Monthly Archives: July 2010

Frittata con le zucchine – Italian omelette with courgettes

Recipe 55: I’m still in holiday in the north of Italy and everyday here we go walking around the mountains and we always use to bring with us some sandwiches to have lunch out. So i decided to post this recipe because it was a must when I was little , the classic “frittata”.

This is something super easy that you can serve as a starter,  or as a light dish with some salad or vegetable, but especially you can put in the bread for a nice sandwich. I used to love it and it was my classic sandwich every time I was going around with the school, so I couldn’t resist preparing it again here too.

Ingredients for 3 people: you can use 4 or 5 eggs, one little spoon of Parmesan per person, pepper, salt olive oil and than you can choose to use 1 big courgette or also just with onion is good.

Cut the onion or the courgette in very little slices and place them in a pan to cook with some olive oil. In the meantime put some eggs in a container with some Parmesan, salt, pepper. Mix everything and when the courgettes will be soft, add the mix in the pan and leave it to cook on a low fire.

Cover with a tap to let it cook also on the top and after a bit, when quite cook at the base, try to turn it. You can use a flat tap so will be easier to turn it or just use some wooden fork or spoon.

Let it cook a bit also on the other side and then serve it in a plate or just cut a slice to make a nice and rich sandwich. If you can have it a focaccia bread it’s going to be amazing!

PS. Mamy sono brava anche io a fare la frittata di zucchine eh??? T’e’ piaciuta vero? Comunque il trucco del coperchio proprio non lo sapevo!

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Fettine alla pizzaiola – pizzaiola meat? (-26weeks)

Recipe 56: on Saturday I left Spain to comeback in Italy and I’m in the mountains at the moment. Here is my mum the chef, but because I didn’t try this dish yet and we wanted to have a simple meat for dinner, I decided to cook the Carne alla Pizzaiola, or Pizzaiola Meat.

This dish is super quick and easy and the ingredients are: 150gr of  beef (cut in thin slices) per person,  origan, tomatoes sauce, garlic, olive oil and salt. Nothing more.

The dish is called pizzaiola I suppose because uses tomatoes and origan like on a pizza and the taste it’s really nice. It’s also a perfect dish to give a little twist to boring meals.

Place some olive oil in a pan and add some garlic in powder or in cloves. When this are goldish you can take them out and you can add some tomatoes sauce or passata.

When the sauce it’s hot, place the meat in the pan and let it cook in the sauce on a low fire. Then add some origan and let it cook turning often the slices of meat.

In a bit the sauce will take a deeper color and when the  meat will be totally cook, you can serve it in a plate adding some of the sauce and a pinch of salt on the top. Don’t forget to have some bread too with you and enjoy!

PS. Mamy questa volta niente messaggio per te vista la vicinanza! alla prossima!

Insalata di riso – Rice salad

Recipe 57: I’m in holiday in these days so it’s very difficult to update the blog and not just for the  internet connection, hard to find or very slow, but especially because I was and I’m still with very good chefs. I tried to cook a bit, but amazed by my mum dishes and my friends capabilities, I couldn’t bother to cook some of my recipes.

In Spain the only one I tried was the Insalata di riso or Rice salad, fresh, easy, and perfect to use all the food left in the fridge. The only thing that really matter is the time of cooking of the rice. If you are good with that, the dish will be a success.

Ingredients: rice,  pitted olives (green or black it’s the same), cherry tomatoes, Frankfurt or ham, emmethal, eggs, mais, pies, cappers, or whatever else you like.

For this recipe I have asked to everyone the secret they use to cook the rice and there are 2000 different theories. I tried one, but I wasn’t happy neither with that, so I will give you my mum’s solution:

Put some water to boil with salt and then add around 50 gr of rice per person.  Let the rice cook but try it often, I wouldn’t leave it there for more than 10 minutes. You need to drain it when “al dente”. That’s really important. So if on the bag it says 15 minutes, try it at 10 and remember that it will finish to cook a bit outside too. If instead the rice is already perfect, pass it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In the meantime, boil also some egg, cut some emmenthal cheese, ham or Frankfurt, olives, cappers, peppers or cherry tomatoes if you want, mais and if you can, boil also some pies. I love them in this salad.

When the rice is ready and all these ingredients are cut in pieces, add some oil to the rice and all the ingredients, mixing very well. My mum doesn’t use to add anything else to it, maybe just a bit of salt and pepper, but all the ingredients will give the taste to the rice.

