Some weeks ago we had an early dinner at Época, the restaurant Lili runs with her associate here in Porto. It was a lovely girls night along Mariana, Peggy -doing the amazing photoshoot-, Lili and myself.
Here is a little bit about Lili:
"My name is Liliana and I live and work in Porto. I have a café called Época where I try to explore good things with food. The social aspect of food and the culture that arrives from it are the things that interest me the most. The fact that humankind could understand nature and learn how to cook still is astonishing to me.
Yet again, thank you so much for your interest!
Lots of kisses."
Spring salad with pumpkin seeds and parsley pesto:
Create a little assortment of fresh greens, as watercress, lettuce & massaged or wilted kale, put them in a large and lightweight bowl and make them wait. Sauté asparagus until almost burnt and then toss them with olive oil, lots of black pepper and salt flakes. Make them go the you salad bowl and dress everything with you pesto, that you can make by blitzing toasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper and salt. Because it’s spring, put flowers in your salad, anything that is edible like oxalis, nasturtium and violets. Also parsley leaves scattered. Finish with salt and with your favorite olive oil.
Marcella Hazan’s carbonara variation:
Golden three cloves of garlic in olive oil and remove them from the pan, you can use them for something else like garlic paste or to put in a soup or sauce. In your fragrant olive oil, fry tiny cubes of guanciale, or pancetta or toucinho, what you find and what suits you best will work. When the cured meat is slightly toasted, add fresh pearly peas and when they turn bright green, refresh the pan with white wine and let it reduce until saucy and shiny. Meanwhile, boil your favourite pasta in salted water.
In a separate bowl, grate a very good amount of parmigiano and pecorino cheese, break one yolk into it, crack black pepper and add chopped parsley.
Taste your pasta and if ready, drive it to your cheese bowl together with some pasta water (reserve some more of this valuable liquid), and make them go to to your pancetta casserole. When everything is acquainted, put it in a table prepared with cheese ready to be grated and a good black pepper mill. Your meal will be even better if you happen to enjoy dry white wine and drink some alongside.
Whipped cream with berries and almonds:
This one is not even a recipe. Just whip some cold cream with a tiny amount of sugar. Spread in a tray, top with berry or ripe stone fruit and cover them with toasted slivered almonds. Maybe some lemon thyme or mint for freshness but anything works in the equation, really.