Category Archives: sauces

Mousse di mele – Apple mousse with zabaione

Recipe 3:  when my mum did this dessert for the first time i was amused by the fact that was so good but not massively heavy. Being based on apple this is the perfect dessert after a quite heavy dinner with lots of courses.

Ingredients for 6 people: 1 kg. of  Golden apples, limon zest, 4ooml whip cream, 100 gr. of sugar. For the Zabaione: 3 eggs, 6 spoons of sugar and 100gr of whip cream, some spoons of Marsala or porto wine and cinnamon.

Start the preparation cutting all the apples in little pieces, taking of the skin e put them to cook with 2 spoons of  water, some lemon zest and the sugar. Leave it there until soft and keep on mixing until dry but take care to don’t let them stick to the pan. Add some more water if needed.

Let them cool down and pass all in a mixer. Then whip the cream and add it to the apple mix to create the mousse. When ready, just place it in the fridge.

Now you need to prepare the Zabaione :  Mix 3 egg yolks with sugar until creating a creme, add some marsala or porto wine and cook putting the recipient in another saucepan full of hot water and on the fire. We call this way to cook “bagno maria” so the fire is not in direct contact with the ingredients but they get cooked by the hot water.

Mix until getting thick and when ready leave it in a side to cool down. Then add the whipped cream and put in the fridge on top of the apple mousse.
Serve with some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

While the apples mix can be prepared the day before and put it in the fridge, the zabaione need to be prepared the same day that you are going to serve it and placed on top of the mousse and in the fridge. In this way, this recipe it’s perfect when you have guests and you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen or fight with the oven!

PS. Mamy, questo dessert ha battuto ogni aspettativa…anche da parte mia! a me che non piace molto lo zabaione, il misto con la mousse di mele e’ sembrato meraviglioso. Insomma addirittura meglio di cio’ che ricordassi! Buonissimo…io c’ho pure aggiunto una spruzzata di cannella all fine!

Pesto fatto in casa – Homemade Pesto

Recipe 5: Another famous recipe of my mum, and very common in every italian house is the homemade pesto. What is better than the fresh smell of basil, pine nuts and parmesan all mixed together? And pasta with home made pesto it’s just another thing. My mum never buy the already made, but instead she uses to do pesto and frozen it in little containers to have it for all the winter.

Here the ingredients for 5 people: 70 gr. basil,  half a glass of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 garlic cloves , 3 spoons of pine nuts, 3 spoons of Parmesan, 1 spoon of Pecorino cheese and a bit of gritty salt. Of course the pasta will be around 500 gr. better if the shape is “trofie”.

The procedure is quite easy, but to be traditional, you will need a marble mortar and a wooden pestle. This because instead to chop the leaves you will need to crush them to have the leaves’ oil necessary for the sauce. Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a paper towel. Don’t squeeze them.

Then crush in the mortar the garlic clove the pine nuts and the basil leaves, add  the salt, the Parmesan, the Pecorino cheese and keep pounding using a light circular movement of the pestle.

Add some of the Extra Virgin Olive from time to time and keep  mixing until  you obtain  a smooth creamy sauce. Pesto should not be greasy and the amount of oil used must be well absorbed and not floating on top.

Trofie and Trenette are the pasta used in Liguria, however linguine or spaghetti al dente will make a good companion to this sauce. Just put some sauce in each plate with sme spoon of water from the boiling pasta and mix. In this way the suace will be more creamy and ready to be mixed well with the pasta.

Just add a sprinkle of Parmesan on top and Buon Appetito!

PS. Mamy che buono! L’ho portato a casa di amici e non sai le facce quando hanno sentito l’odore appena aperta la scatolina! Fantastico e la pasta non ha nulla a che vedere con il pesto pronto! Grazie questa ricetta me la tengo proprio stretta!

Asparagi alla salsa d’uovo – Asparagus with eggs sauce (Product testing)

Recipe 66: Today a quick recipe that i created looking for a way to use the egg yolks left from the previous recipe. So i found this easy and nice sauce, that can be used instead of mayonnaise and that is very good with asparagus… and maybe even a bit lighter!

