giovedì 26 dicembre 2013

Risotto al pomodoro

You know my big passion for red and tomatoes so this is a very fresh and easy recipe to enjoy a risotto also during summer!

 

 

300gr Roma or Arborio rice (for 3)

3 tbs tomato puree

1 canned peeled cherry tomatoes

10 fresh tomatoes

Fresh basil

Parmesan

Oil

Salt


 

In a casserole pour the canned tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes chopped over low-medium heat! After 10 min add the tomato puree and let it cook covered for 25/30 min.


Pour a big glass of water each 100 gr of rice plus one for the casserole, when it starts boiling, add the rice and cook for 15/18 min (add some water, if needed) without turning always over low-medium heat!

 

Turn off the heat and mix with the grated parmesan and some fresh basil.

 
 
 
  Serve with a drizzle of evo oil!

mercoledì 18 dicembre 2013

Buon Natale


Be the child you were to be the best adult you can!
Enjoy this white Christmas and see you in January.

Love


mercoledì 11 dicembre 2013

Puré di patate

Nothing is more comfort food than mashed potatoes! Children, adults, nice and bad people...everyone enjoys this simple dish!

I love enriching my puré with some herbs or spices. I suggest this paprika and lemon version for stew or for grilled turkey and chicken.

Elbow grease and a lot of love to start!

6 big potatoes (4 servings) 
30 gr butter
180 ml semi-skimmed milk
salt
lemon zest

Wash and boil potatoes in a pot of salted water until very tender (water must cover the potatoes). Drain and set aside to let cool slightly and peel afterwards.

Pass them through a food mill twice. Set a pot over medium-low heat with the mashed potatoes and dry out.

Add the butter and stir until It is fully incorporated. Add some nutmeg and paprika. Whisk in warmed milk, a little at a time till the desidered constitency (You may need less milk than the amount indicated if you want the purée thicker or if the potatoes were very rich in water). Continue to whisk to incorprate air and make your mashed potatoes super fluffy. 

Serve with some lemon zest.


I

mercoledì 4 dicembre 2013

Ragù alla bolognese

The first time I went to London, I was 13 and the family hosting me served spaghetti alla bolognese. I was so happy to realize that food would not have been a problem all along my trip.

This was true before seeing canned spaghetti, too white and gluey, soakend in oil with some blocks of tomato minced meat. They were really disgusting so I haven't eaten bolognese sauce for long time.

The recipe has its orgins in Bologna and It is a good alternative to the Sunday gravy. I want to dedicate this post to a dear friend of mine, living in Bologna, Gianluca. He loves good food and he helps us to sing good music at musixmatch .

Normally the bolognese is tossed with fresh tagliatelle (fresh egg pasta dough) or as lasagna stuffing that better grab the sauce and NEVER with spaghetti that are too thin and regular. I do not like fresh egg pasta, I find it too heavy to serve with a sauce that is already rich so I always choose dried pasta rigata (rigatoni or also penne).

This sauce can be made 2 days ahead and once cooked It could be frozen. Moreover there are some cooks that enrich their recipes with thinly sliced pancetta or minced sausage but  I think that here less is more.

400 gr beef minced meat (serving 6)
1 lt tomato passata
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 glass red wine
2 tbs oil
salt
pepper
fresh parmesan
nutmeg


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until soft then add beef, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned. Pour in the wine and reduce.

Add tomato paste and tomato passata afterwards. Salt and cook for a hour (stir from time to time and add some water, if needed), until the sauce is reduced and thick. Turn the heat off and add some nutmeg and pepper.


                                     Toss the pasta, serving with some parmesan.


mercoledì 27 novembre 2013

Insalata tiepida di polpo

If you think that cooking octopus is a tough and very long job, you are definitely wrong! 

600/800 gr octopus (serving 2)
white vinegar
parsley
evo oil
lemon juice
salt

Dip the octopus into a large cooking pot of water and white winegar (400 gr water and 5, 6 Tbs white vinegar). Cover and cook with a weight on the lid for 50 min. The octopus must be very tender rather than chewy (try with a fork to see If it is well cooked)!

