Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

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.

How To Combine Italian Food and Wine At Home

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

There are few pairings in life that have stood the test of time as well as food and wine. When the perfect pairing is achieved, a golden, winning combination is unlocked, taking the senses on an unrivalled journey that can transport you to shores far and wide. The perfect pairing however, can be difficult to achieve, even when just considering our own native British cuisine, but when attempting to partner food from foreign lands, this challenge only becomes harder.

Italian cuisine is a firm favourite for Brits looking for something different, in fact, Italian restaurants were the public’s number one destination when dining out last year. When cooking at home, Italian is another steadfast option, and whether your home-alone, planning for a hot-date or catering for a dinner party for friends, nailing your drink choices to complement your food will only maximise the enjoyment your enjoyment of your meal.

Developing tasty food and wine pairing can be started by breaking down the complexities and simply experimenting with the key main flavour profiles. Here’s a closer look at the key pairings for food and wine pairing and why each one works. You’ll soon be one step closer to matching your food and wine like you’re a professional chef.

italian food and wine

6 Key Tips For Pairing Wine & Food
If you’re just getting started, you’ll find these tried and tested general methodologies produce some great pairings. That said, as you get more familiar with different wines, you’ll become confident and can experiment with new combinations.

  • Your wine should be more acidic in taste than the food.
  • If the main dish is sweet in taste, the wine should be sweeter than the food.
  • Avoid overpowering your palate and ensure wine has the same flavour intensity as the food.
  • Red wines generally pair best with boldly flavoured meat dishes
  • White wines usually pair best with light-intensity meats such as fish
  • It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat, as that is the main source of the flavour

 

Pairing wine with types of Italian dish

Pairing wine with pasta

Matching wine with pasta is hugely dependent on the sauce, as that is the core part of the flavour. We’ve compiled the wine matches for the 3 most popular sauces.

White sauce

Any wine chosen for a dish such as a Carbonara, will need to match and cut through the taste and texture of the creamy sauce. A good quality Pinot Grigio is a great place to start. You want a light and crisp taste with citrus fruits. Look for Pinot Grigio from regions in the northeast of Italy.

Meat sauce

Bolognese or beef ragu sauces are rich and comforting, with a huge depth of flavour when cooked. Because of the inclusion of meat and depth of flavour a ragu sauce can achieve, you can look to feature wines with more power. Hearty red wines from in Tuscany feature complex flavours of earthy spices, leather and mellow oak, all of which can bring any meat based ragu sauce to life. 

Red sauce

Arrabiata is a classic tomato based sauce, a real recognised classic of Italian cuisine. Lighter versions of this sauce can match very well with a wide range of Italian whites such as Verdicchio, Pinot Grigio and Gavi. Once you begin to add basil, garlic and other vegetables, then the lighter, red wines, also start to be great potential matches, including Chianti from Tuscany and Dolcetto from Piedmont.

Pairing wine with risotto

Wine matching for risotto is similar in process to matching wine with pasta. No one wine fits all; it depends on the key recipe ingredients and accompaniment to this classic dish. Light risotto, made with vegetables or seafood, requires the crisper white wines from Northern Italy. Mushroom or red meat risottos can be rich and savoury, allowing a good match with medium bodied red wines, such as Pinot Nero or Dolcetto.

Pairing wine with pizza

Italian red wine is the perfect match for pizza. It’s a great example of the wine and food from similar regions matching each other perfectly, as they are set up to compliment tomato sauce and cut through the melted mozzarella. Try a wine made from the Chianti region or Light Valpolicella from the Veneto region. Generally,  light, dry Italian whites will work should you decide to top your pizza with ingredients such as ricotta or fish.

At Bella Cosa, we have a comprehensive wine list that offers the perfect complement to both our exquisite lunch and dinner choices. Let us suggest some pairings for you to sample and ensure that your meal is perfectly complimented. Book your table and join us by the river.

Get To Know The Basics Of Italian Food

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Italian food is by far one of the most popular types of cuisine in the world, loved by people all over the world and served in restaurants in pretty much every town and city in the UK.

But real authentic Italian food is a little bit different to what you’ll find at your typical chain restaurants, or in a jar of sauce from the supermarket. While those who are not Italian themselves often think of pizza and spaghetti when identifying Italian food, and some people are of the opinion that most Italian food is all pretty similar, you may be surprised at just how much variation there is region by region if you travel through Italy.

We thought we’d put together a little bit of a piece on the basics of Italian food so that you can learn a little bit more for yourself.

making italian food

The Freshest Ingredients

In Italy, people will commonly buy produce from local markets rather than supermarkets, and the fruit and vegetables will be full of far more flavour because they haven’t been picked before they are fully ripe. Vegetables bought fresh will be seasonally appropriate rather than imported, so Italians tend to cook different foods at different times of the year.

In the summertime, you will find a lot of radishes, aubergine, beetroot, courgettes, beans, peas, and tomatoes in dishes, whereas in the winter you are likely to be served more artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fennel, cabbage, spinach and turnips.

Regional Influences

Due to the fresh produce used in Italian cooking, you will also find that different parts of the country will have access to different produce. Historically, the country was split into different kingdoms and states that did not have too much to do with one another, meaning there are plenty of regional specialities.

