Category Archives: Main Dishes

Aubergine With Garlic And Onion Skin On Wood

Aubergine with garlic and onion skin on wood

Aubergines have to be one of my favourite subjects!

This picture is part of my Personal Project. If you wish, you can follow this project on this blog or on my Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/Foodfulife/

https://www.facebook.com/serenacarminatiphotography/

See how it goes!  🙂

Rice Salad With Buffalo Mozzarella and Olives

A delicious variation of the classic recipe Insalata di riso, enriched with colourful seasonal ingredients. Quick and easy to prepare, this wonderful dish could be a great starter for a dinner party or a light summer meal.
In the recipe method I used a round pastry cutter to shape the rice with the ingredients, but you can mix all the ingredients if you prefer.

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Rice salad with buffalo mozzarella and olives.

4 servings

Ingredients

200g arborio rice (you can use a parboiled rice)

4 ripe plum tomatoes

4 buffalo mozzarella

120 g of pitted black and green olives

a bunch of fresh basil

extra virgin olive to taste

salt and pepper

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Method.

1. Cook the rice following the preparation method illustrated on the packaging. Then drain the rice and season with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.

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2. Wash the basil and remove the stems. Roughly chop the basil leaves and slice the olives.

3. Drain the buffalo mozzarella well and then cut it into small pieces.

4. Place the rice on the dish and then cover it with the olives, the mozzarella and the basil. Season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and serve.

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Insalata di riso con mozzarella di bufala e olive.

Per 4 persone

Ingredienti

200 g di riso arborio

4 pomodori perini maturi

4 mozzarelle di bufala

120 g di olive nere e verdi snocciolate

un mazzetto di basilico fresco

olio extra vergine di oliva q. b.

sale e pepe

Preparazione.

1. Cuocete il riso seguendo il metodo di preparazione e il tempo di cottura indicato sulla confezione. A cottura terminata, scolate il riso e conditelo con un po’ d’olio extra vergine d’oliva.

2. Lavate il basilico e rimuovete i gambi. Tagliate le foglie di basilico e le olive.

3. Scolate bene le mozzarelle di bufala e poi tagliatele a cubetti.

4. Sistemate il riso nel piatto e ricopritelo con le olive, i cubetti di mozzarella e il basilico.

Condite ancora con olio extra vergine d’oliva, sale, pepe e servite.

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Chickpea And Potato Soup With Lots Of Rosemary!

I have to admit that this recipe comes from my mother’s favourite dishes. She was enthusiastic about this dish and as soon as I tasted it I could see why… Not only is it a delicious and tasty soup, but it’s also a recipe that anyone can make and with ingredients that are cheap and everyone has in the kitchen pantry.

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For this dish I used ditaloni, which is a short pasta often used in soups in Italy. If you don’t find this particular kind of pasta you can replace it with some broken spaghetti (make them two-three centimetres long). You can also add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add some flavour and protein, however this soup is so tasty that you don’t really need to add any additional ingredients to flavour it…It is delicious!!!

Chickpea and potato soup with rosemary in a blue bowl on a black dish, on blue painted wood board. Zuppa di ceci e patate al rosmarino.

Chickpea and potato soup with rosemary.

Preparation and cooking time: about 30 minutes

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

3 sprigs of rosemary

2 cans of chickpeas

Vegetable stock made with organic vegetable stock cubes

2 large potatoes, washed, peeled and diced

220 g of ditaloni

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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Method.

1. Sauté the chopped onion with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, after a few minutes add the chopped garlic.

Onions and potatoes on cutting board with knife.

2. When the onion is soft and transparent, add the chickpeas with the diced potatoes and the rosemary sprigs. Cover with vegetable stock and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir quite often during the cooking time.

Chickpea and potato soup with rosemary.. Zuppa di ceci e patate al rosmarino.

Chickpea and potato soup with rosemary. Zuppa di ceci e patate al rosmarino.

3. Cook the pasta separately and then drain when is al dente.

4. When the soup is ready remove the rosemary, then add the pasta and serve.

Chickpea and potato soup with rosemary in a blue bowl on a black dish, on blue painted wood board. Zuppa di ceci e patate al rosmarino.

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Zuppa di ceci e patate al rosmarino.

Tempo di preparazione e cottura: 30 minuti circa

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

1 cipolla

2 spicchi d’aglio

3 mazzetti di rosmarino

2 scatole di ceci

Brodo fatto con due dadi vegetali biologici

2 patate grosse, lavate, pelate tagliate a pezzetti

220 g di ditaloni

3 cucchiai olio extra vergine d’oliva

Preparazione.

