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Top Italian Recipes To Try For New Years Eve

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Every culture has its own festive New Year traditions, and these are often based on folklore and aim to increase luck or wealth for the coming year ahead. Italy is no different, and we have some wonderful traditions that allow us to let go of the old year and ward off any bad omens or spirits for the year to come.

The first thing you may want to know is how to say “happy new year” to somebody. In Italy, we say “Felice anno nuovo!” or “Buon anno!” to one another!

To let go of the new year, particularly in southern Italy, there is a tradition of getting rid of old possessions to make room for the new year. This involves quite literally throwing old clothes, pots and pans, and sometimes even furniture out of the window! It symbolises letting go of unhappiness from the past to prepare for a happier future.

That particular tradition is not quite as popular these days, but if you’re on the streets of Italy on New Year’s Eve, just be careful there are no flying pots or pans.

Italians traditionally wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck, so don’t forget to don yours if you’re planning on having an Italian New Year’s celebration! This applies to both men and women, and they are thrown away the next day.

But what about food? If you’re wondering what you should cook for an authentic Italian New Year’s Eve celebration, read on for a few great recipes!

Cotechino con lenticchie (sausages and green lentils)

This is a rich and hearty dish that symbolises wealth and abundance, and lentils are used as a symbol of wealth in many cultures as they resemble coins. The sausages used also symbolise abundance due to their high fat content, and they are sliced to resemble coins too.

Italians typically eat cotechino con lenticchie at the stroke of midnight, and it is actually really easy to prepare

Ingredients (this recipe serves 6)

For the Lentils:
1 1/2 large onion (diced)
1 1/2 carrot (diced)
1 1/2 stalk celery (diced)
1 1/2 clove garlic (chopped)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
3 cups lentils
6 cups chicken or beef broth (recommended) or water

For the Cotechino:
1 1/2 Cotechino – about 1 pound
1 1/2 onion, sliced
1 1/2 stalk of celery
4 1/2 bay leaves

Method

Prick the cotechino with a pin (a fork can sometimes make holes that are too big and allow the filling to seep out) and place it in a pot with cold water with the onion, celery and bay leaves and bring to the boil.

Lower to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Once the cotechino is cooked, remove it from the water and let it cool.

In a pot, add olive oil and onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook until slightly browned. Add the lentils and stir. Cover with the broth, and then bring to the boil. Lowe to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender.

Remove them from the heat and add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the cotechino and place on top of the lentils to serve!

italian new year dish

 

Mozzarella alla Caprese

This is a classic appetizer from the region of Campnia, and it can be enjoyed all year round. It is a dish that is often associated with Italy by many people, and it is super quick and easy to whip up, so what better dish to include in your New Year’s Eve spread?

Ingredients (to feed 6)

9 slices of Mozzarella

9 slices of ripe tomatoes
oregano
fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
Salt

Method

Place the mozzarella and tomatoes on a serving dish, alternating them with each other. Chop some fresh basil and sprinkle basil, olive oil, oregano and salt over the top, and then serve at room temperature!

mozzarella alla caprese

 

Champagne risotto

Grains of rice are another thing that represent coins in Italy, and the way that the rice grows in the pot during cooking signifies how people wish for their wealth to grow in the new year, so risotto is often included in a traditional New Year’s dinner. Our version includes champagne in place of the usual wine for that extra it of luxury

 

Ingredients (serves two as a main dish or 4 as a side)

2 large shallots, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp butter, divided
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
250 ml Champagne
1 litre of stock (chicken or vegetable)
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

 

Method

In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallot and garlic, and stir until the shallot is translucent (around 3 or 4 minutes).

Add the rice and stir until all of the rice is coated in the oil. Allow it to toast in the pan for around 3 minutes, and stir regularly so that it does not burn.

In another pan, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and allow to melt, season with salt, and add mushrooms. Cook them until they reduce down slightly and become lightly browned and set aside until later.

In a jug or a separate pot warm up the stock and half of the champagne together. Add four of the sprigs of thyme and allow them to infuse into the liquid.

Add the remaining champagne to the rice mixture and turn down the heat to medium. Add in the mushrooms and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour or ladle a little bit of the stock to the rice and stir until the rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Keep repeating until the rice is creamy but still has a bit of a bite to it.

Once your risotto has reached the desired creamy consistency (it may not need all of the stock adding) which should be no more than 25 minutes after you first added the rice, take it off the heat.

