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June is one of my favourite months to entertain, and whenever I think of summer, I think of Italy. My menu this month features two of my favourite Italian ingredients: mozzarella and pasta. A vibrant platter of charred peppers, creamy mozzarella and punchy anchovy chilli breadcrumbs is where supper begins, with an indulgent yet zesty crab spaghetti to follow.
I often shy away from cooking over the hob during the summer as I prefer to spend time sipping rosé in the sunshine with my guests, but this pasta takes such little time to prepare you’ll barely be gone. The ‘sauce’ (if you can call it that) cooks as the pasta does, and the whole thing comes together in about ten minutes. I love to serve this in a big platter and let everyone help themselves. Not only does it save you time, it means everyone gets their spaghetti still warm.
Strawberries are at their best during June and are the true stars of this pudding. I love to soak them in a little amaretto for a boozy almond kick and serve them alongside a big bowl of chewy almond meringues and whipped mascarpone.
A glass of riesling is particularly good with this and works wonderfully with the hint of chilli in the peppers and crab spaghetti. I’ve been enjoying this one a lot recently.
Discover Alexandra's Menu...
Roasted Pepper With Mozzarella & Anchovy Chilli Breadcrumbs
I’ve been making this for years. It’s a recipe that tastes of summer whatever the weather. Anchovy and chilli are an iconic duo and add a wonderful hit of umami flavour to the crunchy breadcrumbs. My best tip would be to tear the mozzarella as opposed to slicing it. The texture is much more enjoyable this way and it looks better too.
Crab Spaghetti With Chilli, Parsley & Lemon
This is a wonderful dish that manages to be both light and indulgent at the same time – perfect for a summer party. The darker crab meat adds a beautiful richness to the sauce which is then lifted with lots of fresh parsley and lemon. I love to serve this on a large platter brought to the table and let everyone help themselves.
Almond Meringues With Whipped Mascarpone & Amaretto Strawberries
This is one of my favourite summer puddings – a take on an Eton mess with the influence of Italian amaretto. Almonds are folded through the meringue giving them a deliciously chewy and nutty texture. It is essential to grind (or even chop) the almonds yourself – ready ground almonds will not deliver the same texture and often lack in flavour. Make the meringues ahead of time if you like. They will keep for two weeks in an air-tight container.
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