On the sixth day of Chanucah Tunisians celebrate Rosh Hodesh El Bneit or Fete des Filles — the festival of the girls. Girls are the centre of attention for that day. They receive presents from their parents and fiancées and farka — a Tunisian sweet cake of couscous, walnuts and dried fruit is served.
Precipizi is an old Chanucah recipe from Ancona, in central Italy. This is my version, which I serve piled in a pyramid topped with coloured sugar sprinkles, like struffoli — a Christmas dessert from Naples. An old Jewish tradition presented in a modern way inspired by traditional Italian cooking.
A window cleaner named Danny looked at the wine bottles lining my front hall and asked why there were so many of them. When I explained, we got to talking about wine. I asked what he liked drinking best, and he promptly reeled off an all-French list including Chablis, Sancerre, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape among other glories.
Butternut squash is one of my favourite vegetables: it’s sweet, tasty, and filling with barely any calories or fat. The soup is extremely rich despite containing not a drop of cream — kind of unbelievable, because the texture is so creamy. If you are trying to lose or maintain weight, this recipe is a keeper.
Serves: 8 to 10
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour