Tag Archives: pancetta

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!

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Ferragosto Menu’: Quiche spinach and mascarpone (-22 weeks)

Recipe 48: finally for ferragosto I decided to prepare also a quiche with spinach, another classic in my mother parties preparations but this time I changed it a bit and I was very happy with the result!

Ingredients: 1 packet of shortcrust pastry, 450gr of frozen spinach(in buy best they have it), 150 gr mascarpone, pepper, 2 eggs, salt, just a bit of pancetta (40 gr) and nutmeg.

Boil the spinach in salty water and wait for them to be cooked. When ready, drain them very well, taking of all the water.
Prepare the baking pan with some baking paper or butter and flour as usual. Then place the pastry in the pan after having alredy stretched it in a flat round form. Mix the spinach with the mascarpone, the eggs, the salt, papper and nutmeg, adding a bit of pancetta already slightly cooked without oil. Here is the main difference with my mum’s one, made with ricotta and some pieces of frankfurts.Place the mix in the pastry and adjust the borders to contain perfectluy the filling! Place it in a prehitted oven at 200 degrees for around 30 40 minutes. Check with a tooth pick if inside the quiche is cooked and be ready to eat!
Buon appetito!PS: Mamy ho fatto anche la tua quiche con gli spinaci, ma non ho trovato la ricotta percio’ ho usato il mascarpone,mentre in cambio dei wurstel ho preferito dargli piu’sapore con la pancetta! Mi hanno detto tutti che era ottima!

Menu’ from Ferragosto: Quiche Lorraine (-23 weeks)

Recipe  50: Ok this is originally a french recipe, but it’s something my mum used to cook often because it’s very versatile. The quiche is something you can prepare the night before and it’s perfect for parties, pic nic or to bring with you for lunch! On top of that I discovered that our way to do it it’s very different from the french one!
Here are the ingredients you will need: shortcrust pastry (I used almost a full pack or you can take the one already prepared to be placed in the baking pan), 200 gr emmenthal,2 eggs, 6 spoon single cream, 150 gr pancetta, salt, pepper, a bit of nutmag and it’s done!Place the pancetta in a pan without anything else and let cook! In the meantime, prepare the pastry base for the quiche. I suggest you to use some baking paper or put some butter and flour in the baking pan to don’t allow the pastry to stick to it. Then use a fork to create some holes in the base and wait for the pancetta to be ready to prepare the filling.Grate the emmenthal, add the 2 eggs and the cream. Mix and add the pancetta, some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the mix in the pastry base and adjust the border in a way to contain all the filling. Place it in a pre-hitten oven for around 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees. When colored take it out and put a tooth pick in it. If it will come out dry, the quiche is ready! Buon appetito e buon Ferragosto!Ps: mamy questo e’ parte di cio che ho preparato per Ferragosto. Volevamo fare un pic nic ma visto il tempo ho trovato un posto dove potevamo stare portando il nostro cibo ed ho dato inizio al banchetto! Pensa che pur non essendo come l’originale francese anche a Nat e’ piaciuta un sacco!

Pasticcio di patate – Potatoes Pie

Recipe 53:  Today I cooked the oldest recipe of all. It was a classic from my grandmather, and my mum suggested to cook it here in the montain to eat it all together again. Also this recipe it’s super easy and with simple ingredients and probably it’s one of this dishes my grandma used to cook after the war, when in italy it was an hard time.

I will call it pasticcio di patate because it’s just a big mix of 3 ingredients cooked in a pan. You will need for 3 people: 800gr potatoes, 100gr pancetta, half onion, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Boil the potatoes with the skin to don’t allow them to absorb too much water. Leave them in boiling water for around 30 minute but you can always know if they are ready using a fork. If the fork enter in the potatoes they are ready.

Then take off the skin and cut them in slices not too thin. leave them cooling down. If hot they will become too mash and that’s not what we want.

Place some olive oil in a pan and then add the potatoes. In the meantime in another pan put some oil and the onion to fry a bit. When this is ready, add the onion and the pancetta to the potatoes and mix everything. Start mashing the potatoes in the pan and keep on mixing until creating a kind of tortilla.

