Tag Archives: chilli

Word Cup dishes: Pasta with courgettes and prawns

Recipe 68: I cooked this pasta long time ago for a dinner with an italian friend of mine, who for long time asked me if i knew this recipe. So i did it and i really think it’s quick to prepare and very nice to serve during the word cup matches.

Ingredients 3 people: garlic, 300gr pasta, 3 courgettes, a portion of king prawns already pilled (200-250 gr), white wine, salt, chilli and lemon if you like.

Put some olive oil in an hot pan and after then add some chilli and garlic cloves: you can crush them before to let them release more flavor, or they can be entire and you will take them out once they becomes goldish.

Cut the courgettes in fine slices and place them in the pan with the rest waiting for them to cook. In the meantime place some water for the pasta on the fire.

When the courgettes will be a bit cooked you can add the prawns and some withe wine to cook them better and giving them a bit more taste. Put the pasta in the water as soon as this boil, and wait for 8 minutes for it too cook. In the meantime, keep on mixing the rest of the ingredients in the pan, until well cooked and a bit more colored.

When the pasta will be ready, just drain it and place the pasta in the pan. Mix all and serve on plates with some extravirgin olive oil. We don’t use to put any Parmesan on pasta with fish, because to strong and dangerous for the fish taste.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy finalemente ho fatto la pasta che tanto mi chiedva Anna. Zucchine e gamberetti sembra essere un’accoppiata vincente ed in effetti stanno bene insieme. Forse avendoli ci avrei aggiunto i fiori di zucchina, ma qua e’ impossibile trovarli. Comunque un’altra pasta per un’altra partita e dita incrociate.

World Cup dishes: Penne with olives and tomato sauce (-32 weeks)

Recipe 69: First round of the matches for the word cup and first dish cooked in a friend’s flat in Germany! The problem was she didn’t really have anything at home to prepare a nice dish…or at least that is what she tough! Instead we cook a really nice pasta with tomatoes and olive sauce!

Ingredients for 5 people: 500gr pasta, 200gr of pitted olives (green or black is the same), 1 passata or 1 and 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes, onion, salt, chilli, and Parmesan or another mature cheese!

This is a very easy recipe that you can cook for how many people you want and it’s so quick that you won’t miss the beginning of the match!

Just put some olive oil in a pan and when hot, you can add some garlic until it become gold, or onion. Depend by your taste. Cut the olives in little pieces and add them to the pan and let them cook a bit. In the meantime put the water for the pasta on the fire.

Now you can add the passata or the tomato sauce with chopped tomatoes. Add some salt, pepper and a bit of chilli. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is well mixed with all the other ingredients.

When the pasta is ready, just add the sauce and some grated Parmesan or mature cheese. Mix everything, serve in the plates and add some other Parmesan on top if you like it. Enjoy!

PS. Mamy questo e’ il piatto che ho preparato per il primo girone dei mondiali l’altro weekend in Germania. Helga e’ stata cosi felice anche perche’ era convinta di non avere nulla a casa e non sapeva che cucinare, invece un bel sughetto alle olive e’ stato facilissimo da preparare e giusto in tempo per l’inizio della partita!

Risotto alla Pescatora – Easy Seafood Risotto

Recipe 78: This week it’s another tough one and i didn’t really have time to cook too much… but at least in the weekend i tried to treat myself.

So last weekend I prepared this nice Seafood Risotto, of course in a simplified version respect to the one that wants you to clean, cut all the fresh fish and to take the shells off from the seafood. I just bought a selection of seafood already clean and I add some king prawns, to make it more tasty! Anyway here in the supermarkets it’s very hard to find nice fresh fish. I need to go to Borough Market for a real food shopping!

The ingredients for 3/4 people are: 240gr of seafood selection, 140gr of king prawns, 300/400gr of rice, 1 glass of white wine, onion, garlic, 1 chilli, parsley and some spoons of tomato sauce.

Cut finely the onion, some garlic cloves and half of a red chili. Put all this in a pan with some oil and let it cook while you wash the seafood.

When the onion get goldish, add the fish, 2 or 3 spoons of tomato sauce, some salt and pepper and i also use to add some butter just to give more taste.

After a bit on the fire, pour 2 ladles of hot water (better if you had put some fish stock to boil in it or if you bought some fresh fish and you cooked it in there before) and let it cook for 15-20 minute. In the meantime you can put the rice to cook in a sauce pan with some boiling water.

When the water will be evaporated, you will have a nice sauce, but to make it even better add the last touch, a glass of white wine, mix it and wait until the sauce get a bit thick again.

Cut some parsley and when the rice is ready, add the sauce to the rice and serve it with the fresh parsley.

I wouldn’t put Parmesan on it… we normally don’t use it for pasta with fish, but if the rice it’s a bit dry and if you just used a little quantity of tomato sauce, i think could be nice to add a bit of lemon. Depend by your taste!

