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Home-Made Pizza With Tomatoes, Rocket and Parmesan Cheese

A crunchy pizza base, topped with fresh Piccadilly tomatoes, some rocket leaves and Parmesan cheese…

An easy recipe, perfect for this season!

Enjoy!

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Pizza with tomatoes, rocket and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

for 2 large pizzas

Buy 2 ready made pizza bases or follow this recipe

For the pizza toppings

2 fresh mozzarellas (or you can use stracchino)

300 g Piccadilly tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

60 g rocket leaves (arugula)

50 g Parmesan cheese (thin slices)

Extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Wash and dry the rocket leaves and the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half.

2. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pizza dough and make two large pizza bases.

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3. Bake the pizza bases at 200 ° C until they are crunchy (I am using a use a pizza stone, but you can use a baking tray greased with olive oil).

4. Add the mozzarella cheese and put the bases back in oven for a few minutes, to melt the cheese.

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5. Turn off the oven and garnish your pizzas. Place the tomatoes, the rocket leaves and Parmesan cheese onto the pizza bases, then season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Pizza con pomodorini freschi, rucola e parmigiano.

Ingredienti

Per 2 pizze grandi

Per fare due basi per la pizza seguite questa ricetta

Per guarnire le pizze

2 mozzarelle (oppure stracchino)

300 g di pomodorini Piccadilly

60 g di rucola

50 g di scaglie di Parmigiano Reggiano

olio extra vergine d’oliva

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e asciugate la rucola e i pomodorini, poi tagliate i pomodorini a metà.

2. Stendete la pasta con un matterello.

3. Infornate le basi della pizza a 200° C (uso una pietra per la cottura della pizza, ma potete usare una teglia unta). Fate cuocere fino ad ottenere una pasta croccante.

4. Aggiungete la mozzarella e infornate ancora per qualche minuto, per far sciogliere il formaggio.

5. Sfornate le pizze e spegnete il forno. Disponete i pomodorini, la rucola e il parmigiano sulle pizze, poi condite con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva, sale e pepe.

 

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Barley And Shrimp Salad In Red Cabbage Leaves

Barley is a cereal that has been used in dishes for thousands of years. It’s a wonderful and versatile ingredient: it can be used in salads and soups or cooked like a risotto. Today we are going to make a light barley salad with lots of fresh vegetables and shrimps! This colourful salad could be a great side dish for a barbecue or a buffet, but could also be served on its own as a light meal.

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Tips.

1. Pearl barley does not need soaking before cooking, it is simply boiled like rice.

2. Wash the barley under running water for a few minutes before cooking it, to remove its natural bitter taste.

3. For this recipe I am using a red Tropea’s onion, a delicious onion variety, available in Italy. If you don’t find it, you can use shallots instead. Shallots and Tropea’s onions are perfect for this recipe because they are naturally sweet and have a pleasant delicate flavour.

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Barley and shrimp salad in red cabbage leaves.

5 – 6 red cabbage leaves (medium size)

90 g pearl barley

250 g frozen shrimps

1/2 sweet red Tropea’s onion (or shallots)

1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped

7-8 cherry tomatoes

1 large avocado

the juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

vegetable broth

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Method.

1. Cook the pearl barley in vegetable broth (I used an organic stock), for 40 minutes (the cooking time will vary depending on the variety of barley).

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2. Boil some water in a sauce pan, then turn off the heat and soak the shrimps in the hot water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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3. Wash and dry the cabbage leaves. Peel and slice the onion and avocado, then set aside. Wash, dry and cut the celery and tomatoes.

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4. Mix all the vegetables (including the chopped parsley) with the cooked barley and shrimps. Serve the salad in cabbage leaves and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

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Cestini di insalata d’orzo e gamberetti.

5-6 foglie di cavolo rosso

250 g gamberetti surgelati

1/2 cipolla rossa di Tropea (oppure lo scalogno)

1/2 gambo di sedano

7-8 pomodorini ciliegia

1 avocado grande

il succo di mezzo limone

2 cucchiai di prezzemolo fresco, tritato finemente

sale e pepe q. b.

brodo vegetale (uso del brodo fatto con del dado biologico)

Preparazione.

1. Fate cuocere l’orzo perlato nel brodo per 40 minuti (il tempo di cottura può variare a seconda della qualità di orzo).

