Category Archives: vegetarian

Patate gratinate – Grilled potato pie (-5 weeks)

Recipe 13:  This is a fantastic recipe for children or guests. It’s light, easy, quick, you can prepare it in advance and it’s perfect as a side dish for fish or meat. Finally everyone Love it!

I cooked it for Christmas to complete the fish dish and I thought it was the perfect treat for my family in this lovely day. Let’s don’t think too much about the line in Christmas! However everything was grilled and not fried… so we have not been so naughty!

The ingredients for 4 people are: 800gr potatoes, 50 gr Emmenthal, 60 gr butter, 10gr breadcrumbs, 200gr cream, a bit of salt and pepper.

Clean the potatoes from the skin and boil them until soft but not too much. Cut them in slices and prepare a baking pan with some baking paper or butter and flour. Grate the cheese and then place a first layer of potatoes in the pan with some of the cheese, salt and the butter.

Then create a second layer exactly in the sameway and then a third until you finish all the ingredients. At this point cover all with the cream and then add some breadcrumbs and the rest of the parmesan mixed together on top to let it create a nice crust all over.

Considering everything is already cooked you will need just 15minute and maybe a bit of grill at the end. Then serve hot it with your main dish and enjoy!

PS. E si sa che le patate in qualsiasi modo le cucini sono sempre un successo, ma tranne la crema eil formaggio che non sono proprio light, penso che questo sformatino valga proprio la pena…sempre meglio delle patate fritte ed un po’ piu’ raffinato delle patate al forno! Voi che dite v’e’ piaciuto?

Advertisements

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (- 6 weeks)

Recipe 15: This is a classic and basic roman dish that everyone can make when in the fridge you have just some cheese and some pasta in your cupboards. I love this dish because there is nothing better for me than “Pasta in bianco” when the pasta is “al dente”.  The pure and simple taste of pasta with some cheese is incomparable!

So literally the name of this dish is “pasta cheese and pepper” where for cacio we don’t means cacio cheese (a kind of cheese that exists) but we just means a cheese, better if hard and salty like Pecorino. This is the best ! So the ingredients for 2 people are : 200gr pasta (better spaghetti), 50 gr of Pecorino, but if you have more is better and black pepper! You don’t need anything else….maybe a bit of olive oil if the pasta is too dry.

Put some water  to boil on the fire, add some salt and the spaghetti when boiling. In the meantime grate the Pecorino and wait for the pasta to boil.

When are missing just one or two minute to have it ready, drain it, keeping some water in a side, and place the pasta in a pan. Cover it with the grated cheese and some of the cooking water. In this way the pasta will create a nice cream that will  create the perfect dish.

This time i used a different cheese respect to the Pecorino, because i went to an event where i discovered  a very tasty cheese called Castelrosso, from Piemonte. I have to say the taste of the pasta was amazing, but the consistency of the cheese didn’t allow the creation of this famous creamy mix.

However when ready, The pasta cook and the cheese is creamy at the right point, just take it out from the fire and serve it hot with another bit of grated cheese on top and freshly grated pepper!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy come ti ricorderai sono una patita della pasta burro e parmiggiano, percio’ non potevo non includere anche questa cacio e pepe tra i miei piatti> il mio problema e’ che avendo ospiti volevo offrire una cosa un pochino piu’ ricercata ed invece di usare il classico Pecorino ho voluto provare con un formaggio buonissimo del Piemonte che ho provato qui ad una fiera: Il Castel rosso. Nonostante il sapore fosse da leccarsi i baffi, la cacio e pepe con il Pecorino non la supera nessuno!

Semifreddo al torroncino – Nougat Semifreddo

Recipe 16: This is a dessert my mum used to do in Christmas when there is lots of nougat remaining or when it’s easy to find it in the shops. It’s a very easy dessert but served in little portions with some hot chocolate on top it’s very tasty and beautiful. Serve it to guest for a party and you will see the reactions.

Ingredients for 6 people:  500gr. of whipping cream, 200 gr. nougat (better if covered in chocolate or add some chocolate in powder at the end in the mix), 4 eggs, a bit of Brandy, 150 gr. of sugar and a little cup of vanilla extract.

