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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A Delicate Menu For Two

Today’s menu is a delicious dinner for two, with 3 elegant and delicate courses,

quite easy to prepare.

Risotto with fresh peas and corn salad

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Salmon with lime and balsamic vinaigrette

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Mango Panna Cotta

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Serve with chilled white wine.

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How To Make Seitan (Home-made Meat Substitute)

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What is seitan?

Seitan is a high-protein product made of wheat flour, used as a meat substitute. Tofu and Seitan are both very versatile when it comes to making meat-like dishes. While tofu has an egg-like texture, seitan’s consistency is chewy and more similar to meat. It is widely used because it absorbs the condiments well, however it has high gluten content, which can cause allergies, therefore, is not suitable for everyone.

I often think that meat-like products are not really what a vegetarian would want to eat, because (and I speak from a personal point of view) I believe, if you don’t want to eat meat you don’t really want to be reminded what meat is like. However, I think you can be really creative with either tofu or seitan in the kitchen, therefore, it’s worth giving it a try!

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Making seitan.

Many things can be used to flavour seitan; you can add herbs to the dough or flavour it with different ingredients such as: soy sauce, kombu, herbs, vegetables, spices and seeds. All these ingredients are added to the vegetable broth in which the dough is cooked or simply added as flavourings before kneading. Seitain can be also made using spelt flour or gluten flour.

Making seitan requires a lot of time. Basically, you mix the ingredients, make a dough and then rinse it under running water for about 15-20 minutes, to remove the starch. As a result, you will end up with a considerably smaller amount of product, in the end, but it’s worth it! The main reason to prepare home-made seitan is that you can be really creative with it and you can add all the flavours that you like to it!

What you need

1 large bowl

1 large pan with a lid

1 wooden spoon

1 measuring cup

Ingredients 

For the dough

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional)

4-5 tablespoons of ground spices and seeds (black pepper, paprika, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, a few cloves, a few chillies)

1 kg (35.2 oz) flour (I use Manitoba, you can use plain or spelt flour)

900 ml (30.4 us fl oz) of water (the amount of water vary depending on the flour)

200 ml (6.76 us fl oz) of soy sauce

For the broth

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 large onion

2 stalk of celery

2 carrot

2 bay leaves

a bunch of rosemary

vegetable stock

200 ml (6.76 us fl oz) soy sauce (optional)

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Method.

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, the nutritional yeast, the seeds and the spices.

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2. Then add 200 ml of soy sauce with the 900 ml of water. Mix with the spoon, then knead with your hands, until you get a smooth dough.

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3. Let it rest for a few minutes.

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4. Meanwhile, prepare the stock. Fry the vegetables in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, for a few minutes. Then, fill the pan with vegetable stock (enough to cook the dough in), add the herbs, 200 ml of soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, sift the broth and let cool.

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5. Now knead the dough, in a large bowl, under running water for 20-30 minutes (basically, until the running water in the bowl and in which you are washing the dough, becomes clear). With this operation you are removing the starch and therefore keeping only the protein of the wheat.

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6. After about 20-30 minutes, drain nicely and let the dough sit for a few minutes.

7. Put the seitan in the cold stock ( the broth has to be cold otherwise the seitan will lose its shape) and turn on the heat. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Once is ready, turn off the heat and let it cool. Let it drain completely and then store it in an airtight container (in the fridge) for 5 days or freeze it for up to 1-2 months.

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Tip.

1. Basically, this is the traditional method, with a personal touch for the flavouring. However, you can shorten the process using gluten wheat flour and avoid the rinsing operation. In this way, you can knead the dough, cook directly in the broth and save a lot of time and water! I strongly recommend this method as it’s quicker and much more ecological.

2. You can replace meat with seitan in many recipes. It’s perfect in stir-fry and slow cooker dishes.

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Seitan fatto in casa (metodo tradizionale).

