Tag Archives: cherry tomatoes

Filetti di cernia al forno – Baked grouper fillets

Recipe 14: My mum always tried to make us (my dad and me) eat fish. My father always hated it and me I didn’t used to hate it, but now I love it. However once she came up with this really interesting recipe, and we liked it a lot. So this Christmas will be baked  grouper fillets.

Ingredients: I suggest you to go to the fish market and ask for a fresh grouper. Then choose the weight and the quantity of fillets you want ( consider that when you bake them they shrink and get drier, so maybe you could prefer to have 2 fillets each). Ask them to clean them for you and then buy some cherry tomatoes, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and a bit of lemon.

This plate is very quick and easy: just place the fish fillets in a baking pan with a baking paper and cover it  with some breadcrumbs. Then add some finely chopped parsley, garlic in powder, pepper, salt and some cherries tomatoes (as many as you want).

Put it in the oven at 180 degree for half an hour checking the crust. Serve it hot, with some lemon juice if you like it and with a side dish. The fish is ready! Enjoy!

PS. Mamy che dici? E’ venuto meglio a te o a me??? forse lo abbiamo lasciato un po’ troppo in forno, ma la mia soddisfazione e’ stato papa’ che se l’e’ mangiato con gusto! Insomma ho vinto comunque :)!

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Ferragosto Menu’: Pasta fredda – Cold pasta or pasta salad

Recipe 49: This is something I was waiting to cook since 2 months…more or less since we started to see some sun in London and we began to organize picnics in the parks. Finally I never did it and this Ferragosto was just the right occasion! So here is the simple but delicious recipe.

The ingredients for 3 people are: 300gr short pasta (I used fusilli), 1 can of tuna (or you can do without if you are vegetarian, and it’s going to be great anyway), 2 little bags of little mozzarelle or 2 mozzarelle to cut in pieces, some cherry tomatoes, some pitted black olives, oregan, fresh basil, salt, pepper and  olive oil.

Boil the pasta in some salty water until al dente or even a bit before. Just to give you an example on the english ( and I have to mention this because if it’s not an Italian brand you need to be even more careful ) pasta bag there was written 12 minute and I take the pasta off at 8 minutes because was al dente…not to hard or with flour taste, but not even melted.

Drain the pasta and pass it under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Then place it in a big container and add some olive oil. Mix until all the pasta is divided and start to add the ingredients: cut the mozzarella, the cherry tomatoes and the black olives in half.  Then add the tuna, the fresh basil the origan, salt and pepper.Mix it all with some more oil if needed and be ready to eat! We used plastic glasses instead of plates and it was great! It’s a good solution for lunches in the park. Enjoy!

PS: Mamy che buona!!! Che belle mangiate checi facevamo di pasta fredda ed insalate di riso a Lavinio eh??? Qui invece bisogna sempre aspettare il tempo propizio, ma diciamo che quest’anno c’e’ andata bene! E poi per Ferragosto non puo’ mancare! Con il tapperware faceva anche effetto pranzo in spiaggia… mancava solo il mare e la ghiacciaia 🙂

Orecchiette peperoni e mozzarella – peppers and mozzarella pasta (-28 weeks)

Recipe 60: Do you have friends coming at the last moment, or you just want a quick and nice recipe for your dinner? Here is one i tried last week. I came back home quite late and i wanted something quick to prepare but tasty, so i opened the fridge and i found some peppers and mozzarella… so here it is!

Ingredients for 2 people : 200gr of short pasta (i used the orecchiette because they can maintain well the sauce and the little pieces of ingredients, thanks to their shape), one pepper, olive oil, one mozzarella (if you have buffalo mozzarella it’s even better or you can use just cream), basil, Parmesan, a garlic clove and cherry tomatoes if you like.

