Italian Menu – Prawns with Pancetta, Veal Scaloppine with Marsala and Panna Cotta with a Raspberry Sphere

Feeling like Italian food and experimenting with my molecular
gastronomy kit on date night I decided to make a very simple Italian menu with some Heston Blumenthal wonders thrown in for the wow factor.  Well let’s just say that I need a lot more practice with the
molecular gastronomy kit as I only managed to make the raspberry spheres.   But the Italian menu was delicious.

Prawns wrapped in Pancetta

Fry some pancetta and transfer to a plate.

Cook sliced garlic for a minute and add the prawns, cooking
until pink.

Add wine,  rosemary and tomato and cook until reduced by half,  sprinkling over the reserved pancetta when serving.

Frying the prawns
Frying the prawns

This was served on a pea puree (from the Food Network
website here) with some crusty bread. So simple yet delicious.  You can find the recipe here.

 Veal Scaloppine with Marsala

For the main course I used Marcella Hazan’s recipe here from
“Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” for Veal Marsala – tweaking it slightly by adding mushrooms and parsley.

I could not find dry marsala so I mixed 2 teaspoons of brandy into 500ml dry white wine.  But I think dry sherry would work as well.

Fry some mushrooms and transfer it to a plate.

Dredge both sides of the veal scaloppine in flour and fried it in butter, seasoning when done.

Add the marsala, more butter, mushrooms and cream to the pan stirring until reduced.  Return veal to pan.

This was served on pasta with parsley sprinkled over.

Low Carb Panna Cotta with Raspberry Spheres

Feeling guilty over the carb laden first and main course I decided to make a banting panna cotta.  I used the David Leibovitz’s recipe here substituting the sugar for xylitol but using only half the amount.  We don’t like very sweet desserts so this was perfect for us but if you try it have a taste first to determine whether it is sweet enough for you.

Instead of making the panna cotta in ramekins I decided to make it in silicone cupcake holders for smaller serving sizes as Adrienne does not eat that much dessert and of course I always end up eating mine and half of his.

Panna Cotta in silicone
Raspberry Spheres

The only molecular gastronomy dish I ended up making was the raspberry spheres.

I decided to use the reversed spherification method mixing the liquid with calcium lactate and putting it in a sodium alginate water bath instead of the other way around. This way you can make the spheres ahead of time and keep in liquid in the fridge.

I followed the recipe but my spheres would not gel enough the first time around. I then added more calcium lactate and  it tasted a bit odd. Fed up I put it in a bowl of berry juice and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Putting it on top of the panna cotta it held well and tasted fine in the end.  But I am determined to get the knack of this – Adrienne is going to have to eat a lot of spheres, gels and emulsions the next couple of weeks.

We had our date night Italian menu with a  Very Sexy Shiraz from Cloof  and a Woolworths brand shiraz.











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