Tag Archives: Budget-friendly

Traditional Recipe: Baked Peppers Au Gratin

A great dish to serve if you have a large number of guests to feed, because it is so easy to prepare and cook. Baked Peppers Au Gratin are a wonderful appetiser and side, served with meat or seafood, but you can have them as a vegetarian meal, with a nice salad. You can prepare a gluten-free version of this Italian traditional dish using instant polenta, instead of bread crumbs. You can also make a vegan version without the cheese.

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Serve Peppers Au Gratin hot or cold, they are delicious either way! But in the summer I prefer this dish cold, straight from the fridge, because the peppers need some time to absorb all the different flavours.

This is the right season to eat fresh bell peppers and there are plenty of choices when it comes to great traditional recipes with this wonderful ingredient.
Here are some other recipes using bell peppers that I have published recently on Foodfulife:

La peperonata

Roasted Bell Peppers with Garlic Vinaigrette

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Baked Peppers Au Gratin.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

6 servings

Easy

Ingredients

3 large bell peppers (red and yellow)

6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

80 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, finally chopped

1/2 a tablespoon of dried oregano

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed and finally chopped

salt and pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil

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Method.

1. In a small bowl, mix the herbs with the breadcrumbs, the grated cheese, the garlic and season with some salt and pepper.

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2. Wash and dry the bell peppers.

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3. Using a knife, cut the peppers in half and remove the stem, the seeds and the white parts.

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4. Place the peppers onto an oven tray, previously greased with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. With a spoon, spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly onto the peppers.

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5. Bake in the oven at 200°C (392° F) , until the peppers are tender and the breadcrumb mixture becomes very crunchy.

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Peperoni Gratinati Al Forno.

Tempo di preparazione: 10 minuti

Tempo di cottura: 40 minuti

6 persone

Facile

Ingredienti

3 peperoni grandi (rosso e giallo)

6 cucchiai di pangrattato

80 g di Parmigiano Reggiano, grattugiato fresco

1 cucchiaio di prezzemolo fresco, tritato finemente

1/2 cucchiaio di origano secco

2-3 spicchi d’aglio, schiacciato e tritato finemente

sale e pepe

olio extra vergine di oliva

Preparazione.

1. In una terrina, mescolate il pan grattato con l’aglio, l’origano, il prezzemolo, il parmigiano e un pò di sale e pepe.

2. Lavate e asciugate bene i peperoni.

3. Con un coltello, tagliate e rimuovete la calotta superiore del peperone. Tagliate a metà gli ortaggi e rimuovete la parte interna, con i filamenti e i semi.

4. Disponete i peperoni sopra una teglia, unta con un filo d’olio. Riempite i peperoni con il composto di pangrattato e sapori, ma senza esagerare.

5. Condite con un po’ d’olio e infornate a 200° C. Quando i peperoni saranno morbidi e il ripieno croccante spegnete il fuoco.

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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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Traditional Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli

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Budget friendly, easy and delicious, pasta e fagioli (pasta and borlotti beans) is one of the most appreciated and popular recipes in Italy. Like many traditional recipes many variations exist of this wonderful Italian dish. We use different herbs, sometimes we add bacon or lard and we can replace borlotti beans with cannellini. The recipe that I am going to share today is one of my favourite dishes since I was a child. Pasta e fagioli is a complete meal with high protein content, perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets. As a vegan or low fat version, you can serve it without Parmesan, it’s delicious anyway! 🙂

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Pasta e Fagioli.

Ingredients

for 2 Servings

Easy

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 25 minutes

110 g (3.88 oz) ditaloni rigati (or broken spaghetti or tagliatelle)

2 cans borlotti beans (keep 1 cup of borlotti beans to add at the end of the cooking process)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

6 cherry tomatoes (or piccadilly), washed and diced (optional)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves, washed

2 sprigs of fresh sage

500 ml (16.9 us fl oz) organic vegetable broth (made with water and organic vegetable stock)

1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

Parmesan to taste (optional, but nice!)

salt and black pepper to taste

Method.

1. Wash and chop the sage and rosemary (removing the hard stems).

2. In a large sauce pan, gently fry the onion with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then (after a few minutes) add the garlic.

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3. Drain and rinse the borlotti beans.  Put the beans with the tomatoes in the pan. Sauté for a few minutes, then pour in the vegetable broth with 1/2 a tablespoon of tomato paste and 2 bay leaves. Stir well.

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4. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the broth is partially absorbed, then add the chopped herbs.

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5. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, mix everything well. Turn on the heat, add 1 cup of borlotti beans and the pasta. Stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes.

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6. Season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat. Serve with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and plenty of parmesan (optional).