1. Fate soffriggere la cipolla tritata con tre cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva, dopo qualche minuto aggiungete l’aglio tritato.

2. Quando la cipolla sarĂ  diventata morbida e trasparente, aggiungete i ceci, le patate e 3 rametti rosmarino. Ricoprite con del brodo vegetale e fate cuocere per 20-25 minuti, mescolando abbastanza spesso.

3. A parte cuocete la pasta, poi scolatela quando è al dente.

4. Quando la minestra è pronta togliete i rametti di rosmarino, poi aggiungete la pasta e servite.

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Crepes With Swiss Chard And Borage Filling

This week I am sharing a recipe with some traditional Genoese flavours, adapted for you with the usual healthy twist. Perfect for the holiday season, these crepes with swiss chard and borage filling are light, packed with fibres, deliciously crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. As a final touch, we are going to serve this dish with plenty of light béchamel sauce, an extra creamy and gluten-free parmesan-flavoured sauce perfect for this recipe.

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In this preparation I used borage because it is a popular ingredient in Genoese traditional recipes, however, if you have problems finding fresh borage you can replace it with spinach or chards.

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Crepes with swiss chard and borage filling

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

for the filling

500 g of Swiss chard

200 g of borage

150 g fresh ricotta

80 g of Parmesan Cheese

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

for the crepes

6 buckwheat crepes (see the buckwheat crepes recipe)

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Put all the ingredients for the filling in a blender and then blend everything together until creamy.

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2. Fill 6 buckwheat crepes with the mixture, then place the crepes on a baking tray, previously lined with baking paper and greased with extra virgin olive oil.

3. Season the crepes with more extra virgin olive oil and bake at 180 ° C (356° F) for 25-30 minutes.

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4. Serve the crepes with plenty of warm béchamel sauce (see the gluten-free béchamel sauce recipe).

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Crepes con ripieno di bietole e borragine.

Ingredienti

Per 4-6 persone

Per il ripieno

500 g di bietole

200 g di borragine

150 g di ricotta

80 g di Parmigiano Reggiano

2 uova

Per le crepes

6 crepes di grano saraceno (guardate anche la ricetta delle crepes di grano saraceno)

olio extravergine d’oliva

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Mettete tutti gli ingredienti (senza l’olio) in un mixer e amalgamate bene tutto fino ad ottenere un composto cremoso.

2. Riempite le crepes di grano saraceno con il ripieno, poi mettetele su una teglia ricoperta con carta da forno, unta con un po’ d’olio extra vergine d’oliva.

3. Condite anche le crepes con un po’ d’olio e infornate a 180° C per 25-30 minuti.

4. Servite le crepes con sopra la besciamella calda (guardate anche la ricetta della besciamella senza glutine).

Pear And Gorgonzola Risotto (no oil, no butter)

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This pear and gorgonzola risotto is definitely another highly addictive dish!….One of those dishes that you just can’t stop eating, even when you have picked up the last grain of rice and swept up the all the traces of what was left on the plate with a spoon!

A truly delicious risotto, where the flavours blends perfectly together and the consistency is perfectly creamy and yet quite “light”. In fact, there is no need to add any oil or butter, because the cheese already does the job!

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Cooking tips.

1. For the preparation of this dish you’ll need quite a good quantity of pepper and salt to balance out the flavours and sweetness of the pears.

2. It is important to keep the vegetable broth quite warm during the whole cooking process, in this way the rice won’t stop cooking when you add the broth to the risotto.

3. Always get the best quality ingredients when making a risotto! For this dish I used the best quality of fresh Gorgonzola, sweet, tangy and so creamy that it literally melts in the mouth.

Pear and gorgonzola risotto.

Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes

Easy

Ingredients

Serves 4

320 g risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio)

3 kaiser pears (or any pear suitable for cooking)

200 g good quality Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small pieces

80 g of Grana Padano cheese

salt to taste

plenty of ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

1 litre of hot vegetable stock (I used an organic cube stock, without glutamate)

Method

1. Peel and clean the pears, then cut the fruit into little pieces.

2. Toast the rice grains in a pan (without any oil or butter) for a few minutes.

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3. Add the pieces of fruit with two ladles of broth and let shimmer over a low heat.

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4. Once the liquid has almost completely evaporated, add more broth and let evaporate again, then continue this process until the rice is cooked (the rice will take about 18-20 minutes to cook).

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5. When the rice is properly cooked, add 200 g of Gorgonzola cheese, 80 g of Grana Padano, salt and pepper. Mix well.