Serve in a plate and Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy con la cottura del riso sono una vera tragedia…mi viene sempre extra cotto! Argh! ho provato anche con un misurino di riso e 3 di acqua e nulla, alla fine era un pappone. La prossima volta mi ci metto proprio con attenzione, e vediamo se al prossimo pic nic saro’ piu’ fortunata! Meglio i risotti del riso semplice! uffa!

Spaghetti alla Gricia (-27 weeks)

Recipe 58: This recipe doesn’t need a translation…you just need to call it like this! It’s a must of the roman tradition and if you go in Rome, you will see this pasta in the most of the restaurants. With the carbonara and the amatriciana this is another classic!

Ingredients 2 people: 200gr spaghetti, 100gr pancetta (but if you find the guanciale is better), 50 gr Pecorino (absolutely use just pecorino), some salt, balck pepper and a just a little bit of milk.

Also this recipe it’s really quick and easy. It’s basically a carbonara without eggs and all the taste comes from the amazing fresh ingredients. You don’t need to be a chef to make a good one!

Put some water to boil with salt and in the meantime cut the pancetta in very thin slices or pieces. When the water boils, add the spaghetti and place the pancetta to cook in a hot pan without any oil or butter. The pancetta is already quite greasy so it won’t need any other thing to cook.

When the spaghetti are cooked “al dente” (so one minute before the real time), drain them and add them to the pan with the pancetta. In the meantime in a bowl add just a little bit of milk to half of the pecorino and mix in a way to create almost a cream. Add this to the pasta and the pancetta and mix until the pecorino melts totally! the secret of this pasta is all here!!!

Now just serve it in a plate with some other pecorino on top and a good quantity of freshly grated black papper! Yummy!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy come poteva mancare sul mio blog una bella Gricia! Veramente l’apoteosi! Sto tentando di svuotare il frigo prima della partenza e avevo proprio questi 100gr di pancetta e ancora un po’ di pecorino e visto che era pure domenica, ho pensato che un bel piatto di pasta ci stava tutto! Che te ne pare?

Caramelle salate – salty little candies (-6 kg!!!)

Recipe 59: This is a classic of my mum’s dinners with guests. It’s something she used to do very often when i was little because it’s a very easy starter but really good and everyone like it. She call them the salty candies o caramelle satate!

Ingredients for 4 people: Buy some puff pastry or brick leaf (you can find this in Waitrose), 2-3 frankfurters, one mozzarella, 1 egg and some olive oil.

The preparation it’s very very easy: just stretch the puff pastry until very thin and cut it in squares. If you are using the brick leaf instead you will need to double each of them and cut it in some big pieces.

Then cut the frankfurt and the mozzarella in pieces and put one of each in the little pastry squares or brick leaf. Using the pastry you will be able to close them exactly like a classic candy and they will look really nice. If you are instead using the brick leaf you will need to close it like little sack and you will need a tooth peak for each.

Once ready, place them in a baking pan and pour on the top some olive oil or, if you have a brush, you could apply some egg. This is very important especially when you use the puff pastry, because it will be the final nice color to the candies.

Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 but check it often just to don’t make them burn. Serve it without stick if you can take it away and enjoy!

These instead are the ones made with puff pastry!

And now, after the recipe i give you a little update before the holidays: i have reached – 6kg and this thanks to some alcohol free weekends, after lots of weeks of parties, and thanks to a bit of sport more. I mean i needed to, considering i will comeback in Italy for 2 weeks and there will be really hard to don’t fell in temptation with the food. So let’s hope it’s not going to be a massive disaster otherwise i won’t be able to lose other 4 kg before january!

PS. Mamy te le ricordi le caramelle! queste sono sempre state una delle mie ricette di punta! facile rapide e che piacciono a tutte. Avevamo un po’ di questi fogli di pasta sfoglia a casa e ho pensato di fare questi sacchettini, visto che la vera forma di caramella non tiene con questi. E visto che non avevo uova le ho spennelate con un pochino di olio e son venute bene! ah sono scesa un altro kg, giusto in tempo per le abbuffate campigliesche! Speriamo bene! Ci vediamo tra pochissimo!

Orecchiette peperoni e mozzarella – peppers and mozzarella pasta (-28 weeks)

Recipe 60: Do you have friends coming at the last moment, or you just want a quick and nice recipe for your dinner? Here is one i tried last week. I came back home quite late and i wanted something quick to prepare but tasty, so i opened the fridge and i found some peppers and mozzarella… so here it is!

