Tag Archives: water

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!

Carciofi alla romana – Artichokes in the roman way (-9 weeks)

Recipe 21: When i came back in Italy last week, my mum was already cooking Artichokes. I love them and this is one of the 2 season. In London it’s not so easy to find good artichokes, but i went in Portobello Market hoping to find some of them.

I have to say they were quite big and hairy, but fine…i just wanted to cook some. So here the recipe for the roman and my mum way to cook them: you will just need one big or 2 little artichokes for person, some parsley, garlic in powder i prefer, lemon, olive oil, pepper and salt.

Remove the toughest of the outer leaves. Snip off any sharp leaf tips. Snap the stalk off at the base and remove the tough fibres running into the base where possible. Pull out the central cone of thinner leaves to reveal the inedible fibrous ‘choke’ (this may not be present in smaller baby artichokes). Carefully scrape this out with a teaspoon, leaving the prized heart in place. Then put the artichoke in acidulated water (e.g. water with a good squeeze of lemon juice added) for around half an hour.

Place the garlic cloves or powder in a pan with some olive oil. When they starts to get goldish, take them out and add the artichokes and some finely chopped parsley. You can also put some parsley and garlic clove directly in each artichoke, like my mum uses to do, but i don’t like so much the taste of garlic and i prefer to put some garlic powder on top.

Add some simple water or stock water and leave it cook for about 40 minutes. Add other “brodo” or stock water if needed. Artichokes are cooked when you can easily pull out an inner leaf and the stem is tender. Or you can just insert a fork in the lateral side of the artichoke and feel the consistency of it. If tender, they are ready.

Now just place it on a plate and serve it hot with a bit of their sauce! Enjoy!

PS. Mamy certo non saranno mai i carciofi buoni di Roma, ma almeno ho capito come si fanno! Diciamo che questi erano un po’ troppo grossi, ma il cuore era buonissimo! C’ho fatto anche la pasta!

Profiterole … and nothing else to add.

Recipe 27: As a dessert for my guest in the Halloween night i couldn’t resist to make the Profiterole, but starting from the puffs. Yes i did them too and was easy except for the cooking time that wasn’t exactly enough. However now i will tell you how to do them in the right way.

Ingredients for around 30 puffs: 250ml of water, 100gr of butter, half a little spoon of salt, one spoon of sugar, 150 of flour, 4 eggs.

Place on the fire the water , the butter, the salt and the sugar and bring to boil. At this point take the pan out of the fire and add the flour all in once. Put the pan back on the fire and mix with a wooden spoon until it get thick and starts to create a ball.

Now put it in a place to cool down for some minutes and then add one egg at time  mixing until absorbed.

Finally it will become a bit more creamy and you will need to let it rest for around 30 minutes.

Then pass the mix in a piping bag and  create your puffs placing them on a baking paper and leaving enough space between one and the other. They will grow so they need to have their space. Put them in a preheated oven for 30 minute at 150 degree.Never open the oven if you don’t want them to collapse. Check them from outside and see when you think they are big and colored enough. When ready, turn off the oven but leave it in there for around 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open.

Waiting for them to get dry, prepare the cream to put inside, following the recipe here. Place it in the piping bag  used before and be ready to fill them one by one.

The last touch it will be the chocolate. Take 200 gr of dark chocolate in tablet and put that in a little pan, inside a bigger pan with hot water in it and on fire ( a bagno maria). In this way the chocolate will melt without stick to the pan or burn.

Just pour it on the puffs disposed in a pyramid and serve !  For Halloween i also added some orange sugar sprinkles…but we couldn’t resist to try it and i don’t have pictures now 😦

However if you really want to make it perfect, just add some whipped cream here and there and… Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che te ne pare di questo profiterole…t’ho quasi superato cucinando anche i puffs eh? Peccato che avrei dovuto farli crescere un po’ di piu’ tenendoli nel forno qualche altro minuto, ma alla fine non mi posso lamentare!

Salsa di mele – Pork with apple sauce (-41 weeks)

Recipe 85: Always because i’m still trying to eat light an loose the weight tooken in Easter, this week i give you another recipe to eat meat and vegetable with a little twist. This time is even easier than the previous recipe and it’s all about a sauce to serve with turkey or pork: Apple Sauce.

Probably most of you already tried this sweet and sour combination before, but here is my mum’s recipe and i can tell you it’s all a new discovering.

Ingredients for 3 people:  3 apples (i used the golden delicious), 2-3 spoons of sugar, a lemon and some nutmeg.

Wash the three apples, take off the skin, the seed and the center. Cut them in little piece and put them in a saucepan.

Add the sugar, a bit of nutmeg, and the grated zest of half a lemon. Be careful to take just the yellow of the lemon because the white it can be sour.

Mix it all and pour some water, but just enough to cover all the apples. If then this is not enough to cook them well, you can always add more water later. Leave it cook for half an hour on a low fire.

When the apples will be cooked you will be able to mash them and the mix it will reach the consistency of jam. Take everything off the fire and add the juice of half a lemon.

Mix again all and serve it with the meat. The contrast of a very sweet sauce with the salty meat will be perfect.

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy ti avevo detto che avevo fatto la salsa e che mi sembrava troppo dolce. Invece poi quando l’abbiamo provata con la carne, non sai che buona! Non stonava per niente cosi dolce. Il contrasto era buonissimo ed il piatto in se’ e’ molto delicato.Proprio cio’ che volevo!

Easter Breakfast – Colazione di Pasqua (-42 weeks)

Recipe 87: Yesterday i had the classic italian Easter breakfast that we use to do with boiled eggs and salami. I think is the only occasion in Italy where we have a salty breakfast! However to make the breakfats truly complete and traditional i made some Easter cheese pizza bread that we call Pizza Pasqualina. With eggs and salami it’s just perfect!

These are the ingredients: 250gr flour, 2eggs, 35gr of pecorino and 15gr of Parmesan, than 50 gr of  Emmenthal in little pieces, 50 ml olive oil, 50 ml water, salt, pepper and 25gr of yeast.

Take the yeast and put it in some warm water until it get totally liquid. Mix this with all the other ingredients: the grated cheese, the Emmenthal in pieces, the flour, the 2 whole eggs.

Measure 50 ml of olive oil, and 50 ml of water, then add some salt and pepper and mix all with the rest. It will become a very soft dough that you will need to place in a recipient covered for 1 hour, 1hour and half.

Then you can directly pass it in the oven at 180 degree for 1 hour or until it get goldish on the top. Then cut it and serve it with salami and eggs and the breakfast is ready!

Then of course you will have the best breakfast ever if you will offer also a piece of the classic Colomba and an Easter Chocolate egg. You can’t miss that in Easter!

Buon appetito and Happy easter!

PS. Mamy anche questa Pasqua e’ passata, ma mi sono divertita a fare questa pizza Pasqualina. E’ cosi tradizionale e poi fatta in casa e’ tutta un’altra cosa rispetto a quella comprata! Nel frattempo auguri di buona Pasquetta!