Remove the remaining thyme from the sprigs and stir it into the finished risotto along with the parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese has melted completely.

Season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve in bowls!

italian risotto

 

We hope this has given you a few ideas for dishes that you can prepare for New Years Eve if you love Italian food or culture!
If you would prefer the Italian experts to do the hard work for you then be sure to book a table to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Bella Cosa

20 of the Best Italian Food Blogs to Follow in 2019

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

At Bella Cosa, we’re passionate about good Italian food, and we would encourage our guests to try creating their own Italian dishes, after all, this cuisine is perfect for the whole family every day. So, if you want to try making your own Italian food, you should make sure you’re following some Italian food blogs to get new and mouth-watering recipes.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite Italian food blogs for you to follow in 2019, with blogs that include things like travel, restaurant reviews and recipes for specialist diets.

italian food

  1. The Tiny Italian

‘A delicious exploration of Italian food’

thetinyitalian.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes
  • Tips & Advice
  • Travel

Written by Paola Maggiulli, a food enthusiast with Italian roots, The Tiny Italian features a huge range of traditional Italian recipes. The recipes are split into ten different categories, making it easier to find your next recipe to try out.

 

  1. Italian Food Forever

‘Those who eat well, eat Italian’

www.italianfoodforever.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes
  • Tips & Advice
  • Wine
  • Travel

Deborah married into an Italian family, where she discovered her love for Italian food, and even lived in Italy for a number of years, giving her the chance to use authentic Italian ingredients in her traditional dishes. Now she’s sharing her recipes on her blog so you can try them out for yourself.

 

  1. The Pasta Project

‘A personal undertaking to try every single type of pasta available’

www.the-pasta-project.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

This blog is a project of blogger Jacqui who, after moving to Italy from the UK, decided to start exploring the many different types of pasta from all around Italy. Follow her blog for pasta recipes and to discover some pasta types you may have never tried before.

 

  1. Silvia’s Cucina

‘Authentic Italian home cooking’

silviascucina.net

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

Born in Italy, Silvia has a passion for traditional Italian cooking and shares her authentic recipes with her readers, from classic desserts like tiramisù, to hearty mains such as Silvia’s chicken bake.

 

  1. Memorie di Angelina

‘Easy. Authentic. Italian.’

memoriediangelina.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

Frank Fariello offers authentic Italian recipes, sharing the dishes passed down through his family as well as his own. These recipes all share a real Italian flavour so you can get a taste of Italy when you try them out for yourself.

 

  1. Vincenzo’s Plate

‘Mouth-watering Italian recipes right out of your very own kitchen’

www.vincenzosplate.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Tips & Advice
  • Travel

With a YouTube cooking channel, Vincenzo’s Plate is a great resource for anyone looking to try some Italian cooking at home. You can also get a little extra help with the recipes by watching the instructional videos.

 

  1. The Italian Dish

‘Cooking fresh & showing you how’

theitaliandishblog.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Tips & Advice
  • Travel

Elaine may live in Michigan, USA, but she has Italian roots and makes sure that she stays in touch with them through her cooking. You can expect great food photography from her blog, as well as delicious recipes and helpful kitchen tips.

 

  1. Curious Appetite

‘Eating and drinking well in Florence and wherever curiosity takes me’ thecuriousappetite.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Travel

Having moved to Florence, Italy, Coral writes about food and drink professionally for a number of publications, as well as leading culinary tours. On the side, she writes her own blog with plenty of recipes and reviews of the restaurants she visits.

 

  1. She Loves Biscotti

‘Simple and tasty family recipes with an Italian twist’

www.shelovesbiscotti.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes
  • Tips & Advice

As the daughter of Irish immigrants, now living in Montreal, Maria Vannelli is a professional dietitian who now shares the recipes her mother passed down to her. With recipes that cover every course as well as sweet treats and baked goodies, there are plenty of dishes to try out.

 

  1. Proud Italian Cook

‘Home cooking Italian American style’

www.prouditaliancook.com

Features:

  • Recipes

Marie is the daughter of Italian American parents, living in Chicago. She now shares her love of Italian food on her blog, writing recipes for dishes she remembers enjoying as a child as well as new ones which get a modern touch.

italian food and wine

  1. La Bella Vita Cucina

‘Delicious. Beautiful. Inspiration.’

www.italianbellavita.com  

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Tips & Advice
  • Travel

This blog has been going since 2008, so there is a treasure trove of recipes to try out from the archives. Ros authors the blog and shares with her readers the recipes she loves to make, as well as stories from her travels with her husband and even a little about gardening.

