Tag Archives: celery

Minestrone soup

Recipe 1: Considering I’m arrived at the end of my challenge, I needed to have a light recipe just to try to reach my target ( ok it’s impossible but why not try) and so the last recipe it’s minestrone. That’s something I always use to eat when my mum does it because is something hot, fullfilling and healty. With a bit of parmesan on top then is delicious!

I love also the blended version also called in french ‘potage’. That’s my favourite! It’s always good to have some of it in the fridge and take it out when you don’t really know what to eat.

The ingredients my mum uses for 3 people are:  a little piece of celery, 2 carrots, 2 courgettes, half onion, a quarter of cabbage, 1 potato, some parsley, a garlic clove, 150 gr beans 130gr chopped tomatoes, 1 stock and water.

The process is a bit long but easy: place some olive oil in a pan and hot it up. Then add the finely chopped onion, garlic cloves and parsley. When the onion starts to become goldish, add the peeled tomatoes sauce and the beans already drained by the water.

Mix it all and let it cook. In the meantime cut the cabbage in thin slices and then in half again. Add it to the saucepan and pour a good quantity of water. Mix all the ingredients every now and then to avoid them to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Wash and cut in cubes the courgettes, the carrots and the potato, and then add them too to the pan. Let it cook for around 20-30 minutes and then have a try to know if it’s missing some salt, pepper or anything else.
When the Borlotti are cooked, add the pasta if you want: the right pasta shape for this dish are little tubs but quite thick.

Let the pasta cook in the same pan with the soup so the starch released will give taste and thickness to the minestrone. When ready, serve it hot with some grated Parmesan, parsley or simply olive oil if you like it.

PS. Mamy il minestrone m’e’ venuto benissimo un po’ piu’ denso e meno verde del tuo, sospetto per la verza che era bella grossa e l’ho usata tutta… ah che bello finalmente posso fare anche io il minestrone qui!!! Come sono contenta!

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Pollo alla cacciatora – Hunter’s chicken stew

Recipe 10: I wanted to look up for this recipe because was something my mum used to cook for her sometimes. I didn’t like this dish because she used to put vinegar in it and I couldn’t stand it. Now that I grew up I wanted to try it again eventually with some balsamic vinegar that I love. What happened instead is that all the recipe I found weren’t including any vinegar and I was even more curious to try it.

So the Ingredients for 2 people are: 1 garlic clove, 1carrot, 1/2onion, half glass of olive oil, some salt, pepper, 2 chicken breasts better if with the skin, passata of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, rosemary, celery, a glass of red wine.

Wash and clean the chicken cutting it in pieces. Leave the skin to give more taste to the dish. Hot up some olive oil in a pan and put the chicken to cook for around ten minute making it goldish on both the side.

Add now the onion the garlic cloven the celery and the carrot all finely chopped. Then add a bit of salt, pepper, rosemary and let fry everything for other 5 minutes. When everything will be well colored, pour the red wine and leave it to evaporate.


Then add the passata, cover with a tap and let it cook on a middle fire for around 30 minutes o until well cooked and soft.if it’s too dry add some water and then serve it hot with a. Sprinkle of parsley. Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy devi provare questa versione perche cercando la tua ricetta ho solo trovato versioni senza aceto e non sai che buono!!!

Minestra d’orzo perlato – Pearl barley soup

Recipe 35: The autumn is definitely here so last night i decided to make this soup my mum used to cook often in the winter. I love the pearl barley because it’s lighter but much more consistent than the rice and with a very particular taste and “texture”. When you cook the barley in fact it seems letting out some sort of amid that make the soup even more saucy and creamy.

However, if you have never try it before, just cook this recipe and you will understand what I’m speaking about. The ingredients for 2 people are: 100-120 gr of pearl barley, 1 big potato, 1 celery, 1 carrot, 1 little onion or shallot, some olive oil, a little chili, rosemary and nutmeg if you like it, 70 gr pancetta or speck if you can find it, 50-100gr kidney beans in spring water, 2 vegetable stocks, some mushrooms and some Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.

Considering the ingredients, i have also chosen this dish to participate to “in the bag” food blog event organized by the blog “A slice of cherry pie‘. I hope they will include me in the round-up!

To cook the barley i suggest you to follow the instruction on the product, because i think everyone is slightly different. To cook mine i had to place it in a sauce pan and cover it with cold water. Let it boil and just after drain it and pass it under cold water. Then you need to place it again in the sauce pan, again covered with cold water and wait 1 hour and 1/4 to have it ready. Yes, it’s a bit long but it’s worth it.

As soon as was starting this second part of the cooking process i added 2 vegetable stocks.

In the meantime that the barley is cooking, clean and cut in little pieces the carrot, the celery, the onion, the potato, some mushrooms and the chili. Put everything in a pan with a bit of boiling olive oil and let it cook. When almost ready, add also the pancetta and the rosemary. Of course if you want a vegetarian version you can also avoid the pancetta and I’m sure the taste will be amazing anyway.

