Tag Archives: besciamella

Roasted veal with mashroom and cheese sauce (-1 week)

Recipe 4: This is the last meat dish i miss of all my mum recipes. Of course there are more out there than these that i insert in the blog, but these for me are the best and the roasted veal with mushrooms and cheese sauce it couldn’t miss.

I cook this meat in a friends place and it was great to spend the cooking time with a chat and a glass of wine instead to be alone and waiting for the meat to be ready… and they simply loved the dish!

Ingredients for 4 people: 700gr of veal shoulder (i found it in Waitrose), 200gr mushroom, 125gr grated Emmenthal, 500ml milk, 3 spoons of flour, 4 spoons of butter, 1 spoon of olive oil.

Put some oil in a big sauce pan and place the meat in there to cook slowly for around 1hour, 1hour and half, turning the meat every now and then.  In another pan place a spoon of butter and the mushrooms finely chopped. Cook them for 15 minutes.

Then start preparing the besciamella like explained here, and put some spoons of besciamella in the mushrooms with all the grated Emmenthal and steer.

When the meat is all well colored, cut it in slices, so you can als check the state of the cooking. Place the meat on a baking pan with some alluminium foil. Put some of the mushroom and cheese sauce under the meat, betweek the slices and on top.

Place all in the oven already hot, but at a low temperature for a round one hour, but it also depends by the status of the meat if it’s already well coocked or not. I suggest you to cover it with alluminium paper  and then take it of the last 10-15 minutes before to serve it. In this way it will be crusty on top but not burn.

PS. Mamy questa carne e’ il massimo! Era proprio la ricetta mancante per completare il blog. La salsa poi e’ inresistibile …dovevi vedere le facce dei miei amici!

The witch’s Halloween souffle’ (-12 weeks)

Recipe 28:This Halloween i really didn’t have the time to organize a fancy dress party and not even a real Halloween menu, but i have still invited some friends at home. So i simply decided to stick to the orange as an Halloween theme and i made pasta with pumpkin and mushroom, and this double color souffle that i always loved.

Very delicate in the taste, it’s made by vegetables and besciamella sauce mixed together. Here are the ingredients: 500 gr. of frozen chopped spinach, 250 gr of carrots, 50 gr of butter, 3eggs, 30 gr Parmesan, 50 gr flour, 300ml of milk, salt, nutmeg.

Wash, peal and boil the carrots. When ready cut them finely and place it in a pan with 25gr of butter. In the meantime, boil also the chopped spinach and when ready, drain them and leave it in one side to cool down.

Add to the carrots 25gr of flour and 125ml of milk and mix it all for around 10 minutes, or until it gets thick. You will create in this way a light besciamella that you will need to let cool down after adding the 15gr Parmesan, the salt and nutmeg.

When the spinach are cold, add a yolk egg  and mix. In another pan you will prepare some more besciamella also for the spinach: 25gr butter with 25gr flour and around 150-200ml of milk. Stir all until it get thick and when a bit cold, add it to the spinach with 15gr Parmesan and some salt.

Add to egg yolk to the carrots too and put all the white parts of the egg to whip up in the mixer. 2 parts of this will need to go in the carrots and one part in the spinach.

Now let’s prepare the backing pan putting some butter on the inside, covered in flour to don’t make the souffle’ stick. Place the spinach mix first and then the carrots one.

At this point my mum use to cook this in teh oven but a “bagno maria” so in another conteiner with boiling water. In this way the souffle is not in direct contact with the hot. I didn’t have any other big container so i place it in the oven at 200 degree for one our with a bit of pieces of butter on the top. It was really good anyway…maybe a bit harder than a souffle’, but still easy and nice.

When the souffle’ is cooking, don’t open the oven or it will collapse. When you think is ready, try a tooth pick in the inside and if it’s dry, you can directly turn it on a plate and serve it. If you will wait it will collapse again.

So serve it hot straight away. I added some Parmesan but also without it’s very good. Enjoy!

PS. Beh  mamy non m’e’ venuto male anche se non l’ho cotto a bagno maria no? Il problema e’ che per farlo staccare dal recipiente ho aspettato e come volevasi dimostrare mi s’e’ ammosciato e la parte arancione quasi non si vede. Ma che buono!

Spinach & ricotta cannelloni! (-48 weeks)

Recipe 100: this is another italian classic and for my french friend’s birthday party we choose to have something ready to hot up in the oven and to eat with the guests directly with the nice french quiches she made… the italian answer to that can just be cannelloni!

The ingredients for 4 people are: 300 gr of boiled spinach (I suggest you to buy some frozen ones), 350 gr. of ricotta, 1 box of cannelloni pasta from Sainsbury’s or 8-10 lasagne, nutmeg, salt, a bit of olive oil, 2 sage’s leaves, 80-100 gr of Parmesan and then the ingredients for the besciamella that you can find here.

You can start preparing some Besciamella: put the butter, flour and milk in a pan and mix until they become a cream. Add some salt and nutmeg before it’s ready and then put it in a large container.

Put on the fire some water for the lasagne and in the meantime cook or defrost the spinach, add the sage leaves cut in little pieces, and then pass them in a hot pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook them a bit, just to give some more taste and leave them there until cold.

When the water is boiling, you can put 2 or 3 lasagne to cook at the time. Waiting for them, you can mix together in a bowl the ricotta, 20 gr of Parmesan, the boiled spinach and a bit of nutmeg. The filling for the cannelloni is ready.

Check the lasagne now and be very careful to don’t let them stick between each other. When these are ready just take them out and put in a plate to cool down. Put in the water other 2-3 and repeat the same.

