Halloween Recipe: Sardinian Dead Bones

In Italy, Halloween is often seen as the American festival that took over our culture, but only a few know that actually our pagan traditions are very similar to this spooky holiday. This Halloween recipe, in dialect called Ossus de Mottu, is representative of what Sardinians called Is Animeddas, a tradition that occurred during the night between All Saint’s and the Day of the Dead. During this night, in the villages of the island, people would keep the house door open, in order to let the souls of the Purgatory come in and help themselves to food and beverages. Also, furniture and drawers would be left open, for the souls to take anything they might need. Spooky uh? Continue reading “Halloween Recipe: Sardinian Dead Bones”

Halloween Recipe – Bolognese Stuffed Pumpkin

It’s Halloween, and while in most households families get busy carving and emptying pumpkins, we decided to stuff ours! This time, with very typical Italian flavours: we stuffed it with Bolognese sauce, probably the most famous pasta sauce in the world. Since the traditional recipe for Bolognese is very time consuming, we decided to make a lot so we could save several portions in the freezer – keep that in mind if you try this recipe, and adjust the quantity of the ingredients according to the amount of meat you will be using. Also, take into consideration that the sauce takes three and a half hours, so we suggest you prepare it the day before you decide to stuff your Halloween pumpkin with it.

Continue reading “Halloween Recipe – Bolognese Stuffed Pumpkin”

Halloween_Squash_Mince_Recipe

Halloween recipe – sweet potato and squash mince bake

Halloween is just a few days away, and it’s the season of pumpkins, squash and other things orange. This sweet potato and squash mince bake is a modified Chinese recipe – the original uses processed fish balls instead of mince, and uses only squash or pumpkin, but I prefer cooking with fresh meat, and mixing in the sweet potato gives you a more balanced mix of your veg intake. It will make a nice main dish to go with all the beautiful Halloween cakes and snacks on the BBC website, for example (love their Good Food section!)

This recipe takes a bit longer than the others we’ve listed so far, and a lot of it is prep time. There’s a lot of chopping involved. If you want to save a bit of time, then M&S do a bag of mixed butternut squash and sweet potato cubes (350g). I used an onion squash for this recipe, not only because it’s the right size and I don’t like leaving half-cut veg in my fridge, but also because the flavour isn’t as sweet, so works well with sweet potatoes.

Halloween_Squash_Mince_Recipe

There are also two other easily swappable elements in the recipe, and they are the mince and the salted egg. You can use any type of mince you like apart from lamb – lamb tastes too strong and doesn’t balance well with the rest of the flavours. I’ve used pork and beef before, and this time I’ve used veal as it was on offer.

The salted eggs are from the original Chinese recipe, but not to worry – if you can’t get hold of them, then normal eggs will do just as well. You’ll need to add a bit more salt along the way, but the whole point of the recipe is that everything will half-disintegrate and mesh together, so normal eggs are just as good.

This recipe takes around 1 hour to make, and will serve 3-4 people.

Ingredients
1 onion squash (roughly 500g)
1 sweet potato (roughly 300-400g)
2 salted eggs
5 peppercorns
300-400g mince
5 tablespoons Chinese shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
100g Greek cheese

You’ll also need olive oil and salt to taste.

We’ll be starting in a frying pan, and will then move the mix into the oven, so you’ll need to prepare a baking tray (lined with foil if you want to save some scrubbing later). Continue reading “Halloween recipe – sweet potato and squash mince bake”