Tag Archives: Pine nuts

Traditional Recipe: Pesto Alla Genovese

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Pesto is a well known basil sauce originating in Genoa. This delicious sauce is traditionally served with various kinds of pasta such as trofie, lasagne and gnocchi or used to enrich dishes like vegetables soups and even pizzas! Countless variations already exist, but the best pesto is made with only basil and extra virgin olive oil from Liguria, because they are very aromatic and really make a difference when it comes to flavour. During the preparation method, we use a mortar because it is a slow and gentle process that doesn’t alter the quality and flavour of the ingredients.

Having said that, you can make a wonderful pesto using a blender and any of your local ingredients‚Ķ.so give it a go!!I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Today we will see how to prepare a delicious pesto using either a mortar or a blender…You choose! ūüôā

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Tips.

1. In the traditional recipe we only use well-aged Parmesan and Pecorino. Both these cheeses are quite salty, therefore it is better to use only a few crystals of salt in the recipe and taste the sauce when it’s ready; you can always add the salt later, if needed.

2. It is possible to dilute the pesto with water, in order to obtain a creamier sauce. I usually mix a couple of tablespoons of hot water with the sauce, just before mixing it with the pasta. Then stir vigorously with a spoon and add the pasta.

3. To preserve the pesto, put the sauce in a jar and cover with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, then seal well with a lid and put it in the fridge. The sauce will last up to 5 days, if properly preserved.

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Pesto alla Genovese.

36 leaves of fresh basil, washed and dried

1 clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of well-aged Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon of aged Pecorino cheese, grated (you can add more Parmesan if you don’t find the Pecorino)

1 tbsp of pine nuts

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive or more, if needed

sea salt crystals to taste

Method 1 (traditional method with a mortar)

1. Using a mortar, crush the garlic with only a couple of salt crystals.

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2. Remove the stems and gradually add all the basil leaves with a couple of salt crystals at a time. Move the pestle in circular motion and firmly crush all the leaves, adding more as you go along.

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3. Add the pine nuts and the grated cheeses, then continue mixing the ingredients with a gentile circular motion.

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4. Add the extra virgin olive oil and mix until you get a creamy pesto.

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Method 2 ((with an immersion blender or food processor)

This is definitely a quicker method, however, you have to be a little bit careful in order to avoid burning the basil leaves using the blender. You can easily avoid this, by adding some cold water (it has to be really cold) to prevent the blade from heating up and spoiling the basil.

1. Put all the ingredients in a tall container and add only 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Start blending and add 2 tablespoons of really cold water.

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2. Blend everything for a few minutes, then add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil and continue blending until you get a nice creamy pesto.

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See also the arugula pesto recipe.

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Pesto alla genovese.

1 spicchio d’aglio

36 foglie di basilico, lavate e asciugate

1 cucchiaio di pinoli

3 cucchiai di parmigiano ben stagionato e grattugiato

1 cucchiaio di pecorino sardo stagionato e grattugiato

Olio extra vergine d’oliva q. b.

sale grosso q. b.

Metodo 1 (con il mortaio)

Nota. Una volta aggiunto il basilico, il pestello va mosso in senso rotatorio per non rovinare le foglie. Il basilico deve mantenere il suo colore verde vivo.

1. Usando un mortaio, pestate l’aglio con due cristalli di sale grosso (useremo poco sale perch√© i formaggi utilizzati nella ricetta sono gi√† salati).

2. Togliete i gambi e aggiungete gradualmente le foglie di basilico con qualche cristallo di sale. Muovete il pestello in senso rotatorio e pestate tutte le foglie.

3. Aggiungete i pinoli con i formaggi grattugiati e continuate ad amalgamare gli ingredienti con il pestello.

4. Aggiungete l’olio a filo, fino ad ottenere un battuto cremoso.

Metodo 2 ((con il frullatore ad immersione)

Per fare il pesto in modo pratico e veloce, si pu√≤ utilizzare il frullatore ad immersione con un contenitore alto e stretto. Prima di tritare tutti gli ingredienti √® importante aggiungere un paio di cucchiai d’acqua ghiacciata, per evitare che la lama del frullatore si scaldi e quindi rovini il basilico.

1. Mettete il basilico, i pinoli e i formaggi nel contenitore con 3 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva e 2 cucchiai d’acqua ghiacciata.

2. Tritate per qualche minuto, poi aggiungete altro olio e tritate fino ad ottenere un pesto cremoso.

Nota.

Per ottenere un pesto ancora pi√Ļ cremoso, si pu√≤ aggiungere un po’ d’acqua di cottura della pasta al condimento.

Vedi anche la ricetta per il pesto di rucola.

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Quick And Easy: Chestnut Salad With Apples And Escarole

This week, as promised, I start a series of recipes dedicated to chestnuts. Chestnuts are a wonderful and versatile ingredient, full of fibre, nutrients and vitamins. Basically, they are carbohydrates, but they also contains some good proteins and are gluten-free. These fruits are usually roasted or boiled, sometimes used to enrich salads, stews or soups. Chestnuts flour is also quite popular, often used to make tasty breads and various desserts. Candied chestnuts are also an amazing ingredient when it comes to making desserts, but they are usually quite expensive.

