Tag Archives: stock

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!

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!

Polpettone by aunt Lidia – another family classic! (-13 weeks)

Recipe 31: Sunday i wanted to cook some comfort food as you say here. I wanted something that could smell “sunday with my family” and to change i decided for some meet and potatoes, that i don’t cook often really. So finally i choose to make my aunt’s famous Polpettone and i loved it!

Ingredients for 4-5 people: 500gr mince meat, 3eggs, some Parmesan, some cooked ham slices, one little bread loaf, some milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 2 vegetable stocks.

In a big bowl mix an egg with the Parmesan, salt , pepper and nutmeg. In another container place some milk and the bread in little pieces. Let them absorb the milk and when soft, drain them from the milk in excess and place it in the big bawl with the mince meat to. Mix it all well until homogeneous.

Then stretch the meat and make it in a rectangular thin surface. Now add the slices of ham and the other 2 boiled egg as in the picture, roll the meat and close it well. At this point prepare a plate with some breadcrumbs and pass the meat in the plate trying to cover it all with it.

Now pass the meat on a pan or in a sauce pan with some oil for some minute. The fire don’t have to be high and you will need to turn the meat often until it take a very nice color. Waiting for the meat to cook a bit, prepare some broth, putting the stock and some hot water in another little pan.

At this point the meat will be ready for the oven. It will need around 1 hour and half to cook at 180 degree and you will need to check it and turn it sometimes adding some broth stock every time… but the result worth the long time spend near the oven.

My aunt suggest then to let it cool down and put it then in the fridge in aluminum paper and cut it and serve it the day after! Maybe is one of these recipe that need time to get better, Put the sauce created with the broth in another container and conserve it in the fridge for the time you will eat the meat.

Then just cut it, hot it up and serve with the sauce pre-hotted for a bit. Buon appetito!

PS.Mamma il polpettone della domenica e’ proprio un classico e me lo sono gustato un sacco. E’ venuta anche a cena una mia amica australiana che ha molto apprezzato! Certo un po’ lunghetto ma piu’ facile di cio’ che pensassi! E meno male che ho la ricetta di Zia Lidia!

Risotto zafferano e funghi porcini + quick starter

zafferano e funghi 1

Recipe 128: Another italian typical dish in autumn is this risotto made with Porcini mushroom and Saffron. I discovered here in London they don’t sell fresh Porcini mushroom so i will need to use again dried mushrooms but you can use the fresh ones too.

Here are the ingredients for 4 people: 350gr Arborio rice (you can find it in Waitrose) – 60gr dried mushroom – a little bag of Saffron – 1 onion – oil – 2 little spoons of balsamic vinegar – 50gr butter – 2 glasses of white dry wine – 1 vegetable stock – 40gr Parmesan – salt.

And because we were having some special guests for dinner, i have also prepared a quick starter with: 250gr of Houmous – oil – carrots in slices – cucumber – cherry tomatoes.

zafferano e porcini 2

First thing you will need to put the dried mushrooms in warm water for half an hour. Waiting for them to get ready, you can prepare the starter cutting the carrots and the cucumber and serving them in a plate with cherry tomatoes and houmous. If you can add some olive oil to the houmous, the taste will be better.

When the mushrooms are soft, drain them, but use a kitchen cloth to strain the water and conserve it to cook the sauce. Put the mushroom in a pan with some olive oil and let them cook a bit on a middle fire. To give more flavor to the dish, put 2 little spoons of balsamic vinegar on them and keep on cooking them for another bit.

zafferano e porcini 3Cut the onion in little pieces and cook them in another sauce pan with the 50gr butter. In the meantime, in a little sauce pan with boiling water put the vegetable stock to create the “brodo”. When the onion become goldish, you can add the rice and let it toast in the sauce pan for two minutes. Then add 1 glass and half of white wine and mix the rice. When the wine is totally evaporate, add some of the brodo prepared.

In a little bowl instead put the saffron with a bit of brodo and stir it. The water need to became a nice yellow color.

zafferano e porcini 4

Add to the rice the rest of the brodo and the water from the mushrooms always mixing, otherwise the rice will stick to the pan. Then add the mushroom and after a bit the saffron and let it cook. Try the rice to see if it’s done and add other water or brodo until is ready.

At this point just serve it with Parmesan and enjoy!

PS. Mamy cucinando questo piatto mi sono ricordata di quanto piaccia il risotto a papa’. Poi quando ho fatto la spesa e ho visto che avevano il riso arborio non ho resistito… dice che e’ il tipo che ci vuole per i risotti alla milanese ed infatti e’ venuto buonissimo e bello cremoso. Avevamo per ospite un mio amico inglese che ha parenti italiani e mi ha detto che gli ricordava un sacco il risotto di sua nonna. Che soddisfazione!