2. Fate bollire una pentola piena d’acqua, poi spegnete il fuoco e immergetevi i gamberetti per 3-4 minuti. Scolate e mettete da parte.

3. Lavate e asciugate le foglie di cavolo. Pelate e tagliate le cipolle e l’avocado. Lavate, asciugate e tagliate a cubetti il sedano e i pomodorini.

4. Mescolate tutte le verdure (compreso il prezzemolo) con l’orzo e i gamberetti. Servite l’insalata nelle foglie di cavolo e condite con sale, pepe e il succo di limone.

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Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto (Risotto Allo Zafferano) is a Lombard recipe, much appreciated in the North of Italy for its wonderful delicate flavour and also because is one of the simplest risotto recipes to make. This amazing risotto is usually served on its own, without meat or fish and it has a lovely saffron flavour, well complemented with the Parmesan cheese, which is added at the final stage of the recipe, like in most Italian risotto dishes.

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Saffron Risotto is often confused with Milanese Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese), another renowned Lombard recipe; in both these risottos we use saffron as a main ingredient but there are some differences in the ingredients.

Tips.

1. It is very important to only use good quality products, in order to make a delicious risotto.

2. Also see How To Make A Perfect Risotto

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Saffron Risotto (Risotto allo Zafferano) 

Medium difficulty

Preparation time: 5 minutes (not considering the broth)

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

For 4 servings

350 g (12.3 oz) Carnaroli rice or Arboreo rice

a pinch of saffron (enough to colour the rice of a bright yellow)

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 glass of good white wine (not acidic, this is very important!)

150 g (5.3 oz)  freshly grated Grana Padano cheese

125 g (4.4 oz) good quality fresh butter

1 litre (33, 8 fl oz us) hot vegetable broth (see below)

For vegetable broth

1 large carrot

1 large onion

1 celery stalk (also use the leaves, if you have them)

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. In a large pan, prepare the vegetable broth. Wash, clean and roughly chop the vegetables, then fill the pan with plenty of water and cook the vegetables until tender. Season with some fine sea salt (do not exceed), then sift the broth and remove the vegetables.

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2. Sauté the onion in 80 g of butter, over a low heat for about 10-15 minutes.

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3. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes over a medium heat, then pour in a glass of white wine and stir. Shimmer until all the wine evaporates.

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4. Lower the heat and add the hot broth (a little at a time), stirring constantly. Let the broth evaporate and continue adding the broth and stirring, until the rice is creamy and properly cooked. During the cooking time add the saffron (diluted in a little bit of warm vegetable broth).

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5. Turn off the heat and add the finals ingredients to the risotto. Add the rest of the butter, 3-4 tablespoons of grated Grana Padano and season with salt and pepper ( taste it and season only if needed), then stir and cover with a lid. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes and serve.

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How To Make A Perfect Risotto

Risotto is one of the finest Italian dishes and is appreciated all over the world. There are endless variations. Each region has its own traditional risotto recipes made with seafood, meat or vegetables. Today we are going to explore the method to make a perfect risotto, the Italian way!

Four important steps.
To make a good risotto it is important to follow each recipe step by step. There are 4 basic steps in the preparation process of each risotto:

1. Sauté the onions

2. Fry the rice

3. Cook the risotto

4. Let the risotto rest

Today we are going to see each of these steps in depth.

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A few notes on the preparation process.

1. The preparation time and the ingredients will vary depending on the recipe.

2. During the whole process you have to constantly stir the risotto, therefore it’s important to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

3. Don’t reheat the risotto because the rice will become chewy and dry. Prepare the risotto and serve it.

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Method.

1. Sauté the onions. Sauté the onions in butter over a very low heat, until they are very tender and almost transparent.

Notes. The onions have to dissolve in your mouth when you taste the risotto. You can replace the onions with shallots, spring onions or garlic, depending on the recipe.

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2. Fry the rice. When the onions are ready, add the rice and then fry it over a medium heat for a few minutes (stir constantly).

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3. Cook the risotto. After frying the rice, add the wine.  Once the wine flavour is absorbed and the alcohol evaporated, add the hot broth (usually a full ladle at a time) and cover the rice with it. Continue cooking and stirring. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add more broth until you reach the ideal cooking consistency.

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Notes. Use hot broth, because a cold broth will lower the temperature and compromise the cooking process.

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4. Let the risotto rest. When the risotto is creamy and properly cooked, add the final ingredients (usually butter and cheese), stir well, cover with a lid and let the rice rest for a few minutes. Now the risotto is ready to be served.

