Tag Archives: Family

Sunday Meal Menu, Italian Style!

A delicious menu for a Sunday meal with friends and family…

Click on the name of the dish or on the picture to view the recipe.

Gorgonzola Salad With Rustic Bread

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Stuffed Vegetables (vegetarian and gluten-free)

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Pizza With Fresh Tomatoes, Rocket And Parmesan Cheese 

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 Torta Caprese

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Mom’s Amazing Salted Cod Recipe

First of all, I shall introduce this recipe explaining that salted and dried cod (Baccalà and Stoccafisso) are both very popular in Genoa, where I live. We use them in many traditional dishes, although they are widely used in several countries, I know. Both these cod require some care in the process, but they are very healthy and versatile.

This weekend I had the great pleasure to try a lovely salted-cod recipe, prepared by my mother, who was extremely enthusiastic about it.  It is indeed a delicious dish, full of flavour but also quite delicate, despite the fact that salted cod usually has quite a strong and distinctive taste; so we decided to publish it on Foodfulife. I must admit, I am so excited to share one of my mom’s wonderful recipes with you this week!!!!!

Tips.

1. Salted cod is cod preserved in salt. The salt used to preserve the fish should have been completely removed when you buy it, however, it’s better to check the fish. You can always remove the excess salt by soaking the cod in water overnight ( in the fridge), before preparing the recipe.

2. Use two large frying pans, wide enough to contains all the fish, which will be moved from one pan to the other during the cooking process. Always lay the fish skin-side down, to avoid breaking it.

3. If you wish, you can replace salted cod with swordfish and monkfish, all of these fish are well suited for this recipe.

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Mom’ s Baccalà With Tasty Tomato Sauce

Preparation 10 minutes

Cooking 20 minutes

Ingredients

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for the sauce and extra oil (also use extra virgin olive oil) for frying the fish

1/2 medium size red onion, finally chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely crushed

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 anchovy

800 g (28.2 oz) salted cod

1 tablespoon salted capers

5 pickled green olives

5 pickled black olives

1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 cups Italian passata (Italian tomato puree in glass jars)

Flour for dusting

Salt and pepper to taste (salt only if necessary)

Method

1. Fry the onion, parsley and anchovy in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When the onion is almost golden add the garlic. After a few minutes, add the capers and all the olives with tomato paste and the passata, stir well and lower the heat.

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2. Separately, cut the salted cod into thick slices (leave the skin on) and remove the bones.

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3. Flour the pieces of cod and then fry them in a large pan with plenty of extra virgin olive oil until golden.

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4. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, place the fried fish in tomato sauce (prepared in step 1) and then cook for about 10 minutes. While cooking, season the top of the fish using a spoon (during this process do not flip the fish, to avoid breaking it).

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5. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper (salt only if necessary). Cover with a lid, let it sit for a few minutes and then serve.

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The cod was served with a huge salad and some amazing wholemeal bread, made with a lot of tasty seeds! Lovely!!!

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I only wish I took better photographs for this recipe…But I didn’t have the proper equipment with me and It wasn’t easy to work with my mother cooking/complaining in the kitchen…Believe me!!!  🙂 When she cooks she gets really nervous! :-)))

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Baccalà al sugo saporito della mamma.

Preparazione 10 minuti

Cottura 20 minuti

Ingredienti

4 cucchiai di olio d’oliva per la salsa e extra olio (sempre olio extra vergine d’oliva) per friggere

1/2 cipolla rossa, tritata finemente

1 spicchio d’aglio tritato

1 cucchiaio di prezzemolo fresco tritato

1 acciuga sott’olio

800 g di baccalà

1 cucchiaio di capperi sotto sale

5 olive verdi

5 olive nere

1/2 cucchiaio di concentrato di pomodoro

1 bicchiere grande di passata di pomodoro

Farina q.b. per infarinare

Sale e pepe q. b. (sale solo se è necessario)

Preparazione.

1. Fate soffriggere la cipolla, il prezzemolo e l’acciuga con 4 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva. Poco dopo aggiungete anche l’aglio (giusto per non farlo bruciare). Dopo qualche minuto, unite al soffritto i capperi, tutte le olive, il concentrato di pomodoro e la passata. Mescolate bene il sugo e abbassate il fuoco.

