Tag Archives: pecorino cheese

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!

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Spaghetti alla carbonara… also in Holland!

Recipe 119: This is so much a classic, that it’s a dish we cook often when we want to eat a good and quick plate of pasta. In fact in my recent trip to Holland, on my last day we ate at home and we cooked spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Of course i first tried all the Dutch specialties , but a nice plate of pasta is very difficult to beat!

However if you pass for Holland you will need to try the fresh made dutch waffles, the Gouda cheese, you need to eat out and try one of their mix-asiatic dishes (their colonies in Asia have created a nice mix food culture), the special queen Wilhelmina’s peppermints (but i can suggest you these very good gums too, also if the name is not really inviting) and finally you need to try one of the FEBO’s specialties and you can’t avoid that considering there are so many FEBO and in the weekend everyone goes around with french fries and junk food.

But let’s comeback to the recipe of the pasta. The ingredients for 2 people are: 250 gr spaghetti – 2 fresh eggs – 1 onion – 75 gr pancetta – Parmesan (better if you can find Pecorino cheese) – salt – pepper. Very easy!!!

Cut the onion in little pieces and put it in a pan with a bit of oil. If you want you can also give more taste to the oil adding a little piece of garlic that you can cook and then remove (Consider that the real Carbonara is just with oil and garlic, but if you put onion too, the taste will be even better).

Then add the pancetta and in the meantime put the Spaghetti in hot salty water. Wait a bit for the pancetta to cook and in the meantime you can grate the Parmesan or  Pecorino cheese (depending if you like a stronger flavor). Put the 2 eggs in a little container and mix a bit until you reach a worm yellow color. No comments about his portable colander!

At this point when the pasta is ready (and still just a bit hard) drain it and place it back in the sauce pan with the pancetta and onion, Parmesan or Pecorino, mix all and then add also the 2 eggs, without put anything on the gas. This is the secret of this pasta. You don’t need any cream, but just the eggs will give the necessary creamy consistence to the dish.

When ready just serve with some more Parmesan and black pepper.

Buon appetito!!!

PS. Mamy questa e’ la carbonara che abbiamo fatto con Carlo prima che prendessi il volo. Avevamo una fame e devo dire che lui e’ stato bravissimo. La cottura era perfetta ed immagina che c’aveva anche il pecorino! Che buono!Chi la batte la carbonara? Invece prima ho parlato di alcuni prodotti tipici danesi, che a dire la verita’ non sono moltissimi, ma buoni, specialmente i waffles.