Note. This will make the risotto very creamy and tasty.

Also see Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

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Traditional Recipe: Roasted Bell Peppers With Garlic Vinaigrette

Bell peppers are delicious, rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and come in a variety of colours. In Italy we usually cook red and yellow peppers and we don’t use green peppers as much, because they are more acidic and bitter in taste. Bell peppers are usually roasted, fried, grilled or stewed with different ingredients. Today we are going to roast the peppers and season them with a light vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and enriched with fresh herbs and garlic.

Roasted peppers are a very simple but effective appetiser or side dish, I personally really like them and I could eat lots! If you prefer a more complex dish you can use them to make a sauce to complement or season pasta and meat dishes, or simply used them as a tasty ingredient in salads.

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Roasted bell peppers with garlic vinaigrette.

medium difficulty

Ingredients

for 4 people

3 large bell peppers.

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For the garlic vinaigrette.

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Wash and dry the bell peppers.

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2. Roast the whole peppers in the oven at 200°C (392° F ) on a baking sheet (The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the peppers. When the skin starts darkening slightly and detaching from the flesh, the peppers are ready).

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3. Once the peppers are slightly soft, turn off the oven. Put the hot peppers in plastic bags (or an airtight container) and seal well (In this way, the steam will make removing the skin from the flesh mush easier).

4. Let cool, then remove the pepper from the bag and throw away the water created from the steam. Remove the skin on each pepper, using a small sharp knife.

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5. Slice the peppers vertically into two, then remove and discard the stem and the seeds. Slice each pepper vertically into 8 pieces and serve cold with the garlic and herb vinaigrette.

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For the vinaigrette.

Mix 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the herbs, the garlic and some salt and pepper. Season and serve.

Tip. For extra flavour you can add half a tablespoon of anchovy paste to the sauce.

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Peperoni arrosto con vinaigrette all’ aglio.

media difficoltà

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

3 peperoni abbastanza grossi (rossi e gialli)

Per la vinaigrette all’ aglio

4 cucchiai di olio extra vergine di oliva

1 spicchio d’aglio, sbucciato e ben schiacciato

1/2 cucchiaio di origano essiccato

1/2 cucchiaio di prezzemolo fresco tritato

1 cucchiaio di aceto balsamico

sale e pepe q.b.

Preparazione.

1. Lavate bene i peperoni e asciugateli.

2. Mettete i peperoni interi a cuocere in forno a 200° C ( uso una teglia grande ricoperta da un foglio di carta da forno). Il tempo di cottura varierà a seconda della grandeza e dello spessore dei peperoni; quando la buccia si colorirà e si staccherà dalla polpa, i peperoni sono pronti.

3. Mettete i peperoni ancora caldi in un contenitore con il coperchio, poi chiudete bene e lasciate raffreddare (con questo metodo il vapore farà staccare con più facilità la buccia dalla polpa).

4. Aprite e buttate via l’acqua che si è formata per il vapore. Con un coltello, levate la buccia ai peperoni.

5. Tagliate a metà i peperoni e rimuovete la parte interna con i semi. Tagliate ancora i peperoni in verticale fino ad ottenere 6-8 fette lunghe per peperone.

Per la vinaigrette.

Mescolate l’olio extra vergine di oliva con le erbe, l’aglio, il sale e pepe. Condite i peperoni e servire.

Tip. Per insaporire ulteriormente si può aggiungere mezzo cucchiaio di pasta d’acciughe al condimento.

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Traditional Recipe: Torta Caprese

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As the name suggests, the Torta Caprese (Caprese cake) originally comes from Capri, a beautiful little island, near Naples.
Dark brown, a little bit crunchy on the outside but soft and moist in the centre, this delicious and decadent chocolate cake is widely appreciated all over Italy. It is also an amazing gluten-free cake, because it doesn’t contain any flour; although, in some recipes a little bit of flour might be used to dust the baking tin.

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Tips.

1. The Torta Caprese is usually cooked in a large round baking tin and shouldn’t be too thick.

2. This is a dark chocolate cake which suits better an adult taste, because it’s not very sweet. It is possible to adjust the recipe for the kids using a sweeter dark chocolate, adding 20 g of sugar to the ingredients and dusting with plenty of icing sugar.

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Torta Caprese.