Cool down to room temperature in its own cooking water then cut into pieces (discarding the water) and season with salt and evo oil. Set a skillet over medium high heat and roast the octopus until warm. Sprinkle some lemon juice and parsley.

Serve with some rocket and oven roasted tomatoes .

mercoledì 20 novembre 2013

Make it with LOVE

Today It's a special day .... the woman who made me love food and cooking turns 87!

I will give you tons of recipes to share my passion but please make it with love otherwise tomatoes are just some sweet/acidic red balls, eggplants some strange violet/black ovals and  green beans some unconventional horns!

I grew up with her big love and between "add a pinch of salt, Elvira", "warm up the sauce", "wash the veggies", "chop the garlic"... she made me feel loved!

Recipes, love, recipes, her stories, love...this has been my childhood!
Today when I am with her, I always feel the same little girl!




Buon compleanno, Nonna!




mercoledì 13 novembre 2013

Gnocchi

My grandma usually prepared this recipe when during the Second World War there were long bad days without any food supply.
These are gnocchi, just prepared with all purpose flour and water. The texture and the consistency are the same as gnocchi potatoes but much lighter. You can prepare them in a bunch of different ways (with cheese, with butter and fresh herbs, with veggies, with Sunday gravy).

400 gr all purpose flour plus more to knead (serving 4)
300 gr hot/boiling water
salt

Put on the stove a pot with water, when It starts to boil, turn off. Add salt and flour little by little, always turning in the same direction, with a spatula or a wooden spoon.

Once added all the flour, put the ball dough (very sticky) on the table (If still hot, use some gloves). Work it by hand, slapping it into the work surface, stretching it and folding it over itself, adding other flour until dry.

Wash and dry your hands. Dust the dough, your hands, and the work surface lightly with some of the remaining flour.

Cut the ball in 4 parts and each part in 2. Roll each part  (around 1,5 cm width) then cut into pieces (around 1,5/2 cm length). Using your fingertips,  press against each piece of dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation.

Drop the gnocchi into boiling salt water and cook about 2/3 min (If you pass them into a sauce pan or oven afterwards).


mercoledì 6 novembre 2013

Pancakes

When I was in the US, weekend meant a stack of pancakes! Americans do it better and various.  They eat them with bacon, sausages, eggs, marple syrup, jam, butter and dried fruits.
Personally I prefer the fresh version that I usually enjoyed on my American Saturdays: pancakes, yogurt, fresh berries and acacia honey.

If you want, you can mix up the dry ingredients in advance and store in fridge or offer as a gift to lazy friends.

125 gr all purpose flour
15/20 gr sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
20 gr butter, melted  (or 2 Tbs greek yogurt)
200 ml milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Combine the milk and vinegar (the soured milk) in a bowl and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.

Whisk the soured milk, egg and melted butter (or Greek yogurt) together. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until most of the lumps are gone.

Let the batter sit for 10/15 min than do not stir again but gently dip a ladle and place the spoonful on a buttered hot skillet.  It will be time to turn your pancake when the top surface begins to form small craters.

Enjoy these tall and fluffy pancakes.





mercoledì 30 ottobre 2013

Tagliatelle di kamut con melenzane

This fragrant, healthy and very rapid recipe is the best reward after a long work day.

160 gr kamut tagliatelle (serving 2)
1 big eggplant, diced
10 cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
parmesan
salt
evo oil

Chop the cherry tomatoes and dice the eggplants.

Cook the pasta in hot, salted boiling water whilst in a hot skillet put the eggplant dice and cook until brown and crispy (around 10/15 min).

Strain the pasta very al dente and toss in the skillet with the eggplant and the cherry tomatoes and 2 Tbs parmesan, evo oil and some pasta cooking water, if needed.

Garnish with some fresh basil.


mercoledì 23 ottobre 2013

Insalata tiepida di mare

I love this dish. It is fragrant, easy and super yummy. It could be served as appetizer or as  main dish with some carbs such as thai rice.
 