If the water of the barley will reduce a lot, add some other but i suggest a bit worm to don’t stop the cooking process. Around half an hour before the end of the cooking timing, add the mixed vegetable and pancetta to the barley and mix it all. Add at this point some nutmeg too and some more warm water.

Let cook everything for at least 20 minute (the carrots and the potatoes take a bit long to get soft) and then try the soup. Adjust the taste with some salt if needed and add now also some kidney beans. The ones sold in spring water don’t need to boil and are ready to be eaten, so just add them at the end.

When the barley has absorbed all the water, becoming a thick and creamy soup, just add some grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, in the pan. Mix a bit and serve it hot!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy questa devi provare a fartela pure te. Sono infatti convinta che la tua era senza pancetta o speck, ma avendo un po’ di avanzi nel frigo, ho mischiato tutto e l’unione di tutti questi sapori ci sta benissimo! A Nathalie avevo servita una bella porzione e se l’e’ spazzolata! Poi sai che l’orzo ha veramente pochissime calorie? Buonissimo!

Vitello tonnato – vitel tonne’- veal with tuna sauce

Recipe 72: This is a classic dish of the summer because is a delicious plate to serve cold and so it’s perfect for summer parties too! For how much could sound strange to put together meat and fish, this 2 tastes together are just amazing!

Ingredients for 3-4 people: 600gr of round of veal (of course in england it’s not so easy to find this cut so i bought a shoulder piece), carrot, celery, onion, olive oil,  and white wine 1 or 2 glasses. Then for the sauce you will need 250 gr of tuna, 125 gr mayonnaise, some cappers, 1 anchovy fillet in olive oil.

Let’s start from the meat cooking process: there are lots of different systems, you can boil it, you can marinated the night before (like my mum use to do) and cook it on a very low fire the day after, but because  i have never enough time to do all this and I’m very scared the meat can become too dry or too hard, i decided to follow another way, that now i will show you.

First of all put some olive oil in a pan and wait to reach the frying temperature. In the meantime clean you carrot, celery and onion and cut all of them very finely to create your “soffritto” (i used my amazing new machine for that). When this is ready pour it in the oil, turn the eat down and let gently fry for 10/15 minutes, until the blend of vegetables is light brown in color.

Then add some white wine and increase the fire. Let everything cook until the wine is evaporated and place the meat in the pan and brown it all around. This operation that i ws thinking was going to be very quick, it will instead take a bit of time, so if you see the soffritto gets dry and close to burn or stick to the pan, add some water and wait for the meat to get a bit colored, turning it every now and then.

When the veal is colored, pre-heat the oven at 1500 C, cover the pan with an aluminum sheet, then put it in the oven for about 50-55 minutes. Check periodically, and add water to keep the meat soft. The roast should be a bit brown outside, but pink in the middle.

While the meat is in the oven, you can prepare the sauce. As you could have seen i didn’t add any salt to the dish because the sauce it will give all the taste the meat will need.

Just put all the ingredients together and mix them: tuna, mayonnaise, some cappers and the anchovy without any fishbones. Use a mixer to do the sauce and if you see the ingredients are still to hard to mix, add some sauce form the meat. You will have a creamy and really tasty sauce!

Let the veal cool in its broth, then cut it in very thin slices ( please use a very sharp knife because the slices need to be really thin… of course i didn’t have any but i manage at least to cut it). The best is using a meat cutter.

Cover each slice with a good amount of sauce and add some cappers just to give the final touch!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy finalmente e’ arrivata un po’ d’estate anche qui ed io non vedevo l’ora di fare il vitel tonne’. Ok devo dire che me lo aspettavo piu’ rapido da cucinare, mentre invece la carne ha i suoi tempi, pero’ che buono. L’unico problema e’ che mi devo attrezzare cin coltelli piu’ fini perche’ con questi non riuscivo proprio a tagliare nulla!

Polenta for starter and/or main course (-35 weeks)

Recipe 75: Finally it arrived the summer also in London, but i swear last weekend was still very cold and it rained like in winter, so i decided to cook the last winter dish of the season: Polenta! I prepare starer and main course with that but i think you can enjoy the same starter also with a good weather like in these days.

Ingredients: i bougth the quick Polenta in Carluccio and they sell it in packet of 500gr, but you will need for 3 people no more than 250 gr, then butter, some cheese like brie or better gorgonzola if you like it, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

If you prepare the polenta with the quick prepared flour, it’s really quick and easy, otherwise you will need to spend much more time mixing the ingredients. Instead in this case you will just need to boil 1 litre of water and the pour the polenta flour little by little always mixing and adding 1 and half little spoon of salt and some grated pepper.

After a bit the flour will start to take consistency and it will almost appear like mash potatoes. Keep on mixing for 8 minutes trying to eliminate any clot. Then just turn off the fire and place it in a container with some baking paper to et it cold down.