For 8 servings

easy

Cooking time: 1 hour

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

300 g (10.58 oz) almonds (without the skin)

170 g (5.99 oz) butter, softened

100 g (3.5 oz) brown sugar

45 g (1.5 oz) honey

200 g (7.05 oz) dark chocolate 70% cocoa

4 eggs

icing sugar for garnish

cocoa powder to taste

a pinch of salt

Method

1. Toast the almonds in the oven for a few minutes at 180 ° C (356°F). Let cool then grind finely.

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2. Cut and melt the chocolate in bain-marie for a few minutes.

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3. In a large bowl, mix the butter with 4 egg yolks, honey, the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Then add the ground almonds with the chocolate and mix well.

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4. Separately, whip all the egg whites until stiff, then gently mix with the rest of the ingredients.

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5. Grease with butter and line the base and sides of a large cake tin with baking paper (roughly cut down to size). Then fill with the mixture and bake at 150 ° C (302°F) for about 1 hour.

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6. Take the cake out of the oven and let cool. Dust with some cocoa powder, decorate with icing sugar and serve.

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Torta Caprese.

Per 8 persone

Facile

Tempo di cottura: 1 ora

Tempo di preparazione: 20 minuti

Ingredienti

300 g di mandorle sbucciate

170 g di burro morbido (e del burro in più per imburrare la teglia)

100 g di zucchero di canna

45 g di miele

200 g di cioccolato fondente al 70 %

4 uova

zucchero e velo q. b. per guarnire

un pizzico di sale

cacao amaro in polvere q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Tostate le mandorle nel forno per qualche minuto a 180° C. Lasciatele raffreddare e poi tritatele molto finemente.

2. Fate fondere il cioccolato a bagnomaria.

3. In una terrina grande, amalgamate il burro con i tuorli d’uova, il miele, lo zucchero e un pizzico di sale, fino ad ottenere una crema. Aggiungete anche le mandorle con il cioccolato fuso e mescolate bene.

4. A parte, montate gli albumi a neve e uniteli al resto degli ingredienti, mescolando delicatamente dal basso verso l’alto.

5. Imburrate la teglia e ricopritela con della carta da forno (tagliata di misura). Versate il composto nella teglia e infornate a 150°C per circa 1 ora.

6. Sfornate la torta e lasciatela raffreddare. Spolverate con un po’ di cacao amaro, decorate con dello zucchero a velo e servite.

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Light Wholemeal Spelt Brioches

Brioche and cappuccino are, without a doubt, Italians’ favourite breakfast! Yes, our ideal breakfast would be a brioche filled with plenty of custard and a nice warm cappuccino, topped with a lot of cocoa powder! It’s not something we would have every day (even though some people might do) but it’s something we’d treat ourself with during weekends and special occasions. Sometimes waking up to a warm brioche and a cappuccino is a really nice way to start the day in full swing!

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Since I started this blog, I have always wanted to try and make my own brioches, but for one reason or another I kept on postponing it…Last week I finally gave it a go and here is my brioche recipe! I have to say, I thought it was going to be much more complicated! The method is not too difficult if you follow all the steps of the recipe, it just takes some time and care. You can prepare your brioches in your spare time and store them in the freezer, where they will last up to a month. They are very nice when you warm them up in the morning!

Italian brioches have a similar shape to croissants but the dough is sweeter and softer. This recipe is quite light, it has some fibres and it’s not too sweet, so you can fill the brioches with whatever you like, if you wish.

Wholemeal Spelt Brioches.

Medium difficulty

Ingredients

For 2 trays (approximately 12-14 brioches)

For the starter

100 g (3.5 oz)  manitoba flour

50 g (1.7 oz) semisolid yeast (made with manitoba flour, or plain flour)

water

For the dough

150 g (5.29 oz) manitoba flour

100 g (3.5 oz) plain flour

100 g (3.5 oz) wholemeal spelt flour

100 ml (3.38 us fl oz) milk (at room temperature)

2 egg (1 egg for the dough and 1egg to brush on top of the brioches)

1 egg yolk

60 g (2.1 oz) butter, softened

a pinch of salt

50 g (1.7 oz) brown sugar

1 teaspoon of honey

2 drops of vanilla extract

a little bit of grated lemon zest (use an organic lemon)

icing sugar

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Method.

1. Prepare the sourdough starter the night before and let it rise overnight at room temperature. Mix 100 g manitoba flour with 50 g of sourdough and enough water to get a smooth and moist dough. Cover it with cling film and let it rise for 12 hours.