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Today I am publishing a salad with crunchy roasted chestnuts, escarole, pine nuts and apples, packed with vitamins (B1, B2, C etc…) and minerals, to boost the immune system with plenty of flavour and texture!

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Salad with roasted chestnuts, escarole and apples.

Ingredients 

For 4 people

400 g of roasted chestnuts (or boiled, if you prefer) see How to make amazing roasted chestnuts

160 g of escarole or curly-leaved endive, washed and dried

1/2 red onion (optional)

30 g of raisins

40 g pine nuts

2 gala apples, washed and dried

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

the juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

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Method.

1. Cut the apples and the escarole leaves. Peel and slice the onion then put it in a cup and fill the cup with water. Leave the onion in the water for 30 minutes and then drain (this operation will make the onion sweeter).

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2. Arrange the escarole leaves on the plates, then add the chopped apples with the raisins, the onion and the pine nuts (divide into 4 servings).

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3. Peal the roasted chestnuts then  add them to the salad.

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4. Season with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

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Insalata di caldarroste, scarola e mele.

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

400 g di caldarroste (oppure castagne bollite),

per fare le caldarroste seguite questo link:  Come preparare ottime caldarroste a casa

160 g di indivia scarola (oppure indivia riccia) , lavata e asciugata

1/2 cipolla rossa (facoltativo)

30 g di uvetta

40 g di pinoli

2 mele gala, lavate e asciugate

3 cucchiai di olio extravergine d’oliva

il succo di mezzo limone

sale e pepe q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Tagliate le mele e le foglie di scarola. Sbucciate e affettate le cipolle. ¬†Mettete le cipolle¬†a mollo in acqua per 30 minuti (per renderle pi√Ļ dolci), poi scolate.

2. Dividendo in quattro porzioni, sistemate prima le foglie di scarola e poi aggiungete i pezzetti di mele, l’uvetta, la cipolla e i pinoli.

3. Sbucciate le caldarroste e aggiungetele all’insalata.

4. Condite con olio extra vergine d’oliva, qualche goccia di succo di limone, sale e pepe.

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Traditional Recipe: Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Pie)

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Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Pie) is a delicious and delicate pie made with a soft shortcrust pastry and filled with plenty of thick Italian custard (Crema Pasticciera) and garnished with lots of pine nuts and icing sugar. It’s a Florentine recipe, but is also quite popular in Liguria; in fact many bakeries and coffee shops make this wonderful cake in Genoa. I thought it might be difficult for you to come and have a taste so here is the recipe for you to enjoy! ūüôā

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Tips.

1. It can be quite a difficult to cover the pie with the thin layer of pastry, but you can simplify the recipe using only one layer of shortcrust for the pie case.

2. You might need less custard to fill the pie crust, I used a little less.

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Torta Della Nonna.

Preparation time: 50 minutes + resting time

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Medium difficulty

Ingredients

For the pastry (with the ingredients listed here, follow the method in this recipe)

350 g sifted flour

165 g butter

165 g of sugar

3 egg yolks

a pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

2 drops of vanilla extract

For the custard or crema pasticciera (with the ingredients listed here, follow the method in this recipe)

1 litre of milk

8 egg yolks

140 g caster sugar

90 g sifted flour

the grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (possibly organic)

To garnish

icing sugar to taste

100 g pine nuts

Method.

1. Prepare the shortcrust pastry and place in the refrigerator to cool for 40 minutes.

2. Prepare the custard and let cool, stirring occasionally.

3. Place the pine nuts in water with ice for 30 minutes (so that they won’t burn when you cook them), then dry them with a kitchen towel.

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4. Cut the dough into two pieces, keeping in mind that one pieces should be a bit bigger than the other for the pie crust.

5. Using two pieces of baking paper, roll out the bigger piece of dough (5 mm thickness) to make a tart case with a slightly higher edge. Place the baking paper with the pastry onto the cake tin ( 22 cm wide).

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6. Pierce the pastry with a fork, then fill with the custard.

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7. Roll out a disk of pastry (5 mm thick), then cover the pie and seal the two layers of pastry. Using a pastry cutter, cut and remove the excess pastry, then top with the pine nuts.

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8. Bake at 180¬į C (356¬į F) for 40 minutes and let cool.

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9. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, then garnish with icing sugar.

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Torta della nonna.

Tempo di preparazione: 50 minuti + il riposo

Tempo di cottura 40 minuti

Media difficoltà

Ingredienti

Per la frolla (con ingredienti scritti qui, seguite la preparazione di questa ricetta)

350 g farina setacciata

165 g burro

165 g di zucchero

3 tuorli d’uova

un pizzico di sale

1/2 bustina di lievito per dolci

2 gocce di estratto di vaniglia

Per la crema (con gli ingredienti scritti qui, seguite la preparazione di questa ricetta)

1 litro di latte intero

8 tuorli d’uova

140 g di zucchero semolato

90 g farina setacciata

la buccia di un limone grattugiato, non trattato e possibilmente bio

Per decorare

zucchero a velo vanigliato q. b.