The Margherita pizza was conceived in Naples, with legend having it that it was created especially for Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889, with the traditional toppings of tomatoes, mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and basil leaves being intended to resemble the colours of the Italian flag.

Lasagne hails from Bologna, where food tends to be very rich. It is filled with ground meat (either pork or beef) bolognese, handmade noodles, bechamel sauce and topped with white wine, carrot, tomato, butter, and plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

In Tuscany, they are lucky enough to have the ideal growing conditions for white truffles, which are very rare, as well as the rare black variety. As a result, you’ll find them used in Tuscan fare.

Antipasto is a classic appetiser in Tuscany, a simple mixed plate of bread, pate, cheese and cured meat. In Tuscany, they tend to favour food that is rich and simple.

Siciliy is a little bit different to the mainland, as they have been influenced by Arabs and Normans and other cultures throughout history, so you will find a few unique dishes on this island. Cannoli and arancini are a few such examples!

Italian Food Outside Of Italy

Funnily enough, the foods that are often marketed as ‘Italian’ or ‘Italian-style’ in supermarkets and on menus in restaurants will be nothing like real Italian food, and the word ‘authentic’ does not guarantee that it truly is.

Unless you are planning a trip to Italy yourself soon, you may be wondering how you can find a true taste of Italy for yourself. You are best off heading to a restaurant where the chef is actually from Italy themselves, as you will get the most authentic experience from somebody who really knows what they are doing when it comes to Italian flavours.

Our chef here at Bella Cosa is originally from Brindisi in southern Italy and has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to cooking delicious Italian dishes that are true to their roots. Why not join us for a meal and see for yourself?

The Most Instagrammed Italian Food

Friday, August 17th, 2018

They say that when we’re hungry, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, so maybe that explains why over the past few years we have seen a huge increase in the number of budding photographers snapping their food and posting it on their Instagram profile!

At Bella Cosa, you might know we are all about Italian food, not only does it taste great but it looks gorgeous! Our chefs love what they make, even they get caught out trying to pick out the best filter every so often!

This pre-dinner photo has now become a part of modern culinary etiquette but just what are the most popular Italian foods on Instagram? We took a look at the most Instagrammed Italian food split into Pizza, Pasta, Bread, Meat and Desserts all being key parts of our authentic menu.

most instagrammed italian food

Health Benefits Of Italian Food

Monday, June 25th, 2018

For many, Italian cuisine can be summed up with two words: pasta & pizza. Carb-heavy, covered in cheese, these two culinary delights are probably the last thing on your mind when you’re searching for healthy options. The world of Italian food however is much more diverse than meets the stereotypical eye. Embracing the best of a Mediterranean diet, Italian food in its diverse array has some wonderful health benefits. At Bella Cosa, we love to explore these healthy options in our Canary Wharf restaurant. Here’s more details on our favourite ingredients!

1. Tomatoes. One of your five a day, tomatoes are a staple of Italian cuisine. A fibre-rich fruit, the tomato is also high in vitamin C, which helps maintain health bones and tissues. Along with C, vitamin K is also abundant within tomatoes. Once again, important for healthy bones, Vitamin K also promotes correct blood clotting. Our Tomato salad with Mozzarella, Avocado & Basil is a fabulous tasting dish, and not to be missed

2. Seafood. Italian cuisine is famed for its used of a diverse variety of fresh seafood. From tuna, to mussels, prawns to octopus, we have a huge variety to offer. Seafood contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. High protein, but low fat, seafood is especially good for those counting the calories. Eating a diet containing seafood helps lower your cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of heart disease. For the maximum benefit, try to to eat fish at least twice a week

3. Garlic. While good for keeping vampires at bay, garlic has a wide variety of health benefits, and luckily for you, is a staple of Italian food. Garlic can promote the immune system, helping to keep you fighting fit. Garlic also contains Vitamin C, manganese and selenium. There has been a variety of evidence to show garlic’s usefulness when it comes to lowering blood pressure, keeping cholesterol low and even helping prevent certain types of cancer. For a garlic burst, try our Penne Spicy Chicken with Garlic, Chilli, Roasted Peppers and Olives in a Tomato Sauce.

4. Olive Oil. This little number is again, a base ingredient for many Italian classics. It’s saturated fats help lower the bad type of cholesterol, while boosting the positive variety.

5. Wholegrains. Featuring heavily in traditional Italian cuisine, wholegrains pack a punch when it comes to providing a range of health benefits. Once again, fibre rich, helping promote a health digestion system, antioxidants and vitamin can also be sourced from this food. When eaten regularly wholegrains can help maintain a healthy heart, as well as reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and some cancers too.

6. Social Benefits. For our final reason, let’s also consider the positive aspects. Italian food is all about sharing, eating together and celebrating friends & family. Our platters and sharing boards are a great way of bonding together to break bread. Eating like this, as a group is wonderful soul food, and help us maintain and develop life-long relationships.

There we have it, 6 ways in which an Italian diet can promote a healthy lifestyle. As with all things in life, eating in balance and moderation is key. Not sure where to start at home? Our A la carte menu has a wide range of delicious options, perfect for weekday working lunches or weekend celebratory dinners.