tbsp apricot jam
75g dark chocolate
For the custard:
3 eggs
200ml double cream, plus extra to serve
200ml full cream milk

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the carrots into a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season well and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Toss everything together until all the carrots are well coated.

Transfer the roasting tray to the preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the carrots are tender and golden, turning once or twice. Remove from the oven and transfer the carrots to a serving dish.

Squeeze the lemon into the roasting tray and stir around to pick up any oil and seeds left behind. Spoon the juices and seeds over the carrots, then grate over some lemon zest and sprinkle over a little parsley. Serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature.

 

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Lo Sfizio is located at 452 west Green road, contact number is 07511 591458

Recipes and food styling by Carol Tennant

Images by André Ainsworth


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