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2. The next morning, mix the rest of the flour with the starter, then add 1 egg, the egg yolk, the brown sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, a little bit of grated lemon zest and honey. Mix well. Add the butter and a pinch of salt. Knead well, adding a little ‘flour if necessary.

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3. Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in volume (it will take a few hours).

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4. When risen, gently roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Then divide the sheet of dough into 2 and cut a few triangles (see the picture).

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5. Roll each triangle and shape the brioches like small croissants. Then place them on 2 baking sheets greased with butter and dusted with flour. Brush your brioches with a beaten egg (or milk).

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6. Bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for about 20 minutes with steam (you can do that by putting a small pan filled with boiling water in the oven; while the brioches are cooking the water will release steam and the brioches will remain soft inside). Let cool and dust with icing sugar.

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Brioches semi-integrali di farro.

media difficoltà

Ingredienti

Per 2 teglie (circa 12-14 brioches)

Panetto di lievito o biga

100 g di farina manitoba

50 g di lievito madre semisolido (con base di farina manitoba o farina 00)

acqua q. b.

Per l’impasto

150 g di farina manitoba

100 g di farina 00

100 g di farina integrale di farro

100 ml di latte a temperatura ambiente

2 uova (1 uovo servirà per lucidare le brioches)

1 tuorlo

60 g di burro ammorbidito

un pizzico di sale

50 g di zucchero integrale di canna

1 cucchiaino di miele

2 gocce di estratto di vaniglia

un po’ di buccia grattugiata di un limone biologico

zucchero a velo q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Preparate il panetto di lievito la sera prima e lasciate lievitare tutta la notte a temperatura ambiente. Mescolate 100 g di farina manitoba e 50 g di lievito madre con un po’ d’acqua. Coprite con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per 12 ore (a temperatura ambiente).

2. La mattina dopo mischiate le farine e aggiungete il panetto lievitato, un uovo intero, un tuorlo, 50 g di zucchero di canna, l’estratto di vaniglia, la buccia di limone e il miele. Amalgamate bene, poi aggiungete il burro e un pizzico di sale. Lavorate bene l’impasto, aggiungendo un po’ di farina se necessario.

3. Lasciate lievitare l’impasto fino a quando sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Dopo la lievitazione stendete l’impasto delicatamente con un matterello, poi dividetelo in due e tagliate dei triangoli.

5. Arrotolate le brioches e mettetele su due teglie imburrate e infarinate. Spennellate le brioches con dell’uovo sbattuto per lucidarle (potete anche usare del latte al posto dell’uovo).

6. Cuocete a 200 °C per circa 20 minuti con del vapore (cioè mettete nel forno anche un pentolino di metallo colmo d’acqua bollente; con questo metodo le brioches resteranno morbide dentro e non si asciugheranno). Lasciate raffreddare e spolverate con zucchero a velo.

Traditional Recipe: La Peperonata

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Peperonata is a delicious traditional Italian dish made with yellow and red bell peppers and a few other ingredients. It’s a dish full of character and flavour! It can be a great side dish and it can be a fantastic appetizer, when served with grilled rustic bread, like a bruschetta. The recipe I am publishing this week is my mother’ s peperonata. My mother made a few adaptations to the traditional recipe to achieve a creamier and very tasty dish. Nothing can beat my mother’ s peperonata! So sweet, flavourful and delicate at the same time; it really melts in the mouth!

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While cooking, the onions will melt creating a lovely creamy sauce which works perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. Give it a try, you’ll love it!

Tips. For extra flavour you can use Ketchup instead of tomato paste. The cooking time might vary for the thickness of the peppers.

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La Peperonata.

Ingredients

For 4-6 servings

Easy

Preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

4 bell peppers (2 yellow and 2 red)

1 tablespoon of capers (possibly in vinegar)

6 good quality pitted green olives

6 good quality pitted black olives

1/2 a tablespoon tomato paste (or tomato ketchup)

white wine (only if necessary)

a handful of pine nuts (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Cut each pepper into 4 pieces and then slice them horizontally into slices (2 cm thick). Cut also the onions into thick slices.

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2. In a large frying pan, sauté the onion and the peppers with a clove of garlic in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

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3. Add the capers, the olives​​ and the pine nuts.

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4. Add some tomato paste (or tomato ketchup), then cover and cook for 40 minutes over a low heat (add a little of white wine if it’s too dry). Let simmer until the peppers get really tender.

