Life in the casa Tripepi takes on palest of mellow yellow over the festive season. Yes – we gather in crowds of 25 or more only because there are just so many of us – and out of the kitchen cupboards come the big mamma pots and massive serving spoons. Boiling cauldrons of at least 5 packets of pasta at a time …. Do you know why Italian women have such glowing skins? …. It’s the umpteen billion pots of steaming pasta she has her face in daily!
But, that’s not every day …. We tend to live on huge plates of cold meat, cheeses and veggies …. Antipasto style – served outside on the deck Al Fresco. The braai works overtime and our smart work clothes are traded in for a selection of comfy – bulge-forgiving “cozzies”. I rotate wet bath towels with swimming towels and all are welcome to come over for a dip and the obligatory glass of vino. I just love this time of the year ….. Meals are simple and fresh. We probably eat way too much meat though.
Rising late – breakfast can become quite an affair. We have managed to gobble our way through 8 Panetone – 2 Pandoro – 1 German Stollen and 2 Cherry Genoa’s this Christmas! Remember though – that I have 3 men at any one mealtime, add a few cuzzies and some mates to the table, and on average I would say at least 6 people at a go! The boys usually haul their tired – hung over ass*s out of bed to the breakfast table looking for something substantial to soak up the excesses of the night before. I have threatened to photograph the stubbled – road map eyed – hairy – smelly, missing links at my breakfast table on a number of occasions. My threats are met with massive protestations and mutterings about “images to protect etc.” and their protestations are met with my “Phone Lifeline boys and see if THEY care” …..
This recipe is known in my house as an Italian Bunny Ciao – there is always an egg/s inside – but the toppings and embellishments vary significantly from person to person. This particular Bunny Ciao was served to Daniele, Max and cuz Stefano recently after a looong night/ early morning partay at Sasha and Clapham. Max (the born
entrepreneur) NEVER FAILS to point out that “I” would make a “span of cash” if I was to sell them to starving guys spilling out of the clubs at 3am! NB: I (and NOT HE) would be the one selling them outside a night club at 3am ……. Si Caro!!!!! Figura ti!
The Tripepi Italian Bunny Ciao’s
Fresh Crusty Bread Rolls
Cubed Pancetta or bacon or salami or ham !
Grated parmesan and Pecorino Cheese
Salt Pepper and a sprinkle of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 180d
Cut the top off and hollow out each bread roll
Place a few sprigs of thyme and some parmesan cheese in the bottom of each hollow bread roll.
Fry some cubes of pancetta / bacon/ chorizo sausage or salami until crispy on the edges.
Break an egg or two into the roll (if you have big rolls you can break 2 in)
Top each egg with some cubes of meat and some grated cheese
Season with salt, pepper, some smoked paprika or chilli and some thyme or rosemary and
pop them onto a tray into the oven until they have crisped up nicely and the cheese on top has melted.
Serve at least two to each “recovering – hung over – beastie” at the table with large glasses of fresh orange juice and a bottle of headache pills!!!!!
You can adjust the filling to suit yourself – here are some of the
Combo’s I have served up before now:
The runny egg yolk oozes into the gooey cheese when you cut into it!
Eggs + cheese + chilli + basil or coriander
Eggs + fried mushrooms + cheese
Eggs + Salmon + Philadelphia or Kiri cheese + black pepper + herbs
Eggs + Bolognaise Pasta Sauce and Cheese
Eggs + Salmon + Caviar (don’t put the caviar into the oven – use only as a topping) + Avo + Mascarpone
Eggs + Cherry tomatoes + Cheese + Chilli + Pancetta + Basil
Bunny Ciao’s are a great way to use up left-overs so be creative and let your imagination run riot! Personally – I am a more of a “hair of the dog” kinda creature – give me a Muddy Mary – which is my version of a Bloody Mary – it has so much Worcester sauce in it that it looks like a Mud pie in a glass ….and it MUST have some full cream Sherry floated on the top …… YUMMM … AND loads and loads of Lea & Perrins Pepper Sauce ……. And ice cold fresh celery!!
Again – A Happpy and Joyous New Year to you all!