Tag Archives: Italian cooking

Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto (Risotto Allo Zafferano) is a Lombard recipe, much appreciated in the North of Italy for its wonderful delicate flavour and also because is one of the simplest risotto recipes to make. This amazing risotto is usually served on its own, without meat or fish and it has a lovely saffron flavour, well complemented with the Parmesan cheese, which is added at the final stage of the recipe, like in most Italian risotto dishes.

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Saffron Risotto is often confused with Milanese Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese), another renowned Lombard recipe; in both these risottos we use saffron as a main ingredient but there are some differences in the ingredients.

Tips.

1. It is very important to only use good quality products, in order to make a delicious risotto.

2. Also see How To Make A Perfect Risotto

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Saffron Risotto (Risotto allo Zafferano) 

Medium difficulty

Preparation time: 5 minutes (not considering the broth)

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

For 4 servings

350 g (12.3 oz) Carnaroli rice or Arborio rice

a pinch of saffron (enough to colour the rice of a bright yellow)

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 glass of good white wine (not acidic, this is very important!)

150 g (5.3 oz)  freshly grated Grana Padano cheese

125 g (4.4 oz) good quality fresh butter

1 litre (33, 8 fl oz us) hot vegetable broth (see below)

For vegetable broth

1 large carrot

1 large onion

1 celery stalk (also use the leaves, if you have them)

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. In a large pan, prepare the vegetable broth. Wash, clean and roughly chop the vegetables, then fill the pan with plenty of water and cook the vegetables until tender. Season with some fine sea salt (do not exceed), then sift the broth and remove the vegetables.

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2. Sauté the onion in 80 g of butter, over a low heat for about 10-15 minutes.

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3. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes over a medium heat, then pour in a glass of white wine and stir. Shimmer until all the wine evaporates.

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4. Lower the heat and add the hot broth (a little at a time), stirring constantly. Let the broth evaporate and continue adding the broth and stirring, until the rice is creamy and properly cooked. During the cooking time add the saffron (diluted in a little bit of warm vegetable broth).

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5. Turn off the heat and add the finals ingredients to the risotto. Add the rest of the butter, 3-4 tablespoons of grated Grana Padano and season with salt and pepper ( taste it and season only if needed), then stir and cover with a lid. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes and serve.

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How To Make A Perfect Risotto

Risotto is one of the finest Italian dishes and is appreciated all over the world. There are endless variations. Each region has its own traditional risotto recipes made with seafood, meat or vegetables. Today we are going to explore the method to make a perfect risotto, the Italian way!

Four important steps.

To make a good risotto it is important to follow each recipe step by step. There are 4 basic steps in the preparation process of each risotto:

1. Sauté the onions

2. Fry the rice

3. Cook the risotto

4. Let the risotto rest

Today we are going to see each of these steps in depth.

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A few notes on the preparation process.

1. The preparation time and the ingredients will vary depending on the recipe.

2. During the whole process you have to constantly stir the risotto, therefore it’s important to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

3. Don’t reheat the risotto because the rice will become chewy and dry. Prepare the risotto and serve it.

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Method.

1. Sauté the onions. Sauté the onions in butter over a very low heat, until they are very tender and almost transparent.

Notes. The onions have to dissolve in your mouth when you taste the risotto. You can replace the onions with shallots, spring onions or garlic, depending on the recipe.

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2. Fry the rice. When the onions are ready, add the rice and then fry it over a medium heat for a few minutes (stir constantly).

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3. Cook the risotto. After frying the rice, add the wine.  Once the wine flavour is absorbed and the alcohol evaporated, add the hot broth (usually a full ladle at a time) and cover the rice with it. Continue cooking and stirring. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add more broth until you reach the ideal cooking consistency.

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Notes. Use hot broth, because a cold broth will lower the temperature and compromise the cooking process.

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4. Let the risotto rest. When the risotto is creamy and properly cooked, add the final ingredients (usually butter and cheese), stir well, cover with a lid and let the rice rest for a few minutes. Now the risotto is ready to be served.

Note. This will make the risotto very creamy and tasty.

Also see Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

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Traditional Recipe: Torta Caprese

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As the name suggests, the Torta Caprese (Caprese cake) originally comes from Capri, a beautiful little island, near Naples.
Dark brown, a little bit crunchy on the outside but soft and moist in the centre, this delicious and decadent chocolate cake is widely appreciated all over Italy. It is also an amazing gluten-free cake, because it doesn’t contain any flour; although, in some recipes a little bit of flour might be used to dust the baking tin.

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Tips.

1. The Torta Caprese is usually cooked in a large round baking tin (this is 26 cm wide) and shouldn’t be too thick.

2. This is a dark chocolate cake which suits better an adult taste, because it’s not very sweet. It is possible to adjust the recipe for the kids using a sweeter dark chocolate, adding 20 g of sugar to the ingredients and dusting with plenty of icing sugar.

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Torta Caprese.

For 8 servings

easy

Cooking time: 1 hour

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

300 g (10.58 oz) almonds (without the skin)

170 g (5.99 oz) butter, softened

100 g (3.5 oz) brown sugar

45 g (1.5 oz) honey

200 g (7.05 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

4 eggs

icing sugar for garnish

cocoa powder to taste

a pinch of salt

Method

1. Toast the almonds in the oven for a few minutes at 180 ° C (356°F). Let cool then grind finely.

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2. Cut and melt the chocolate in bain-marie for a few minutes.

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3. In a large bowl, mix the butter with 4 egg yolks, honey, the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Then add the ground almonds with the chocolate and mix well.

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4. Separately, whip all the egg whites until stiff, then gently mix with the rest of the ingredients.