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy, lo so tu questa ricetta non la facevi praticamente mai, ma io avevo una voglia di frutti di mare che ho tentato di trovare una ricettina facile facile per poter avere un bel risotto alla pescatora in poco tempo. Che te ne pare?

Highlights from the Organic Food Exhibition

Last weekend i had the chance to visit the exhibition of natural and organic products organized here in London, in Olympia: the organic food you know is growing everyday more and especially here in UK, the care for natural and organic products is very high.

I was curious to know a bit more, meet the industries and the clients, but also the simple passionate: between infusions, beauty products, vitamins and healthy food, I was happy to find also a little italian group of stands. So let’s start from them.

The first stand to catch my attention was “il Panificio Zannella“, a little stand of salty natural bakery products. Maybe it’s because here there is not a big tradition of crackers and grissini, but i love all these crunchy salty snacks and these one where made in any kind of flavor.

Then i found the classic italian Olives, but this time made by an organic farm “Gaudiano” and these were very good. Moving to cheeses instead there was an amazing stand from Campania with Bufalo mozzarella, cheeses and the classic mozzarella. Thanks good they were there! The brand is “Ponte Reale“. Finally to help the sweet tooth there was the “Aiello” brand with the tozzetti biscuits and nuts covered in chocolate or almonds in sugar and chocolate. Too good!

After that i went a bit around and i discovered lots of interesting things:  first of all a new brand of infusions invented by Mr Scruff, Dj and cartoonist in life and now also producer of this “make us a brew“. Go and check their website… this tea is too funny! And coming back to the past instead, i found the Dragonfly Tea stand with also the well known TickTock brand … so vintage but always good!

Speaking about famous brands here are two protagonist of the scene: “Eat natural” with their delicious bars (I’m addicted) and known also in Italy and “Montezumas“, an organic chocolate english brand that presented, in this occasion, a new flavor: chilli and lime. I can swear it was really good, the ingredients were really well mixed with chocolate, the taste was good not too strong and i could feel the hot of the chilli and the sour of the lime. Impressive! finally i was captured by the Booja Booja Stand, where they served amazing chocolate truffles and organic ice cream!

Then i came across the stand from Ecuador and there i lost my mind: they offered me creackers with exotic organic jams! Banano, papaya, mango…delicious! and then i tried the platano crisps called “Plantain chips” and they were super tasty!

Finally i will spend two words for some new products i tested there and that i want to recommend: from Hungary i discovered some organic salty or sweet snack made by millet and produced by “I love bio“. Then a brand for children “Ella’s kitchen“: it’s a family of organic products for babies from juices to food, but really really nice… no one could resist to their stand!

I also discovered a nice brand for wheat and gluten free products. It was full of this kind of stands, but this is my choice after i tried some of their tasty products, Hale&Hearty. Last but not the least, i present you The Granola from Rude Healt. I love granola and this was really good: they serve it in little plastic glasses with some white yogurt.

I would like then to open a little chapter on Fruit Juice: i went there hoping to find my favorite one and classic in Italy, the pear juice but instead there wasn’t any not even here. However i found 2 nice juice organic brands that i can suggest: Organic Village where i tried a peach juice really reach in fruit and not just watery, and Elite Naturel from Turkey that use to do pear juice and other weird but very good fruit juices like Quince Juice. I never seen this fruit before!

PS. Mamy l’altra settimana sono andata ad un’altra fiera, questa volta era tutta di prodotti naturali e organici, da creme di bellezza a integratori a prodotti culinari. Anche questa volta ho trovato un gruppo di stands italiani, ma erano un po’ pochini! Diciamo che  ho soprattutto fatto un giro tra i prodotti organici che vanno di piu’ qui in Inghilterra: da quelli senza glutine, a prodotti naturali dall’ecuador o dal brasile, a famosi marchi inglesi che si trovano in ogni supermercato. Immagina che ho anche chiesto se ci fosse qualcuno specializzato in prodotti aproteici ma non ho trovato nulla! Comunque ha partecipato un numero incredibile di  persone. In Inghilterra c’e’ veramente la fissazione per l’organico!

Pennette alla vodka (-45 weeks)

Recipe 94: I tried this dish for the first time in the house of some family friends and from that day for a long time, when i was going to a restaurant i was often ordering that. i just like it a lot! So was a long time now that i wasn’t eating it and because a friend of mine had some good vodka at home, i decided to cook it.

Here the ingredients for 4 people: 400-500gr pennette pasta, 75gr pancetta, 200-250 gr single cream, 2 big spoons of tomatoes concentrate, 4 spoons of natural vodka, 50gr butter, onion, chillies, Parmesan and salt.

Put the butter in a pan with the onion and the chillies cut in little pieces. When the onion become goldish, add the pancetta and let it cook. In the meantime put some water to boil and add some salt.