Utensili 

1 ciotola grande

1 pentola grande, con il coperchio

1 cucchiaio di legno

1 caraffa graduata

Ingredienti

Per l’impasto

2 cucchiai di nutritional yeast (facoltativo, per il sapore)

4-5 cucchiai di spezie e semi misti macinati (pepe nero, paprika, semi di sesamo, semi di finocchio, semi di coriandolo, qualche seme di garofano, peperoncino)

1 kg di farina (ho usato Manitoba, ma è possibile utilizzare la farina normale, integrale o di farro)

900 ml di acqua (la quantità di acqua può variare a seconda della farina utilizzata)

200 ml di salsa di soia

Per il brodo

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine di oliva

1 spicchio di aglio

1 cipolla grande

2 gambo di sedano

2 carota

2 foglie di alloro

2 rametti di rosmarino

brodo vegetale

200 ml di salsa di soia (facoltativo)

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola grande, mescolate la farina, il nutritional yeast, i semi e le spezie.

2. Poi aggiungete 200 ml di salsa di soia con 900 ml di acqua. Mescolate con il cucchiaio, poi impastate con le mani, fino ad ottenere un impasto liscio.

3. Lasciate riposare per qualche minuto.

4. Preparate il brodo. Fate soffriggere le verdure in 3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva (per qualche minuto). Riempite la pentola con abbondante brodo vegetale (sufficiente per cuocere tutto il seitan), aggiungete le erbe, 200 ml di salsa di soia e portate ad ebollizione. Fate bollire per 10 minuti. Spegnete il fuoco, togliete la verdura e lasciate raffreddare il brodo.

5. In una ciotola molto grande, impastate il composto di farina e spezie sotto l’acqua corrente per 20-30 minuti (fino a quando l’acqua sarà limpida). Questa operazione serve a rimuovere l’amido dalle proteine del grano.

6. Scolate e lasciate riposare l’impasto per qualche minuto.

7. Tagliate e mettete il seitan nel brodo freddo (il brodo deve essere freddo o il seitan perderà la sua forma) e accendete il fuoco. Portate ad ebollizione, poi abbassate il fuoco al minimo e fate cuocere per 50 minuti. Una volta pronto, spegnete il fuoco, scolate bene e lasciate raffreddare. Il seitan si può conservare in un contenitore ermetico (in frigorifero) per 5 giorni o congelare per 1 o 2 mesi.

Note.

1. Questo è il metodo tradizionale, con un tocco personale per aromatizzare il seitan. E’ possibile abbreviare il metodo di preparazione utilizzando la farina di glutine ed evitare il risciacquo. In questo modo, è possibile impastare il seitan, cuocerlo direttamente nel brodo e risparmiare un sacco di tempo ed acqua. Consiglio vivamente questo metodo perché è molto più veloce ed ecologico.

2. Si può sostituire la carne con il seitan in moltissime ricette. Il seitan è ottimo saltato in padella con le verdure, oppure utilizzato al posto della carne negli stufati.

Delicious Summer Veggie Kebabs

Since the hot weather has finally arrived, it’s time to dust off the barbecue and eat plenty of fresh vegetables and delicious summer fruits! This time of the year we can be really creative with the dishes! Today we are going to prepare some fresh and light summer veggie kebabs and then, we are going to a party! It’s time to participate in Fiesta Friday, a lovely blog event hosted by my friend and talented blogger Angie, from the Novice Gardener, and co-hosted by other wonderful bloggers. This week, Fiesta Friday #21 is co-hosted by  Elaine@Foodbod and Julianna@Foodie On Board.

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This is a lovely light recipe, fresh and full of mediterranean flavours! It could be served as an aperitif, a side dish or a delicious light meal…You choose!

Enjoy!

Tip. You can remove the the bell pepper skin after grilling the vegetables, if you wish.

I left it because it’s quicker.

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Summer Veggie Kebabs.

Ingredients

4 servings

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 small aubergine

2 courgettes

green picked olives

1 small fresh goat’s cheese (150 g)

anchovies

cherries tomatoes

8 wooden skewers

For the dressing

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 crushed clove of garlic

some dried or fresh origano

2 small fresh chillies, cut into slices

salt and bleck pepper to taste

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Method.

1. Wash the vegetables, cut them into thin slices and grill them on an electric grill or on a grill pan, previously greased with a little extra virgin olive oil.

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2. Roll the zucchini with the goat’s cheese in the center. Roll the yellow pepper with the anchovies and the red pepper with the olives in the center.

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3. In a small bowl, mix the extra virgin olive oil and some dried origano with crushed garlic and chillies, salt and pepper.

