By Nancy Pollard
A brunch with bottomless mimosas does not have to be your only option for Mother’s Day. A lovely and more heartfelt meal can be had at home with dad and children taking over the cooking, presentation and, perhaps most importantly, cleaning up the kitchen after.
This is an Italian meal of sorts, where children always participate in the meal preparation.
First Course: Prosecco and Raspberries
First off is a celebration cocktail with Prosecco and raspberries from the River Café in London. The raspberry puree can be added to lemonade for children too.
It will make between six and eight servings.
18 ounces fresh raspberries
1/2-2/3 cup superfine or caster sugar
1 bottle cold Prosecco
- Wash the berries and shake dry.
- Put in a food processor with the sugar, pulsing just until you get a liquid puree. Push the pulp through a fine sieve.
- Mix the strained pulp with the Prosecco in a large pitcher. Stir to calm the fizz and pour slowly into champagne glasses.
Note: You can use a spoon to prevent overflow.
Second Course: Tagliarini or tagliatelle with asparagus and herbs
Then for our main course, Tagliarini or Tagliatelle with Asparagus and Herbs. This dish is another child’s play recipe from River Café. Restaurant founder Ruth Rogers’ children worked in the restaurant. This recipe will serve six people.
1 1/2 lbs asparagus
4 peeled garlic cloves
4 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (any combination of basil, dill, mint, parsley, etc.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
9 ounces tagliarini or tagliatelle (like Rustichella d’Abruzzo or Spinosi brands)
4 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated
- Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus spears. (You can peel them like a carrot if you want). Finely chop the asparagus spears with one of the garlic cloves and the herbs.
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a saucepan with the garlic cloves until they are soft. Remove from heat and discard garlic.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a larger saute or saucepan. Saute half the asparagus mixture, stirring for about five minutes.
- Add the second half of the asparagus mixture with the flavored cream. Bring this just to a boil, then reduce heat until the cream begins to thicken. This should be done in about six minutes. Season to taste and remove from heat, but keep warm.
- Cook your pasta in a generous amount of boiling, salted water. Then drain thoroughly, but save some of the water if you need to adjust the sauce later. Toss the pasta into your sauce with about half the Parmesan.
- Serve on warmed plates and garnish with the remaining Parmesan.
Third course: Lemony ice cream
Finish your evening with a lemony ice cold treat that’s sure to be as fun to make as it is to
eat. This was an Easter meal recipe, but it is delightful throughout the summer with seasonal fruit compotes.
Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon or two Meyer lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup caster or superfine sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- In a bowl, combine lemon rind, juice and sugar and whisk thoroughly. Gradually whisk in cream, milk and salt, mixing well.
- Pour into shallow freezer container and freeze until solid around the outside and mushy in the middle. Whisk well or stir with a wood spoon until mixture is redistributed. Allow to refreeze for another 30 to 40 minutes and repeat process.
- Cover container and allow to freeze thoroughly before serving. Using caster or superfine sugar allows you get a really silky consistency. There should be no granular taste when you test it.
About the writer: Nancy Pollard owned La Cuisine, one of the longest-running independent cooking stores in the U.S., for 47 years. She now writes in Kitchen Detail about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, travel, books, sources and issues. You can subscribe to her blog at www.lacuisineus.com.