Ingredients: asparagus, 2 egg yolks, white vinegar, a little spoon of english mustard or two of the dijon mustard, some cappers and finally some spoons of Olive Oil (i used an amazing sicilian extravegin olive oil “274“, thanks to Aprile brothers that i discovered in Identita’ London a festival about the good italian cuisine)

It’s very easy to make this sauce, especially if you have a mixer: while the asparagus are boiling for some minutes in salty hot water, place in the mixer 2 egg yolks, 1 spoon of vinegar, 5 spoons olive oil, a little spoon of mustard, some cappers. Mix it all and try, to know if it’s the case to add some salt and peppers.

When ready, drain the asparagus and place them in the plate with the sauce on the top and i hope you will enjoy them!

PS. Mamy, mi sono scoperta una vera appassionata di asparagi, sara’ per il sapore particolare e delicato … non so, ma per non mangiare sempre le stesse verdure, sono perfetti. E dato che stavo cercando di utilizzare il rosso delle uova che mi era rimasto dal dolce precedente, ho trovato questa salsina che dicono sta particolarmente bene con gli asparagi ed e’ vero! Una specie di mayonese piu’ leggera e saporita!

Salsa di mele – Pork with apple sauce (-41 weeks)

Recipe 85: Always because i’m still trying to eat light an loose the weight tooken in Easter, this week i give you another recipe to eat meat and vegetable with a little twist. This time is even easier than the previous recipe and it’s all about a sauce to serve with turkey or pork: Apple Sauce.

Probably most of you already tried this sweet and sour combination before, but here is my mum’s recipe and i can tell you it’s all a new discovering.

Ingredients for 3 people:  3 apples (i used the golden delicious), 2-3 spoons of sugar, a lemon and some nutmeg.

Wash the three apples, take off the skin, the seed and the center. Cut them in little piece and put them in a saucepan.

Add the sugar, a bit of nutmeg, and the grated zest of half a lemon. Be careful to take just the yellow of the lemon because the white it can be sour.

Mix it all and pour some water, but just enough to cover all the apples. If then this is not enough to cook them well, you can always add more water later. Leave it cook for half an hour on a low fire.

When the apples will be cooked you will be able to mash them and the mix it will reach the consistency of jam. Take everything off the fire and add the juice of half a lemon.

Mix again all and serve it with the meat. The contrast of a very sweet sauce with the salty meat will be perfect.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy ti avevo detto che avevo fatto la salsa e che mi sembrava troppo dolce. Invece poi quando l’abbiamo provata con la carne, non sai che buona! Non stonava per niente cosi dolce. Il contrasto era buonissimo ed il piatto in se’ e’ molto delicato.Proprio cio’ che volevo!

The exchange: Tilt ragu’ for some mince pies!

Recipe 113: and now it’s the time for the RAGU’, also known as Bolognese sauce. It’s a  long time i wanted to cook it but i never found the right occasion. Last day i saw a friend of mine who is a master of the mince pies and i thought we could have a nice Christmas cooking exchange…. some ragu’ for the mincemeat of the classic english mince pies.

The ingredients you need for ragu’ (a quite big quantity) are: 250gr beef mince meat, 250gr pork mince meat, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery, olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, tomatoes sauce  800gr (i used 2 cans of passata) and 2 glasses of red wine. Now the only thing you need to know is that it’s a very easy process but very long too. The sauce need to cook at least 2-3 hours.

First cut the carrot, the celery and the onion in the smallest pieces you can, then put them in a sauce pan with some oil and let everything fry for some minutes. When these are ready and quite cooked, put the 2 types of meat in the saucepan and cook them a bit. When the color starts to change, add 2 glasses of red wine, mix and wait until the wine is evaporated.

Let the meat coook a bit more and then add the tomatoes sauce. I used the tomatoes passata with chopped tomatoes. Add some salt and peppers and then put the pan on the smallest fire you can. At this point you just need to mix sometimes the sauce and add some hot water if  you see it’s getting too thick. You will need to leave the sauce on this fire for more than 2 hours just checking the water and mixing the sauce.

After one hours or so, try a bit of the sauce and add salt, pepper or nutmeg if you think you need it. Wait for the sauce to get darker and a bit dry. After some hours on low low fire, the ragu’ will be ready!

This is my final result !

From the exchange i received a massive container with mincemeat that i used to create an italian version of the mince pies: i have in fact used the pastry that i normally make for the Italian Crostata. You can find it here.