 

  1. La Bella Sorella

‘Italian food, travel & lifestyle’

labellasorella.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Wine
  • Travel

After a number of years of teaching Italian cooking classes, Paula chose to begin writing about Italian food and travel so she could share her expertise with a wider audience. Whether you want recipes for cocktails or main dishes, you’ll find it all here.

 

  1. Ciao Chow Linda

‘Combining my interests of writing and photography with my love of food and travel’

ciaochowlinda.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Travel

Having previously worked as a journalist in New York City, Linda left the US to spend a year in Italy, the country where her parents were born. Now she has turned her writing skills to her own blog where she shares recipes and writes about her travels and experiences in Italy.

 

  1. Our Italian Table

‘At the table, one never grows old’

ouritaliantable.com

Features:

  • Recipes

Written by a brother and sister team, Our Italian Table features recipes from Michele and Joe’s childhood that they shared together. As the children of first-generation Italian-Americans, they decided to start writing about Italian food in 2008, with recipes from all over Italy.

 

  1. Marisa’s Italian Kitchen

‘The secret ingredient is always love’

marisasitaliankitchen.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes

Marisa was born in Italy and has a passion for Italian food, though she now lives in Canada. Her speciality is all things sweet, so make sure to take a look at the many recipes for cakes, cookies, doughnuts and other delicious desserts.

  1. Jul’s Kitchen

‘Stories and recipes from Tuscany’

en.julskitchen.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes
  • Other Specialist Diet Recipes
  • Travel

Giulia Scarpaleggia is the brains behind Jul’s Kitchen, along with her partner Tommaso, offering countless authentic Italian recipes as well as photography that will tempt your tastebuds.

 

  1. Emiko Davies

‘Italian cuisine: it doesn’t really exist’

www.emikodavies.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews
  • Tips & Advice
  • Travel

Emiko Davies has one Australian parent and one Japanese parent and now lives in Florence with her Italian husband. This gives her a fresh perspective on Italian cooking as she shares her favourite recipes which cover everything from cakes to chicken.

 

  1. Divina Cucina

‘Everyone should try being Italian at least once a year’

divinacucina.com

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews

The author of this award-winning blog is Judy Witts Francini, an American living in Tuscany for more than 30 years. With a passion for Italian food, she now shares her favourite recipes with her readers, covering all the courses of a meal.

 

  1. Marcellina in Cucina

‘In my Italian kitchen’

www.marcellinaincucina.com

Features:

  • Recipes

Marcellina has been cooking from a young age, and her love of food has not wavered. As part of an Italian family, she has plenty of experience with Italian food, and has chosen to share some of her recipes with her readers.

 

  1. Italian Food, Wine, and Travel

‘Chef. Bike. Ski. This blog is all about what I love to do’

www.chefbikeski.com  

Features:

  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Recipes
  • Other Specialist Diet Recipes
  • Wine
  • Travel

Combining her love for travel and outdoor activities with cooking, Kathy loves to share her experiences travelling around Italy and taking part in activities such as biking and hiking, as well as offering recipes which take inspiration from her travels to Italy.

04

5 Reasons To Choose Private Dining With Bella Cosa

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

If you’ve got an event coming up, then you may well be planning to book a table somewhere for yourself and your guests, but here at Bella Cosa you can go one better and opt for our private dining offering.

We have an exclusive and intimate dining area just for those more private occasions, whether that’s a corporate meeting or an intimate function. We can seat up to 14 guests in our private wine room, which is the perfect setting for a party or a business meeting.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, engagement, new job, or any other occasion, booking a private table is the perfect way to celebrate with your loved ones.

Why not gather your nearest and dearest together in our chic stylish private dining area and enjoy wining and dining together! Here are five great reasons to choose private dining here at Bella Cosa!

private dining


You don’t need to set up

Typically when you throw a party you have to spend time preparing food and drinks, decorating the place, sorting out a sound system and all sorts of other bits and pieces.

But with private dining, our team are on hand to take care of you, and with our beautiful views and stylish surroundings, you won’t need to worry about what your guests will think of their surroundings.

 

You can relax

One of the great advantages of booking our private dining option is that you can totally relax and enjoy your time with us, safe in the knowledge that everything is being taken care of for you.

