Tag Archives: Sauce

Traditional Recipe : Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce (Sugo Finto)

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I have to admit that since I stopped eating meat there are some traditional dishes that I really miss…Bolognese sauce is one of them! There is a very tasty vegetarian alternative though,  which is as good as the original Bolognese sauce with all the flavour of an old fashioned classic! This amazing sauce is called sugo finto ( fake sauce), an old traditional recipe made using minced vegetables instead of meat.  This sauce can easily replace the Bolognese sauce in many recipes such as cannelloni, lasagne or any other dish which requires a similar sauce.

The sugo finto is delicious and it has been on my family menu for generations! In fact, my mother remembers my grandfather’s aunty preparing the sauce for meatless family meals on Fridays.

The sugo finto is a must for vegetarians who love tasty traditional recipes!!!!

Try it and let me know what you think…

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Vegetarian Bolognese sauce (sugo finto)

Ingredients

1 can of tomato passata (best quality)

1/2 an onion (medium size)

1 clove of garlic

1 carrot

2 stalks of celery

1 big bunch of fresh aromatic herbs (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, 2 bay leaves, oregano)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of tomato paste

1/2 a organic stock cube

a large glass of water

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Method.

1. Finely chop the rosemary.

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2. Cut the celery, carrot and garlic in small pieces, then place the vegetables with the herbs (without the bay leaves) in the mixer and blend for a few minutes. Now add the onion and blend once more.

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3. Fry the vegetables with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add two bay leaves.

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4. Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, then add the passata and stir.

5. During the cooking time add a large glass of water and mix well.

6. Cook and stir until you get a Bolognese sauce consistency.

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Tip. The cooking time may vary between 30 or 50 minutes, depending on whether you want a slightly milder sauce or dense sauce with a stronger flavour.

Ragù vegetariano (sugo finto)

Ingredienti

400 g di passata di pomodoro (di ottima qualità)

1/2 cipolla di media grandezza

1 spicchio d’aglio

1 carota

2 gambi di sedano

1 mazzetto bello grosso di erbe aromatiche fresche (maggiorana, timo, rosmarino, 2 foglie di alloro, origano)

4 cucchiai di olio extravergine d’oliva

4 cucchiai di concentrato di pomodoro

1/2 dado biologico di buona qualità

un bicchiere d’acqua

Preparazione.

1. Tritate finemente il rosmarino.

2. Tagliare il sedano, la carota e l’aglio a pezzetti. Mettete quindi le verdure con le erbe (senza l’alloro) nel mixer e sminuzzate per qualche minuto. Aggiungete anche la cipolla e continuate a sminuzzare fino ad ottenere un tritato abbastanza fine.

3. Fate soffriggere le verdure sminuzzate con 4 cucchiai d’olio, per una decina di minuti. Aggiungete  anche due foglie intere di alloro.

4. Aggiungete 4 cucchiai di concentrato di pomodoro, poi unite la passata al concentrato e mescolate bene.

5. Durante la cottura annaffiate con un bicchiere d’acqua e mescolate di tanto in tanto.

6. Fate ritirare il liquido in eccesso e lasciate cuocere fino ad ottenere un sugo con la consistenza del ragù.

Nota. Il tempo di cottura può variare da 30 a 50 minuti, a seconda se desiderate un sugo più delicato oppure più denso e dal sapore un po’ più deciso.

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Traditional Recipe: Salsa Verde (Fresh Parsley Sauce)

Salsa Verde is a great condiment which enriches dishes with a fresh and distinctive garlic-parsley flavour. It is excellent served with boiled meat, steamed fish or vegetables dishes. Salsa Verde is prepared with a few ingredients and is very fast and simple to make.

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This sauce is widely used and appreciated in Italy, in fact, there are several versions of it. As usually happens with most traditional Italian dishes, the ingredients and flavours vary depending on the region or town in which they have been prepared.
It is a very tasty sauce, however, to further enrich the flavour of this wonderful sauce you can also add pine nuts, capers and olives.

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Salsa Verde.

Preparation: 5 minutes (+ the time to boil the eggs)

Difficulty: very easy

1 big bunch of parsley.

1 clove of garlic

1 anchovy (preserved in oil)

A little bit of soft bread (with no crust), soaked in white wine vinegar

2 hard-boiled egg yolks

100 ml of extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of very cold water

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Method

1. Mix the parsley leaves, the garlic, the egg yolks and the anchovy in a food processor, with 2 tablespoons of cold water but without the extra virgin olive oil.