4. Pierce the stuffed vegetables with the wooden skewers and make 8 kebabs. Serve cold with some garlic-olive oil sauce on the side.

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Spiedini saporiti di verdure.

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

1 peperone rosso

1 peperone giallo

1 melanzana

2 zucchine

olive verdi snocciolate

1 formaggio fresco di capra (150 g)

acciughe sott’olio

pomodorini ciliegia

8 stecchi di legno per gli spiedini

Per il condimento

6 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

2 spicchi d’aglio (schiacciati e tagliati finemente)

un mazzetto di origano fresco o un cucchiaio di origano secco

2 peperoncini tagliati a fettine

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e tagliate le verdure a fette. Fate grigliare tutte  le verdure su una bistecchiera (o una piastra elettrica), spennellata con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva.

2. Arrotolate gli zucchini con un pezzetto di formaggio di capra e le melanzane con mezzo pomodorino al centro. Arrotolate anche il peperone rosso con le olive e il peperone giallo con le acciughe.

3. A parte, mescolate 6 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva con l’origano, l’aglio schiacciato, il peperoncino a fettine, il sale e il pepe.

4. Infilzate le verdure con gli stecchi e create gli spiedini alternando i sapori. Servite gli spiedini freddi con l’olio aromatizzato.

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Gorgonzola Salad With Rustic Bread.

This week we have been hit by a heat wave and the thermometer has risen dramatically! With this hot, sticky weather, I really feel like having a lot of raw fruits and veg, but I don’t want to compromise on creativity or flavours….So there isn’t anything like a tasty gorgonzola salad when it comes to freshness and flavour!

This salad is a light, complete meal, but also as a dish that stands somewhere between healthy and comfort food…You will love it! I kept it simple, but you can add toasted walnuts for extra flavour. Walnuts and gorgonzola work perfectly together! So many things can be prepared with these two wonderful ingredients.

But, of course, if you don’t like smelly cheeses, then this dish is definitely not for you! So, look away now!!! :-)

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Gorgonzola Salad with Rustic Bread.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 minutes

Easy

Serves 2

crispy lettuce leaves, washed and dried

2 hard-boiled eggs

2 stalks of celery, washed and cut into small cubes

2 large ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced

a few sliced of rustic bread

100 g (3.5 oz) gorgonzola cheese

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Method.

1. Bake the slices of bread in the oven (at 200 ° C , 392 °F), until very crispy.

2. Place the lettuce leaves, the sliced tomatoes, the celery and the gorgonzola on the plate (alternate all the ingredients).  Slice the eggs in half and place them in the center.

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3. Add the bread (cut into small pieces) and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Insalata al gorgonzola.

Preparazione: 15 minuti

Facile

Per 2 persone

alcune foglie di insalata croccante (lavate e asciugate)

2 uova sode

2 gambi di sedano (lavati e tagliati a cubetti)

2 pomodori maturi (lavati e tagliati a fette)

alcune fette di pane rustico

100 g di gorgonzola

5 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Fate dorare le fette di pane in forno (a 200°C).

2. Appoggiate le foglie di insalata, le fette di pomodoro,  il sedano e il gorgonzola sul piatto, alternando tutti gli ingredienti. Tagliate le uova a metà e sistematele al centro.

3. Aggiungete il pane croccante (tagliato a cubetti piccoli) e condite tutto con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva, sale e pepe.

Nota. Aggiungete delle noci tostate per arricchire ulteriormente l’insalata.

 

 

 

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Prawns With Pineapple In Sweet And Sour Sauce

A touch of exotic flavour in this light stir-fry recipe. By now you all know, I like to prepare different things and vary my diet. Well, this week I thought that a stir-fry would be really lovely to celebrate the warm weather. I could just imagine enjoying this dish with a nice glass of chilled white wine during a lovely sunset, sitting by the sea…Just perfect!!

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Prawns with pineapple in sweet and sour sauce.

Ingredients

For 3 servings

Easy

Preparation: 20 minutes

250 g (8.8 oz) of cleaned and peeled prawns

2 spring onions,  sliced

1 big red bell pepper

350 g (12.3 oz) pineapple (cleaned)

4 radishes (without leaves)

3 tablespoons soy sauce (use a naturally fermented soy sauce, which meets gluten free standards)

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

ground black pepper to taste

fresh chillies to taste (optional)

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Method.