When i speak about Nougat for me it’s always white nougat because the other it’s just chocolate with hazelnut for me. I use to love this one from Sperlari because very good but still a bit soft. Normally the white nougats are really hard to bite. Start by cutting the nougat in little little pieces, you can even pass it in the mixer if you want just to cut it finely.  Then whip up the 2 egg whites while mixing the yolks egg with the sugar.

Then whip up the whipping cream too (i normally use the mixer anyway) and add this too to the rest of the mix, with also some vanilla extract and chocolate if the nougat it’s totally white.

At this point you will need to choose the recipient where you are going to freeze the semifreddo! I prefer to use the muffin baking tray, but my freezer it’s little and i have used a plum cake tray. Cover it with aluminum paper brushed with some brandy and put a layer of the semifreddo mix and then a layer of nougat with some drops of brandy , then another layer of the mix and another layer of nougat, always with brandy. Finish with the nougat and place it in the freezer for 4 hours before to serve.

When ready to serve, cut it in slices and put some hot chocolate on top with some icing sugar. Enjoy!

PS. Mamy buonissimo! mi mancava un sacco questo dessert…sara’ che qui il torrone non lo vendono proprio percio’ l’avevo comprato in aereoporto tornando in inghilterra il mese scorso.  Certo e’ meglio quando lo congeli in porzioni singole, ma anche a fettine e’ uscito molto bene. Pensa che credevano avessi comprato il gelato al torrone! 🙂

Penne ai carciofi – Penne pasta with artichokes (-8 weeks)

Recipe 19: And because i remember my mum and my aunt cooking a very good artichokes pasta, i decided to use one of the artichokes i bought in Portobello, to do the creamy sauce for some penne.

Ingredients for 2 people: one big or 2 little artichokes, lemon, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper, Parmesan, a bit of milk or cream and 200 gr penne.

Clean the artichokes as written here. Then cut them in pieces and place them in a pan with olive oil and some garlic. I normally take this off once is goldish, but you can leave it if you like garlic. Let it cook for 15-20 minute adding salt, pepper, chopped parsley and some water if needed. Then let it cool down a bit. In the meantime place on the fire some water for the pasta and when boiling, add the penne or any other pasta shape you want.

Take half of them and place them in a blender with some milk or cream and Parmesan. Once the artichokes cream is done, mix it in the pan with the rest of the artichokes and wait for the pasta to be ready.

When the sauce is well mixed with the rest of the artichokes and the pasta is “al dente”, drain it and put it in the pan with a  bit of the cooking water. Mix it well and serve hot with some Parmesan in flakes. Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che buono, molto meglio del carciofo semplice. Sara’ il latte, il sapore della roba cucinata fresca…non so, ma molto meglio di un qualsiasi sugo pronto al carciofo.

La minestrina di mio papa’ – My father’s minestrina

Recipe 20: This was just the best when i was little and it could not miss in my blog, especially now that here is so cold and you come back home just starving and looking for hot nice food.

This dish it’s a classic house recipe, cooked very often for the kids, and it’s also one of the few dishes my father is able to cook. Because he was the one to take me back from school at lunch time, i think this has been for long my main meal after school… and i have always adore it. So much that i wanted just my father to prepare it because it was for me better of the one my mum could make.

Do you want to know how to prepare it? You will just need a vegetable stock, 70gr of pastina (very little pasta you can find everywhere) for each person and some Parmesan to finish! NOTHING ELSE!

Put on the fire a sauce pan with some water and a vegetable stock. Let the water boil and just add the pastina. Wait for it too cook, and it won’t take long, so try it just after 5 minutes.

When ready, with the help of a spoon , place the pastina in a plate and add the broth until the plate is full. Add some Parmesan cheese, mix and serve also with fresh grated pepper if you like it.

There is basically nothing easiest than this…now you can understand why my father was a real master chef in this, and i can’t forget this recipe!

The same stock can be used also with Cappelletti or Tortellini: we use to cook them in the same way, with a stock in the water and serve it like this! It’s simple and a really nice dish. In Christmas is even a tradition and the man use to put even red wine in it. Trust me … you have to try them.

