Some Of My Favourite Recipes…

A few months ago I published the viewers’ favourite recipes, this week I am publishing a selection of my favourite recipes, perfect for this season!

Follow the links, give them a try and let me know! :-)

 Mixed Seed Wholemeal Bread (high in fibre, very crunchy and delicious!)

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Pizza Bianca Con Mozzarella E Stracchino see Make The Best Pizza Dough (Part 2)

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Pasta E Fagioli (creamy borlotti bean pasta)

Pasta e fagioli (Pasta with borlotti beans)

Wholemeal Chestnut Bread With Rosemary And Pine Nuts (try it warm, with a little piece of butter on top!)

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Gluten-free Buckwheat Gnocchi (already a viewer’s favourite, these gnocchi are incredibly soft and delicious!!!really something to try!)

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  Special Stuffed Calamari (quite a popular quinoa recipe!)

Special stuffed Calamari (front view 2)

 Deliciously Intense chocolate and chestnut biscuits (dark, not very sweet,  delicious served with a glass of milk)

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Double Chocolate Panna Cotta (best dessert ever! This is a single serving recipe, but you can make as many as you like!)

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Traditional Recipe: La Farinata Genovese (Genoese Socca)

Basically made from 3 ingredients (chickpea flour, olive oil and water), la farinata, or socca (as it is called in Nice), is a kind of chickpea focaccia, which doesn’t contain gluten and is dairy free.  It is quite easy to prepare and it’s perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets, because it is a good source of proteins.

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Before getting the method and recipe right it might take a few tries, especially when it comes to finding the right balance between the ingredients. It might requires a lot of olive oil in order to become crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, as it should be.
The farinata is traditionally only a few millimetres thin (see the pictures).

A few tips.
The ideal cooking method would also require a high temperature oven, like a wood stove, however, a good oven will do. Remember to use non-stick baking trays or baking paper.
The farinata has to be served quite hot, freshly made, otherwise it will become elastic and not very nice to eat. If you have leftovers, you can reheat the farinata in the oven the day after.

The farinata can also be enriched adding different ingredients; amongst the local most popular variations, you’ll find the onion and the artichoke farinata, also quite easy to make.

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Farinata could be a delicious starter or aperitif, but it is also a wonderful meal when served with a nice big salad on the side.

La farinata di ceci (Genoese socca)

Ingredients

for 3 rounded backing trays (28 cm in diameter)

1,5 litre of water

500 g chickpea flour

200 ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk 1,5 litre of water with 500 g. of chickpea flour, 100 ml olive oil and some salt. Once all the ingredients are mixed well, let sit for at least 5 hours (but 10 hours would be better, so the flour can absorb the water well).

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2. After the resting time, remove the froth formed on the surface of the mixture with a spoon.

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3. Pour some extra virgin oil on a non-stick baking tray, then with a ladle add 1/3 of the mixture and season with salt and pepper.

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4. Bake the farinata at 220°C / 428°F (or higher) until golden, then turn on the grill and cook for a little longer, in order to get a nice crispy crust on top. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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La farinata di ceci.

Ingredients

Per 3 teglie rotonde di 28 cm di diametro

1,5 l d’ acqua

500 g di farina di ceci

sale e pepe q.b.

200 ml di olio extra vergine d’oliva

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola grande, mescolate energicamente con una frusta 1, 5 l di acqua, 500 g. di farina di ceci, 100 ml di olio e un po’ di sale. Una volta amalgamati bene gli ingredienti, lasciate riposare per almeno 5 ore (sarebbe meglio 10 ore, per far assorbire bene l’acqua).

2. Passato il tempo necessario, togliete con un cucchiaio la schiuma formata in superficie.

3. Versate un po’ d’olio su una teglia antiaderente, poi con un mestolo aggiungete il composto liquido (non troppo perché deve restare sottile) e condite con sale e pepe.

4. Infornate a 220° C per una decina di minuti, poi accendete il grill e lasciate che si formi una crosta croccante. Sfornate e servite!

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Traditional Recipe: Sicilian Almond Biscuits With Candied Cherries (Pasticcini Alle Mandorle)

These Sicilian biscuits (or small pastries) are gluten-free, dairy-free, delicious and very easy to prepare! It is better to use a piping bag to shape the biscuits, but if you don’t have one, you can roll out the dough with your hands to make small balls and then press them with your fingers, to obtain a cookie-like shape.

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The dough needs, at least, 30 minutes of resting time, however they will taste even better if you leave them to rest in the fridge overnight. Traditionally, we garnish these biscuits with candied cherries or almonds, so if you want you can use both. Here I prepared some of these delicious pastries with my mother, I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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Biscuits with almonds and candied cherries.

Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes + resting time

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

For two oven trays

3 egg whites

80 g sugar

200 g almonds, shelled and finely chopped

candied cherries

a few drops of almond flavouring, or some orange zest (optional)

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Method.

1. Grind the almonds with the sugar, using a food processor.

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2. Combine the egg whites with the almond mixture and the flavourings, then put the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

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3. Using a piping bag, shape the biscuits and then garnish with candied cherries.

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4. Bake at 180 ° C (356° F) until golden.

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Dolcetti alle mandorle con ciliegie candite.

Preparazione e cottura: 25 minutes + il riposo

Difficoltà : Facile

Ingredienti

Per 2 teglie rettangolari di media grandezza.

3 chiari d’uova

80 g di zucchero

200 g di mandorle sgusciate e tritate finemente

ciliegie candite q. b.

1 qualche goccia di aroma di mandorle, oppure una scorretta di arancia tritata (facoltativo)

Preparazione.