I used a tray for the muffins ( i couldn’t find any mince pies tray), i put the butter and the flour to don’t let the pastry stick to the tray and then i put the mincemeat in the pastry, closing them on the top in the italian way, instead to cover them totally.

I put them in the oven at 160-180 degree for half an hour and i was very pleased with the result! It’s Christmas for sure now!

What do you think?

PS. Mamy ti piacciono queste tortine? sono dei dolcetti tipici inglesi che ho preparato sul modello delle crostate grazie ad un mio amico che mi ha dato gli ingredienti per il ripieno. Insomma ho dovuto solo fare la pasta e riempirla. Abbiamo fatto uno scambio culinario Natalizio: lui mi ha dato questa specie di impasto di mele, uvetta passa e noci cotte con il brandy ed io gli ho preparato un bel barattolone di ragu’! Diciamo uno scambio culturale e natalizio!

Pasta con le noci – Pasta with walnuts sauce

Pasta noci 1

Recipe 132: And because is autumn and starts to be cold, why don’t make pasta with walnuts?

This is not one of the most common italian dishes, but it’s very typical in Liguria, a region in the north of Italy, more famous for the pesto sauce ( i will ask my mum her amazing recipe for this too).

I have to say this is the version my mum use to prepare, but there are many other different versions, with just oil instead of single cream, with a bit of bread and garlic and so on. Because it’s a quite reach sauce and heavy dish, i suggest you to cook not too much pasta or you can also try to substitute the single cream with Ricotta cheese and milk.

However here are the ingredients i used yesterday for 5 people (all from Tesco): 500gr of De Cecco Pasta (i choose short pasta but have to be good also with linguine or meat ravioli) – 200gr walnuts already peeled – 75gr pine nuts – 250gr single cream – majoran – salt – pepper- nutmeg – 50gr butter – Parmesan.

Pasta noci 2

If you have a mixer, you can just put all the ingredients in and create the sauce, otherwise you can put all the walnuts and pine nuts in a dishcloth and smash them with anything you have, heavy and resistant (i used the majoran dispenser).

Then add the single cream and use a “Minipimer” to mix everything better and give consistency to the sauce. If you don’t have it you can also just mix with spoon. Add salt, pepper, a bit of majoran and nutmeg. I can’t tell you how much. This will be something you will have to decide testing the sauce and following your preferences.

pasta noci 3In the meantime cook the pasta in salted water and after the time written on the bag (were 10 minute for me), drain the pasta and add the butter already melted and the walnut sauce.

Serve with Parmesan and a bit of black pepper.

Buon appetito!

PS. Ciao Mamy, ieri e’ venuta a cena Marguerite la mia amica americana che incontro sempre in aereo. Le ho cucinato la pasta con le noci…visto che stiamo in autunno pensavo fosse adeguata ed era cosi tanto tempo che non la mangiavo! L’unico problema e’ che non me l’aspettavo cosi pesante…sara’ che ho fatto dei piatti belli pieni, ma alla fine eravamo sderenate! Comunque per essere buona e’ buona… forse la prossima volta provo a farla con la ricotta invece che con la panna.

Besciamella!

besciamellaRecipe 137: And here i know i will make someone happy!

This is my favourite sauce and, after a long time that i didn’t eat it, i have to say i was really missing it. Ok it’s not the most dietetic sauce you can prepare, but i tried my best using skimmed milk to cook it … and it was really good also like this.

So here are the ingredients:

500 ml of milk (almost 1 pint) – 50 gr of butter – 50 gr of flour – salt – a bit of grated nutmeg.

Put the butter in a pan on a very low fire and then start to add the flour little by little. Mix quietly and start to add also some milk if you see some clots take form. Keep on adding all the flour and the milk and if you still have some clots, continue to mix quietly until the sauce starts to be thicker. The clots will go anyway adding some more milk. Don’t forget to put a bit of salt and nutmeg too, but I suggest you to taste it to regulate the quantities.

As you can see it’s quite easy and very quick but the secret is all in being careful with the fire and the mixing.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy questa ricetta e’ spaziale e finalmente ieri mi e’ riuscita proprio bene senza neanche troppa fatica. Ho fatto tutto sul fuoco basso e anche se prima mi si sono formati un po di grumi, continuando a mischiare e aggiungendo il latte e’ andato tutto per il meglio. Che buona! quasi me l’ero dimenticata!