1. Cut and clean the pineapple, removing all the hard parts (including the centre).

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2. Wash and cut the bell pepper, then wash and slice the radishes.

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3. In a frying pan (or a wok), sauté the garlic and the spring onions for a few minutes with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

4. Add the pineapple and bell pepper, cut into small cubes. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the prawns and stir.

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5. Separately, mix the lime juice with the soy sauce, previously diluted with a little bit of water. Pour into the pan and stir well.

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6. Stir fry over a medium heat for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Add the crunchy radishes, season with black pepper and serve with a cup of steamed basmati rice. You can add some fresh chillies if you wish.

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Gamberi in salsa agrodolce.

Ingredienti

Per 3 persone

Facile

Preparazione: 20 minuti

250 g di gamberi puliti

2 spicchi d’aglio, tagliati a pezzi

2 cipollotti, tagliati a fettine

1 peperone rosso (abbastanza grosso)

350 g di ananas (già pulito)

4 ravanelli (senza foglie)

3 cucchiai di salsa di soia (usate una salsa di soia fermentata naturalmente)

2 cucchiai di succo di lime

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

pepe q. b.

peperoncino q. b. (facoltativo)

Preparazione.

1. Tagliate e pulite l’ananas, togliendo tutte le parti dure (compresa la parte dura al centro).

2. Lavate, tagliate a pezzi il peperone e affettate i ravanelli. Mettete i ravanelli da parte.

3. In una padella (o un wok), fate soffriggere i cipollotti e l’aglio per qualche minuto, in abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva.

4. Aggiungete l’ananas e il peperone (tagliati a cubetti abbastanza piccoli). Fate soffriggere per 5 minuti, poi aggiungete i gamberi.

5. A parte, unite il succo di lime alla salsa di soia, precedentemente allungata con un po’ d’acqua. Amalgamate il tutto e versate il condimento in padella. Mescolate bene.

6. Fate friggere a fuoco medio per qualche minuto, poi spegnete il fuoco e aggiungete le fette di ravanelli. Servite con del riso basmati e aggiungete del pepe e/o peperoncino, se lo desiderate.

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Traditional Recipe: Torta Paradiso (Heaven Cake)

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This is a traditional dessert from Genoa, a very delicate, light and soft sponge cake that everybody loves! It reminds me of my childhood: at the time, my mother used to buy this cake from Panarello, one of the best and most famous posh bakeries in town. Panarello’s Torta Paradiso is truly amazing! If you ever come to visit Genoa, I strongly recommend that you try this cake in one of their shops.

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This recipe was inspired by Panarello’s Torta Paradiso (and I assure you, it also gets very close to the real thing), which is slightly more elaborated and delicious than the old Genoese recipe. In the traditional recipe (and by traditional I mean the really old one), you would only use potato starch, the juice of a lemon, eggs, baking powder, sugar and finally, butter, but, only to grease the tin.

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Torta Paradiso.

Ingredients

for a 28 cm in diameter cake

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 50 minutes

Medium/ Difficult

200 g (7.05 oz) butter, softened

200 g (7.05 oz) icing sugar (and a little more icing sugar to garnish the cake)

100 g (3.5 oz) manitoba flour

100 g (3.5 oz) potato starch

4 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

2 drops of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

a pinch of salt

a few drops of almond flavouring

Method.

1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put everything aside.

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2. Sift together the flour, the potato starch and the baking powder.

3. Stir the softened butter with the sugar, the almond flavouring and the vanilla extract, until you get a creamy mixture. Then gradually add all the egg yolks into the mixture.

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4. Also add the flour and the starch (but still very gradually). Mix everything well.

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5. Beat all the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice, until stiff. Combine the egg whites into the mixture, stirring gently.

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6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C (356 °F) for at least 50 minutes, using a greased baking dish (with 28 cm in diameter).

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7. When the cake is completely cooled, garnish with plenty of icing sugar.

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Torta Paradiso.

Media difficoltà

Preparazione: 20 minuti

Cottura: 50 minuti

Ingredienti

200 g di burro

200 g di zucchero a velo (e dello zucchero a velo in più per decorare)

100 g di farina manitoba

100 g di fecola di patate

4 tuorli d’uovo

3 uova intere

2 gocce di estratto di vaniglia

un cucchiaio di succo di limone

1 busta di lievito per dolci

un pizzico di sale

qualche goccia di aroma di mandorla

Metodo.

