Girls night in.

Since moving, meeting new people is like a second job, some days are great somedays not so much. My old friends are fairly local but realistically I can’t keep running back to the previous place because it suits my comfort zone, I’ve moved to a new place and need to push outside my comfort zone and build a new network, never as a replacement for old friends, but for the sake of being happy and enjoying my new space. Part of this led to this meal creation and enjoyable evening in the heatwave.

I invited a neighbour over for a girls night in, think wine and tapas style food. This was a neighbour that I knew by name, we’d spoken less than a handful of times at a street party. So my thoughts turned to food, what type of food would be best in this girls night in, for a girl friend that I didn’t know very well. Due to the heatwave I didn’t want to overcomplicate things by BBQing and equally a salad might not have hit the right level. So my head turned to Polpo.

‘POLPO is a small-plate restaurant, serving Venetian dishes designed to be shared our menu Small, humble plates for sharing complemented with classic spritz and cocktails. An uncomplicated celebration of food and drink.’ For anyone that knows me or knows my blog Polpo has featured before, so maybe no surprise, however to create multiple dishes from the same book felt like it brought the evening together.

On the menu:
Garlic & chilli prawns – olive oil, 8 shell on prawns per person, 1hot chilli (diced), knob of unsalted butter, sea salt.
Zucchini, mint & chilli pizzetta.
Spinach, soft egg & parmesan pizzetta.
Borlotti beans, savoy cabbage & rosemary breadcrumbs – 200g of borlotti beans (cannelini beans are fine), 1 onion, 2 Bay leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 100g old bread, olive oil, sea salt, 1 zest of lemon, 1 small savoy cabbage.

For the pizza dough I used my Kenwood mixer, which previously belonged to my gran, usually I would have made the dough with my hands and in a bowl with wooden spoon, but the mixer took out much of the work, which was appreciated in the 30 degree heat!

These dishes all had a significant amount of flavor, be it garlic or chilli! However the borlotti beans were the simple side salad, so slightly plainer compared to my other offerings, so maybe I should have had a wider mix within my plates to avoid one dish seeming ‘plain’.

That evening we ate outside and enjoyed some wine, you can choose between white or red, dependent on your preference, safe to say that both worked with this meal.

For more details on the recipes you can buy the book through the Polpo site.

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