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2. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper and mix well.

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3. Serve in a small bowl with fish, vegetables or meat dishes (boiled or steamed).

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Salsa verde.

Tempo di preparazione: 5 minuti (+ il tempo di bollire le uova)

Facilissima

1 mazzetto di prezzemolo.

1 spicchio d’aglio (senza l’anima)

1 acciuga sott’olio

la mollica di un panino medio-piccolo, inzuppata nell’aceto bianco

2 tuorli d’uova sode

100 ml d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

sale e pepe macinato fresco q. b.

2 cucchiai d’acqua molto fredda

Metodo.

1. Tritate (utilizzando un tritatutto) le foglie di prezzemolo, i tuorli d’uova, l’acciuga e l’aglio con due cucchiai d’acqua fredda, senza aggiungere l’olio.

2. Versate il composto ottenuto in una ciotola, aggiungete l’olio extra vergine d’oliva, condite con poco sale e pepe e mescolate bene.

3. Servite la salsa in una piccola ciotola accompagnando piatti di pesce, carni o verdure bollite (o cotte a vapore).

Super Tasty and Healthy Rocket Pesto

The most famous Italian pesto is made with fresh basil and is a traditional Genoese dish. In Italy, however many variations exist of this lovely condiment.
My mother, for example, prepares a delicious rocket pesto made with pine nuts and Parmesan, using the plants she has in the garden. Today I am going to share this lovely recipe, but instead of pine nuts I am using a few hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds.
Pesto is a very healthy condiment that you should definitely have in your fridge.
The rocket leaves are rich in vitamin C and also contain potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. They have a slightly bitter peppery flavour, which I love.

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Tips.

1. Making pesto is very easy. Use an immersion blander and mix all the dry ingredients first and then add the extra virgin olive oil at the end. Add just a couple of tablespoons of iced water with the dry ingredients when you first use the blender, because this will cool the blades down and avoid ruining the leaves.

2. In the traditional Genoese pesto recipe we use Parmesan cheese and Pecorino Sardo. You can buy both cheeses nicely-aged, which is important because they have a distinctive strong taste. However, if you can’t find aged Pecorino Sardo you can replace it with Parmesan. Both these cheeses are quite salty, so it is very important to put just a pinch of salt in the recipe, then you can always add it at the end, if needed.

3. In order to get a creamier pesto, when you cook the pasta you can dilute your condiment with a couple of tablespoons of cooking water (the water in which the pasta is cooking), just before serving.

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Rocket (Arugula) Pesto.

Preparation: 10 minutes

Easy

Ingredienti

For a cup of pesto

1/2 clove of garlic

60 g (2.11 oz) rocket (arugula), washed

30 g (1.05 oz) aged Parmesan cheese, cut into small pieces

30 g (1.05 oz) aged Pecorino Sardo cheese

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 walnuts, shelled

2 almonds, shelled

2 hazelnuts, shelled

a pinch of salt

pepper to taste

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Method.

1. In a tall container, put all the ingredients, without the extra virgin olive oil.

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2. Using an immersion blender, chop the ingredients for a few minutes, adding just a little bit of iced water to cool the blade in the process.

3. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil (a little at a time) and blend everything together, until you get a creamy mixture.

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4. Serve with your favourite pasta.

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Pesto di rucola.

Ingredienti

Preparazione: 10 minuti

Facile

Per un vasetto

1/2 spicchio d’aglio

60 g di rucola, lavata e asciugata

30 g di parmigiano reggiano (tagliato a pezzi piccoli)

30g di pecorino sardo stagionato (tagliato a pezzi piccoli)

6 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

2 noci, senza guscio

2 nocciole, senza guscio

2 mandorle, senza guscio

un pizzico di sale

pepe q.b.

Preparazione.

1. In un contenitore alto e stretto mettete tutti gli ingredienti, senza l’olio.

2. Usando un frullatore ad immersione, tritate per qualche minuto gli ingredienti, aggiungendo un po’ d’acqua molto fredda, per evitare che la lama si scaldi.

3. Versate anche l’olio extra vergine d’oliva nel composto (poco alla volta e continuando a tritare), fino ad ottenere una consistenza cremosa.

