So I don't usually take photos of food at restaurants. This is for a couple of reasons - lighting isn't always that good, I'm not very good with the camera so it can take me a long time (!), I don't like to make others sit and wait, looking longingly at food that is cooling rapidly whislt I umm and ahh about how to take the picture, and most importantly, because I usually dig in before even stopping and thinking about it! Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE that a lot of other bloggers DO take photos when they are out - other blogs are one of the first places I look when thinking about where to eat. I just don't like to do it myself.
That being said, I didn't take my camera to my friend MM's house when invited for dinner. And I didn't realise that he was going to take pics - so just began eating when the food was presented (see pic below!) But the food was so good, and MM was very proud, so he whipped out his camera and took the following shots that he has been brilliant enough to provide for your viewing pleasure.
MM has just returned from a holiday in Italy, so was inspired to cook up an Italian influenced 3 course dinner for us - and it wasn't even a celebration! And just hearing what was being prepared was enough for me to ask my partner if it was okay for me to marry MM!!!
So enough waffling, on to the food.
The entree was hand-made gnocchi with tomato, basil and bocconcini. MM got the basic gnocchi recipe from Tobie Puttock. He did mention that he did not add anywhere near as much flour to the mix as Tobie suggests - and it was a great call. The gnocchi was deliciously light and the bocconcini was oozy, just the way I like it.
For main course, we were treated to pinenut and herb encrusted rack of lamb, with oven baked truss tomatoes and wilted spinach. This was my only contribution to the meal - wilting the spinach whilst MM was carving! I think MM and my partner both would have preferred the lamb a little more done, but I like a lot of blood in my meat so it was perfect for me!
As for dessert, we were truly spoilt, as MM had made vanilla bean pannacotta, with warmed strawberries. MM actually used the recipe that I used here, but substituted raspberry vinegar for the balsamic. It was brilliant! The strawberries were quite rich, but complemented the pannacotta beautifully.
All in all, it was a brilliant meal, enjoyed with a lovely bottle of Italian red (I can't recall exactly what it was!) I think now we will be forever in a battle of "trying to come up with something as good as what the other served at the last dinner party" - but boy, is it going to be a fun battle!