PS. Mamy sorry oggi papa’ t’ha rubato il posto con la sua mitica minestrina, ma non potevo non metterla nel blog. Credo di averla mangiata cosi tante volte, che non posso fare a meno di parlarne! Ci stava tutta insomma!

Carciofi alla romana – Artichokes in the roman way (-9 weeks)

Recipe 21: When i came back in Italy last week, my mum was already cooking Artichokes. I love them and this is one of the 2 season. In London it’s not so easy to find good artichokes, but i went in Portobello Market hoping to find some of them.

I have to say they were quite big and hairy, but fine…i just wanted to cook some. So here the recipe for the roman and my mum way to cook them: you will just need one big or 2 little artichokes for person, some parsley, garlic in powder i prefer, lemon, olive oil, pepper and salt.

Remove the toughest of the outer leaves. Snip off any sharp leaf tips. Snap the stalk off at the base and remove the tough fibres running into the base where possible. Pull out the central cone of thinner leaves to reveal the inedible fibrous ‘choke’ (this may not be present in smaller baby artichokes). Carefully scrape this out with a teaspoon, leaving the prized heart in place. Then put the artichoke in acidulated water (e.g. water with a good squeeze of lemon juice added) for around half an hour.

Place the garlic cloves or powder in a pan with some olive oil. When they starts to get goldish, take them out and add the artichokes and some finely chopped parsley. You can also put some parsley and garlic clove directly in each artichoke, like my mum uses to do, but i don’t like so much the taste of garlic and i prefer to put some garlic powder on top.

Add some simple water or stock water and leave it cook for about 40 minutes. Add other “brodo” or stock water if needed. Artichokes are cooked when you can easily pull out an inner leaf and the stem is tender. Or you can just insert a fork in the lateral side of the artichoke and feel the consistency of it. If tender, they are ready.

Now just place it on a plate and serve it hot with a bit of their sauce! Enjoy!

PS. Mamy certo non saranno mai i carciofi buoni di Roma, ma almeno ho capito come si fanno! Diciamo che questi erano un po’ troppo grossi, ma il cuore era buonissimo! C’ho fatto anche la pasta!

Cenci Cake: jam, fruit, amaretti and chocolate

Recipe 24: This is the second cake i cooked last weekend and for how much I’m sure was good the original recipe, i have made some little change, considering also that some of the ingredients are not available in this country.

Here the original ingredients and the ones i used to make a little Cenci cake: a part from the Pasta frolla that you can make following this recipe, buy 2-3 pears or apple, you will need some marsala, but i have add a bit of other liquor i had at home, some apricot jam, 150gr amaretti then i added also the white of one egg and chocolate in powder.

Wash, peel and cut the pears or the apples in pieces. Let them cook a bit on the fire with some water, while in the meantime you will stretch the pasta frolla, and you will create the base of your cake. Place it in a baking pan on some baking paper, make the base really thin and then create some holes with a fork to avoid the pasta to grow up and create bubbles.


Take off the pear from the fire and drain them from their liquid. Mix to this a bit of liquor and in the meantime place one layer of apricot jam directly on the base of the cake and then add on top the pears.

Whip up one white egg with a mixer and add then to this the pear juice with the liquor and some spoon of apricot jam. In reality the recipe was just requiring at this point to mix the apricot jam with some marsala egg flavored, but i thought that this mix could be equally standing for that.

Place the mix on top of the pears and cover with 150gr of smashed amaretti. Finish the cake with a good quantity of chocolate in powder, but you can just put it in the oven like this and once ready cover it with melted dark chocolate. In UK infact the powder chocolate is not so sweet and i think could be better just the melted chocolate to make it more sweet and delicious.

Put it in a pre-hotted oven at 180-200 degree and after 30-40 minutes, place a thootpick in the pasta to check if ready.

Serve it hot and enjoy!

PS. Mamy ti piace questa torta? diciamo che anche a causa della mancanza di ingredienti ho fatto dei piccoli cambi, ma il binomio pere e cioccolato lo dovevo per forza provare. Comunque anche con le mele non deve essere male! Il probelma maggiore qui e’ la cioccolate: in polvere e’ troppo amara. la prossima volta la rifinisco con il cioccolato colato sopra.