Now the polenta will be so thick that you will able to cut it in pieces, so you can decide to serve it as a starter or just as a main course.  For the starter i suggest you to cut it in little pieces and put it in the oven with some piece of brie or gorgonzola. Cover them with another piece of polenta and put a bit of butter and parmesan on the top.

Put it in the grill for some minute until the cheese will be melted and the top a bit crunchy and brownish. i serve it in a plate with some fresh celery and humus.

For the main course you will absolutely need a meet sauce to serve with eat, so i suggest you to see the previous recipe. With the involtini and their sauce it was just perfect!

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy l’altra settimana ho finalmente comprato la polenta. Faceva un freddo tale che ci stava proprio bene! Ho pensato di cucinarci sia un piccolo antipasto, tipo mini polenta concia (come mi manca quella di campiglio) e poi l’ho servita con gli involtini ed il sugo di carne! Semplice, rapida e buonissima!

Involtini al sugo – Meat rolls in tomato sauce (-36 weeks)

Recipe 76: This is a classic of the sunday lunch when i was in Rome. The dish it’s a bit long because you need some time to cook the meat and create the sauce, but the good stuff is that then you can use the sauce for the pasta too… and I swear it’s really special.

Ingredients for 2 people: 400 gr of meat (if you can find it take always veal, it’s tender and with a nicer taste), 1 egg, 30/40 gr butter, 1 glass of white wine, a tomato sauce can, 1 carrot, 1 celery, some pieces of Emmenthal, 2 garlic cloves, salt, pepper and toothpick.

Put an egg in some boiling water and let it cook. In the meantime cut the meat in 4 slices and press them until they get really thin. Clean the carrot and the celery and cut 4 thin pieces from each of them. Then cut 4 pieces of cheese long like the carrot and the celery.

When the egg is cooked, take it from the water, peal it and cut it in 4 part. Now you can start to fulfill the meat with one piece of each thing and add salt and pepper. Then you will need to close it with some toothpick. The most important thing you need to be careful is to close them in a way the cheese can’t come out too much.

In the meantime put some oil and 20gr butter in a sauce pan and when it boils, place some garlic and wait to be cooked. When the oil will have take all the  taste and the garlic will start to become goldish, take the garlic out and place the meat in the saucepan on a low fire.

Let them became a bit colored and then turn and wait a bit. After around 10 minutes pour the glass of  white wine and wait some more minutes for the wine to evaporate.

At this point i have add some other pieces of carrot and celery just to give more taste and then the tomato sauce can with some more salt and pepper. You can also add a bit of chili if you want.

Now cover the saucepan, set the fire very low and just wait 20 minutes. Then turn the meat and wait for other 20 minutes. Now the meat will be ready and the sauce will have a unique taste! This dish is perfect if served with potatoes, vegetable or just alone. In this case i added some Polenta that is amazing with the meat sauce!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy hai visto che belli i miei involtini? Purtroppo come al solito c’e’ stato il problema con la carne di vitella percio’ ho utilizzato la carne di manzo che e’ un po’ piu’ duretta, ma cucinandola a fuoco basso per un bel po’, e’ venuta buonissima. Ed un sugo cosi’ buono non lo mangiavo da un sacco di tempo. Pensa che ho fatto pure la polenta…ero proprio in vena di un pranzo classico domenicale!

Spezzatino in bianco – my mum’s stew

Recipe 80: This is a classic meat recipe and because it’s very simple the most important thing is the quality and taste of the meat. Exactly for this reason i was trying to find some diced veal in the supermarket but unfortunately there is nothing to do…in England it’s very hard to find it. So i had to take some classic beef meat but the dish came quite well anyway.

Ingredients for 6 people: 1 carrot, 1 onion, celery, parsley, olive oil, some white wine and around 800gr/1kg diced veal or beef  meat, salt and pepper.

Cut finely the parsley (half of the bunch they normally sell here), the carrot, the onion and some celery. Put in a sauce pan some olive oil, let it get warm and then add to it all the previous ingredients already cut. Mix and let it cook for a time.
When they seems a bit cooked, the onion is goldish and they released all the flavors, add the meat and cook it for some minutes, just the time for that to take color.


Add some white wine and then turn the fire down and let it cook for long time always checking the quantity of liquid. Add some salt and pepper, mix and leave it on the fire. The veal is very tender so won’t need too much time, but fr the beef i suggest you to cook it for at least half an hour .
Serve in a plate with vegetable or other food but not to complex or tasty. The meat will have a very nice taste and could be a pity to loose it with some other heavy flavors.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy qui trovare la vitella e’ un miracolo! Niente neanche questa volta! Sarei dovuta andare in centro per prenderla e sinceramnete non avevo proprio tempo. Ho preso invece della carne di manzo organica, sperando fosse piu’ saporita… ed alla fine non e’ venuta male. Certo sempre un po’ piu’ duretta rispetto alla vitella, ma con le verdurine e gli gnocchi di patate si e’ sposata perfettamente.