2. A parte, tagliate il baccalà a tranci (con la pelle) e levate le lische.

3. Infarinate i pezzi di baccalà e fateli friggere in padella con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva. Lasciate dorare.

4. Usando delle pinze da cucina, mettete tutto il pesce nel sugo saporito al pomodoro che abbiamo preparato, appoggiandolo delicatamente dalla parte della pelle.  Fate cuocere ancora per qualche minuto, non girando il pesce per evitare di romperlo (condite aiutandovi con un cucchiaio).

5. Spegnete il fuoco e aggiungete il sale e il pepe (il sale solo se necessario). Lasciate riposare per qualche minuto e poi servite.

Taking a Break

Yesterday, a friend and I decided to take a break. We had lunch at a nice coffee shop and walked for a couple of hours.  Sometimes you just have to take a walk to clear your mind, relax and recharge your energy….

Yes, this was the view! 🙂

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Do you have a favourite place when you feel like to take a break?

My Grandmother’s Pasta Machine

I still remember the aroma of home-made tortellini coming from my grandmother’s kitchen, at my grandparents’  apartment, which is where I live now. The texture is different from any pasta I have ever eaten since then. The pasta was thicker, not very smooth and would melt in the mouth easily, unleashing a feast of comforting flavours. The meat in the filling was lean but very tasty and the broth, in which the tortellini were served, was very warm and intense.

The aroma would remain in the apartment for hours after the meal. I can still clearly smell it now, in my memories.

Today, I am using the same kitchen, the same sink (an old-fashioned genoese marble model with all the stains) and the same pasta machine that was used by my grandmother to prepare her “famous” home-made tortellini…

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How to make a healthier hazelnut-chocolate spread in 5 easy steps!

Today we are going to prepare a healthier version of nutella-like chocolate spread. Of course, this is no low-fat spread, however, this yummy treat contains a lot of vegetable proteins, potassium, iron and calcium, so you might feel a little bit less guilty about it now…It’s very easy to prepare and, I guarantee, it’s much better than the commercial stuff!

Ingredients

for half a glass

Preparation: 20 minutes

100 g (3.52 oz) of hazelnuts

20 g (0.70 oz) dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa )

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

2 teaspoons honey

1. Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan over low heat for 10 minutes.

2. Using a cloth remove the skin from the hazelnuts.

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3. Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor, while still warm.

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4. Add the vegetable oil and honey, then stir.

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5. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie and add it to the rest of the ingredients.

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That’s it! Your wonderful chocolate-hazelnut spread is ready!

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 Crema spalmabile alle nocciole e cioccolato.

Ingredienti

per 1/2 bicchiere

100 g di nocciole

20 g di cioccolato fondente al 70%

2 cucchiai di olio di semi di girasole

2 cucchiaini di miele d’acacia

1. Fate tostare le nocciole a fiamma bassa in una padella per 10 minuti.

2. Togliete la buccia delle nocciole con l’aiuto di un panno.

3. Tritate finemente le nocciole (ancora calde) in un mixer.

4. Aggiungete l’olio di semi con il miele e mescolate.

5. Sciogliete il cioccolato a bagnomaria e unitelo al resto degli ingredienti.

La crema di cioccolato e nocciole è pronta da spalmare!

Spaghetti with prawns and trumpet gourds

Today’s recipe is suitable for a special occasion like a romantic dinner (remember to halve the ingredients in this case) or an elegant meal. For this recipe I used italian trumpet gourds because, being very sweet, delicate and with a creamy, almost avocado-like texture, they work really well with the prawns in this dish.  If you can’t find any gourds you can use some zucchini / courgettes instead.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

3 medium-sized spring onions

1 sachet of saffron

1 large clove of garlic

a bunch of parsley

a bunch of tarragon

200 g (7 oz) trumpet gourds of Albenga , still green, with delicate skin (you can use zucchini / courgettes if you can’t find the gourds)

200 g (7 oz) prawns (washed and cleaned)

200 g (7 oz) spaghetti

2 tablespoons single cream

2 glasses of good white wine 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Finely chop the herbs with the spring onions and garlic.

