Monthly Archives: September 2010

Suppli di Nonna “Zia Pina” – Unforgettable!

Recipe 37: This is a very sad day for me. Today it’s exactly one month that one of my favourite person in my family left us all. She was just great, with her personality, with her hard mind and massive humor, she was clever, strong… let’s say just special and really unique! She was Zia Pina, as everyone use to call her like if it was a real name, and in our family she was also the master of the suppli. Every party and big occasion wasn’t the same without her suppli!

Thanks God i could have her recipe, that for me is almost gold, and i have cooked them today in her memory! Also if it’s not directly ones of my mum’s, this is the official suppli recipe in our family. Nothing to compare with the ones she used to make, but i can tell you they were amazing. I will miss her, but i will always think about her especially cooking her delicious dish!

Ingredients for around 20 suppli: 250 gr rice, 1 mozzarella (125gr), 2 eggs, some grated parmesan cheese, 2 vegetable stock, olive oil and seeds oil to fry, bread crumb. In the rice you will need some RAGU’ SAUCE for which you will need: 100gr of mince beef, 250-300gr passata of tomatoes, 1 carrot, 1 celery, parsley, onion, salt, pepper.

Start preparing the ragu’ following this recipe but the right dosis of ingredients for the suppli are above (the sauce needs to be a bit lighter) and let it cook at low fire for 30minute/1 hour.


Then prepare the rice. There are 2 systems. You can put the rice in a saucepan with lots of water and 2 vegetable cubes for some minutes. When boil, start to try the rice until cooked and then drain it. Add the ragu and some Parmesan and  let it cool down.
Or you can put some rice in a sauce pan let it toast for a bit add some white wine and when evaporated start to had some boilong water previously prepared with the 2 vegetable stocks. Keep on adding water and wait for it to evaporate. When the rice seems almost ready add the ragu’ and finish to cook. When ready place it in a low and big recipient and wait for it to cool down. You can even place it in the fridge.

When cold add 2 whole eggs, some grated Parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella in pieces and mix it all.
Now prepare a plate with some bread crumbs and prepare the balls of rice. I prefer them quite little but they can also be a bit longer if you want. Pass them in the bread crumbs and leave them on a plate.
Put some seeds oil in a sauce pan not to big and let it boil. This oil is more adeguate to fry because lighter, but when needed (after having fried few suppli) you will need to add some more oil and you can mix it with the normal extra virgin one. When ready place the rice ball in it and let them become goldish then turn them and when all crunchy and colored, take them out. Place them on a plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
After few minute you can serve it! If they are still quite warm, opening them  the mozzarella will create some delicious filaments that let us call this dish “suppli al telefono” or at the phone. This is normally a starter or served with some vegetable it’s a perfect one dish meal.

Buon appetito!

Ps. Mamy hai visto che sono riuscita a fare I suppli di zia Pina in tempo per l’anniversario? Era il mio piccolo pensiero per lei anche da me che sono cosi lontana! Ci tenevo proprio tanto! Sono venuti buonissimi, niente a che vedere con quelli che compri… ma i suoi erano imbattibili!

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Pears and cheese salad – Insalata di pere e formaggio (-17 weeks)

Recipe 38: It’s definitely autumn… at least in London and i started to see lots of new products in the supermarkets: the ones i prefer the most for this season are the juicy and super sweet pears and the walnuts. I couldn’t resist to buy them right now and i thought about this recipe that i really like. Sweet and salty mix are just the best!

Ingredients for 2 people: You will need some rocket…a little bag is enough, 1 pear quite big, some pecorino, some walnuts, oil, balsamic vinegar and i like also a bit of honey on it!

So it’s very easy: just wash the rucola and place it on a plate, take off the skin of one pear, cut it in little pieces or slices, add some crushed walnuts and some salty cheese like the pecorino. I prefer it in pieces or slices but not grated for the salad.

Then mix in a bawl some oil (2-3 spoons) and some balsamic vinegar (this depends by the taste). If you like the honey you can try to add a bit now in the mix or just at the end on top. I didn’t add any salt… i prefer to taste the salt of the cheese.

And to end this quick post, i leave you here a famous said we use in italy: “Al contadino non far sapere quant’e’ buono il cacio con le pere” that means literally “Don’t say to the farmer how much is good the cacio with the pears”… don’t ask me why! However because the cacio here is something very hard to find i thought the pecorino was a good substitute as well!