1. Separate gli albumi dai tuorli e mettete tutto da parte.

2. Setacciate e unite la farina alla fecola di patate con il lievito.

3. Amalgamate il burro con lo zucchero, l’aroma di mandorla e l’estratto di vaniglia, fino ad ottenere una crema omogenea. Poi, incorporate gradualmente tutti i tuorli d’uova all’impasto.

4. Aggiungete anche la farina e la fecola (sempre gradualmente). Amalgamate bene tutto.

5. A parte, montate tutti gli albumi a neve con un pizzico di sale e un cucchiaio di succo di limone. Unite gli albumi montati al composto, mescolando delicatamente dal basso verso l’alto.

6. Infornate a forno preriscaldato a 180° C per almeno 50 minuti, utilizzando una teglia imburrata (di 28 cm di diametro).

7. Quando la torta sarà completamente raffreddata, guarnite con abbondante zucchero a velo.

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Traditional Recipe: Focaccia al Formaggio di Recco

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This focaccia al formaggio di Recco (Cheese Focaccia from Recco), is one of the most appreciated dishes we have in Liguria. Many bakeries and pizza places make this amazing focaccia, but only a few really excel in this recipe.

This focaccia is basically made with two almost transparent sheets of pastry, made with flour, olive oil, salt and no yeast. The cheese is then arranged and sealed between the pastry layers. The result should’t be either too oily or dry, the pastry should be crunchy on top and the cheese should be very fresh and creamy in the middle. Sometimes I add milk to the cheese to make it a little extra creamy. But you really have to use only fresh crescenza or stracchino, because no other cheese will taste as good as these cheeses in this recipe!

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The preparation method will requires some care, especially when you roll out the dough to make it thin. Yes, to make a thin layer might be tricky the first few times, however after some practice it will get easier and the pastry thinner.

Focaccia al formaggio di Recco.

Ingredients

For 6 servings

250 g (8.8 oz) plain flour

500 g (17.6 oz) of Italian soft cheese crescenza or stracchino (but you can double this amount, if you want more cheese inside the focaccia)

extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground sea salt

flour for dusting

water

Method.

1. On a work surface or a table, place the flour, then add the salt, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and enough water to make a soft and smooth dough. Knead well.

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2. Dust the work surface with some flour and roll out the pastry using a rolling pin. Stretch the pastry further with your hands, until you get two almost see-through sheets (careful not to break them).

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3. Place a sheet of pastry on a large baking tray, greased with extra virgin olive oil.  Arrange the cheese (cut into pieces) on top of the pastry, then cover everything with the other sheet of pastry.

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4. Seal the edges of the pastry together, so that the cheese will stay inside when it melts.

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5. Slightly pierce the pastry (only pierce the top layer, not the base). Bake at 200 ° C (392° F) until the pastry is golden and crispy. Salt and serve straight away.

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Focaccia al formaggio di Recco.

Ingredienti

Per 6 persone

250 g di farina 00

500 g di crescenza o stracchino (potete raddoppiare la dose di formaggio, se volete più formaggio dentro la vostra focaccia)

olio extra vergine d’oliva

sale

farina per infarinare la spianatoia

acqua q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Su una spianatoia, disponete la farina a fontana e aggiungete il sale, 2 cucchiai d’olio e l’acqua necessaria per ottenere un impasto omogeneo. Impastate bene tutto.

2. Infarinate la spianatoia e stendete l’impasto con il matterello. Tendete ulteriormente l’impasto con le mani, per ottenere due sfoglie il più sottile possibile (senza romperle).

3. Stendete una sfoglia su una teglia grande, precedentemente unta con 2 cucchiai d’olio. Disponete il formaggio fresco (tagliato a pezzi) sulla sfoglia e ricoprite tutto con la seconda sfoglia.

4. Pressate insieme i bordi delle sfoglie, in modo da sigillare la pasta e non far uscire il formaggio.

5. Bucate leggermente la superficie della pasta, facendo attenzione a non bucare la base della focaccia. Infornate a 200°C, fino ad ottenere una focaccia croccante. Salate e servite subito.

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