Tag Archives: 2010

New year’s eve menu’: cotechino, lentils and stuffed panettone!

Recipe 111: and always to follow the tradition, in the new year’s eve dinner i served also the Cotechino with Lentils. This is very common in this date, because in Italy we say the lentils brings money in the new year, so basically everyone eat lentils also if they don’t like them so much!

And this is what happened also in my party, where the majority were french and they have never even try Cotechino before. I’m not a big fan of the this kind of pork sausage, because i find it a bit too greasy, but this one i cooked this year it was really good. My mum’s friend gave it to me saying that it was special made and she was right (grazie Marcella il cotechino era squisito!).

The ingredients i used for 10-11 people are : 400gr green lentils, 1 can of tomatoes sauce, 1 carrot, 1 celery, 1 onion, salt, 1 cotechino pre-cooked (it’s easier ) of 500 gr, but if you are thinking to serve just that or you know you guests will like it, take 1 kg at least.

So i started cooking the lentils and following the recipe i found on the green lentils Sainsbury’s bag. You don’t need to soak them and you will put them directly in a big sauce pan covered with cold water. Add half a carrot in pieces and half a celery in pieces to give flavor, wait until the water will boil and put up the fire for 10 minutes without covering the sauce pan. Then put down the fire a bit and let them cook covered this time, for other 15-20 minute.

In the meantime in another saucepan put the other half of the carrot and the celery and the onion all cut in very little pieces, add some oil, and let it cook a bit. when the onion get gold and the rest is quite cooked, add the can of tomatoes sauce and some salt. Mix and let it cook.

When the lentils are ready take them off the fire, drain them form the water and put them in the tomatoes sauce. This is going to give a better taste to everything. At this point the lentils are ready and we can start with the Cotechino!In the box you will find an aluminum bag with the precooked cotechino inside. You will need to put it in a saucepan with boiling water for 20 minute. After it you can take it out form the saucepan and you will cut one corner of the aluminium bag to drain the cotechino from the water that come out cooking it.

Then place the Cotechino on a plate and take off the skin. It’s an horrible image, but it’s very easy. Then cut it in pieces and place it with the lentils. The secret is to serve it hot, so what i did is to prepare it in the afternoon, and just hot it up with the lentils before to serve it. In this way the lentils will take the rich taste of the meat and this won’t be in direct contact with the fire, so won’t become too dry, dark or hard, but just a bit hot.

To close the New year’s eve menu’, was missing a cake and i made a stuffed Panettone… very easy, traditional and good! In reality i was looking for a pandoro to stuff, but here in London they don’t sell anymore pandoros after Christmas day!!!!!! I was shocked.

However i found for miracle this little panettone and i cut it in slaces that i filled with my home made cream. The recipe is here! I also added some pieces of chocolate torrone from Rome and the dish is done!!!

Buon appetito and Happy New year to all of you!

Ps: Mamy che te ne pare del cotechino e del Panettone! Sono troppo fiera di me! Gli ospiti si sono finiti tutto! e devo dire le lenticchie con gli odori mi sono venute spaziali ed il cotechino era veramente buonissimo! aveva proprio ragione Marcella. Pou volevo fare il pandoro farcito ma qui dopo Natale non si trova piu nulla. Assurdo! quindi ho ripiegato su un panettone piccino che ho trovato al supermercato che pero aveav le ciliegie nere dentro invece che l’uvetta. Vabbe non avevo altra scela, ma con la crema e’ venuto buonissimo. Insomma tra il torrone e le lenticchie con il cotechino che portano soldi e l’aiuto di Julio per servire il tutto, ho affascinato i francesi!

New year’s eve menu’: let’s start with the lasagna!

This year i decided to challenge myself with the new year’s eve menu’ for 11 guests! I decided to do the classic dishes we cook in this date and it was a real success!

Recipe 112: the lasagna is a very practical dish because you can prepare it a bit before, even the night before and just put it in the oven at the last moment. On top of that it’s a very good solution when you have a good number of guests and it also quite easy to cook and serve.

Here the ingredients for 12 people or 2 trays: 500gr of  De Cecco pasta for lasagna ready for the oven, 3 mozzarelle (150 each), Parmesan, 250gr beef mince meat, 250gr pork mince meat, 2 cans of passata or chopped tomatoes sauce, salt, pepper, a glass of red wine, nutmeg, chilli, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery and for the besciamella i used 150grof butter, 1 and 1/2 liter of milk and 150gr flour.

Basically you just need to prepare the Ragu in one saucepan and some Besciamella in another one. You can find the recipe for the Ragu here and for the Besciamella here.

When they are done in my family we use to mix the ragu with the besciamella to make the lasagna more tasty. If you use the doses i wrote at the beginning of this post, you will need to add to the ragu just 2/3 of the besciamella and you will leave 1/3 for the end of the recipe.

So you will put a bit of this mix in the tray you will use for the lasagna and you will place the first layer of pasta on top. De Cecco create this pasta you don’t need to boil but you can put it directly in the oven. I really suggest you to use this because it’s quicker and the pasta will be cooked just for the right time.

Cut the mozzarella in little little pieces and place it some on the pasta then cover with another layer of sauce and pasta. Keep on putting the mozzarella in pieces, the sauce and the layers of pasta until you have at least 4-5 layers.

At the end, cover all with the rest of the besciamella and with some Parmesan. Put it in the oven at 200 degree for 24 minute ( as de Cecco says) and then you can finish the lasagna with a bit of grill to make it colorful like mine.

Serve it and enjoy!

PS. Mamy dopo essermiinpratichita con il ragu o sugo di carne e la besciamella, ed avendo trovato queste sfoglie di lasagne pronte per il forno, devo dire che prepararla e’ proprio semplice!!! non c’ho messo nulla a farla la sera prima e poi l’ho messa al forno per i minuti scritti sulla scatola ed e’ piaciuta un sacco!

Christmas present for the blog… for an organized 2010!

This is the Christmas present for my blog, something i saw a long time ago but i was waiting the right occasion to buy it! Christmas was the perfect time and i went to Waterstones directly.

There are lots of different places where you can find recipes notebooks, but this is the nicest and more useful for me: basically i can finally put in order all my mum recipes and divide them between the ones i already cooked and the ones missing. On top of that you can also open it and use it as a support to read directly your recipe while you are cooking! Just amazing and if someone is interested it costs 15£.

Let’s hope with this present the 2010 will be more organized!

PS. Mamy ti piace questo ricettario che mi son comprata? ti fa invidia eh? ora oltre a mettere in ordine tutte le tue ricette e a dividerle tra quelle gia’ provate e quelle che mi mancano, posso anche aprirlo e usarlo come leggio mentre cucino! Inizio ad essere molto piu’ organizzata!