8 big prawns (2servings)
2/3 calamari
1 avocado
ginger
soy sauce
lemon zest
salt
parsley
evo oil
 
With the help of the knife or fingers, take out the black vein running all the way through the prawn. Take off the tail, the outer shell and the head and let them boil for 10 min with some ginger and parsley whilst set the prawns aside.
 
Put the shell, the head and the tail in a food mill until you get a red/orange bit creamy sauce (according to the texture you prefer, you could add some prawn boiling water) and set aside.
 
Open the avocado and sprinkle some lemon juice (to avoid It turns brown). Smash it with the soy sauce (I prefer the less salty) until creamy and set aside.
 
In a very hot skillet, stir-fry the calamari for few minutes and then the prawns.
 
Serve in a plain pastry cutter, putting the avocado cream, the calamari and the prawns.  Add some red/orange creamy sauce, lemon zest and evo oil.




mercoledì 16 ottobre 2013

Pomodorini al forno

Let's honor the name of this blog: pummaroo' (tomato) with another red recipe!

This is a delicious side dish or a perfect pasta sauce.

500 gr cherry tomatoes
a clove of garlic
fresh basil
thyme
sage
chives
ginger
evo oil
salt

Wash the tomatoes and season well with salt, 3Tbs evo oil, garlic, fresh basil, thyme, sage, chives and a pinch of ginger. Mix with your hands and set aside, covered for 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. In a baking pan lay out the tomatoes and cook for 30/35 min.



giovedì 10 ottobre 2013

Sunday gravy

I usually give an Italian name to my posts. Today I want to dedicate this recipe to my family in Chicago.
Even If they have Irish origins, they have the big Italian attitude: to stay together, sharing feelings and good food. I hope to have another Sunday lunch with all of them very soon.

To Meghan, Bill, Teresa, Big Cat, Maureen, Sean, Mary Kate, Emmett and Tommy
This Sunday gravy, ragù napoletano, is a red sauce, made with tomato and meat, simmering for long time (4, 5 hours). The sauce is used for pasta (I suggest the short shapes as rigatoni, penne, tortiglioni or ziti broken into pieces) and the meat as secondo. Once cooked the ragù could be frozen.
 
400 gr beef thick flank, chopped into medium-sized pieces (serving 6/8)
200 gr pig flank, chopped into medium-sized pieces
2 pig ribs
1 1/2 lt tomato passata
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 glass red wine
2 Tablespoons evo oil
fresh basil
salt
black pepper
parmesan

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the meat and continue to fry until all meat sides are browned. Pour  the red wine and when reduced, add the tomato paste and then the passata with some fresh basil. Season with salt, black pepper and stir well.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 4/5 hours. Stir from time to time, and if dry, add a little more water. The sauce must be reduced in volume: thick, silky and very dark. To understand if It is ready or not, use a piece of bread to mop up the rich sauce. Mhmhmhmhmh!

Remove from the heat and toss the pasta, serving with some parmigiano (parmesan).




martedì 8 ottobre 2013

Mangiare in Italia

Italians take food very seriously so Let's do It seriously. 
 
We have a lot of specialties, each region and city has its own ones. Generally every Italian is so proud of his/her own home kitchen because these recipes are a sort of heritage passed on to future generations.
 
Personally, even If I had the chance to grow up with my grandma, so to be part of her kitchen and family tradition, I am really open to new cookery experiences. When I travel, I am very curious to understand how people eat and to improve and train my taste. My trips always start from the food market.
I do believe in what Monsieur Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and gastronome, said: "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are!"
Believe me, the best test for your soul mate must be at the table...sometimes even before, at the supermarket.
 
