Cicheti: Venetian savoury snacks and sides

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Cicheti: Venetian savoury snacks and sides

Abigail Donnelly loves eating small bites and morsels of food. It gives you a chance to experience lots of different flavours, she says. The Spanish call this style of eating tapas, and the Italians have their own version called cicheti.

Cicheti are often showcased behind glass counters in small wine bars called bacari that you find along the cobbled streets of Venice. When I was there we ate pork meatballs, grilled calamari, icy oysters, marinated raw artichokes and diced pancetta panfried with prawns, all served with a basket of toasted bread or crostini.

My absolute favourite were the tiny, delicate Venetian sandwiches made with soft white bread and filled with Parma ham and pesto. The crusts are removed and then they’re pinched together around the edges to seal them.

Here are some ideas to make your own platters of cicheti:
• Toss chunks of tuna in sundried tomato pesto
• Poach mussels and stir in some readymade tomato sauce
• Fry calamari tubes in butter and lemon juice
• Purée marinated artichokes and add some chickpeas
• Grill prawns in olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh chilli and parsley
• Fry chicken livers and serve with grilled polenta cubes
• Fry anchovies with baby tomatoes and butter beans
• Roast halved red peppers and baby marrows in olive oil rosemary and garlic

Mangia mangia!

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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