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6. Mix well, then cover the pan with a lid and let sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

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Note.

At the end of the cooking process the risotto should be very creamy, however it might thicken a little when you add the cheeses (see step 5). It’s ok, you can solve this problem by adding one or two ladles of warm vegetable broth to the risotto, which will make it creamier.

Risotto alle pere e gorgonzola

Tempo di preparazione e cottura: 25 minuti

Facile

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

320 g di riso da risotto (Carnaroli o Arborio)

3 pere kaiser (o altre pere adatte alla cottura)

200 g di gorgonzola di buona qualitĂ , tagliato a cubetti piccoli

1 litro di brodo vegetale caldo (uso del dado biologico senza glutammato)

80 g di Grana Padano

prezzemolo fresco tritato molto finemente (facoltativo)

sale q. b.

pepe a volontĂ 

Preparazione.

1. Pelate e pulite le pere, poi tagliate la polpa a pezzi piccoli.

2. Fate tostare i chicchi di riso in una pentola (senza olio o burro) per qualche minuto.

3. Unite la polpa delle pere con due mestoli di brodo al riso. Mescolate e lasciate evaporare il liquido a fuoco molto basso.

4. Aggiungete gradualmente altro brodo e fate evaporare, continuando così per tutto il tempo di cottura (il risotto cuoce in 18-20 minuti).

5. A cottura terminata, aggiungete 200 g di Gorgonzola, 80 g di Grana grattugiato, sale e tanto pepe.

6. Mescolate bene, coprite la pentola con un coperchio e lasciate mantecare per qualche minuto. Aggiungete del prezzemolo tritato finemente e servite.

Nota.

Se a fine cottura il risotto dovesse risultare poco cremoso, aggiungete un po’ di brodo caldo, quindi mescolate e fate mantecare.

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American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the risk of heart diseases and unhealthy lifestyles; it is also a way to remind us that we have to take care of our hearts and ourselves on a regular basis. One way to do that is to improve our diets by adding more fresh vegetables, whole grains and limiting unhealthy fats, in order to lower the cholesterol levels in our blood.

We all know that these healthy foods contain a lot of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which are extremely important for our system, more than this, they also contain fibre, another important element that helps maintain low cholesterol levels in our blood. As a consequence, we have to cut down on unhealthy fats like the ones contained in full-fat dairy products, heavily processed food and fatty meat… It doesn’t mean we have to completely avoid these foods, we just have to be a little bit more aware about what we eat.

Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean tasteless food…
I am a firm believer that healthy dishes can be tastier than unhealthy processed food. In fact, the less you cook, manipulate and process the ingredients during the preparation method of a recipe, the tastier the food will be, as you preserve the nutrients contained in it…As a consequence, your body will benefit with a boost of energy and good health!

Of course, today’s recipes are dedicated to this topic..

Mixed salad with shrimps-6

Whole spelt and oat crackers-10

Fresh vegetable and shrimp salad.

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

Serves 4

300 g of shrimps

1 large avocado

16 cherry tomatoes

150 g mixed salad (with fresh carrots and mixed salad leaves)

2 spring onions (optional)

the juice of a lime

a little extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Fill a small pan with water, then cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and poach the shrimps for 5-7 minutes (until they turn pink), then drain and set a side.

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2. Wash, clean and dry all the vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into halves, the avocado into small chunks and mix with the salad. Slice the spring onion and add it to the vegetables.

3. Divide the salad into 4 equal portions, then add the shrimps and season with a little extra virgin olive oil, the juice of a lime, salt and pepper.

4. Serve the salad in bowls with a few whole spelt and oat crackers on the side.

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See also the whole spelt and oat crackers recipe

Insalata con gamberetti e avocado.

DifficoltĂ : facile

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

300 g di gamberetti

1 avocado grande

16 pomodorini ciliegia

150 g di insalata mista (con carote fresche)

2 cipollotti (facoltativo)

il succo di un lime

un po’ di olio extra vergine di oliva

sale e pepe q.b.

Preparazione.

1. Fate bollire dell’acqua in una pentola. Spegnere il fuoco e immergetevi i gamberetti per 5-7 minuti (fino a quando diventano rosa), quindi scolate e mettete da parte.

2. Mondate tutte le verdure. Tagliate i pomodorini a metĂ  e l’avocado in piccoli pezzi, poi uniteli all’insalata. Tagliate il cipollotto a fettine molto sottili e mischiatelo alle verdure.

3. Dividete l’insalata in 4 parti uguali, quindi aggiungete i gamberetti e condite con un filo d’olio extra vergine d’oliva, il succo di un lime, sale e pepe.

