Tag Archives: tomatoes

Fagioloni al sugo – Runner beans with tomatoes sauce

Recipe 39: Today i have cooked a very old and healthy recipe from my grandmother. It’s very easy as usual but these vegetables are a perfect solution to change the routine in your meals.

I just found these beans at the supermarket, and i thought to cook this dish that is a long time i don’t eat, so here are the ingredients: around 300 gr big beans or runner beans as they call them here, 200gr passata of tomatoes (i suggest you Cirio one), half an onion, some salt and chili. That’s all!

Wash the beans, take off the ends and the filament from side to side. Then boil them for 10-15 minutes in salty hot water while in the meantime you will prepare the sauce.

Put some oil in a pan with the chopped half onion and wait for the onion to get a bit colorful. Then add the passata of tomatoes with a bit of chili. Let it cook and when the beans are ready, drain them and pass them in the pan.

Let them in the pan a bit, just the time to absorb a bit of the sauce and serve them hot! Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy chissa’ se mi sono venuti come te li faceva nonna! Secondo i miei in Italia pure i fagioloni hanno piu’ sapore, comunque buonissimi…me li sono proprio goduti!

Pomodori ripieni – Rice filled tomatoes

Recipe 42: This recipe is something i needed to cook now, before was too late. The rice filled tomatoes it’s another classic summery dish and i wasn’t really a big fun of it, until i tried them again this time. I have to say i did them REALLY well! I was impressed. My mum of course used to do them often because it’s a one dish meal and for the summer it’s really practical and easy.

The ingredients are : the biggest tomatoes you can find and i would consider at least 2 per person (i’m sorry but here in London the tomatoes are all quite little), one spoon rice for tomatoes, some salt, basil, flat leaves parsley, pepper and olive oil.

Wash the tomatoes and cut the top of them. Take off the interior and place it in a bowl. Then cut the pulp and mix it with parsley and basil finely chopped. Add some salt, pepper and the spoon of rice you will need for all the tomatoes. Mix it well and fullfill the tomatoes.

At this point, try to add in each of them some of the liquid from the tomatoes you put in a side at the beginning… but don’t add the seeds. Turn on the oven at around 180 degrees and place the tomatoes on a baking pan with baking paper or oil to don’t make stick to the pan. The rice will need this sauce to cook!

Let them in the oven for at least 20 minutes and then try some rice to see if it’s ready. Probably it will be still hard, so add other tomato sauce you have in a side and maybe a bit more oil.  Put them again in the oven until ready!

Serve it hot or at a warm temperature. They are good also cold from the fridge but i prefer them a bit warm. Enjoy!

PS. Mamma con tutto il prezzemolo, basilico, sale e pepe che c’ho messo, sono venuti troppo buoni! ed io che non ne andavo pazza per niente penso che li cucinero’ piu’ spesso…o forse e’ solo il fatto che non li mangio da una vita!

Eggs and tomatoes antipasti (- 20 weeks)

Recipe 44: After the holiday and a really busy week, here I am again with a new and easy recipe. This one is very quick and my mum sometimes did it for aperitif to guests coming for lunches or dinners.

I love the mix of these simple ingredients, so it’ s something I do often also mixing it with salad: 3 eggs for person, 1 can of tuna, some cappers, some tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes but not even too big), mayonnaise and that’s all.Boil the eggs for around 8-1o minutes. In the meantime place some tuna, a spoon of cappers and some mayonnaise in a bowl. When the eggs will be cooked, pass them under cold water, take of the skin and cut in half.Remove the yolks from the eggs and add them to the bowl. Mix it all until create a cream and than place the cream back in the eggs. Same thing can be done with the little tomatoes and the taste it’s really good.

Just cut the top of the tomatoes and take of the seeds and the interior. Replace it with the cream and close it back with the tap. They will be some really tasty bites!

Enjoy the appetizers!

PS. Ciao Mamy, dire che non ho il tempo di respirare questa settimana e’ dire poco, ma delle piccole cure me le dedico sempre e percio’ mi sono preparata questo piccolo aperitivo per me sola! E chi m’ammazza??

Another italian classic: ham, figs and Caprese salad (-39weeks)

Recipe 81: Big announcement this weekend. The figs are arrived in the supermarket! OK these are not the best figs ever, very sweet and soft, but they are good enough to have another classic italian dish for a light lunch or starter.

Ingredients: you will just need 4-5 figs, some Parma ham, 1 mozzarella, 4-5 tomatoes, 1 avocado or only some basil leaves, salt and olive oil.

For the Prosciutto e Fichi, just peal the figs and cut them in half. Put the ham on a plate with them and that’s all.

To make the dish a bit more complete, just add the Caprese salad: cut the mozzarella in slices, then wash the tomatoes and cut them in slices too and serve in a plate placing them alternately. Then if you want, you can just add between the slices some basil leaves as we do in Italy, but otherwise you can also peal an avocado and add some slices of this too. With some olive oil, salt and pepper the dish will be ready!