When the water will boil, put the pasta and wait for the time written on the bag (taste it 2 minutes before and take it off one minute before the time written, because you will place it in the pan with the sauce for some seconds).

In the meantime, add the tomatoes concentrate or passata to the sauce, and when  well mixed, you can add the cream. I normally like the cream when it cooks a bit before to touch the pasta. It take all another consistency.

When the pasta will be ready, just add the vodka to the sauce and mix it all. Drain the pasta and place it in the pan to absorb all the sauce.

Now you can serve it with some Parmesan and a parsley leaf.

Buon appetito!

PS: Mamy chissa’ se questa e’ proprio come la ricetta di Grazia! me la ricordo ancora per quanto mi piacque. La prossima volta poi tocchera’ provare anche gli gnocchi di semolino e mi devo pure sbrigare! Comunque questa ricetta facile e veloce e’ buonissima!



Tartine vegetariane – vegetarian starters

Recipe 108: if tonight you have guests and you still don’t know what to do as an easy starter, try this recipe, quick, tasty and vegetarian so good for everyone!

Ingredients: bread (i used 4 slices of brown bread) – 1 courgette – 1 little onion – 70/100 gr Camembert cheese – 70/100 gr gorgonzola – 100/150gr.mushrooms – fresh rosemary – olive oil – salt – a piece of garlic and a bit of chilli.

Let’s start from the courgette: cut it in very thin slices and then again in half. Place them in a pan with some Olive oil and an onion cut in little pieces and let everything cook.

Add then some salt and chilli and when the courgette start to get mild and colored, add the cheese in pieces until it melts all.

In the same time wash and cut some mushrooms and put in a pan some oil and pieces of garlic. Let this cook a bit and then take it off from the oil.

Add then the mushroom, salt and some fresh Rosemery and let cook. When the mushroom are cooked you can add some Gorgonzola cheese and let it melt.

Now just toast some bread, cut it in little squared pieces and put some butter and the 2 different vegetarian mixes on top.

As you can see it’s very easy and quick, but i think the right selection of cheeses and vegetables just creates a very good starter.

PS: Mamy l’altro giorno non sapevo che inventarmi per offrire un aperitivo cosi’, guardando in frigo il cibo a disposizione, ho creato questi due accoppiamenti di verdura e formaggio che penso stiano proprio bene. Niente di speciale a vedersi ma molto meglio delle solite patatine fritte!

My Special Christmas dishes!

Recipe 114: this is not a classic italian Christmas recipe but, for a reason or another, this rice is something i always cook in Christmas. Last year i did it for my parents who came to London to see me, and this year I prepared it for my friends before to come back to Italy for the Christmas break.

Just to make the dinner a  bit more interesting i also prepared a little and super-easy starter that goes really well with the rice. An amazing champagne and wine completed the dinner.

For three people the ingredients are: a bunch of asparagus (8/10)- 250gr rice – around 100gr goat cheese – 1 onion – butter – 50/70gr pancetta – a glass of white wine – a vegetable stock – pepper – salt – chilli  and if you also want to do the starter you will need around 300 gr of Jumbo prawns.

As usual, let’s start from the onion: cut it in little pieces and put it in a quite big sauce pan with some butter or olive oil. Wait for the color to become goldish and add the pancetta. In the mean time wash and cut the asparagus in 2 or three pieces and put them to boil in a little sauce pan, while in a another container you will put some water to boil for the vegetable stock.

When the pancetta is a bit cooked, add the rice and let it toast in the sauce pan. after few minutes you can add the white wine and mix it all until the wine is totally evaporated. add some of the vegetable stock water and let it cook always mixing a bit to don’t make the rice stick to the pan.

Waiting for the rice to cook, you can now prepare the starter: put some batter in a pan and let it melt. After a bit you can put the jumbo prawns with some salt, pepper and chilli. Wait for them to fried a bit with the butter and then add some white wine. in thsi way you will create a nice sauce that will help the prawns to be cooked and the taste will be amazing. Wait until they are a nice orange color and you can serve them in a plate with some of teh asparagus you put to boil before.

Be careful: for the rice you will use mainly the tender points of the vegetable, so i suggest you to use for the started the other part of the vegetable that for the rice would be too hard.

When the rice is almost cooked add the tender parts of teh asparagus you boiled before with their water, to maintain more flavour and mixing all wait for the rice to cook and the water to evaporate.

When the rice is ready, take it off from the fire and add the goat cheese in pieces: mix it all and the cheese will melt giving to the plate even more consistency and a great taste. Then serve it as usual with some Parmesan!

Buon appetito e Buon Natale!

PS. Mamy te lo ricordi questo riso che vi ho fatto l’anno scorso e che vi era piaciuto tanto? beh questo anno ho bissato e l’ho preparato per la nostra cena natalizia a casa prima che partissi con anche un bell’antipasto di gamberetti! Ormai questo risotto e’ diventato il mio piatto natalizio e viene sempre benissimo!