ENJOY!

PS. So che tu in verita’ non sei proprio un’amante di questi sapori cosi differenti, ma mi sembra piacesse anche a te il formaggio con il miele. Questa e’ la mia scusa per avere un piatto in cui poter accostare questi sapori… senza danneggiare troppo i kili persi!

Fagioloni al sugo – Runner beans with tomatoes sauce

Recipe 39: Today i have cooked a very old and healthy recipe from my grandmother. It’s very easy as usual but these vegetables are a perfect solution to change the routine in your meals.

I just found these beans at the supermarket, and i thought to cook this dish that is a long time i don’t eat, so here are the ingredients: around 300 gr big beans or runner beans as they call them here, 200gr passata of tomatoes (i suggest you Cirio one), half an onion, some salt and chili. That’s all!

Wash the beans, take off the ends and the filament from side to side. Then boil them for 10-15 minutes in salty hot water while in the meantime you will prepare the sauce.

Put some oil in a pan with the chopped half onion and wait for the onion to get a bit colorful. Then add the passata of tomatoes with a bit of chili. Let it cook and when the beans are ready, drain them and pass them in the pan.

Let them in the pan a bit, just the time to absorb a bit of the sauce and serve them hot! Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy chissa’ se mi sono venuti come te li faceva nonna! Secondo i miei in Italia pure i fagioloni hanno piu’ sapore, comunque buonissimi…me li sono proprio goduti!

Tilt birthday cake: pan di spagna, fragole e rabarbaro (-18 weeks)

Recipe 40: It’s already one year I’m writing on this blog. I cooked lots of recipe,100 with this one to be precise and others will come soon. Lots of dinners with friends have been organized and my little tilt project has grown up and made me enjoy lots of nights and days. Here is the cake I have prepared to celebrate this day that I wasn’t  thinking could have arrived so quickly! This is my master cake! I’m very proud of it.

It was a long time I wanted to do a cake like this, like the ones in the shops or in TV and it came out great! I used the Pan di Spagna recipe from my mum and then I invented the filling and the cream to cover it.

And here are the ingredients i used:

Pan di Spagna:  4 eggs, 200gr flour and 200gr sugar, 1 spoon of baking powder. For the cream: 400 gr rhubarb and 300gr strawberries, 60 gr sugar and the cream (that you can find here). For the cover: I just used 100 gr of white chocolate and 300 gr of cream to whip up.

Start the preparation from the sponge: mix the egg yolks with the sugar, then add the flower mixing one spoon of baking powder too and the egg whites whipped up! Mix it all and place it in a baking pan and in a pre-hot oven at around 200 degree for 20-30 minutes. Then start to check the color and when it seems ready, try to insert a toothpick in it. If it come out dry, the cake is ready, otherwise leave it in the oven for longer.

While the cake is in the oven prepare the filling: wash and cut the strawberry and the rhubarb! This you will need to clean it like celery, taking off all the filaments. Then place everything in a sauce pan with the sugar, mix and wait for the sugar to melt and the fruit to let their water out. This will become almost a jam, so when everything is well mixed and melted, take it of the fire.

Then prepare the cream. In this xcase I just use 1 egg,  50gr sugar, a spoon of flour and 200grof milk because I thought it was going to be enough. When ready mix it with the jam and the filling is done! Take the cake out of the oven and try to cut it in three slices. At this point put the cream between the layers and close with the top of the sponge.

For the cream to cover it, place a sauce pan with boiling water on the fire and place in it another little sauce pan with the chocolate . In this way the chocolate will melt without stick or burn. Whip up the cream and then add the melted chocolate. Cover with this all the cake and add some strawberries on the top.

The cake is ready!

Happy birthday TILT!

Ps. Mamy pretendo tu faccia gli auguri al tuo piccolo figlio TILT PROJECT.  Alla fine senza le tue ricette non esisterebbe! Grazie per tutti questi bei piatti Mamy!

Melon and ham starter… to say goodbye to the summer!

Recipe 41: And here we are again, the autumn is approaching and i have just realized in my blog was missing a massive italian classic: the lovely taste of melon and ham together! I have to say thanks to Waitrose for this, because today they had the most amazing and smelly melons in display and i couldn’t resist…so i thought about this recipe.

