Then we had the ravioli - the ricotta and spinach ones with tomato sauce, and the pumpkin ones with butter and sage sauce.
Last came my contribution, the tiramisu. I made it by combining Claudia Roden's recipe with the one used by my lovely deli man, Tony Gamboni. This gives six generous servings.
12 sponge fingers
2 tablespoons rum
50 ml strong black coffee
(You can use more rum and more coffee - it depends on how soggy and alcoholic you want your sponge fingers to be. Tony doesn't put any rum in his, but I like the flavour.)
Mix rum with coffee. Lay sponge fingers flat in one large shallow dish or individual dishes (2 fingers each). Sprinkle them with the liquid and set aside.
2 medium eggs, separated
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons marsala
250g carton of mascarpone
75-100g dark bitter chocolate (Whittaker's Dark Ghana 72% is good)
Put half a small saucepan-full of water on to boil. Beat egg yolks with the sugar and marsala in a metal bowl or another small saucepan that will fit over the water. Stand the bowl or saucepan over the gently boiling water and continue beating until the mixture becomes pale and thick.
Set this aside and beat the egg whites until soft but not dry. Fold the yolk mixture into the mascarpone, then fold in the egg whites. Whip the cream till it forms soft peaks and fold it in too. Spoon this mixture over the sponge fingers.
Pulverise the chocolate to fine dust in a food processor or blender (watch it - I did it for too long and it turned back into a lumpy mass). Sprinkle chocolate over the creamy mascarpone. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Take out of the fridge and leave in a cool place an hour before serving (otherwise it will be too cold to taste properly). Ecco!