Joe Trivelli’s rich and warming winter recipes

Porcini risotto, chicken cacciatore, and bread and butter pudding – butter is an everyday luxury that adds a mellow sweetness to these comforting dishes

We are never without butter at home, as essential to us as dried oregano, garlic, tomato sauce, capers and olive oil. My wife has been known to melt a pat of Jersey butter for flapjacks, and my children eat it like cheese on the endless rounds of toast they clamour for each morning. Everyday luxury.

Butter is a staple of northern Italian cooking, used much more than in the south. Historically the fat of choice for the wealthy, its rich, mellow sweetness is in the elevated fine pasta served with white truffles, and also crucial in risotto. What is poetically described by Elizabeth David as “a walnut of butter”, added towards the end of something home-cooked with everyday ingredients, makes it the hug one needs at this time of year.

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