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I don't know if you know this, but I love to cook. Like, love to the point where I'm not allowed in the kitchen during exam season because it's too distracting. I suspect that it's got something to do with the fact that I love to eat, and if you want to eat food that you like, it tends to help if you know how to make it.

The real challenge with cooking isn't really the actual cooking - that's the easy part. No, the hard part is finding something to cook. The problem is that I have a device with internet access, and that means I have access to a virtually infinite recipe pool with recipes of widely varying quality. My solution to all this is to find people - YouTube chefs, writers - whose recipes tend to turn out well. Of all the recipes I've pulled off the internet, though, my favourite has to be this one seriously excessive bruschetta recipe from Gennaro Contaldo.

Generic bruschetta for copyright reasons

The recipe is from a video on YouTube, and unfortunately, the actual measures that are used in the video aren't available. There isn't even a text recipe. Naturally, this annoyed me no end, so I sat down with the video and a notes app and transcribed the recipe, eyeballing the amounts when they weren't mentioned. I don't know if it's as good as the original, but here's the way I do it:


6 slices of sourdough/baguette
12 large basil leaves
1 clove garlic

Roast tomatoes:

200g cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 chilli, sliced thinly
10-12 leaves fresh oregano, finely diced
1tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1/4tsp pepper

Cheese mixture:

25g ricotta
60g fresh buffalo mozzarella
1tbsp buffala liquid
1/8tsp pepper

Sun-dried tomato paste:

75g sun-dried tomatoes
pinch of salt
1/8tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp vinegar
2tbsp olive oil


Cheese mixture: 

1. Cream the buffalo mozzarella and the buffala liquid into a paste.
2. Add the ricotta, and pepper. Mix again.

Roast tomatoes:

1. Take the stems off the cherry tomatoes and spread them evenly on a baking tray.
2. Add the garlic, oregano, chilli, salt and pepper to the tomatoes.
3. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, then put them in an oven at 220C for 5-8 minutes - long enough that the tomatoes become black in places.

Sun-dried tomato paste:

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until you get a smooth paste

Building the bruschetta:

1. Toast the bread slices on a griddle pan, then rub them with a clove of garlic.
2. Drizzle olive oil on the bread.  Spread a teaspoon of sun-dried tomato paste on, then the cheese mixture. Place a couple of basil leaves on top, then the roasted tomatoes.

I know,  it seems more than a little excessive. Three types of cheese? Cherry tomatoes? Definitely not worth the effort, right? The funny thing, though, is that it is. For the hour and a half of work this takes to make, you get the most divine bruschetta you'll ever eat. The cherry tomatoes are almost sweet, and the chilli and basil absolutely make it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go convince Mom to let me make dinner...

P.S. For anyone that's interested, here's the original video:


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