Ingredient: as you probably can already imagine you will just need a good melon and some Parma ham. I have also added some black pitted olives (that i think goes really well with it) and some salad.

Clean the melon from the skin and the pulp, cut it in slices and then in pieces. Cover them with parma ham, a salad leave and add a pitted black olive. Buon appetito!

Because the recipe it’s to easy i will also share with you the secret to choose a perfect melon: to be good and juicy, you need to be able to smell the sweet odor from the top or the bottom of the fruit. Basically you need to really smell them one by one until you find the stronger sweet smell! That will be yours!

PS. Mamy oggi proprio sul classicissimo. Sono andata al supermercato e per la prima volta ho sentito un forte odore di melone. Qui e’ rarissimo, visto che la frutta non ha sapore! Insomma non potevo non concedermi un ultimo saluto all’estate con melone e prosciutto! Poi con le olive nere per me e’ ancora meglio!

Pomodori ripieni – Rice filled tomatoes

Recipe 42: This recipe is something i needed to cook now, before was too late. The rice filled tomatoes it’s another classic summery dish and i wasn’t really a big fun of it, until i tried them again this time. I have to say i did them REALLY well! I was impressed. My mum of course used to do them often because it’s a one dish meal and for the summer it’s really practical and easy.

The ingredients are : the biggest tomatoes you can find and i would consider at least 2 per person (i’m sorry but here in London the tomatoes are all quite little), one spoon rice for tomatoes, some salt, basil, flat leaves parsley, pepper and olive oil.

Wash the tomatoes and cut the top of them. Take off the interior and place it in a bowl. Then cut the pulp and mix it with parsley and basil finely chopped. Add some salt, pepper and the spoon of rice you will need for all the tomatoes. Mix it well and fullfill the tomatoes.

At this point, try to add in each of them some of the liquid from the tomatoes you put in a side at the beginning… but don’t add the seeds. Turn on the oven at around 180 degrees and place the tomatoes on a baking pan with baking paper or oil to don’t make stick to the pan. The rice will need this sauce to cook!

Let them in the oven for at least 20 minutes and then try some rice to see if it’s ready. Probably it will be still hard, so add other tomato sauce you have in a side and maybe a bit more oil.  Put them again in the oven until ready!

Serve it hot or at a warm temperature. They are good also cold from the fridge but i prefer them a bit warm. Enjoy!

PS. Mamma con tutto il prezzemolo, basilico, sale e pepe che c’ho messo, sono venuti troppo buoni! ed io che non ne andavo pazza per niente penso che li cucinero’ piu’ spesso…o forse e’ solo il fatto che non li mangio da una vita!

After summer update: -19 weeks and still -6kg

And also this summer has passed and it was great! Lots of little trips and lots of different food: from home made dishes in Costa Brava with some tapas here and there, to the amazing food in the mountains, with polenta and nice cakes, to greek dishes in the Cyclades Islands, with lots of fish and the fantastic yogurt to finally the aperivi in Turin and Milan, where I was for work but where I have enjoyed a lot the nights too.

So now let’s come back to the reality and let’s check the weight!!!! That was my worst nightmare during the summer…but still it didn’t stop me from eating and enjoying the holidays.

Now it’s time to take back a bit of the classic routine also in the kitchen, with salad for lunch and meat or fish with vegatable for dinner! Yes I need it! Some depuration it’s always good at some point, especially if in these monts the weight went a bit up and down!

Before to leave for the holidays I arrived to loose 6 kilos, but coming back from Greece I had 2 kilos more and the work trip in Turin and Milan wasn’t exactly what I was looking for to comeback in track.

Instead also with aperitif and having light lunches out, it seems I could loose again my 2 kilos… And this is weird! Maybe it happened for the amount of work I had to do and a bit of rush and stress that finally help to burn calories! Or is it just the effect of a missing fisical activity that make my mussels weight less??

For the moment I don’t know but tomorrow I will start again the gym too and we will see! Fingers crossed for the challenge and lots of moral support to everyone is trying to comeback in the routine like me 🙂

PS. Mamy e se la Grecia e l’estate mi avevano messo addosso i suoi bei 2-3 kiletti, ci credi che m’e’ bastato andare a letto senza cena due serate (non per mia volonta’ ma per disguidi con i supermercati e gli hotel Milanesi) per riperdere tutto! Menomale! Lo vedi che alla fine anche il lavoro ha i suoi lati positivi? 🙂