Now i will give you 3 different ideas to make pasta with peppers:

The first one is the easiest one. Just cut the pepper in little pieces, put some oil in a pan and let cook a clove of garlic in it. When goldish take it out and put the peppers to cook. In the meantime boil some water with salt for the pasta and cut the mozzarella in little pieces. When the pepper is soft and well cooked, add some mozzarella and let it melt. When the pasta is ready just add this to the pan with pepper, mozzarella and oil and let it take all the sauce. Serve it in a plate with Parmesan and the dish is ready!

The second option is to put some cherry tomatoes with the pepper and the oil in the pan and some basil leaves and let it cook. Then you can add the pasta, while you will put the buffalo mozzarella and other basil leaves just on top, fresh and tasty, without not even Parmesan. This is a bit more exclusive and summery!

Finally another sauce that i love it’s with peppers and cream, so exactly the same procedure than before, but instead than mozzarella you put a bit of cream in the pan and you add the pasta. I would serve it with some Parmesan too, But i advise you this is better in winter considering the cream it’s quite heavy.

So which one do you prefer?

PS. Mamy questa ricetta l’ho fatta rapida rapida con cio’ che ho trovato nel frigorifero, ma ti diro’ che l’accostamento con le orecchiette ci stava benissimo. Certo ad averci la mozzarella di bufala sarebbe stato diverso, ma tutto questo formaggio che filava con i peperoni, non e’ male per niente!

Pasta, pesto and cherry tomatoes! (-47 weeks)

Recipe  98: This is a quick and easy pasta for everyday lunch or dinner. You won’t need more than 10 minutes, basically just the time to cook the pasta!

Ingredients for 2 people: 250 gr of pasta (it’s better short pasta), some pesto sauce ( I normally use the Sacla’ one you can find everywhere here in London. Then one day i will also add my mum’s recipe to make it at home!), some cherry tomatoes (6-8), olive oil, garlic, salt, Parmesan and pepper if you like it.

Put some  water and salt in a baking pan and let it boil. In another pan, put some olive oil with some garlic in pieces. Let them cook a bit so the oil will take the flavor. I then normally take the garlic out, but if you like it you can also leave it in the sauce.
When the water will boil, you can add the pasta and let it cook for around 10 minutes (depending by the pasta, but take it out one or two minutes before the time written on the bag) .


Cut the cherry tomatoes in 4 and put them in the oil. Let them cook a bit and add some pesto sauce (2-3 spoon). Mix it all and when the pasta will be ready, drain it and place it in the pan with the sauce. If you can add also a bit of water from the pasta, this will be better for the sauce.

Mix it all and add some other pesto sauce until it is enough for all the pasta. Finally put some Parmesan and mix again.
Serve in the plates and add some black pepper.
Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy siccome io sono una patita del pesto e questa e’ la ricetta favorita di Anna, appena ci siamo trovate a cucinare insieme, abbiamo deciso di preparare questa pasta…. anche per uscire dal solito semplice piatto. Nella sua semplicita’ questa pasta e’ buonissima. Certo magari la prossima volta metto anche la tua ricetta del pesto…con quella si che verra’ veramente squisita!

Risotto zafferano e funghi porcini + quick starter

zafferano e funghi 1

Recipe 128: Another italian typical dish in autumn is this risotto made with Porcini mushroom and Saffron. I discovered here in London they don’t sell fresh Porcini mushroom so i will need to use again dried mushrooms but you can use the fresh ones too.

Here are the ingredients for 4 people: 350gr Arborio rice (you can find it in Waitrose) – 60gr dried mushroom – a little bag of Saffron – 1 onion – oil – 2 little spoons of balsamic vinegar – 50gr butter – 2 glasses of white dry wine – 1 vegetable stock – 40gr Parmesan – salt.

And because we were having some special guests for dinner, i have also prepared a quick starter with: 250gr of Houmous – oil – carrots in slices – cucumber – cherry tomatoes.

zafferano e porcini 2

First thing you will need to put the dried mushrooms in warm water for half an hour. Waiting for them to get ready, you can prepare the starter cutting the carrots and the cucumber and serving them in a plate with cherry tomatoes and houmous. If you can add some olive oil to the houmous, the taste will be better.