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Fry the chopped ingredients in a large pan with plenty of olive oil.

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Add the gourds (cut into very thin slices). Cook, adding a little bit of water if necessary, until the grounds are tender.

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Season with salt and pepper. At this point, add the prawns with the white wine.

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Meanwhile, in a large pan boil the pasta with a little bit of sea salt. Now, add the cream and saffron to the prawns and cook over medium heat until most of the excess liquid evaporates (bearing in mind that the sauce has to be very creamy, almost liquid).

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Once ready, drain the pasta and toss it directly in the frying pan with the sauce.

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Spaghetti con gamberi e zucchine trombetta.

Ingredienti

per 4 persone

3 cipollotti di media grandezza

1 bustina di zafferano

1 spicchio d’aglio grande

un mazzetto di prezzemolo

un mazzetto di dragoncello

200 g di zucchine trombetta

200 g di code di gambero lavate e pulite

200 g di spaghetti

2 cucchiai di panna da cucina

2 bicchieri di vino bianco buono

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine di oliva

sale e pepe q b

Tritate finemente i cipollotti con l’aglio e le erbe. Mettete a soffriggere gli ingredienti appena tritati in una padella grande con abbondante olio d’oliva. Nel frattempo, fate bollire l’acqua per la pasta con un po’ di sale grosso. Aggiungete al soffritto le zucchine trombetta tagliate a spicchi molto sottili. Fate rosolare bene, poi annaffiate con un po’ d’acqua. Aggiungete sale e pepe a piacere e continuate a cuocere finché le zucche saranno tenere. A questo punto,  aggiungete i gamberi e il vino bianco. A parte, buttate la pasta. Unite la panna e lo zafferano ai gamberi, facendo evaporare a fuoco medio il liquido in eccesso, tenendo presente che il condimento dovrà rimanere molto cremoso, quasi liquido.

Una volta pronto il condimento, scolate la pasta e conditela direttamente in padella.

Pinzimonio (vegetable crudites) with yogurt and mustard sauce.

This week we are going to prepare a lovely platter of Italian-style vegetable crudites (Pinzimonio) with a nice creamy sauce. Light and healthy, this colorful platter consists of a mixture of crunchy vegetables, usually cut into sticks and served with a dressing on the side. For this recipe I prepared a slightly chilled dipping sauce, made with yogurt and mustard.

 Ingredients

4-6 servings

1 large tomato

3 medium carrots

1 yellow pepper

1 red pepper

1/2 fennel

1 bunch of red radicchio leaves

1 bunch of radishes

3 stalks of celery

 for the sauce

1 low-fat greek yogurt ( 170 g, 5.99 oz, unsweetened)

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons strong mustard

a pinch of honey

salt and paprika to taste

Method.

1. Wash and prepare all the vegetable, then cut them into sticks ( except the radicchio leaves and radishes). Put all the vegetable to soak in cold water for a few minutes and drain.

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2. Separately, prepare a sauce combining the yogurt with mustard and the honey.

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3. Add vinegar, olive oil, salt and paprika to the mixture.

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4. Put the sauce to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

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5. Serve the vegetables on a large dish (or two) with the sauce in the centre.

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Pinzimonio di verdure con salsa di yogurt e senape.

1 pomodoro grande

3 carote medie

1 peperone giallo

1 peperone rosso

1/2 finocchio

1 mazzetto di radicchio rosso

1 mazzetto di ravanelli

3 coste di sedano

 per la salsa

1 yogurt greco magro (170 g, non zuccherato)

1 cucchiai di aceto di mele

1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine di oliva

2 cucchiai di senape

pochissimo miele

sale e paprica q b

Preparazione.

1. Lavate, mondate e tagliate le verdure a bastoncino, tranne il radicchio e i ravanelli. Immergete le verdure in acqua molto fredda per qualche minuto.

2. A parte, preparate una salsa unendo lo yogurt alla senape e al miele.

3. Aggiungete l’olio, l’aceto di mele, il sale e la paprica.

4. Mettete la salsa a raffreddare in frigorifero per 30 minuti. 

5. Servite le verdure in un piatto grande da portata (o due) , con la salsa al centro.