4. Condite la pasta e servite.

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Deliciously soft bavarian cream with chocolate-caramel sauce.

A few nights ago I had a couple of friends round for dinner, it was a special occasion, so I prepared a simple and delicious dessert recipe. I made a soft vanilla bavarian cream which I divided into individual portions and garnished with chocolate-caramel sauce and a few toasted walnuts. This dessert is very easy to prepare, very satisfying and deliciously creamy. A bavarian cream is basically a rich but delicate custard, blended with gelatin to have a light and airy texture. The chocolate sauce served with walnuts adds crunchiness and flavour to the cream.  We spent a wonderful evening and the dessert was fully appreciated…

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Bavarian cream with chocolate-caramel sauce.

Ingredients

Serves 4

250 ml (8.45 fl. oz) whipping cream

150 ml (5 fl. oz) milk

50 g (1.76 oz) sugar

2 gelatin leaves (5 g)

2 egg yolks

2 drops vanilla extract

For the chocolate-caramel sauce

100 g (3.52 oz) brown sugar

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

6 toasted walnuts (toast the unshelled walnuts in the oven on a tray for 5 minutes at 190°C, 374 °F)

1 teaspoon of dark rum

100 ml (3.38 fl.oz) of milk

Preparation method.

1. Soften the gelatin in warm water for 10 minutes.

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2. In a saucepan, work the eggs with the sugar until creamy. Gradually add hot milk and the vanilla extract, stirring on low heat.

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3. Drain the gelatin, melt into the creamy mixture and continue to stir on low heat for about ten minutes (do not boil). Let cool. Stir the whipped cream very gently into the mixture.

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4. Pour the dessert into molds and put in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours.

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Preparation of the caramel sauce.

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1. Pour the sugar (100 g) with the cocoa powder into the milk (100 ml), add some rum and stir. Melt the sugar at a low heat and cook until the sauce has thickened.

2. Garnish the bavarian cream with a few toasted walnuts and serve with the chocolate-caramel sauce.

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Crema bavarese con salsa di caramello al cacao.

Ingredienti

per 4 porzioni

250 ml di panna da montare

150 ml di latte

50 g di zucchero

2 fogli di colla di pesce (5 g)

2 tuorli d’uovo

due gocce di estratto di vaniglia

Per la crema di caramello al cacao

100 g di zucchero di canna

1 cucchiaino di cacao

1 cucchiaino di rum scuro

100 ml di latte

qualche noce tostata per guarnire

Preparazione della crema.

1. Fate ammorbidire la colla di pesce in acqua tiepida per 10 minuti. In un pentolino, lavorate le uova con lo zucchero fino a creare una crema spumosa.

2. Continuando a mescolare, allungate gradualmente il composto con del latte bollente. Aggiungete l’estratto di vaniglia e fate cuocere per dieci minuti a fiamma molto bassa.

3. Scolate bene la colla di pesce e fatela sciogliere nel latte ( continuando a mescolare). Spegnete il fuoco e lasciate raffreddare.

4. Unite la panna montata al composto, mescolando delicatamente dal basso verso l’alto. Versate la crema negli stampi e mettetela nel frigorifero a solidificare per almeno 3 ore.

Preparazione del caramello.

1. Versate lo zucchero (100 g) con il cacao e un cucchiaino di rum in 100 ml di latte. Fate sciogliere lo zucchero a fiamma bassa e fate ritirare fino ad ottenere una salsa densa. Lasciate raffreddare.

2. Servite la crema bavarese con la salsa di caramello al cacao e guarnite con qualche noce (fatta leggermente tostare prima) sopra.

A Steamed Alternative to Vegetable Stock.

Home-made (steamed) vegetable stock.

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This stock-like sauce is prepared by gently steaming vegetables, using ingredients naturally rich in flavour like wine, sesame seeds and fresh herbs. It ‘s a great alternative to commercial vegetable stocks (or vegetable broth) and a little bit healthier than homemade ones. This fragrant, rich-in-nutrients sauce will blend in nicely with most of your dishes, improving every recipe ( I use it with roast meat, stews, sauces or soups). As a homemade product, made ​​only with fresh vegetables and no artificial preservatives, this stock should be kept well sealed in the fridge and used up within a few days, while in the freezer will keep well for several months. This recipe is high in salt, a natural preservative, therefore should be used in moderation.