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5. Remove the lid and let most of the juices evaporate. Season with salt and pepper, then serve (you can serve the peperonata hot or cold).

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La Peperonata.

Ingredienti

Per 4-6 persone

Facile

Tempo di preparazione e cottura: 50 minuti

3 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

2 cipolle tagliate grosse

4 peperoni, due gialli e due rossi

1 cucchiaio di capperi sott’aceto

6 olive verdi

6 olive nere

1/2 cucchiaio di passata di pomodoro (oppure ketchup, per una peperonata più saporita)

vino bianco q. b. (facoltativo)

una manciata di pinoli (facoltativo)

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Tagliate i peperoni in 4 pezzi e poi a strisce orizzontali. Affettate le cipolle grossolanamente.

2. In una padella grande, fate soffriggere la cipolla, i peperoni e uno spicchio d’aglio tagliato a metà.

3. Aggiungete ai peperoni un cucchiaio abbondante di capperi, 6 olive verdi, 6 olive nere e alcuni pinoli.

4. Aggiungete il concentrato di pomodoro, poi coprite e fate cuocere a fuoco lento per 40 minuti (se occorre aggiungete un po’ di vino bianco).

5. Quasi a fine cottura, levate il coperchio e fate ritirare un po’ il liquido. Aggiungete il pepe, il sale e servite.  La peperonata è ottima anche servita fredda.

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Traditional Recipe: Focaccia Alla Genovese (Genoese Focaccia Bread)

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Shiny and crunchy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, only genoese focaccia has certain qualities which, all together, define one of the best focaccias you can ever taste. Focaccia alla genovese has a distinctive olive oil taste and it requires a long leavening time in order to be so soft and delicious. Apparently, you can only taste the real thing in Genoa and this might depend on several factors (the ingredients, the humidity in the air, the water and, last but not least, the old traditional recipe).

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Today I am going to give you two recipes that you can use to make an amazing focaccia, either with normal yeast or sourdough. In the second recipe, the recipe with normal yeast, I reduced the leavening time to make it more manageable, but, of course, if you let it rise for longer it will get softer and the result will be much better.

Focaccia Alla Genovese (with sourdough).

Ingredients

350 g (12.3 oz) plain flour

6-7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

100 g (3.52 oz) semiliquid sourdough (you can replace the sourdough with 20 g of yeast)

8 g  (0.28 oz) ground sea salt

a pinch of barley malt

water

Method.

1. In a bowl, make a starter by mixing 150 g (5.29 oz) flour with 100 g (3.52 oz) of semiliquid sourdough, a little bit of water, a pinch of barley malt. Mix everything, wrap the bowl with cling film and let rise overnight (at room temperature).

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2. Mix the starter with the rest of the flour, some water, some salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Knead vigorously until you get a smooth dough (make a moist dough).

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3. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for, at least, 3 hours. After 3 hours, knead again for a few minutes then let rise for another 3 hours (actually until the dough doubles in volume).

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4. Gently roll out the dough on a baking sheet, previously greased with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Make some wells by pressing with your fingers in the dough.

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5. Let rise for 2 hours, then brush with plenty extra virgin olive oil mixed with a little bit of water and bake at 190° C (374° F) for about 30 minutes.

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6. Remove from the oven, brush with more olive oil (add water if the dough is too dry), then season with salt and serve.

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Focaccia bread (quicker recipe with yeast).

ingredients

350 g (12.3 oz) plain flour

6-7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

20 g (0.70 oz) yeast

7 g (0.24 oz) ground sea salt

a pinch of barley malt

some water

Method.

1. In a bowl, combine the yeast with 3 tablespoons of warm water, a pinch of barley malt and 4 tablespoons of flour. Mix well, cover with cling film and let it rise for 1 hour.

2. Mix the yeast with the rest of the flour, a tablespoon of olive oil, some water and a little bit of salt. Knead well until dough is smooth.

3. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours, then roll out the dough with a rolling pin (without pressing too much).

4. Let rise again for 30 minutes, then make some wells in the surface of the dough, by pressing with your fingers. Brush with plenty of extra virgin olive oil mixed with some water and bake at 190° C (374° F) for about 30 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, brush with more olive oil (add water if the dough is too dry), then season with the rest of the salt and serve.

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Focaccia Alla Genovese (con lievito madre).