Throwing a party at home always means that you can never fully relax as you are constantly distracted by your hosting duties. Instead of worrying about how the event is going, even the organisers can sit back and enjoy themselves here at Bella Cosa and just focus on the food, drinks and company.

 

There’s no tidying up

Another perk of having your party or event with us here at Bella Cosa is that you won’t need to spend hours cleaning up once the party’s over. We’re more than happy to take care of the clearing up so you can enjoy your evening to the fullest.

Instead of dealing with cleaning, you’re free to head home to relax after all the fun is over, or even spend more time with your guests!

 

You won’t be disturbed

Holding a private party just feels that little bit more intimate and special than being surrounded by other tables of people, and if you’ve ever held an important business lunch in a busy restaurant with other things going on around you you’ll know that it just isn’t quite as productive as having your own space.

Plus, if you’re throwing a party you don’t need to worry about disturbing other people in the restaurant who are just out for a quiet bite to eat! Everybody is a winner when you choose private dining.

 

Our private dining menu

If you book a private dining event with us, you will be able to enjoy our exclusive private dining menu which offers great value and perfectly tailored dishes that you and your guests are sure to enjoy.

Our private dining menu is available for groups of eight or more people, and must be pre-ordered 3 working days before your event takes place. Be sure to let us know of any dietary requirements so that we can do our best to ensure everybody is accommodated.

You can enjoy three courses for £40 or four for £45 and can find the current menu here.

 

We hope this has inspired you if you are looking to host a party or event soon, as we would love to have you and your guests here at Bella Cosa. Be sure to check out our private dining page here where you can get in touch if you would like to make an enquiry.

Rounding Up the Best Nightlife Spots in Canary Wharf

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

A night out in London is like no other and with so many different boroughs and neighbourhoods, you can design the perfect night out for your tastes. Canary Wharf may be a hub of business during the weekdays, but come the evening, it turns into a lively location with plenty of bars to head to after work or after enjoying a sumptuous meal at Bella Cosa. Here are just a few of our favourite nightlife spots.

canary wharf restaurant

Wahaca Canary Wharf and Terrace Bar

For something a little more relaxed, try out the Mexican-themed Wahaca Canary Wharf and Terrace Bar.

There’s plenty of fun to be had at the Terrace Bar with table football, swing chairs, and even a living plant wall. This is the perfect place to wind down and get into the Friday feeling. Prices here are very reasonable with cocktails costing around £7-8 – you can even order a bucket of beer to share with friends.

 

The Parlour

Located on Canada Square in the Park Pavilion, The Parlour holds a quiet class which encourages a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a few drinks in.

You can see the elements that have been inspired by a secret garden theme, with it being reflected in the drinks menu which features old classics as well as some exciting twists. You can expect to pay roughly £7-10 for a cocktail at The Parlour, or go for a sharer to enjoy with your friends.

 

Big Easy

With an American-inspired menu and interior, Big Easy is an exciting venue with a tempting drinks menu. There is a Rum Lounge where you can listen to live music or head to the terrace to get some great views of Canary Wharf.

The drinks menu features plenty of unusual cocktails from slushies to booze-soaked shakes. Expect to pay roughly £8-15 for the cocktails at this venue, or upgrade a slushie to a sharing bowl for £49.

 

28 West Bar

Sat right on the waterfront, 28 West Bar is a stylish bar with a relaxed atmosphere. During the summer months, the terrace offers a great place to sit and relax as you watch London move around you.

With a focus on young professionals, you can expect plenty of cocktails to choose from which cost around £9-10, but you can take advantage of their 2 for 1 Happy Hour offer between 5pm-7pm.

 

There are plenty of venues to take your pick from when you finish your meal at Bella Cosa and head out into Canary Wharf for an evening out. If you’re struggling to choose, just ask a member of our team who will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Why Italian is the Perfect Choice for a Family Meal

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

At Bella Cosa Restaurant, we are, not so surprisingly, big fans of Italian cuisine. Of course, it offers a huge range of delicious menu options with some of our favourite ingredients, but there are plenty of other benefits of Italian food as well. In fact, we think that it is the perfect food for the whole family to enjoy.

bella cosa italian food

Ingredients the Whole Family Will Love

There’s always a fussy eater in the family, whether they be young or old. This can make it a little challenging when you want to enjoy a meal out that each family member will love, and can also be a little tricky when you are cooking at home. However, when it comes to Italian cuisine, there are plenty of ingredients that even the fussiest of eaters will love.

