Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Celebration of two Fantastic Foods and the Restaurants Which Do Them Best (Spaghetti Bolognese and Scottish Salmon)

One of the most amazing Spaghetti Bolognese dishes, and that's after returning from Italy a week earlier...

Well, in Italy of course most generic bolognese dishes are great, but you expect that. However up here in a pretty little corner of England called Stamford, there is a delightful and incredibly authentic and genuine little Italian restaurant called L'Oliveto. Just a week after our road trip through France and Italy this summer, I visited this wonderful little place with Richard and some friends. 

Along with true Italian style hospitality, L'Oliveto serve up the meatyest, thickest, most delicious and generous portion of spaghetti bolognese I have ever had in the UK, it really is on a par with, and sometimes above, Italian bolognese in its very own homeland.

I think the best bolognese I've ever had was in Austria when it came complete with tiny celery and carrot chunks, and the sauce was just as thick and tasty as the one described here, but I really can't choose between that one and this one. Great success!

Do It Yourself

Although quality like this is hard to imitate, I think the key to such a thick sauce is to use lots of pureed tomatoes, lots of minced meat, onions, and simmer them for a while with the pan uncovered to let the water evaporate, then with the lid on once it thickens up. Take your time cooking these ingredients (I rush it, and it's always too watery, but hey ho, I never learn). Cook meat and tomatoes with fresh basil, oregano and garlic for the best flavour, and don't be afraid to leave the pasta al dente (firm, not over-cooked).

However L'Oliveto may do it differently, and let's face it, if they do have a secret recipe they would be fools to shout it from the rooftops..!

Not eating Salmon in Scotland is just like not eating Langoustines in France (although I still haven't)

I recently had such a delicious salmon dish one evening in a restaurant on the outskirts of Edinburgh that I just have to give the restaurant in question, the kudos it deserves.

No - before you make any assumptions, this monumental Earth-moving moment didn't occur in Loch Fyne. If you're looking for a reliably excellent salmon dish in the Edinburgh area, head to The Melville Inn in Lasswade, just off the A772.

This friendly and modest country inn/restaruant serves up its delicious 'seared salmon' with good wholesome green veg and new potatoes, but the tasty, crispy skin and the generous portion of melt-in-the-mouth meat steals the show.

Do It Yourself

It just can't turn out as good as the salmon described here (if it does, please invite me over for tea) but to give it a good try, cover the salmon skin in olive oil and fry (skin down) on a sizzling pan for around 5 minutes, then cook the other side as usual.

I just love it when I come across such deliciousness, it has to be shared :)

Scottish salmon, best restaurant for Salmon in or near Edinburgh, spaghetti bolognese in Stamford, best restaurant in East of England for Italian, most fantastic foods 

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