Tag Archives: olives

Pasta alla puttanesca (-25 weeks)

Recipe 54 : It’s a long time I don’t cook pasta and I really wanted to prepare for my parents and me something my mum doesn’t do often. This is a classic in the pasta dishes and very easy as usual: pasta alla puttanesca.

The ingredients for 3 people are: 300gr pasta (normally it’s with spaghetti, but I decided to use a short pasta called gnocchi, perfect to contain the sauce) 50gr black pitted olives, 300gr tomatoes sauce or passata, 2 spoons of cappers, 5-6 anchovies, some parsley, salt, chili, olive oil and a garlic clove.

Cut the anchovies, the olives and the parsley in little pieces. In the meantime put some olive oil in a pan with the garlic clove or some garlic powder until goldish and then take it out. To give more flavour I suggest you to crush the garlic a bit before.

Then place in the pan the anchovies in pieces and wait for these to melt in the oil. When this is ready, add the olives, the parsley and the cappers. Mix and let it cook a bit, then pour the tomatoes sauce, some chilli, salt and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes to cook until becomes a bit thicker.

In the meantime you can put the pasta in the water and one minute before the time written on the bag, drain it and place it in the sauce, mixing very well.

Serve it in a plate without Parmesan but with a bit of fresh parsley if you like. Enjoy!

PS. Mamy prenditi la ricetta cosi la fai piu’ spesso…  ho visto che papa’ ha molto apprezzato!

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Insalata di riso – Rice salad

Recipe 57: I’m in holiday in these days so it’s very difficult to update the blog and not just for the  internet connection, hard to find or very slow, but especially because I was and I’m still with very good chefs. I tried to cook a bit, but amazed by my mum dishes and my friends capabilities, I couldn’t bother to cook some of my recipes.

In Spain the only one I tried was the Insalata di riso or Rice salad, fresh, easy, and perfect to use all the food left in the fridge. The only thing that really matter is the time of cooking of the rice. If you are good with that, the dish will be a success.

Ingredients: rice,  pitted olives (green or black it’s the same), cherry tomatoes, Frankfurt or ham, emmethal, eggs, mais, pies, cappers, or whatever else you like.

For this recipe I have asked to everyone the secret they use to cook the rice and there are 2000 different theories. I tried one, but I wasn’t happy neither with that, so I will give you my mum’s solution:

Put some water to boil with salt and then add around 50 gr of rice per person.  Let the rice cook but try it often, I wouldn’t leave it there for more than 10 minutes. You need to drain it when “al dente”. That’s really important. So if on the bag it says 15 minutes, try it at 10 and remember that it will finish to cook a bit outside too. If instead the rice is already perfect, pass it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In the meantime, boil also some egg, cut some emmenthal cheese, ham or Frankfurt, olives, cappers, peppers or cherry tomatoes if you want, mais and if you can, boil also some pies. I love them in this salad.

When the rice is ready and all these ingredients are cut in pieces, add some oil to the rice and all the ingredients, mixing very well. My mum doesn’t use to add anything else to it, maybe just a bit of salt and pepper, but all the ingredients will give the taste to the rice.

Serve in a plate and Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy con la cottura del riso sono una vera tragedia…mi viene sempre extra cotto! Argh! ho provato anche con un misurino di riso e 3 di acqua e nulla, alla fine era un pappone. La prossima volta mi ci metto proprio con attenzione, e vediamo se al prossimo pic nic saro’ piu’ fortunata! Meglio i risotti del riso semplice! uffa!

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!

Chicken with peppers – Pollo con i peperoni

Recipe 90: this is a classic recipe from the big lunch on the 15th of August…yes you understood well. We use to prepare chicken with pepper in summer, but don’t ask me why. I have never understood it! too hot for me.

However i decided to prepare it last week, when i saw some nice peppers in the supermarket and here is the recipe with all the ingredients for 2/3 people: 250gr peppers of any color, 500gr chicken breasts, 1 garlic clove, some green pitted olives, some capers in brine, 2 tomatoes, onion, butter, a bit of liquor like Porto, some basil, sage and bay leaves.

In first place wash the peppers and cut them in little slices taking out the center and the seeds. Put the 2 tomatoes in boiling water and leave them there for a bit. In the meantime put some butter in a pan and add the onion and the garlic cut in little pieces.

At this point cut the chicken in pieces and prepare the mix of herbs: put some basil, sage and bay leaves on a kitchen board and chop them finely, then add the pitted green olives in pieces and 2 spoons of capers. The smell will be amazing!

Now take the tomatoes form the fire, drain them and take off the skin, cut them in half, remove the seeds and cut them in slices to add to the peppers.

When the onion and garlic will become goldish, add the chicken breasts cut in pieces and let them cook a bit. Their color will change and just when all the pan will start to get dry, add some Porto liquor and they will soon get colored and really tasty.

Finally add to the chicken the peppers, the tomatoes, the mix of herbs and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, but i also suggest you to move everything in a sauce pan to make all the ingredients cook quicker and to create also a nice sauce.

When the peppers will be mild and well cooked, the dish will be ready and you can serve it hot in a plate.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy questa ricetta e’ spaziale…ci siamo leccate i baffi. Altro che il solito pollo con i peperoni a ferragosto. Questo con le olive i capperi e questo misto di erbe e’ veramente insuperabile! Considera che Nat non ha la passione dei capperi e delle olive, ma quando ha assaggiato questo mix ne e’ rimasta affascinata! DELIZIOSO!

The Italian Aperitif: product testing Dolce vita event

I will open my new “Product testing” category writing about some of the elements to prepare a good italian aperitif… that i miss sooo much.

At the Dolce Vita Event there were really too many things i could have bought, but here i have some selection: cheeses, olives and a drink of course.