4. Servite l’insalata con dei crackers di farro e avena.

Vedete anche la ricetta dei crackers di farro e avena

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Artichoke And Leek Frittata

Frittata is basically a thick omelette packed with seasonal vegetables and freshly grated Parmesan cheese! it is a fairly easy dish to make and quite versatile, because you can be very creative with the ingredients and then you can serve the frittata either as a delicious side dish or a light vegetarian meal.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Feel free to personalise your frittata and let your creativity be the limit! Go wild with it!! 🙂

Notes.

There are two methods you can use, to properly cook the top layer of the frittata (see step 7 of the recipe).

Cooking method 1 (using a large dish on top of the pan)
In order to cook both sides of your frittata you might have to turn it upside down during the cooking time. To do that, you can follow these steps:

1. Place a large dish on top of the frying pan (as you do with a lid),
2. Then, firmly pressing the dish against the pan, turn the whole thing upside down and carefully place the frittata on the plate.
3. Finally, slide the frittata back onto the pan and continue cooking for a few minutes.

Cooking method 2
The second, and simplest way to cook the top layer of the frittata would be to place the frittata in the oven for 10 minutes with the grill on, at the end of the cooking process (see step 7 of the recipe). Of course, in order to do that you need a flat metal pan, without plastic handles.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Artichoke and leek frittata.

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

2 cloves of garlic (peeled)

4 artichokes, washed and cleaned

1 large potato, peeled and washed

2 leeks, peeled and washed (remove the hard part)

6 eggs

4 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram (fresh or dried)

5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

You need

a large frying pan  (28 cm)

a large flat plate (same diameter as the pan)

a large bowl

Method.

1. Remove all the hard bits of the artichokes, then cut into slices.

2. Sauté the artichoke slices with 2 garlic cloves (coarsely chopped) and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

3. When the artichokes have softened, add the leeks (roughly sliced) and the potatoes, cut into small pieces. Then add some water and simmer over a low heat, keeping the lid on until all the vegetables have slightly softened.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

4. Remove the lid, add the herbs and turn up the heat, until all the excess water evaporates. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

5. In a large bowl lightly beat 6 eggs using a fork, then add the cooked vegetables, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

6. Put two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, then pour in the egg mixture. Cook over a medium-low heat, until you get a nice crust underneath the frittata.

7. Turn the frittata upside down (using a large plate against the pan) and cook for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes

Frittata di carciofi, porri e patate.

Ingredienti

Per 6-8 persone

2 spicchi d’aglio (senza buccia)

4 carciofi, lavati e puliti

1 patata grande, pelata e lavata

2 porri, lavati e puliti

6 uova

4 cucchiai di Parmigiano Reggiano

1 cucchiaio di prezzemolo tritato

1 cucchiaio di maggiorana tritata (fresca o secca)

olio extravergine d’oliva q. b.

sale e pepe q. b.

Cosa serve

una padella grande (28 cm)

un piatto grande ( dello stesso diametro della padella)

una terrina grande

Preparazione.

1. Rimuovete tutte le parti dure del carciofo, poi tagliate a spicchi abbastanza sottili.

2. Fate soffriggere i carciofi con 2 spicchi d’aglio (tagliati grossolanamente) in 3 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva.

3. Quando i carciofi si saranno ammorbiditi, aggiungete i porri tagliati a fettine e le patate tagliate a pezzi (non tanto grossi). Aggiungete un po’ d’acqua e lasciate cuocere a fuoco basso, con il coperchio, fino a quando le verdure si saranno ammorbidite.

4. A fine cottura, aggiungete le erbe aromatiche, poi alzate il fuoco e fate ritirare l’acqua in eccesso. Quando tutta l’aqua si sarà ritirata, spegnete il fuoco e mettete da parte.

5. In una terrina grande, sbattete leggermente 6 uova con una forchetta, poi aggiungete le verdure cotte, il parmigiano, il sale, il pepe e mescolate bene.

6. Mettete due cucchiai d’olio extravergine d’oliva in una padella, poi versatevi le uova con la verdura. Fate cuocere a fuoco medio-basso, fino a quando si sarà formata una bella crosticina sul fondo.

7. Appoggiate un piatto piano sulla parte superiore della frittata, girate la padella (in modo da appoggiare la frittata sul piatto), poi fate scivolare la frittata delicatamente sulla padella (così la parte meno cotta sarà sul fondo). Fate cuocere ancora per 5 minuti e spegnete il fuoco.

Frittata with artichokes, leeks and potatoes