In Italy, from North to South, you can find a lot of different eating places: Ristorante, Taverna, Osteria, Trattoria, Pizzeria. Once Taverna, Trattoria and Osteria  were more informal and rustic and so cheap places, nowadays more It's rustic more It's fancy. Indeed, there are a lot of Michelin-starred Taverna, Osteria and Trattoria.
If you have the chance to come to Italy and rent an apartment, It would be great to go to the food markets (andare al mercato/fare la spesa), to buy the meat "dal macellaio", the fish "dal pescivendolo", the veggies and fruit "dal fruttivendolo", the bread "dal panettiere" and to buy some desserts "dalla pasticceria" and some good wine "dall'enoteca". In Italy there is also a place out of time and so very dazzling: la salumeria. The translation should be a deli store, but It does not work well. La salumeria is mainly a store run by a family that sells cured meats, cheese but also everything you need for your meals (without many brand choices) so milk, yogurt, pasta, oil, biscuits, jams, etc. This salumeria is a sort of a small and cozy forefather of the modern and cold supermarket. This was the place where you passed before or after the school to buy la merendina, a little snack or some caramelle, candies.
 
 


Italian Menu could be like a Bible, many pages (tourist trap), many sections or a clear and simple  menu with 1 or 2 dish of the day. There are also a lot of places in which the menu is just a guide, namely the waiter will help you in the choice according to the fresh and on season products following the chef's inspiration and suggestion.
 
Generally, a complete Italian meal is made of 5 courses, quite long since It is not only food and eating. It is  a moment of sharing, thinking, relaxing.
Let's begin with antipasto (starter, appetizer) could be fried food, finger food, cold cuts, cheese, salads. Everything should be served in small quantities.
Primi, It is a pasta dish with a veggie/meat/fish sauce or a risotto and rarely a soup. Pasta, here, is very important, the shape used could literally change the taste and the final result. 
Secondi, It is a meat or a fish dish, usually accompanied with the veggies.
Dolce, It could be a gelato, ice cream, a piece of cake or just some fresh fruit.
Caffé, Amari e Liquori,  a coffee, a bitter or a liqueur, usually produced from fruit or plants (Limoncello, Mirto) to make an end to this experience.

The best tip I could give you whilst eating in Italy: relax, smell, look, taste, share, enjoy leisurely.

Eating is like sex a pure pleasure.

giovedì 3 ottobre 2013

Bocconcini di pollo al basilico

There won't be the so fresh and aromatic basil anymore...(yes, summer is over) so enjoy this easy and fragrant recipe.
 
360 gr chicken breast chunks (serving 2 people)
5,6 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
fresh basil
white wine
salt
10 gr butter
oil
 
Boil some water (1/2 glass) with some fresh basil leaves and cool down.
 
Whisk together the basil infusion, the Greek yogurt, 2 Tbs oil and salt in a bowl and add the chicken chunks (they must be completely coated by the yogurt marinade). Cover and refrigerate for 3/4 hours.
 
Remove the chunks from the marinade, wiping off any excess. Set a skillet over medium heat and when hot then add the chunks. Sprinkle some white wine and finish the cook with some fresh chopped basil and 10 gr butter.
 
 

martedì 1 ottobre 2013

Il caprino caldo nell'insalata

Warm goat cheese salad is an impressive classic French dish that works brilliantly as starter for a sophisticated dinner or a light lunch.
 
2 slices of rye bread or French country sourdough bread (try Poilane's bread)
140 gr goat cheese, crottins or roll with a bit of rind on the outside (serving 2)
150 gr mixed leaf salad (lamb's lettuce, baby spinach, watercress, beet leaves, butter lettuce)
6, 7 almonds, coarsely chopped
vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, salt, evo oil, mustard, honey)
chives
parsley
black pepper
 
Preheat the oven to 200 C and the grill to its highest setting.

For the vinaigrette mix in bowl with a fork or a whisk balsamic vinegar, salt, evo oil, mustard and honey (the quantity depends on how much salad you want to dress, i.e. for 150 gr salad: 3 Tbs evo oil, a pinch of salt, 1 1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp mustard).
 
In a baking pan lay out cheese rounds (thick disks) on slices bread. Grill for 4-5 min, until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.
 
Dress the salad with the vinaigrette, toast some almonds into a hot skillet.
 
Serve the salad with the cheese and bread on the top with some fresh black pepper, parsley, chives and toasted almonds.






giovedì 26 settembre 2013

Mezze maniche autunnali

What says fall more than a pumpkin?

