Tag Archives: parmesan

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!

Pesto fatto in casa – Homemade Pesto

Recipe 5: Another famous recipe of my mum, and very common in every italian house is the homemade pesto. What is better than the fresh smell of basil, pine nuts and parmesan all mixed together? And pasta with home made pesto it’s just another thing. My mum never buy the already made, but instead she uses to do pesto and frozen it in little containers to have it for all the winter.

Here the ingredients for 5 people: 70 gr. basil,  half a glass of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 garlic cloves , 3 spoons of pine nuts, 3 spoons of Parmesan, 1 spoon of Pecorino cheese and a bit of gritty salt. Of course the pasta will be around 500 gr. better if the shape is “trofie”.

The procedure is quite easy, but to be traditional, you will need a marble mortar and a wooden pestle. This because instead to chop the leaves you will need to crush them to have the leaves’ oil necessary for the sauce. Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a paper towel. Don’t squeeze them.

Then crush in the mortar the garlic clove the pine nuts and the basil leaves, add  the salt, the Parmesan, the Pecorino cheese and keep pounding using a light circular movement of the pestle.

Add some of the Extra Virgin Olive from time to time and keep  mixing until  you obtain  a smooth creamy sauce. Pesto should not be greasy and the amount of oil used must be well absorbed and not floating on top.

Trofie and Trenette are the pasta used in Liguria, however linguine or spaghetti al dente will make a good companion to this sauce. Just put some sauce in each plate with sme spoon of water from the boiling pasta and mix. In this way the suace will be more creamy and ready to be mixed well with the pasta.

Just add a sprinkle of Parmesan on top and Buon Appetito!

PS. Mamy che buono! L’ho portato a casa di amici e non sai le facce quando hanno sentito l’odore appena aperta la scatolina! Fantastico e la pasta non ha nulla a che vedere con il pesto pronto! Grazie questa ricetta me la tengo proprio stretta!

Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini – Porcini mushrooms tagliatelle

Recipe 6: It’s a long time I wasn’t eating fresh pasta so last night it came the moment for a classic porcini mushrooms tagliatelle, easy quick and good as usual.

Ingredients for 3 people: 50gr dried porcini mushroom and 50-100 gr fresh mashroom, garlic, salt, oil, 300 gr tagliatelle, Parmesan, white wine onion and parsley.

Put the dried mushrooms in some warm water and let them there a bit. Then pass them on the fire and let them boil. In the meantime put to boil the water for the tagliatelle. Then drain them keeping their water in a side and place them in a pan with garlic onion oil and some parsley.

Then add the fresh mushrooms in slices, some salt and some of the water you put in a side. When evaporated, add the wine and wait for it to evaporate too. Then add some more water if all the mushrooms are not cooked. When the water for the pasta will boil, add the tagliatelle following the time written on the bag. If they are really fresh they won’t take too much.

When almost al dente, I added just a bit of milk to the mushroom to make them more creamy, and then I toss in there the tagliatelle as soon as drained.

Serve it hot with some chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Ps. Quant’era che non mangiavo le tagliatelle? Non mi ricordo proprio piu’! Tu le facevi ogni tanto con i funghi porcini, ma qui sono impossibili da trovare percio’ ho unito secchi con qualche fungo fresco ma ho anche aggiunto troppo rosmarino che dava un po’ un sapore amarognolo. Meglio stare alla ricetta!

Risotto al melograno – Pomegranate risotto(-3 weeks)

Recipe 9: For the first dish of the year I wanted something great, a bit unusual, weird… In few word, something special and I remembered this recipe my mum prepared in one of the latest Christmas: Risotto with pomegranate!

Ingredients for 6 people:  500 gr. of rice, 2 pomegranates, 1 onion, pepper, salt, a bit of butter and Parmesan, 250gr speck.

Put some oil in a pan with the onion and let it cook until goldish. Take of the fruits from the pomegranate and leave them in a side. Then add the speak chopped in little cubes and let it cook.

Add the rice, let it toast and add a glass of white wine. When evaporated add some vegetable sauce from the stock. When the rice is almost ready add the pomegranate’s fruits.
When ready take the pan off the fire, add some black pepper, butter and grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

PS. Piatto super lusso per l’inizio dell’anno. Ok il sapore e’ un po’ originale ma per i primi giorni dell’anno nuovo ci sta proprio bene!!!!

Patate gratinate – Grilled potato pie (-5 weeks)

Recipe 13:  This is a fantastic recipe for children or guests. It’s light, easy, quick, you can prepare it in advance and it’s perfect as a side dish for fish or meat. Finally everyone Love it!