Between the big variety of cheeses presented in the event i choose some Gorgonzola made with goat cheese, some Robbiola, some Toma from Piemonte, another very strong and tasty cheese similar to Pecorino and finally some Parmesan. It can never miss.

Here i need to thanks Lemons and Co, for their amazing Nero D’avola Cream that made the meal even richer and tastier. Lemon and Co, provides quality sicilian products like jam and sauces (i tried the olives and almonds one… very very good) and this innovative cream made from this quality of red wine grapes very characteristic in the island. It’s perfect with hard seasoned cheeses.

Then i need to admit it: i love olives and when i saw the Sapori D’Italia stand i couldn’t resist and i bought some marinated green pitted olives called Boscaiola (very big), and some marinated mixed vegetables called Antipasto!  They are a family-run business with shops here in UK and i was really happy to find all these traditional products there.

Unfortunately the only thing that was missing in the event, was a nice stand with Italian bread… i miss the Rosette and the Casareccio bread sooo much!Let’s see if someone will bring it in the next edition. I also hope in some Mortadella… please!

And to close the aperitif i have to mention another traditional protagonist of my italian Aperitivi in the local square: Il Bellini.

When i saw this little nice bottle between all the wines and liquor stands, it was emotion! Ok it’s not fresh made but do you know what it means to look for fresh white peaches with some taste here in London???

Produced by Canella, they have also a really nice blog.

So WELCOME to the Bellini Cocktail and good Aperitivo to everyone!

PS. Mamy questi sono alcuni dei prodotti che ho trovato all’evento di cui ti dicevo. Alcuni li abbiamo comprati ed altri mi sono stati regalati per testarli. Non sai che piattini con tutte queste delizie!

Portafogli deliziosi – Delicious wallets

portafogli 1

Recipe 123: This is a dish that i love but it was quite hard to prepare because here in London is very difficult to find veal’s meat. I was especially looking for a particular cut of the veal, very tender and a bit expensive but absolutely delicious, the one called “top round” i think. However at the end i bought some escalopes, but they cut them very thin and pressed them a bit.

Ingredients for 3-4 people: 4 veal escalopes – 4/6 ham slices – 4 good slices of Emmental cheese – 50gr butter – some black pitted olives – some sage leaves – salt – one vegetable stock – 1 glass of dry white wine and, very important, some toothpicks.

Portafogli 2

This dish is very simple: you just need to place the ham the cheese and the black olive (if you like them) on the veal, as shown in the pictures and then you close each piece of meat with 2 or 3 toothpicks an some sage leaves. The secret is just to close them properly, creating almost a triangle, so nothing can come out while you are cooking them.

portafogli deliziosi 3

Put in a pan the 50gr butter and let it melt. Then place the meat in the pan, put some salt and pepper and cook it a bit. In the meantime prepare some boiling water in a little saucepan and add the vegetable stock to create the “brodo’.

When the meat is a bit colored, add the glass of wine and when it’s all evaporated, start to use the brodo: you will add it bit by bit every few minutes, to let the meat cook and to create a nice sauce in the same time. You can also cover the pan if you want. The fire don’t have to be too strong but just enough to cook the meat without burn it. The meat will cook in 15-20 minutes.

Serve in a plate with the sauce on top and with some vegetables.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy, qui la carne di vitella la vendono solo in posti super specializzati. E poi la fesa o noce di vitello e’ proprio inesistente, non sai quanti macellai ho girato! Alla fine ho preso delle fettine, che erano buone ma non tenerissime come la tua. Comunque il piatto e’ venuto buonissimo e poi con tutto questo tempo senza mangiare carne di vitella… ci siamo leccati i baffi! Ho messo le olive nere nella ricetta invece dei carciofini perche’ come sai non sono un’amante dei sottaceti, e diciamo che il sapore delle olive di qui non e’ fortissimo percio’ non si sentiva tanto la differenza, ma giusto il necessario.

From the Halloween menu’: antipasti (-64 weeks)

halloween antipasti 1

Recipe 127: This post is about the starters we served for Halloween but the recipes are easy and good for every occasion. We were in 8 and these are the ingredients I used.

For the Black Coffins Cases you will need: 100/120gr gorgonzola – 12 slices of toasted bread – 25/30 black pitted olives – 2 little spoons of grappa or another liquor you have at home – 60gr butter – mayonnaise.

For the Monsters Eyes you will need: 3/4 carrots – a can of olives already pitted (depends by the quantity of carrots you will use) and 150gr mozzarella.

halloween antipasti 2

I will start from the black cream for the coffins. Take the pitted olives and cut them in pieces, add the butter and the gorgonzola. Mix it all with the 2 little spoons of liquor and with some olives water if you need. I suggest you to use a mixer, it will be quicker and the cream will be easier to spread on the bread. Try the cream and if you prefer a more stronger flavor, add more olives or gorgonzola depending buy your taste. Put the cream in the fridge for a bit.

In the meantime you can clean the carrots from the skin and cut them in slice (not too thin). Place them 2 by 2 on the plates and add a little piece of mozzarella on top. Finish them with half of an olive and serve.

Halolween antipasti 3

Then put the bread in the toaster and when it’s ready, cut each slice in half and design the coffins in each part. Spread the black cream on each coffin and design a little cross with the mayo. In normal occasion you can just cut the bread in triangles and add a bit of mayo in the middle.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy hai visto che carine le tombette fatte con le tue salsine? Considera che Nat se le sarebbe finite…va pazza per il gorgonzola. Invece mi ha aiutato con gli occhi dei mostri: si e’ lavata e pulita tutte le carote e si e ‘messa li ha tagliare tutti gli ingredienti! E per finire ha pure intagliato i peperoni con le faccette… troppo carini! Brava no?