Waiting for the pasta to cool down you can add 40gr of Parmesan to the besciamella, mixing with a whisk and you can start to spread half of it in the baking pan where you will place the cannelloni. Remember it’s always better to put some butter before than the besciamella, just to don’t make the pan sticky.

When the pasta is ready just put some spinach filling inside and roll up them to create a cannellone and place them on the pan. If you are using cannelloni pasta, just push inside the filling and place them on the pan.

Keep on doing the same until the end and then cover it all with the besciamella remained before.

At this point you will just need to cover it with parmesan and put in the oven for around 30 minutes at 200 degree for the lasagne and 40 minutes always at 200 if they are cannelloni ready to be filled but not precooked.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che buoni!!! pero’ dato il tempo risicato io non ho usato le lasagne ma i cannelloni gia’ proti da riempire che vendono qui. Lo so che tu li fai di piu’ con le crepe che vengono piu’ leggeri, ma devo dire che anche questi erano buonissimi. e poi la tua besciamella non ha rivali!

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!

Tagliatelle al radicchio ( -58 weeks)

Recipe 116: I will start saying that was very difficult to find the “radicchio” here in London… i think i went very near with the Red Chicory, but i’m not still so sure it’s exactly the same vegetable. I mean the one sold in Italy it’s more tasty and it’s a bit bigger than the red Chicory i found in the supermarket, but for this recipe this will work fine.

There are different options to make pasta with radicchio: you can use Gorgonzola, cream, or just butter or oil, but i decided to follow my mum crepes recipe. I remember i loved those. So i just swap the crepe for tagliatelle and i hoped it was a good choice. Yes it’s a very reach sauce and a bit heavy, but it’s GOOD!

For 3 people i used: 300gr Tagliatelle ( i didn’t take the egg ones because too reach considering the sauce) – 280gr Red Chicory (in Waitrose they sell it in packet of 140 gr), a bit of butter, white wine, 1 onion, 100gr Emmental cheese, Parmesan, salt and a bit of chilli.

First of all i prepared the Besciamella like i previously explained. Then i washed and cut in little pieces the red chicory. In the meantime in a pan i put a bit of butter and the onion as usual, until it became goldish. Add then the red chicory, some chilli and add some water to let it cook. When the chicory starts to be soft and cooked you can add a bit of white wine to give more taste and to finish the cooking.

You can now put on the gas the water for the tagliatelle, with some salt and wait until is boiling to put the pasta. In the meantime the chicory will have changed color and consistency, becoming very soft and you can now add some besciamella and grated Emmental. This will melt but if you need, you can also add some milk to make the sauce a bit more liquid.

Try the sauce and add salt and pepper or chilli if needed. When the pasta will be ready, just mix all together ans serve with Parmesan and more pepper if you like it.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy ero cosi’ tanto curiosa di provare di nuovo la tua salsa al radicchio che ho pensato di farne una versione con la pasta invece delle tue crepes… ok magari non e’ la stessa cosa perche nulla supera la besciamella messa al forno, ma a me ‘ste tagliatelle sono piaciute. E poi considerato che trovare il radicchio qui e’ stata un’impresa, aggiungere un po’ di sapore in piu’ con la besciamella e’ meglio… mi e’ sembrata un po’ troppo insipida la cicoria rossa che vendono qui, ma la besciamella e l’emmental insieme sono spaziali. La prosima volta sarei curiosa di farci una lasagna vegetarana con questa ricetta!

Pasta al forno

Recipe 136: And after the besciamella recipe, you are now ready for the “Pasta al forno”.

This is normally something you can prepare also with some pasta “al sugo” leftovers…and maybe that is also the better version.

However here is the recipe i cooked from scratch on Monday for another guest.

For 4 people you will need:

350gr of short pasta (but if you have leftovers of long pasta you can try anyway) – 1 mozzarella – 20/30 gr of Parmesan – salt + Tomato sauce (2 tomato sauce can – 1 carrot – 1 celery – 1 onion) and Besciamella ( 50 gr flour – 50 gr butter – 500 ml milk – nutmeg)

pasta forno 1

I would start from preparing the tomato sauce as usual: oil in a pan until hot and add onion in little pieces.Wait until became gold and add the tomato sauce from the cans, carrot, celery and salt. Cook on a low fire and wait until the sauce is a bit thick (at least 20/30 minutes).

In the meantime prepare the besciamella as i explained here.

When both sauces are ready or are finishing to cook, boil the pasta with the salt, but be careful to don’t cook it until the end as written on the bag. Taste it before and if it’s just a little bit hard, you can take it off.

Pasta forno 2

At this point, i use to mix the pasta with the tomato sauce until it became all red and then I add the besciamella mixing a bit more. Put a layer of the pasta in a baking tin, add the mozzarella cut in little little pieces and close with a second layer of pasta. Finally cover all with a generous quantity of Parmesan and put it in the oven with the grill until the mozzarella inside is melted and you have a colorful crust on the top.

Cut it, serve it in a plate and buon appetito!

PS: Mamy ho seguito proprio il tuo metodo. Anche se la besciamella si puo’ mettere a parte sulla pasta prima di infornarla, per me e’ meglio mischiarla con il sugo, almeno arriva proprio su tutta la pasta! Era buonissima, ma visto le poche pentole che abbiamo, ho dovuto cucinare il sugo in un pentolino piccolo e non mi si e’ rappreso bene. Forse meglio cosi, ma preferivo la pasta un po’ piu’ asciutta e abbrustolita. Comunque che mangiata!


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.


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!