“I’ve experienced several of these enchanted country evenings in the Cotswolds of England. As I arrive, the inviting warmth of the beautifully renovated barn at Cat’s Abbey beckons me in. Coming closer, I see within the large windows ahead, a beautiful long wooden table gloriously set with simple yet festive elegance. There is an air of relaxed celebration here. I enter and a glass of prosecco finds its way to my hand. And then a tray with an irresistible morsel of Giovanna’s sumptuous creation arrives for me to sample. What pleasant company is here. New friends and old friends to meet and greet. We’re all so happy to be here and to share with each other. Time disappears. Soon, we’re invited to the table to sit and enjoy a wonderful meal of Giovanna’s home-style Italian cooking. Some of it was grown in her own garden. She’s infused her food with magic again. I can’t explain it except that there’s real love in that food. Several courses come and go, the time passes without time, and I can’t imagine a lovelier way to spend an evening than at Giovanna’s Supper Club.” (J. Kahn)
Wedding Buffet Menu
A delicious selection of homemade traditional Italian food planned down to the last detail.
Schiacciata: a traditional oven-baked flat Tuscan bread with olive oil and rosemary
Affettati Selection of Italian cured meats
Tomato, basil and mozzarella salad
Verdure grigliate: Grilled aubergines, zucchini and peppers
Seasonal vegetable Tart
Potato, Onion, Peas and Red Pepper Frittata
Green salad with toasted seeds
Price £38.00 pp plus service
L’Italia in festa
A celebration of Italian culinary dishes
A complete full-course meal in the form of canapés, made with some of the best Italian and local products of the Cotswolds
from Piedmont, Vol au vent con fonduta piemontese
Vol au vent with fondue and truffle
from Liguria, Pansotti alla Genovese
Fresh pasta parcels filled with Windrush Valley goat cheese,spinach and walnuts
from Sicily, Gamberi con la conza
Prawns with almonds, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese
from Lazio, Zucchine fritte alla Romana
from Tuscany, Polenta con Peposo
Fried polenta, with a beef, garlic, herb, red wineand black pepper stew.
from Sicily, Arance con Miele e pistacchi
Sicilian orange segments with Cotswold honey and pistachios
from Puglia, Fichi al cioccolato
Dried figs with dark chocolate
from Florence, Meringato leggero
Meringue with cream, chestnut purée and chocolate
Do you cook with your partner? I often cook with Richard, my husband, because we both love cooking.
And the way it works better for us, it’s when we work at different things while creating a final product, like this stracotto.
Richard was inspired by Jamie’s programme about Italy to make this meat dish and I’ve made some pappardelle.
He started cooking a largish piece of brisket of beef, browning it in a large pan with olive oil; then he added pancetta and a soffritto of onion, carrot and celery, and then three cloves of garlic and two chillies, and cooked them for a few minutes, then added passata, raw tomato sauce and several slugs of red wine. He then added some dried porcini mushrooms that had been rehydrated with a little boiling water, and then the juice from the mushrooms as well. He brought it to the boil, and then simmered it for an hour last night. This morning he started to cook it again at 10.30 and it was ready after 3 hours. He cut the meat into slices, and boiled the sauce at a high temperature to burn off some of the liquid.
My contribution was pappardelle, above:
Made with 100gr of 00 flour per egg, pappardelle are large, broad, flat pasta from Tuscany. The name derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up! I cooked them in boiling water with salt for only 2 or 3 minutes, then I drained them.
We served the pasta and then added a ladle of the rich sauce with a slice of meat on top. Delicious. Buon appetito!
I’m preparing for my next supper club. Have you ever been to one? I would love to hear about your experience. What made it special for you? was it the food or the excitement of meeting new people?
I started Giovanna’s Supper Club last summer in the beautiful Cats Abbey, near Burford. It happens once at month and it has been sold out every time. The twenty participants (aged between 30 and 80) are received with an Italian aperitif and canapés; then a four course dinner is served on a beautiful long table decorated with candles, flowers and berries. The seating is carefully planned. The fixed menu is composed of primo piatto, secondo piatto, formaggi e dolce – first course, second course, cheese and dessert. A vegetarian option is available and the recipes can be modified in advance to cater for special dietary requirements. The menu changes with the seasons and the festivals.
Giovanna’s Supper Club is an elegant but relaxing occasion for people to meet and taste delicious authentic Italian food. People come alone looking to meet new acquaintances, or with a group of friends to catch up, or even to celebrate some special occasion.
Next Supper Club will be on October 11th. I will make my creamy homemade taglierini with mushroom, an aromatic venison casserole and the most delicious autumnal dessert, a Meringato Leggero, made with meringues, chestnuts, marron glacé and cream. You will also be able to taste the most delicious local cheeses, the brie and the goat cheese.
You can see the menu below and a photo of my Meringato Leggero. It would be great if you could come! Booking is essential, please contact me; places are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. See you there!