I cooked it for Christmas to complete the fish dish and I thought it was the perfect treat for my family in this lovely day. Let’s don’t think too much about the line in Christmas! However everything was grilled and not fried… so we have not been so naughty!

The ingredients for 4 people are: 800gr potatoes, 50 gr Emmenthal, 60 gr butter, 10gr breadcrumbs, 200gr cream, a bit of salt and pepper.

Clean the potatoes from the skin and boil them until soft but not too much. Cut them in slices and prepare a baking pan with some baking paper or butter and flour. Grate the cheese and then place a first layer of potatoes in the pan with some of the cheese, salt and the butter.

Then create a second layer exactly in the sameway and then a third until you finish all the ingredients. At this point cover all with the cream and then add some breadcrumbs and the rest of the parmesan mixed together on top to let it create a nice crust all over.

Considering everything is already cooked you will need just 15minute and maybe a bit of grill at the end. Then serve hot it with your main dish and enjoy!

PS. E si sa che le patate in qualsiasi modo le cucini sono sempre un successo, ma tranne la crema eil formaggio che non sono proprio light, penso che questo sformatino valga proprio la pena…sempre meglio delle patate fritte ed un po’ piu’ raffinato delle patate al forno! Voi che dite v’e’ piaciuto?

Stracceti rucola e Parmigiano – Beef on rocket salad and Parmesan

Recipe 18: This dish it’s quite light and very balanced, perfect for every dinner during the week and very quick to do also for guests. It’s typical in the center of Italy and it’s also fresh and simple.

Here the ingredients for 2 people: around 350gr of beef in a very thin cut (better if cut by the butcher or buy very thin steaks with less fat possible) a bag of rocket salad, oil, salt, pepper a bit of vinegar and Parmesan in slices!

Just put some oil in a pan with 2-3 garlic cloves. Leave it cook and get goldish and then take them out! In the meantime cut all the fat from the thin steak and cut it in little rectangular pieces. Place them in the pan with some salt and let it cook.

In a plate prepare a bed of rocket salad and mix it with some oil, balsamic vinagre and salt. When the meat is almost ready, put in the pan some rocket leaves to cook with the meat.

When all is ready place the meat on the rocket bed and add lots of Parmesan in slices! Enjoy!

PS. Mamy e da quanto tu non fai un bel piatto di straccetti? Io li ho trovati tra i nostri appunti e non ho potuto resistere… anche se magari sono meglio d’estate. Ma sono cosi rapidi e genuini, con questi semplici prodotti, che m’e’ venuta fuori una cenetta infrasettimanale con i fiocchi!

Penne ai carciofi – Penne pasta with artichokes (-8 weeks)

Recipe 19: And because i remember my mum and my aunt cooking a very good artichokes pasta, i decided to use one of the artichokes i bought in Portobello, to do the creamy sauce for some penne.

Ingredients for 2 people: one big or 2 little artichokes, lemon, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper, Parmesan, a bit of milk or cream and 200 gr penne.

Clean the artichokes as written here. Then cut them in pieces and place them in a pan with olive oil and some garlic. I normally take this off once is goldish, but you can leave it if you like garlic. Let it cook for 15-20 minute adding salt, pepper, chopped parsley and some water if needed. Then let it cool down a bit. In the meantime place on the fire some water for the pasta and when boiling, add the penne or any other pasta shape you want.

Take half of them and place them in a blender with some milk or cream and Parmesan. Once the artichokes cream is done, mix it in the pan with the rest of the artichokes and wait for the pasta to be ready.

When the sauce is well mixed with the rest of the artichokes and the pasta is “al dente”, drain it and put it in the pan with a  bit of the cooking water. Mix it well and serve hot with some Parmesan in flakes. Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che buono, molto meglio del carciofo semplice. Sara’ il latte, il sapore della roba cucinata fresca…non so, ma molto meglio di un qualsiasi sugo pronto al carciofo.

La minestrina di mio papa’ – My father’s minestrina

Recipe 20: This was just the best when i was little and it could not miss in my blog, especially now that here is so cold and you come back home just starving and looking for hot nice food.

This dish it’s a classic house recipe, cooked very often for the kids, and it’s also one of the few dishes my father is able to cook. Because he was the one to take me back from school at lunch time, i think this has been for long my main meal after school… and i have always adore it. So much that i wanted just my father to prepare it because it was for me better of the one my mum could make.