100 g di pinoli

Preparazione

1. Preparate la pasta frolla e mettetela in frigo a raffreddare.

2. Preparate la crema pasticciera e lasciatela raffreddare, mescolando di tanto in tanto.

3. Mettete i pinoli in acqua con del ghiaccio per 30 minuti (per evitare di bruciarli durante la cottura), poi asciugateli bene con la carta da cucina.

4. Tagliate la pasta in due, tenendo presente che un pezzo dovr√† essere un po’ pi√Ļ grande dell’altro per la base della torta.

5. Stendete il pezzo pi√Ļ grande tra due fogli di carta da forno (lo spessore deve essere di circa 5 mm) , come per fare una crostata con il bordo alto. Aiutandovi la carta da forno, trasferite la sfoglia di pasta su una teglia (larga 22 cm).

6. Bucherellate la frolla con una forchetta e riempite con la crema pasticciera.

7. Stendete un disco con la pasta rimasta (di spessore 5 mm), poi ricoprite la torta e sigillate i bordi. Tagliate la pasta in eccesso e ricoprite la torta con i pinoli.

8. Cuocete in forno a 180¬į per 40 minuti, poi fate raffreddare.

9. Mettete la torta a rassodare nel frigo per almeno un’oretta. ¬†Prima di servire, decorate con abbondante zucchero a velo.

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Wholemeal chestnut bread with rosemary and pine nuts

This bread is absolutely amazing!!
This week we are going to prepare a very special wholemeal bread, made with chestnut flour, rosemary and pine nuts.
In Italy, the weather is getting colder; a few days ago I took out my clay cooking pot from the cupboard and I made a nice cereal soup to warm myself up. This rustic but tasty bread goes particularly well with slow cooking dishes. A nice vegetable stew served with chestnut bread could be the perfect Sunday meal for a rainy or a cold day. Great comfort food for those like me who enjoy practising this cooking method.
Tip. Prepare the dough in the evening and let it rise throughout the night, it will save you some time and the recipe will be more manageable.
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 Wholemeal chestnut bread with rosemary and pine nuts.
Ingredients
100 g (3.5 oz) chestnut flour
120 g (4.2 oz) whole spelt flour
120 g (4.2 oz) wholemeal flour (whole wheat flour)
120 g (4.2 oz) durum wheat flour
140 g (4.9 oz) sourdough (mine is made with plain and manitoba flour) or 15 g yeast
a little bit of barley malt (optional)
water and salt as needed
1 egg yolk
a handfull of pine nuts
a bunch of fresh rosemary
Dough preparation.
1. Combine the flours with salt , malt (optional) and sourdough.
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2. Knead until you have a compact dough. Let it rise until the dough doubles in volume (3-6 hours for the sourdough and 1-2 for the yeast).
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 Making the bread.
1. Roll the dough out on an oven tray covered with baking paper and shape a rectangle.
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2. Finally chop the rosemary, then sprinkle with a few pine nuts.
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3. Fold the edges, turn it upside down (see the pictures) and let it rise for another hour or two.
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4. Slash the surface of the dough with a knife in a criss-cross pattern and garnish with a few pine nuts.
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5. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water and brush the top of the bread with the glaze.
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6. Bake at 200 ¬į C ( 392¬į F) for about 20-25 minutes.
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Serve it warm with some butter…It’s absolutely delicious!
Pane integrale con farina di castagne, rosmarino e pinoli.
Ingredienti
100 g di farina di castagne

120 g di semola rimacinata

120 g di farina di farro integrale

120 g di farina integrale di buona qualità

140 g di lievito madre (il mio è fatto con farina bianca e manitoba) o 15 g di lievito di birra

una punta di cucchiaio di malto d’orzo (facoltativo)

1 tuorlo d’uovo

una manciata di pinoli

qualche rametto di rosmarino fresco

Preparazione della pasta.

1. Mescolate le farine con il sale, il malto (facoltativo) e il lievito naturale (o il lievito di birra).

2. Impastate fino ad ottenere un panetto compatto. Lasciate lievitare fino a quando l’impasto raddoppia di volume (3-6 ore per il lievito madre e 1-2 ore per il lievito di birra).

Preparazione del pane.

1. Stendere la pasta su una teglia ricoperta con carta da forno e formate una sfoglia rettangolare.

2. Tritate finemente il rosmarino e cospargetelo con alcuni pinoli sulla sfoglia di pasta.

3. Piegare i bordi come per chiudere un pacchetto (vedi foto). Capovolgete il pane e lasciate lievitare per 2 ore.

4. Fate dei tagli in diagonale (poco profondi) sulla superficie della pasta e guarnite con alcuni pinoli.

5. Mescolare il tuorlo d’uovo con 2 cucchiai d’acqua e spennellare il bordo del pane.

6. Mettete a cuocere in forno a 200 ¬į C per circa 20-25 minuti. Servite il pane caldo con un po’ di burro sopra.