1. Tritate finemente le mandorle con lo zucchero.

2. Mescolate i chiari d’uova con le mandorle tritate, lo zucchero e gli aromi. Mettete il composto a riposare in frigorifero per almeno 30 minuti.

3. Usando il sac à poche, date la forma ai pasticcini (oppure formate delle palline e schiacciatele leggermente con le dita).

4. Guarnite i pasticcini con le ciliegie candite, poi infornate a 180° C fino ad ottenere dei dolcetti dorati.

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sautéed carrots

Quick And Easy Recipe: Sautéed Carrots

This is an easy and extremely delicious carrot recipe! You can add the quantity of extra virgin olive oil and butter you desire, or you can have a healthy dish with just a little extra virgin olive oil in it. You can adapt this recipe according to your taste.

Sautéed Carrots

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For 6 servings

1 kg carrots, washed and peeled

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

salt to taste

a little bit of butter (optional)

Method.

1. Steam the carrots until a little bit tender.

2. Slice the carrots and then sauté (for 5-10 minutes) with the extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of butter (optional), the chopped garlic and parsley.

3. Add some salt and serve.

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Carote saltate in padella.

Temo di preparazione: 5 minuti

Tempo di cottura: 15-20 minuti

Ingredienti

Per 6 porzioni

1 kg di carote, già pulite

2 spicchi d’aglio (tritati)

4-5 cucchiai di olio extra vergine di oliva

2 cucchiai di prezzemolo tritato

sale q. b.

un po’ di burro (facoltativo)

Preparazione.

1. Cuocete a vapore le carote, fino a renderle più tenere.

2. Tagliare le carote e poi fatele rosolare (per 5-10 minuti) con l’olio extra vergine di oliva, un po’ di burro (facoltativo), l’aglio e il prezzemolo.

3. Aggiungete un po’ di sale e servite.

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Dark Chocolate And Marrons Glacés Tart

As promised, this week I continue my series of recipes dedicated to the chestnut season, with a wonderful dark chocolate and marrons glacés tart. This is a rich dark chocolate tart, enriched with an hint of sweet chestnut flavour and with a luscious creamy filling that will definitely warm you up nicely!

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I know that marrons glacés (candied chestnuts) can be expensive, however, in this recipe I used just 100 g, to add some sweetness and flavour…Believe me, it is worth it! You can buy marrons glacés in pieces, which are a little bit cheaper. I also added a little bit of chestnut flour in the shortcrust, which works quite nicely with the other ingredients, without overpowering their flavours.

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Dark chocolate and marrons glacés tart

(I used a ceramic cake pan of 24 cm of diameter)

Ingredients

180 g plain unbleached flour

40 g chestnut flour

50 g brown sugar

120 g softened butter

1 egg yolk

a pinch of salt

For the dark chocolate and marrons glacés filling

200 ml of milk

200 g of dark chocolate (I used 100 g chocolate with minimum 50% of cocoa and 100 g with 70% cocoa)

100 g marrons glacés (candied chestnuts)

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 eggs

60 g brown sugar

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Method.

1. Prepare the dough. Work the butter with 50 g of brown sugar and 1 egg yolk. Add the flour with a pinch of salt, then knead well (without overworking) and put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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2. Prepare the filling. Separately, puree the marrons glacés using a fork. Then add 2 tablespoons of rum and mix until you get a jam-like consistency.

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3. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler). Combine the melted chocolate with the marrons glacés puree, then gradually add 2 eggs and 200 ml of milk. Mix well and put the filling in the refrigerator.

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4. Prepare the tart crust.Take the dough and roll it out on a sheet of baking paper, using a rolling pin. Place the pastry (with the baking paper) on the cake pan and then cut off the excess paper. Pierce the base of the tart a few times with a fork.

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5. Fill the tart crust with the chocolate and marrons glacés filling. Bake at 180 ° C (356°F) for about 50 minutes (the cooking time depends on the oven, check on the cake!).

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6. Let cool, cut and serve.

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Crostata al cioccolato fondente e marrons glacés

Ho usato una tortiera di ceramica di 24 cm di diametro

Ingredienti

180 g di farina 00

40 g di farina di castagne

50 g di zucchero di canna

120 g di burro morbido

1 tuorlo d’uovo

un pizzico di sale

Per la crema al cioccolato fondente e marrons glacés

200 ml di latte

200 g di cioccolato fondente (ho usato una tavoletta da 100 g al 50% di contenuto di cacao e una sempre di 100 g al 70% di contenuto di cacao)

100 g di marrons glacés

2 cucchiai di rum scuro

2 uova

60 g di zucchero di canna

Preparazione.

1. Lavorate il burro con il tuorlo e 50 g di zucchero. Aggiungete la farina con un pizzico di sale e amalgamate bene l’impasto, senza lavorarlo troppo. Lasciate riposare in frigorifero per 30 minuti.

2. A parte, schiacciate bene i marrons glacés con una forchetta. Aggiungete due cucchiai di rum scuro e mescolate, fino ad ottenere la consistenza di una marmellata.

3. Fate sciogliere a bagnomaria il cioccolato. Mescolate il cioccolato sciolto con la purea di marrons glacés, due uova e il latte (aggiungete uova e latte molto gradualmente). Mettete la crema nel frigorifero a rassodare.

4. Prendete l’impasto dal frigorifero e stendetelo con il matterello su un foglio di carta da forno. Trasferite la sfoglia di pasta (con la carta) sulla teglia e tagliate la carta in eccesso. Forate più volte la pasta con la forchetta.

5. Riempite la base della torta con la crema al cioccolato e marrons glacés. Infornate a 180° C per circa 50 minuti (la cottura dipende dal forno, controllate la torta).

6. Fate raffreddare, tagliate e servite.

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