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5. Grease with butter and line the base and sides of a large cake tin (I am using a tin 26 cm wide) with baking paper (roughly cut down to size). Then fill with the mixture and bake at 150 ° C (302°F) for about 1 hour.

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6. Take the cake out of the oven and let cool. Dust with some cocoa powder, decorate with icing sugar and serve.

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Torta Caprese.

Per 8 persone

Facile

Tempo di cottura: 1 ora

Tempo di preparazione: 20 minuti

Ingredienti

300 g di mandorle sbucciate

170 g di burro morbido (e del burro in più per imburrare la teglia)

100 g di zucchero di canna

45 g di miele

200 g di cioccolato fondente al 70 %

4 uova

zucchero e velo q. b. per guarnire

un pizzico di sale

cacao amaro in polvere q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Tostate le mandorle nel forno per qualche minuto a 180° C. Lasciatele raffreddare e poi tritatele molto finemente.

2. Fate fondere il cioccolato a bagnomaria.

3. In una terrina grande, amalgamate il burro con i tuorli d’uova, il miele, lo zucchero e un pizzico di sale, fino ad ottenere una crema. Aggiungete anche le mandorle con il cioccolato fuso e mescolate bene.

4. A parte, montate gli albumi a neve e uniteli al resto degli ingredienti, mescolando delicatamente dal basso verso l’alto.

5. Imburrate la teglia (uso una teglia larga 26 cm) e ricopritela con della carta da forno (tagliata di misura). Versate il composto nella teglia e infornate a 150°C per circa 1 ora.

6. Sfornate la torta e lasciatela raffreddare. Spolverate con un po’ di cacao amaro, decorate con dello zucchero a velo e servite.

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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 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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Mango Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is one of the most appreciated Italian desserts and is well known all over the world. This amazing dessert is probably widely appreciated, not only for its wonderful velvety texture and delicate flavour but also for the simplicity of the preparation method. The traditional recipe is usually prepared with cream, sugar and vanilla pods and served with fruit, chocolate or caramel sauce. In addition to the traditional recipe, there are many variations which include different ingredients, in order to get more creative and complex flavour combinations (we have already prepared a double chocolate panna cotta, in a previous post).

In this recipe, I added the mango pulp with a hint of lemon flavour, to celebrate the warm season. The result is an extremely velvety, exotic and charming dessert!

You’ll love it!!!

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 Tips.

1. To make a slightly lighter dessert you can replace 50 ml of whipping cream with 50 ml of whole milk.

2. It’s important to strain the mango puree well, because the mango pulp contains little hairy bits which can compromise the smoothness and texture of the dessert.

3. In this recipe, I added 1 tablespoon of honey, but half a tablespoon was actually enough for my taste. With half a tablespoon of honey you get a less sweet but more delicate panna cotta, which in my opinion, suits an adult taste best. You can taste the mixture with 1/2 tablespoon of honey and then decide whether you want to add more or not. For children, the preparation with a tablespoon of honey is perfect!

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Mango Panna Cotta.

Preparation: 20 minute + 3 hours in the fridge

Easy

Ingredients

for 2 servings

150g (5.2 oz) mango (+ a few pieces of fresh mango)

1 tablespoon of honey

the zest of half a lemon (or 1 drop of lemon essential oil)

2 gelatine leaves

200 ml ( 6.76 us fl oz) whipping or double cream

a few mint leaves

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Method

1. Leave the gelatine leaves to soak for about 10 minutes.

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2. Pour the cream into a small saucepan with the honey and the lemon zest (or lemon essential oil). Cook over a moderate heat for a few minutes, until the cream is quite hot (but do not boil). Then add the gelatine leaves, stir very well and turn off the heat.

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3. Peel the mango and cut it into pieces. Puree the fruit in a blender with the warm cream.

4. Using a strainer, pour the mixture into small one-portion pots and let cool. Then put the pots in the refrigerator to set for about 3 hours.

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5.  Serve the panna cotta with some fresh mango and a few mint leaves on top.

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Panna Cotta al Mango.

Difficoltà: facile

Preparazione: 20 minuti + 3 ore nel frigorifero

Ingredienti

per 2 panne cotte

150 g di mango (+ qualche pezzo di mango da aggiungere alla fine, come guarnizione)

Scorza di mezzo limone (oppure 1 o 2 goccia di olio essenziale di limone)

1 cucchiaio di miele

2 fogli di colla di pesce

200 ml di panna

qualche foglia di menta

Metodo

1. Mettete a bagno, in acqua tiepida, i fogli di gelatina per 10 minuti.

2. Riscaldate la panna in un pentolino (a fuoco basso) con il miele e la scorza di limone (oppure l’olio essenziale di limone). Aggiungete la gelatina, mescolate per qualche minuto e spegnete il fuoco.

3. Togliete la buccia al mango, tagliatelo a pezzi e frullatelo bene insieme alla panna (ancora calda).

4. Usando un colino, filtrate la panna e versatela negli stampini. Lasciate raffreddare e poi mettete in frigorifero per 3 ore a rassodare.

5. Servite con dei pezzi di mango fresco e qualche foglia di menta.

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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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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.

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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An Oscar Winning Menu!

Are you planning a menu for your Oscar party? Don’t worry, because I am going to do that for you! Do you fancy a sophisticated Italian meal for you and your friends? If the answer is yes, then follow the links and enjoy your meal! 🙂

Appetizers

Special Stuffed Calamari (healthy and tasty!)

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and

Spring Onion Stuffed Focaccia Bread 

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Main Dish

Spaghetti with Prawns and Trumpet Gourds ( or Zucchini)

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Dessert

Seriously Decadent Mini Chocolate Trifles

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or

Mini Strawberry Pavlovas with Brown Sugar Meringues 

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Let me know if you like my choice…