200 gr mezze maniche (for 2)
80 gr pumpkin
1 tbs greek yogurt
ginger
nutmeg
salt
evo oil

Boil the pumpkin with some ginger (to balance the sweetness). Using a hand blender or a food processor, blend the pumpkin with some pasta cooking water, nutmeg, salt, a tbs of greek yogurt and evo oil.

Drain the pasta and mix with the pumpkin sauce. Garnish with some parsley.
 
 



martedì 24 settembre 2013

Pomodori Confit

This easy preparation is to die for!
Confit  from the French verb "confire" means to preserve. Basically this is a way of cooking fruit and veggies at low temperature in the oven for a long time.
These slow oven roasted tomatoes add a sweet punch to appetizers, pasta and risotto, meat or fish and salad. You could also store them in a sterilized jam, covered with oil.

500 gr  piccadilly or plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes too)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
thyme
a clove of garlic
salt
evo oil

Preheat the oven to 100°C. Slice the tomatoes in 4 parts and discard the seed. Put them in a bowl with salt, oil, thyme and the brown sugar, mix them together (you can add also other spices you prefer. I love basil and red pepper flakes too).

Pass and rub the garlic clove on the wax paper in a baking pan. Lay the tomato halves cut side down on the wax paper (be sure that the tomatoes do not touch each other) and bake for 2 hours. Open the oven for just a second every 30 minutes. If your tomatoes are big enough, turn them over at half-time.

Cool the tomatoes to room temperature. Serve for your preparation or transfer them to a jar, pouring enough oil to cover.
 



giovedì 19 settembre 2013

All about PIZZA

You could find pizza everywhere from Vancouver to Canberra, thin/thick, well baked, crispy/doughy...but the authentic one is only in NAPLES!
 
The recipe is very easy: flour, fresh yeast, water, oil and salt. Get first choice ingredients as for the flour, the tomato and a fresh yeast (better a mother yeast) will ensure a great result!
 

The Pizza is made up of two parts: il centro (the center) that must be full of canned San Marzano tomato, basil and mozzarella and il cornicione (the crust) that must be soft and doughy, full of tiny bubbles and some blisters. If you look under the pizza, you should find some black circles that ensure your pizza is perfectly baked, of course in a wood oven.
Follow these tips to recognize a good pizza all over the world: It must be not perfectly round, doughy no crispy, but thin and airy, with some burned bubbles and blisters, full of bright-red San Marzano tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil leaf. A good pizza is easy to digest and won't make you thirsty.

If you are in Naples, take note of these addresses.
 
Pizzeria DA MICHELE (http://www.damichele.net/), is very close to the train station. They do not accept reservation so be ready to wait for a long time...but It 's worth it. They have just three kind of pizza, Margherita, Marinara and Super Mozzarella from 4 to 5 Euros. The place is not very smart with its long marble tables but their pizza is a dream, surely my favorite. This pizzeria is also popular for the shooting of Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts.
 
Pizzeria SORBILLO (www.sorbillo.it/it/), is in the  historical center. No reservation here too. They serve different pizza, Margherita costs 3.30 Euros. They have opened a new location, close to the sea, at via Partenope 24.

Pizzeria STARITA (http://www.pizzeriastarita.it/), is  on the little hill of Materdei, close to the city center. They are very popular for their Montanare (a fried dough served as a Margherita) and Angioletti (fried dough served with cherry tomatoes and rocket).
 
Pizzeria PELLONE (Via Nazionale, 93), is out of the tourist area. They serve different kind of pizza and they are well liked for their Calzone (fried pizza dough, stuffed with ricotta and pork rind) and for the giant pizza they serve.
 
 If you are in Naples, please call me...I would never say NO to a good pizza!

martedì 17 settembre 2013

Tortini vegani al cioccolato nero

IN   CHOCOLATE    I  TRUST!
 
Popovers or cake, this is a tempting vegan recipe with a strong taste of chocolate and cocoa to taste in two, maybe under the duvet...It starts to become cool, doesn't it? ;)


200 gr flour  (for 10 popovers or for a 18/20cm baking pan )
80 gr sugar
80 gr unsweeted cocoa powder
60 gr seed oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
200 ml cold water
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
a pinch of salt
vegan (or a regular) dark chocolate bar


Fold the dry ingredients in (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, vanilla, salt) then add the water, the oil and the vinegar.

