In case you hadn't noticed, my husband is Italian. No, excuse me, he is Florentine. As if being Italian isn't exotic enough!
His father's side of his family are all still based in the centre of Florence, in the same place Leo grew up; playing football under the Loggia, running in and out of the family antique shop and asking for 200Lire to spend on little snacks in the pasticcerie (or more likely, the pinball machines).
There are certain traditions that occur each time we travel to Italy now.
The plane must always be delayed by one hour, it will always rain when we visit in May and we must go to Nencioni's for Salatini.
Salatini are very simply little filled puff pastry rounds. Our favourite way to have them is just with mozzarella, but Nencioni's also sell them with mozzarella and artichoke, ham and tomato, and anchovy.
A word of warning, one is absolutely never enough. Thank goodness this recipe makes ten!
1kg all butter puff pastry
100g mozzarella, sliced into 10g pieces
25g melted butter
Extra flour for rolling out
Preheat overn to gas mark 5, 190C and line a baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thickness.
Cut out 20 6-7cm circles and place half of them onto the baking tray, minimum 2cm apart.
Brush each pastry disk on the baking tray with some of the melted butter. Place a slice of mozzarella in the centre of each one.
Place the remaining pastry lids on top and press down to seal each one. If making the salatini in advance, be sure to put them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Brush the tops with the remaining butter.
Put in the oven and cook for 20-25mins until puffed up, golden and crisp.
Eat within 15 minutes of taking them out of the oven.