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil (1 of which is to be added at the end)

1 kg  ( 2 lb) fresh vegetables:

1 medium tomato

3-4 stalks of celery

2-3 carrots

a medium potato

1 red bell pepper (optional)

2 medium onions

2 cloves of garlic

A bunch of herbs to taste (I used parsley, marjoram and some oregano and rosemary)

150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine or Marsala wine

150 ml (5 fl oz) water

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (finely ground)

Fry the onions and garlic with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the onions are golden brown, pour the wine into a pan and let it cook at a low heat to make a sauce.

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In the meantime, wash and cut the vegetables into chunks, and put them in a steamer basket.

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Put the basket on top of the pan, cover with a lid and cook with the steam of the wine sauce for 20-30 minutes. Half way through the cooking time (after 10-15 minutes), pour the water into the wine sauce, then cover and continue cooking.

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When the vegetables are almost ready, add the herbs ( finely chopped) to the sauce.

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Put the vegetables back on top of the pan and continue to simmer until they are tender.

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Turn off the heat, pour the vegetable into the wine sauce and, using an immersion blender, blend everything together.

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Finely grind the sesame seeds with a food processor. Add the seeds, a tablespoon of salt and one of olive oil to the vegetables stock. Mix well.

Pour the stock into small jars (previously sterilized with boiling water or alcohol at 90 °), seal and store in the fridge and/or in the freezer.

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Dado di verdure (cotte a vapore) fatto in casa

Questo condimento si prepara facendo cuocere delicatamente le verdure al vapore, utilizzando ingredienti naturalmente aromatizzanti come il vino,i semi di sesamo e le erbe fresche profumate. E’ un’ottima alternativa al brodo fatto in casa o al classico dado del supermercato. Il risultato sarà una pasta profumatissima e ricca di sostanze nutritive che arricchirà ogni piatto, senza appesantirlo. Questa salsa, o dado, si può utilizzare per fare un brodo vegetale leggero, oppure ci si possono condire e insaporire svariate pietanze, come arrosti o sughi di vario genere. Essendo un prodotto preparato con ingredienti freschi e senza conservanti artificiali,  se tenuto in frigorifero è consigliabile utilizzarlo entro pochi giorni, mentre nel freezer si manterrà benissimo per diversi mesi. Il sale contenuto nella ricetta ne aiuta la conservazione, ma ovviamente bisogna moderarne le quantità nella preparazione delle vostre ricette.

Ingredienti

4 cucchiai d’olio di oliva (di cui 1 va aggiunto a cottura avanzata)

1 kg di verdure fresche:

1 pomodoro medio piccolo

qualche gambo di sedano

2-3 carote

una patata medio piccola

1 peperone rosso (facoltativo)

Un mazzetto di erbe aromatiche a piacere ( ho messo prezzemolo, maggiorata e in minore quantità  origano e rosmarino)

2 cipolle

2 spicchi d’aglio

150 ml di vino bianco o di Marsala

150 ml d’acqua

1 cucchiaio abbondante di sale

2 cucchiai di semi di sesamo (macinati finemente)

Fate rosolare il soffritto di cipolle e aglio con 3 cucchiai di olio d’oliva. Quando le cipolle saranno ben dorate allungate con un po’ di vino. Nel frattempo, lavate le verdure, tagliatele e mettetele nel cestello per la cottura a vapore. Riponete il cestello sopra la pentola del soffritto, chiudete con il coperchio e lasciate cuocere per 20-30 minuti con il vapore del vino.

A metà cottura (dopo 10-15 minuti) allungate il vino con 150 ml d’acqua, coprite la pentola e continuate a cuocere. Quasi a termine cottura, aggiungete le erbe aromatiche (tritate e pulite) al vino e lasciate insaporire a fuoco molto basso.  Spegnete la fiamma quando tutte le verdure saranno morbide, poi unitele alla salsa di vino e frullate il tutto con un frullatore ad immersione, fino a creare una crema densa. Nel caso il risultato fosse troppo liquido, fatelo un po’ ritirare a fuoco lento.

A questo punto, tritate i semi di sesamo finemente e aggiungeteli con un cucchiaio di sale (fino) alla nostro dado di verdura. Inumidite con un cucchiaio di olio crudo e mescolate bene tutto.Mettete il dado in diversi vasetti di vetro (precedentemente sterilizzati con acqua bollente o alcool a 90°) e riponeteli nel frigorifero e nel freezer.