 

Of course, there are plenty of vegetables, but there is also everything from pasta, to smoked meats, to smooth sauces and fresh bread. With so many delicious ingredients, there is sure to be something that each family member will love tucking into.

 

Ingredients Your Body Will Love

While you’re enjoying the fantastic flavours of Italian ingredients, your body will be loving all of their nutritional benefits. One reason why Italian food tends to be so good for you is because it is less likely to be processed. Italian cuisine places a heavy emphasis on using fresh ingredients so you get to feel the benefits of all the natural nutrients of these meals.

 

Endless Combinations

With Italian cuisine, you never have to get bored of eating the same food over and over again. There are endless combinations of ingredients, resulting in countless meal options, keeping you and the rest of your family interested. This also means that you can make sure that your family is getting plenty of different foods and is a great way of introducing them to new ones.

 

Simple to Create

When you are cooking for your family, Italian can be a fantastically simple cuisine to try out. In fact, you needn’t use pre-packaged sauces and other ingredients, even if you’re not particularly confident in the kitchen. A good tomato pasta sauce is particularly easy to whip up. Try out this recipe if you’re looking to give it a go.

 

Family Favourites

One of the best things about Italian cuisine is the fact that it features some of the best family favourites, so if you go out for a meal, you’re sure to see some of them on the menu. It’s hard to go wrong with foods such as pizza and pasta, so Italian restaurants can usually keep the whole family happy.

 

At Bella Cosa Restaurant, we serve a great selection of family favourites as well as some meals that may be a little less expected. With plenty of fresh ingredients, prepared expertly, you can be sure that you’ll be able to enjoy a fantastic meal with us.

Make sure to reserve a table online or get in touch with a member of our team if you would like to find out more.

5 Of The Best Sights in Canary Wharf

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Canary Wharf is one of the most iconic parts of the capital, with an instantly recognisable skyline. Within this small area of London, there is a lot to do and see, so if you come to visit us at Bella Cosa Restaurant, you can truly experience the financial area. When thinking about the best sights to see in London, you may not think of Canary Wharf at first, but there are plenty of places that we would highly recommend you visit.

canary wharf view 

One Canada Square

One Canada Square is probably the most recognisable tower in Canary Wharf and towers above the rest of the skyscrapers at 770ft tall. In fact, this was the tallest skyscraper in London for 12 years until the completion of The Shard. The building is comprised of a number of offices for businesses across a range of industries, from non-profit to finance.

 

Unfortunately, there is no viewing platform, but you can enter the ground floor, foyer area and basement levels.

one canada square

Museum of London Docklands

You can take in plenty of history when you visit the Museum of London Docklands. The museum is inside a 200-year-old warehouse and features exhibits which tell the story of the River Thames and its relationship with London throughout the years.

 

This is a great place to visit for the whole family and has plenty to keep both the adults and kids entertained.

docklands museum

Right in the middle of Canary Wharf, you may be surprised to find a beautiful, green garden, surrounded by the towering skyscrapers. Crossrail Place Roof Garden is a beautiful and unique oasis, encased in a timber-framed dome so you can view the skyline of London while surrounded by this fantastic garden.

 

There are often performances and events held at the roof garden, which is open daily until 9pm.

crossrail roof gardens

Jubilee Park

For more green space at Canary Wharf, head to Jubilee Park where you feel like you’ve stepped out of the city for a while. The park sits above the London underground, introducing a little peace and tranquillity into the area. There is a raised water channel which winds through the park, introducing nature sounds into this noisy city.

jubilee park

Canada Square Park

Perhaps surprisingly, there are more open green spaces to enjoy when you’re visiting Canary Wharf. Canada Square Park is an area of green space for the public to enjoy in the midst of some of the tallest buildings on the Isle of Dogs.

Canada Square Park is also home to the ice rink which comes to Canary Wharf every year from November until February. The ice rink is known as the best one in London and allows you to skate underneath the canopy of trees which are lit up by twinkling fairy lights.

canada square park london

When you visit Canary Wharf, there is plenty to see and do. After a day of exploring the Isle of Dogs, why not visit us at Bella Cosa Restaurant to sample some of the finest food at Canary Wharf.

You use our online reservation form to book a table or contact a member of our team if you’d like to find out more about Bella Cosa.