Do you want to know how to prepare it? You will just need a vegetable stock, 70gr of pastina (very little pasta you can find everywhere) for each person and some Parmesan to finish! NOTHING ELSE!

Put on the fire a sauce pan with some water and a vegetable stock. Let the water boil and just add the pastina. Wait for it too cook, and it won’t take long, so try it just after 5 minutes.

When ready, with the help of a spoon , place the pastina in a plate and add the broth until the plate is full. Add some Parmesan cheese, mix and serve also with fresh grated pepper if you like it.

There is basically nothing easiest than this…now you can understand why my father was a real master chef in this, and i can’t forget this recipe!

The same stock can be used also with Cappelletti or Tortellini: we use to cook them in the same way, with a stock in the water and serve it like this! It’s simple and a really nice dish. In Christmas is even a tradition and the man use to put even red wine in it. Trust me … you have to try them.

PS. Mamy sorry oggi papa’ t’ha rubato il posto con la sua mitica minestrina, ma non potevo non metterla nel blog. Credo di averla mangiata cosi tante volte, che non posso fare a meno di parlarne! Ci stava tutta insomma!

Patate Duchesse – from France but always in my mum favourites!

Recipe 30: and not only in my mum favorites…in mine and in the majority of our guests too! This is a classic dish for party because everyone like potatoes and this can be made in big quantity and the frozen to have it always ready. It’s  a long time i wanted to do them but i was missing the main tool: the Piping Bag and now i finally have one!

Ingredients for 4-5 people: 1 kilo of potatoes, 100gr butter, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, some milk, 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks.

Let’s start from the potatoes. Clean them from the skin and place them in a big sauce pan with water and salt. Let the water boil and leave them there for around 20 minutes. They need to cook but without become to soft. In the meantime in a big container place the egg, the salt, the Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper. Mix a bit and add the butter.

This time i had some Gorgonzola cheese left too and i decided to add it to the mix. I though the taste could go well together.

Drain the potatoes and mash them, then add them to the mix and create a smooth mix. If too hard, add some milk enough to make the mash potatoes quite creamy, but not too liquid.

Taste it and add salt pepper or nutmeg if needed. When ready, place all the content in one or more piping bag and start to create your potatoes.

Place some baking paper on the baking tray and push the bag to make the first potato duchesse. Push in the center to make it more consistent, but don’t made them too big or little.If you have a pastry brush you can paint them with an egg, otherwise just place them in the oven at 180 degree for  around 15 minutes. Check in the meantime. It will be very easy to see them take color and get ready. When they look like the picture, simply take them out and serve it!

Enjoy!

PS: mamy hai visto il tuo cavallo di battaglia come m’e’ venuto bene? Il puree era fantastico perche’ c’ho aggiunto un po’ di latte e pure di gorgonzola, percio’ quandop le addenti fuori sono croccanti e dentro belle morbide! Buonissime!

Pasta alla crema di peperoni – Pasta with peppers cream

Recipe 32: I remember a recipe from my mum i used to like a lot. It’s pasta with cream of peppers. I wasn’t a big fan of peppers when i was little, but the pasta done in this way i always liked it. Last week i had some of them in the fridge and some cream left from another dish, so i decided to try this again.

Ingredients for 2 people: 200gr pasta, 2 big peppers,  around 100gr single cream, one or two shots of vodka, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Wash the peppers, cut the top, take off the seeds and stuff inside and cut them in little pieces. Put some oil in a pan, hot it up and add some garlic coves. Let it cook a bit and then take it of. In this way you will just taste the garlic without eat it. If you want to have more garlic taste, just crush it before to put it in the oil. Then add the peppers in pieces and some salt and pepper.
Let them cook well for some time and when quite soft you can prepare a sauce pan with some water and salt to then cook the pasta. While the water is boiling, place the peppers in a blender until you create a cream with them.Now you can also put the pasta in the water.

Place the peppers cream again in the pan and add some single cream. Let it cook for a bit and then add some vodka. This will give a special taste to the dish. For the quantities i used one of these little airplane bottle that i found in a supermarket near me.

When the pasta is ready just drain it and place it in the pan with the sauce, toss it a bit and serve it with some fresh grated Parmesan . Enjoy!

PS. Mamy non so se ti ricordi queste penne al sugo di pepperoni. Le hai fatte per alcune cene ed io le trovo buonissime perche invece di essere le classiche penne che sanno per lo piu’ di panna, hanno quel tocco in piu’ della Vodka che ci sta proprio bene!