Tag Archives: pine nuts

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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Strudel (-2 weeks)

Recipe 7: This is one of the last dessert recipes I missed and it’s very well known in the north of Italy. I normally eat it in the summer when i go there, but it remembers me an european version of the mince pies and I decided to cook it in these days, when you need help to cope with the new year.

Apple strudel for 6 people: you will need 300 gr of flour, 1-2 eggs, 170gr sugar, 1kg of apples, 50gr raisins, 25 gr pine nuts, 1 lemon’s zests, 40gr breadcrumbs.

Work the flour with the egg, than add the butter and work them well with 10gr. of sugar. Try to do a ball with it and than place it covered in a hot recipient for half an hour.

Peel the apple and cut them in thin slices, add the raisin previously soacked in some water to make them soft, the pine nuts and a some lemon zest.
Now stretch the pasta not too thin and not too thick, cover it with 70gr melted butter until is all shiny. Then add some breadcrumbs previously passed in the butter remained, add some honey or apricot marmelade if you like it, some cinnamon and the apples with the rest.

Now close the pasta creating a big roll, pass some other butter on top if you have still some and place in the oven for 1 hour at 190 degree. Serve it hot in slices with some icing sugar on top.

Ps. Mamy buono quasi come quello nordico. Il loro e’ un po’ piu friabile ma la pasta e’ uscita benissimo!

Milky spinach!

Recipe 91: Today i will give you the chance to bring some new life in your dinner vegetable portion…the classic one and sometime only a day! Here is a super simple recipe my mum use to cook for me when i was little. It was the only way to let me eat vegetable and especially spinach!… I have always prefered Olivia to Popeye (Braccio di ferro in italian)!

Ingredients: just some frozen or fresh spinach, milk, butter, raisins and pine nuts if you like them.

I was just speaking about frozen spinach because to boil them and have a good quantity after, you need to use kilos of spinach. Instead if you find the frozen ones, you can just put them in teh water and the dish will be good anyway.

Another little problem is that in England no one sell frozen spinach and i have never understood why! Why you can have frozen peas, broccoli, potatoes, carrots but not spinach?

However i will tell you a secret: try to look for them in some 24hours managed by indian…they seems to be the only clever people to use frozen spinach to cook and they saved my recipes!

By the way just put some of them in some boiling and salty water and let them cook. In another pan put some butter and when the spinach are ready, drain them and put them in it.

Mix everything and add some more butter if you think you need. Then add some milk and some other salt and pepper if necessary. Leave them absorb the milk and the butter and serve in a plate with some Parmesan, raisins and pine nuts if you like them.

Buon appetito!

PS. Ciao Mamy e chi se li scorda i tuoi spinaci con il latte? semplici e buonissimi per cambiare un po’ la routine serale. Noi li abbiamo cucinati senza uva passa e pinoli perche’ a me piacciono piu’ al naturale, ma penso che il connubio non sia male. Non sai che delirio per trovare gli spinaci surgelati…, ma alla fine ce l’ho fatta!