Then cover with a plate or a tap and turn the tortilla and let it cook in the other side. Keep on turning the pasticcio until a bit colored on both the side.

At this point you can serve it as  a unique dish with some salad or as a side order for some meat or even fish. Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che bello che mi hai ricordato questa ricetta senno’ non l’avrei mai fatta! Non c’e’ niente di piu’ buono della cucina semplice di casa. Pero’ cucinare con te e’ molto differente… I trucchetti che mi dici cucinando non te li ricordi quando mi scrivi le ricette! Mannaggia!

Spaghetti alla Gricia (-27 weeks)

Recipe 58: This recipe doesn’t need a translation…you just need to call it like this! It’s a must of the roman tradition and if you go in Rome, you will see this pasta in the most of the restaurants. With the carbonara and the amatriciana this is another classic!

Ingredients 2 people: 200gr spaghetti, 100gr pancetta (but if you find the guanciale is better), 50 gr Pecorino (absolutely use just pecorino), some salt, balck pepper and a just a little bit of milk.

Also this recipe it’s really quick and easy. It’s basically a carbonara without eggs and all the taste comes from the amazing fresh ingredients. You don’t need to be a chef to make a good one!

Put some water to boil with salt and in the meantime cut the pancetta in very thin slices or pieces. When the water boils, add the spaghetti and place the pancetta to cook in a hot pan without any oil or butter. The pancetta is already quite greasy so it won’t need any other thing to cook.

When the spaghetti are cooked “al dente” (so one minute before the real time), drain them and add them to the pan with the pancetta. In the meantime in a bowl add just a little bit of milk to half of the pecorino and mix in a way to create almost a cream. Add this to the pasta and the pancetta and mix until the pecorino melts totally! the secret of this pasta is all here!!!

Now just serve it in a plate with some other pecorino on top and a good quantity of freshly grated black papper! Yummy!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy come poteva mancare sul mio blog una bella Gricia! Veramente l’apoteosi! Sto tentando di svuotare il frigo prima della partenza e avevo proprio questi 100gr di pancetta e ancora un po’ di pecorino e visto che era pure domenica, ho pensato che un bel piatto di pasta ci stava tutto! Che te ne pare?

Pasta all’amatriciana (-34 weeks)

Recipe 73: If you don’t know Amatrice is a city in my region, Lazio, and it’s very famous especially for this classic pasta recipe. To say the truth, in my family this has never been cooked too often, but here is the recipe i tried  yesterday and everyone loved it! Also this pasta is very easy and quick, but the taste is really special…i can’t translate the name, you just need to try it.

Ingredients for 4 people: 400 gr of pasta (the best is with bucatini, but in london are difficult to find so also with  spaghetti o linguine will be fine), 1 onion, 150 gr of pancetta, 300 gr of passata of tomatoes, 40 gr of pecorino romano (Waitrose), olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of chili.

Put some olive oil in a pan and add the pancetta cut in little pieces. Then add the chopped onion and wait for them to cook a bit on a medium fire.

When the onion will become transparent, add the passata of tomatoes, with some salt , pepper and chili. In the meantime you can put some water to boil with some salt and when the water is ready, add the pasta and wait for around 8 minutes.

waiting for the passata and the rest to cook, grate some pecorino cheese. This cheese has the same consistency of the Parmesan, but with a stronger and saltier taste. On the pasta it’s just special!

Check the sauce. If it’s getting too dry, take it off from the fire until the pasta is ready. Then drain the pasta, but keep some water on a side just in case. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix it on the fire so the pasta can absorb all the tomatoes.

Serve it on a plate with some grated pecorino on top and black pepper if you like it.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy non sai che delizia…mi sono stupita di me stessa e della ricetta! Anche ad Anna e’ sembrata perfetta…certo con il guanciale ed i bucatini sarebbe stato il massimo, ma almeno questa volta ho trovato il pecorino romano e l’ho grattuggiato fresco con la nuova macchina che mi ha regalato una mia amica! Hai visto che macchinario professionale? Adesso si che non mi ferma piu’ nessuno 🙂

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!