Tag Archives: tomatoes sauce

Pasta alla puttanesca (-25 weeks)

Recipe 54 : It’s a long time I don’t cook pasta and I really wanted to prepare for my parents and me something my mum doesn’t do often. This is a classic in the pasta dishes and very easy as usual: pasta alla puttanesca.

The ingredients for 3 people are: 300gr pasta (normally it’s with spaghetti, but I decided to use a short pasta called gnocchi, perfect to contain the sauce) 50gr black pitted olives, 300gr tomatoes sauce or passata, 2 spoons of cappers, 5-6 anchovies, some parsley, salt, chili, olive oil and a garlic clove.

Cut the anchovies, the olives and the parsley in little pieces. In the meantime put some olive oil in a pan with the garlic clove or some garlic powder until goldish and then take it out. To give more flavour I suggest you to crush the garlic a bit before.

Then place in the pan the anchovies in pieces and wait for these to melt in the oil. When this is ready, add the olives, the parsley and the cappers. Mix and let it cook a bit, then pour the tomatoes sauce, some chilli, salt and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes to cook until becomes a bit thicker.

In the meantime you can put the pasta in the water and one minute before the time written on the bag, drain it and place it in the sauce, mixing very well.

Serve it in a plate without Parmesan but with a bit of fresh parsley if you like. Enjoy!

PS. Mamy prenditi la ricetta cosi la fai piu’ spesso…  ho visto che papa’ ha molto apprezzato!


The exchange: Tilt ragu’ for some mince pies!

Recipe 113: and now it’s the time for the RAGU’, also known as Bolognese sauce. It’s a  long time i wanted to cook it but i never found the right occasion. Last day i saw a friend of mine who is a master of the mince pies and i thought we could have a nice Christmas cooking exchange…. some ragu’ for the mincemeat of the classic english mince pies.

The ingredients you need for ragu’ (a quite big quantity) are: 250gr beef mince meat, 250gr pork mince meat, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery, olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, tomatoes sauce  800gr (i used 2 cans of passata) and 2 glasses of red wine. Now the only thing you need to know is that it’s a very easy process but very long too. The sauce need to cook at least 2-3 hours.

First cut the carrot, the celery and the onion in the smallest pieces you can, then put them in a sauce pan with some oil and let everything fry for some minutes. When these are ready and quite cooked, put the 2 types of meat in the saucepan and cook them a bit. When the color starts to change, add 2 glasses of red wine, mix and wait until the wine is evaporated.

Let the meat coook a bit more and then add the tomatoes sauce. I used the tomatoes passata with chopped tomatoes. Add some salt and peppers and then put the pan on the smallest fire you can. At this point you just need to mix sometimes the sauce and add some hot water if  you see it’s getting too thick. You will need to leave the sauce on this fire for more than 2 hours just checking the water and mixing the sauce.

After one hours or so, try a bit of the sauce and add salt, pepper or nutmeg if you think you need it. Wait for the sauce to get darker and a bit dry. After some hours on low low fire, the ragu’ will be ready!

This is my final result !

From the exchange i received a massive container with mincemeat that i used to create an italian version of the mince pies: i have in fact used the pastry that i normally make for the Italian Crostata. You can find it here.

I used a tray for the muffins ( i couldn’t find any mince pies tray), i put the butter and the flour to don’t let the pastry stick to the tray and then i put the mincemeat in the pastry, closing them on the top in the italian way, instead to cover them totally.

I put them in the oven at 160-180 degree for half an hour and i was very pleased with the result! It’s Christmas for sure now!

What do you think?

PS. Mamy ti piacciono queste tortine? sono dei dolcetti tipici inglesi che ho preparato sul modello delle crostate grazie ad un mio amico che mi ha dato gli ingredienti per il ripieno. Insomma ho dovuto solo fare la pasta e riempirla. Abbiamo fatto uno scambio culinario Natalizio: lui mi ha dato questa specie di impasto di mele, uvetta passa e noci cotte con il brandy ed io gli ho preparato un bel barattolone di ragu’! Diciamo uno scambio culturale e natalizio!

Pasta al forno

Recipe 136: And after the besciamella recipe, you are now ready for the “Pasta al forno”.

This is normally something you can prepare also with some pasta “al sugo” leftovers…and maybe that is also the better version.

However here is the recipe i cooked from scratch on Monday for another guest.

For 4 people you will need:

350gr of short pasta (but if you have leftovers of long pasta you can try anyway) – 1 mozzarella – 20/30 gr of Parmesan – salt + Tomato sauce (2 tomato sauce can – 1 carrot – 1 celery – 1 onion) and Besciamella ( 50 gr flour – 50 gr butter – 500 ml milk – nutmeg)

pasta forno 1

I would start from preparing the tomato sauce as usual: oil in a pan until hot and add onion in little pieces.Wait until became gold and add the tomato sauce from the cans, carrot, celery and salt. Cook on a low fire and wait until the sauce is a bit thick (at least 20/30 minutes).

In the meantime prepare the besciamella as i explained here.

When both sauces are ready or are finishing to cook, boil the pasta with the salt, but be careful to don’t cook it until the end as written on the bag. Taste it before and if it’s just a little bit hard, you can take it off.

Pasta forno 2

At this point, i use to mix the pasta with the tomato sauce until it became all red and then I add the besciamella mixing a bit more. Put a layer of the pasta in a baking tin, add the mozzarella cut in little little pieces and close with a second layer of pasta. Finally cover all with a generous quantity of Parmesan and put it in the oven with the grill until the mozzarella inside is melted and you have a colorful crust on the top.

Cut it, serve it in a plate and buon appetito!

PS: Mamy ho seguito proprio il tuo metodo. Anche se la besciamella si puo’ mettere a parte sulla pasta prima di infornarla, per me e’ meglio mischiarla con il sugo, almeno arriva proprio su tutta la pasta! Era buonissima, ma visto le poche pentole che abbiamo, ho dovuto cucinare il sugo in un pentolino piccolo e non mi si e’ rappreso bene. Forse meglio cosi, ma preferivo la pasta un po’ piu’ asciutta e abbrustolita. Comunque che mangiata!