Ingredients for 2 people : 200gr of short pasta (i used the orecchiette because they can maintain well the sauce and the little pieces of ingredients, thanks to their shape), one pepper, olive oil, one mozzarella (if you have buffalo mozzarella it’s even better or you can use just cream), basil, Parmesan, a garlic clove and cherry tomatoes if you like.

Now i will give you 3 different ideas to make pasta with peppers:

The first one is the easiest one. Just cut the pepper in little pieces, put some oil in a pan and let cook a clove of garlic in it. When goldish take it out and put the peppers to cook. In the meantime boil some water with salt for the pasta and cut the mozzarella in little pieces. When the pepper is soft and well cooked, add some mozzarella and let it melt. When the pasta is ready just add this to the pan with pepper, mozzarella and oil and let it take all the sauce. Serve it in a plate with Parmesan and the dish is ready!

The second option is to put some cherry tomatoes with the pepper and the oil in the pan and some basil leaves and let it cook. Then you can add the pasta, while you will put the buffalo mozzarella and other basil leaves just on top, fresh and tasty, without not even Parmesan. This is a bit more exclusive and summery!

Finally another sauce that i love it’s with peppers and cream, so exactly the same procedure than before, but instead than mozzarella you put a bit of cream in the pan and you add the pasta. I would serve it with some Parmesan too, But i advise you this is better in winter considering the cream it’s quite heavy.

So which one do you prefer?

PS. Mamy questa ricetta l’ho fatta rapida rapida con cio’ che ho trovato nel frigorifero, ma ti diro’ che l’accostamento con le orecchiette ci stava benissimo. Certo ad averci la mozzarella di bufala sarebbe stato diverso, ma tutto questo formaggio che filava con i peperoni, non e’ male per niente!

Torta ricotta e cioccolato – Ricotta and chocolate cake

Recipe 61: Another special party was organized this week in my house.I had a guest from very far away so i needed to serve my best dishes but i didn’t want to renounce to try also a new recipe. So the menu was violet spaghetti, crostata di frutta and i made this kind of italian cheesecake too.

Ingredients: for the pasta frolla 300gr flour – 150gr sugar – 150 gr butter (very cold) – a pinch of salt – 2 egg yolks – a bit of milk. For the cream: 400gr ricotta, 150gr chocolate chips, some cinnamon, 150gr sugar, 2 eggs.

Let’s start from the pasta frolla: put the flour, the sugar, the butter in pieces and a pinch of salt all in a big bowl. Mix everything with your hands and you will see the ingredients will become a kind of powder like in picture 2. At this point add 2 eggs yolk and mix again trying to create a ball. If the ingredients seems still to divided add a little bit of milk. This will help to mix and keep together the “powder”.

When the ball is ready put it in the fridge for at least half an hour. In this way the butter will become hard again making the ball more hard and then easier to roll it out. In the meantime put some baking paper in the baking pan or simply some butter on all the baking pan surface and then cover it with flour to don’t make the cake stick to the pan.

Take then the ball out of the fridge and cut a quarter of it putting it in a side for later. Roll the rest out until you reach a round layer of pasta frolla. Put this in the pan and give it the form of the pan. This will be the base of the cake so it needs to be quite thin and the border quite high to keep the filling we will prepare. Once it is done, use a fork to create little holes in all the pasta. In this way it will cook without create bubbles.

Let’s now create the filling: take the 400gr ricotta and mix it with 150gr of sugar and some cinnamon powder. I used to love the taste of this 3 ingredients together… my mum used to give me this for breakfast on the bread when i was little! It’s just one of this nice taste you remember from your childhood…simple but amazing!

To know how much cinnamon you will need to put, just try it a bit. i think it depends by your taste. When ready, just add one whole egg and 150 gr of chocolate chips. Mix everything very well and then just pour it in the cake!

Now you will need to use the pasta you left in a side before and create some little lines to put on the cake. I don’t know if you used to play with plasticine when little … this needs to be worked in the same way. Cut little pieces of pasta and create little “snakes” that you will place on the top of the filling fixing it on the borders. Follow the design on the pictures and then just put it in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degree.

When ready the cake will appear like this!

Now take a plate and enjoy!

PS. Bene sei contenta??? finalmente ho trovato la ricotta ed eccoti accontentata. Mamy mi sbaglio o tu la coprivi tutta la torta invece di farci le losanghe? e questa non e; anche la torta preferita di zio Nicola? E’ piaciuta un sacco a tutti specialemnte perche’ ho messo le gocce di cioccolata invece dell’uvetta ed i canditi (Bleah!). Forse pero’ e’ meglio in inverno visto al pesantezza :)!