Ingredienti

350 g di farina 00

6-7 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

100 g di lievito madre semiliquido

8 g di sale marino macinato

malto d’orzo

acqua q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola, mischiate 150 g di farina con 100 g di lievito madre, un po’ d’acqua e pochissimo malto d’orzo. Mescolate energicamente, poi sigillate con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per tutta la notte (a temperatura ambiente).

2. Unite al lievito il resto della farina, poi aggiungete un pizzico di sale, poca acqua e un cucchiaio d’olio. Lavorate energicamente fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo (l’impasto deve essere anche umido).

3. Coprite con un panno umido e fate lievitare per almeno 3 ore. Raggiunta la prima lievitazione, impastate ancora per qualche minuto e lasciate lievitare finché l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Stendete delicatamente l’impasto su una teglia (unta abbondantemente).

5. Create dei piccoli crateri con le dita e spennellate l’impasto con acqua e olio. Fate lievitare per altre 2 ore, poi infornate a 190° C per circa 30 minuti.

6. Spennellate ancora con olio abbondante (aggiungete un po’ d’acqua se la focaccia è troppo secca), salate e servite.

Focaccia (preparazione veloce).

Ingredienti

350 g di farina 00

6-7 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

20 g di lievito di birra

7 g di sale marino macinato

malto d’orzo

acqua q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola, mischiate il lievito con 3 cucchiai di acqua tiepida, pochissimo malto d’orzo e 4 cucchiai di farina. Mescolate bene, ricoprite con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per 1 ora.

2. Unite l’impasto con il lievito al resto della farina, poi aggiungete un cucchiaio d’olio, un po’ d’acqua e un po’ di sale. Mescolate bene, fino ad ottenere un impasto liscio.

3. Lasciate lievitare per 1-2 ore, poi stendete l’impasto con il matterello (senza schiacciarlo troppo) e formate dei piccoli crateri con la punta delle dita.

4. Fate lievitare ancora per 30 minuti, poi spennellate con abbondante olio d’oliva mischiato ad acqua. Infornate a 190° per circa 30 minuti.

5. Sfornate la focaccia e spennellate con olio abbondante (aggiungete un po’ d’ acqua se è secca). Salate con il sale rimasto e servite.

 

Traditional Recipe: Fried Sage Leaves

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This is another lovely traditional recipe from Genoa; an extremely easy and cheap dish to prepare, especially if you have a sage plant in the garden! Sage is usually a very tough plant, in this cooking process the leaves become very tender and the aroma of this wonderful aromatic herb gets very delicate and pleasant to taste. It is a wonderful starter, but also a great side dish.
You need the kind of sage with big leaves, not all varieties are suitable for this method of preparation.

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Fried Sage Leaves.

For 4 people

Ingredients

200 g (7.05 oz) large leaves of sage, washed and dried

100 g (3.5 oz) of plain flour

1 egg white (as a vegan option, make the batter without egg white)

100 ml (3.38 us fl oz) light beer

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

extra virgin olive oil (for frying)

salt

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Method.

1. In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the flour. Then slowly pour in the beer, stirring the mixture with a whisk. Cover with a kitchen towel, then let the batter rest for about 30 minutes.

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2. Whip the egg whites until stiff, then stir them gently into the batter, just before frying.

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3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil, meanwhile, dip the sage into the batter. Fry a few leaves at a time, in plenty of oil.

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4. Drain the leaves and place them on a plate with plenty of paper towels, to absorb the excess oil. Season with salt and serve.

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Salvia fritta in pastella.

per 4 persone

Ingredienti

200 g di foglie grosse di salvia, lavate e asciugate

100 g di farina

1 albume (per una dieta vegana, si può fare la pastella senza uovo)

100 ml di birra chiara

1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine d’oliva (per la pastella)

olio extra vergine d’oliva (per friggere)

sale

Preparazione.

1. In una terrina, unite 1 cucchiaio d’olio, un pizzico di sale alla farina. Versate poi a filo la birra, mescolando con una frusta l’impasto. Ricoprite con un canovaccio e lasciate riposare l’impasto per 30 minuti.

2. Montate l’albume a neve e incorporate delicatamente nella pastella, poco prima di friggere.

3. Fate scaldare l’olio e immergete la salvia nella pastella. Friggete alcune foglie per volta in olio abbondante.

4. Scolate le foglie e appoggiatele su un piatto con abbondante carta assorbente. Salate e servite.

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