When the mushrooms are soft, drain them, but use a kitchen cloth to strain the water and conserve it to cook the sauce. Put the mushroom in a pan with some olive oil and let them cook a bit on a middle fire. To give more flavor to the dish, put 2 little spoons of balsamic vinegar on them and keep on cooking them for another bit.

zafferano e porcini 3Cut the onion in little pieces and cook them in another sauce pan with the 50gr butter. In the meantime, in a little sauce pan with boiling water put the vegetable stock to create the “brodo”. When the onion become goldish, you can add the rice and let it toast in the sauce pan for two minutes. Then add 1 glass and half of white wine and mix the rice. When the wine is totally evaporate, add some of the brodo prepared.

In a little bowl instead put the saffron with a bit of brodo and stir it. The water need to became a nice yellow color.

zafferano e porcini 4

Add to the rice the rest of the brodo and the water from the mushrooms always mixing, otherwise the rice will stick to the pan. Then add the mushroom and after a bit the saffron and let it cook. Try the rice to see if it’s done and add other water or brodo until is ready.

At this point just serve it with Parmesan and enjoy!

PS. Mamy cucinando questo piatto mi sono ricordata di quanto piaccia il risotto a papa’. Poi quando ho fatto la spesa e ho visto che avevano il riso arborio non ho resistito… dice che e’ il tipo che ci vuole per i risotti alla milanese ed infatti e’ venuto buonissimo e bello cremoso. Avevamo per ospite un mio amico inglese che ha parenti italiani e mi ha detto che gli ricordava un sacco il risotto di sua nonna. Che soddisfazione!

Pizza in London: Zizzi and the “Trentino”

Pizza is the only thing we have never cooked in my house: outside it’s so cheap and good, thanks to the wooden ovens, that is better to buy it than prepare it at home.

Anyway here in London i miss pizza like crazy…even more than ice creams! So if I go out and especially if i go in a, so called, “Italian restaurant”, i always look for pizza! I also think is a quite equilibrate dish, with a bit of everything but in a light way. Often it’s better than a plate of pasta. So I’m also convinced that a pizza sometimes (without starters and desserts) can be eaten also during a diet.

However here I will start my series of posts about the pizza you can find in London with prices, ingredients and my personal opinion.

ZizziOn wednesday we went to Zizzi, a chain of restaurants in London that claims to cook italian food. It’s not very expensive and they have a medium quality of food but it’s still a chain and the recipes are not really italian.

I’m against the classic pizzas, so i asked something new: Pizza Trentino. When i say they don’t follow italian recipes, i mean that, for instance, on a pizza called Trentino, you expect ingredients from the mountains, because Trentino is a region in the north of Italy , where the Alps are: so you can think about mushrooms, a nice reach cheese, truffle and speak. Instead the pizza was made with rocket salad, cherry tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and finally, just to remain in line with the name of the pizza, a smoked ham, similar to the speak but milder.

Pizza Trentino

I have to admit that the pizza was fine: the base and the tomato sauce weren’t great, but the other ingredients were very good (not so usual here in London) and the combination was tasty. The price for this is 9,50 £ (a basic Margarita pizza is around 5,50 £) and it is the most interesting pizza between the few choices they have. (thanks to trusted-gourmet for the picture)

PS: Mamy ho deciso di aprire una serie di posts sulle pizze di Londra, con tutte quelle che trovo e provo qui nei vari ristoranti. Capita spesso infatti di andare a mangiare pizza, anche se non cosi tanto come in italia. E’ piu’ caro ed essendoci qui tante cucine differenti, molte volte proviamo anche altro. Comunque l’ultima che ho mangiato e’ questa pizza chiamata Trentina, in cui l’unica cosa che poteva richiamare un po’ la regione era un prosciutto simile allo speak che hanno messo sopra a fettine. Comunque alla fine era abbastanza buona!