My little brother turned 30 (yes I am older than him!!!) in the beginning of 2012.

To celebrate his 20+10th birthday he came over to London with his girlfriend for a long weekend.

We did go out on the day, but the night before myself and Oreste had our first dinner party in 2012…

and declared the 2012 dinner party season Chez M&M household officially opened!

I decided to introduce them to some Italian flavours drizzled by a taste of Portugal:

We started with a platter of cold meat: Prosciutto di Parma and Milano Salami accompanied by spelt bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Followed by Risotto Milanese.

Risotto Milanese

I love to eat and to make this recipe. It’s easy, quick and with just a few ingredients you’ll have a happy and pleasing meal! The saffron gives it a fantastic yellow colour, that will make your eyes brighten up and an intense, yet just right, fulfilling  flavour! In Italy is often served with a piece of meat, usually cotoletta or osso buco. Personally I prefer it by itself. Simple is better!

The wine… I knew I wanted to serve the Risotto Milanese with a good Portuguese red wine. But which one? My bottleneck was what I had available at our local supermarket: a good handful from different regions. So I decided to go for a

powerfully fruity, well structured red wine with fine tannins and lasting finish.

Quinta da Rosa

Something sweet was on demand to finish our meal. Because I haven’t made any dessert and to carry on with the Italian theme I brought out from the cupboard some cantucci and Vin Santo. Vin Santo is an Italian dessert wine typical from Tuscany and is traditionally paired with cantucci – crunchy almond biscuits – also typical from Tuscany: just dunk the biscuit in the wine – Delicious!

Our dinner was followed by healthy chat, laughter and ‘tears of joy’ – we had some catch up to do – at the table, pela noite dentro!!!

A special thanks to you little brother and to the special woman that makes you happy!