There’s a cracking Italian deli on the most nondescript road in Islington. Saponara is almost forbiddingly dark but the staff are welcoming and friendly and, well, Italian. Their range of produce is broad for such a cosy little place, and they even deliver via this website, which also, as it happens, delivers gear from Frank Godfrey, La Fromagerie, Ottolenghi, and Paul. A. Young, among others. Oh, and on Fridays and Saturday nights they do pizzas.
I procured some chilli and fennel sausage which was good and fiery for this weather, and a gorgeous ciabatta. With some borlotti sitting at home it made a fine lunch.
Fennel and chilli sausage
A glug of red wine
A tin of borlotti beans
A squirt of tomato puree
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Half a clove of garlic
Salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil
– Roll the length of sausage into a sort of snail shell and fry for 8-10 minutes on each side in a lightly oiled frying pan. You might skewer it for control but it’s not essential. For the last few minutes of cooking, add a glug of red wine and let that reduce right down, before setting the pan aside.
– Meanwhile, drain the borlotti beans and add to a small saucepan with the tomato puree and vinegar, and season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
– Toast the bread and rub with the garlic, before topping with beans. Hack up the sausage and bung this on top, before grating over some pecorino, scattering on a handful of chopped parsley and finishing with a flick of olive oil. Serve immediately, natch.
23 Prebend Street,
0207 226 2771