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

PS. Mamy lo scorso fine settimana non ho potuto resistere a prosciutto e fichi! quando ho visto i fichi al supermercato per quanto piccolini non ho potuto fare a meno di prenderli. E con un po’ di prosciutto crudo ed una caprese, mi sono fatta proprio un bel pranzetti all’italiana!

Antipasto italiano: Bruschetta & Crostini

Recipe 96: Let’s speak about the most classic Italian starter and let’s do it once for all: here is the recipe of the real Bruschetta and to make the dish a bit more interesting i have also added some Crostini.

Ingredients for 2 people: 4 tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, Parma ham, mozzarella, Casareccio Bread (impossible to find in England so i just used a classic baguette), Parmesan.

The bruschetta is very easy, reason why i can’t stand when they serve something totally different in some place here in London.

You just need to cut some nice red tomatoes in little pieces, add some garlic in pieces ans some basil leaves. Mix everything with some good olive oil, salt, a bit of pepper if you want and leave it there for some time. More you will leave it and more sauce you will get from the tomatoes and all the ingredients will release their amazing taste.

Another very important element is the bread: this in theory need to be “Casareccio”, a very common type of bread in Italy. It’s characteristic, on top of the particular taste, to be quite hard outside, but very soft and reach inside and with quite big holes too.

If you just cut the bread in thin slices and you grill it a bit, it will be perfect for the tomatoes bruschetta or just the garlic and oil one!

However i used in this case a Baguette or Baton ( the french bread is more welcome than the italian here in London), i cut some slice and i put it in the oven to grill them a bit, before to put the tomatoes mix: this is another important step to make a perfect bruschetta.

Then to make it truly original you can even pass a piece of garlic on the bread still hot and add a bit of oil. At this point the bruschetta will be irresistible.

For the crostini i instead placed a piece of Parma ham on the bread, some mozzarella and another piece of ham and i put them in the oven to melt and get a bit crunchy. You can even put some mozzarella on the top or just some Parmesan thin slices before to serve them.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy oggi ho ricominciato dalle basi e visto che ci stiamo avvicinando ad un clima un po’ piu’ mite, ho pensato di spiegare una volta per tutte come ottenere una bruschetta DOC. qualche settimana fa infatti ero andata in un ristorante italiano e non sai che roba ci hanno rifilato! Per bruschetta e crostini ho tolleranza zero! Sono troppo semplice da fare per poter sbagliare.

Polpette “al sugo” and “in bianco” (-69 weeks)

Let's start

Recipe 138: As i promised, here is the recipes for the “polpette” or meatballs, as my mum use to cook them.

On friday my guests tried the tomatoes sauce and the white sauce version and they will tell you their opinion and favorite.

Ingredients for 3-4 person:

500gr mince meat – fresh parsley flay leaves – a bit of parmisan (20-30 gr) – a bit of milk – 3 slice of bread – salt – garlic in powder – bread crumbs and 3 whole eggs.

For the sauces:

2 cans of tomato sauce – 1 carrot – 1 celery – 1 little onion – a glass of white wine – butter (2-3 slices) – oil – 1 vegetable stock.

I suggest you to start from the tomatoes sauce because it takes a bit of time to cook:

Put oil in a pan, and cut the onion in little pieces. When the oil is hot put the onion and wait until it take a bit of color. This in italian is called “soffritto” and it’s the base of a good sauce. Then add the 2 tomato cans, the carrot without skin and a good piece of celery. Cook on a low fire for at least 20 minutes.

In the meantime you can prepare the “polpette”:

Take the 3 bread slice, cut the dark crust and put them in a cup of milk, until they don’t get really dump. Cut the parsley in very little pieces and put them with the mince meat, add the 3 whole eggs, the Parmisan, a bit of garlic and salt, and finally the bread already squeezed from the milk.

Mix everything very well and start to prepare all the little balls. You will then pass them in the bread crumbs and they will be ready to be cooked.

When the tomato sauce is ready you can put some of the meatballs in the sauce and let them cook, turning them a bit sometimes.

almost ready!At this point you can also prepare the white sauce for the remaining meatballs:

Put the vegetable stock to cook in some hot water. Instead in another pan you will put a bit of oil, butter and after a bit you will add a bit of white wine. This sauce is very quick and when you think is ready you can start to fried the other meatballs. Because the meat will take a bit to cook, you will add constantly the “brodo” from the vegetable stock. This will maintain enough liquid to fried the polpette and will give a nice test to the sauce.

Turn often the meatballs and when (at least after 20 minutes) you see the tomato sauce quite thick and the meatballs in the white sauce quite colored, you can serve them.

I cooked them with some roast potatoes but you can choose any other side order.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy ho fatto le polpette ed erano buonissime!!!! che te ne pare delle foto?Anche Anna ha detto che le ricordavano un sacco quelle della sua mamma. Grazie tante e alla prossima ricetta.