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Pasta e Fagioli

Ingredienti

Per 2 persone

Facile

Preparazione: 10 minuti

Cottura: 25 minuti

110 g di ditaloni rigati (oppure spaghetti spezzettati o tagliatelle)

2 scatole di fagioli borlotti (tenete una tazza di borlotti da aggiungere a fine cottura)

4 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

1 cipolla media, tritata finemente

6 pomodorini (piccadilly o ciliegino), lavati e tagliati a dadini (facoltativo)

2 spicchi d’aglio, tritato finemente

2 rametti di rosmarino

2 foglie di alloro, lavate

un mazzetto di salvia fresca

500 ml di brodo vegetale (biologico)

1/2 cucchiaio di concentrato di pomodoro

Parmigiano q. b. (facoltativo)

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e tritate la salvia con il rosmarino (togliendo i gambi).

2. Fate soffriggete la cipolla con 3 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva. Dopo qualche minuto aggiungete l’aglio.

3. Scolate, sciacquate i fagioli e aggiungeteli con i pomodorini al soffritto. Fate rosolare per qualche minuto, poi aggiungete il brodo vegetale con 1/2 cucchiaio di concentrato di pomodoro e le foglie d’alloro. Mescolate bene.

4. Fate ritirare il brodo per 15 minuti, poi levate le foglie d’alloro e aggiungete le erbe tritate.

5. Spegnate il fuoco e con un frullatore ad immersione frullate bene tutto.  Aggiungete la pasta e i borlotti che avete tenuto da parte. Fate cuocere a fuoco moderato (mescolando continuativamente) per altri 10 minuti.

6. Spegnete il fuoco e condite con un po’ d’olio extra vergine d’oliva, sale e pepe. Servite con abbondante parmigiano.

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Budget Friendly And Full Of Flavour!

This week we are going to prepare a lovely spring risotto with corn salad and fresh peas. This is a cheap and easy risotto to make, perfect for this season! You don’t usually cook corn salad, but a few weeks ago I had some left in the fridge, so I made a soup with it to use it up and It was really lovely!

Corn salad can be used instead of spinach or asparagus, and in fact the taste is somewhere in between the two vegetables, but very delicate. Moreover, It’s cheaper than a bunch of asparagus, which is great! Give it a try, you’ll love it!!!

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Risotto With Fresh Peas And Corn Salad.

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients

for 2 servings

160 g (5.6 oz, 3/4 cup) arborio rice

100 g (3.5 oz) fresh peas without the pods (about 200 g ,7 oz, with the pods)

100 g (3.5 oz) of corn salad (lamb’s lettuce), washed and roughly chopped

3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a small piece of butter (which you can replace with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, if you wish)

700 ml (3 cups vegetable stock), warm (made with an organic stock cube and water)

4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

a hint of nutmeg (optional, but very nice!)

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Method.

1. In a large heavy based pan, pour 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add a small piece of butter and gently fry the shallots over a low heat (without burning them). After a few minutes add the garlic, then stir.

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2. Add the rice and the peas and stir. After 2 minutes, gradually pour in the vegetable stock.

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3. Simmer and stir at a moderate heat until the broth is mostly absorbed. Add the corn salad, then lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes (stirring continuously) until creamy.

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4. Turn off the heat, season with a hint of nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; then put the lid on the pan and let the risotto sit for a few minutes. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan on top.

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Tip. Garnish the dish with some fresh corn salad leaves.

Risotto Con Piselli Freschi e Valerianella.

Preparazione: 20 minuti

Cottura: 35 minuti

Ingredienti

per 2 persone

160 g riso arborio

100 g di piselli freschi sbucciati (200 g circa di peso con il bacello)

100 g di valerianella, lavata e tagliata grossolanamente

50 g di scalogno, sbucciato e tritato finemente

1 spicchio d’aglio, sbucciato e tritato

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

una nonce di burro (che potete sostituire con 1 cucchiaio d’olio in più, se lo desiderate)

700 ml di brodo vegetale, caldo (fatto con un dado biologico)

un pizzico di noce moscata

sale e pepe q. b.

parmigiano grattugiato q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una pentola grande a fondo spesso, versate 3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva, aggiungete il burro e fate soffriggere lo scalogno a fiamma bassa. Dopo qualche minuto aggiungete l’aglio.

2. Unite al soffritto anche il riso e i piselli. Fate rosolare per qualche minuto, poi annaffiate con abbondante brodo vegetale. Continuate ad aggiungere il brodo gradualmente, durante la cottura.

3. Fate cuocere a fuoco moderato (mescolando sempre), finché il brodo si sarà ritirato quasi completamente. Aggiungete la valerianella verso fine cottura, poi abbassate il fuoco e fate cuocere per altri 10 minuti (sempre mescolando).

4. Spegnete il fuoco, condite con un pizzico di noce moscata, qualche cucchiaio di parmigiano, sale e pepe; lasciate riposare per qualche minuto il risotto, chiudendo la pentola con un coperchio. Servite con abbondante parmigiano.

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