Whisk, pour into tins or a 18/20 cm baking pan, and bake in a preheated oven to 180C for 15/18 min. Garnish with some powdered sugar.
 
 
You could serve for breakfast (with orange jam or  raspberry marmalade), as a sweet snack (with whipping cream and some orange zest or ice cream), or in baked in a pan, as a dessert too.

giovedì 12 settembre 2013

Tartine in rosa

This easy, speed and smart coloured recipe could be prepared as appetizer to serve something fresh for your aperitivo or weekend brunch.

I prepared this recipe as a starter to welcome a friend for lunch since we haven't seen each other  for a long long time.

Crustless wheat  sandwich bread or canape bread
Cottage cheese
Smoked salmon (plus, chives, lemon juice, black pepper and evo oil)

Put the canape bread (or If you use a big sliced crustless wheat sandwich bread, cut it in 4 parts) in the oven for 5 minutes until It is crunchy.
In the meanwhile cut the salmon in small pieces as for a tartare and season with evo oil, chives, lemon juice and black pepper.

Garnish each bread slice with a teaspoon of cottage cheese and on the top a teaspoon of red onion jam or a teaspoon of seasoned salmon.




martedì 10 settembre 2013

Linguine Genova 13

Friends are coming for dinner and your fridge is almost empty...do not worry you can always realize a delicious dish!

I lived in via Genova, 13 in Rome when my beloved flatmate Sergio and I prepared this pasta.

400 gr linguine (serving 4)
200 gr canned tuna in evo oil or in water
breadcrumbs
lemon zest
fresh chili
chives
1 garlic clove
evo oil

Set a skillet over medium high heat with a tbs of evo oil  and the breadcrumbs until golden brown and put aside.

In the same skillet, clean with a paper towel, add 2 tbs of oil, the garlic clove crushed and fresh chili, add the tuna (If in oil, drip well) and cook for 4/5 min.

Drain the pasta al dente and mix with the tuna sauce.

Serve with the breadcrumbs, the lemon zest and the chives.



giovedì 5 settembre 2013

Confettura di cipolle rosse

This is not a jam, this is a Mrs. Jam. Sweet, savoury and of an intense taste, It definitely belongs to strong people.
 
This condiment is perfect on grilled meats, especially burgers or on crostini as an appetizer. I think that the perfect pairing is with cheese, chiefly with repined one as pecorino, parmesan or smoked cheese.
 
I used the red onion from Tropea (a small city of Calabria in Southern Italy), naturally sweet and very digestible. I know that abroad their prices could be really expensive or It could be quite hard to find them so I guess that this wonderful recipe will be successful with all other red onions too.
 
This is a very easy preparation with a really satisfying result. Please be prepared to cut the onions, even If I put them in the fridge before...a kilo has been quite hard for my poor eyes...unless you have a diver's mask! :)
  
1kg red onions
250 gr brown sugar
150 gr white  sugar
100 ml white wine
2 spoons of brandy
a bay leaf
 
Peel, wash and slice the onions finely (I've used a mandoline slicer).
 
In a large bowl put the onions with the white and brown sugar, the wine, the brandy and the bay leaf and let them marinate for 5-6 hours. Cover and blend from time to time.
 
Discard the bay leaf and simmer in a saucepan for 40/45 minutes (It is ready when It is really sticky and compact on the dish).
 
Save the jam in a sterilized jar once cold in the fridge.


 



martedì 3 settembre 2013

Buongiorno!

I hope you have missed me as much as I have missed you!

New recipes, new friends' recipes and a lot of cities and food tips to find out!

Let's have a savoury September...I am ready and you?



                                                                         Stay tuned!

venerdì 19 luglio 2013

Enjoy your sunny days!

Dear friends,
Summer is here, love is all around...

See you in September with a lot of recipes and tips!
Hugs


mercoledì 17 luglio 2013

Zucchine alla scapece

This is a traditional dish from Naples, consumed especially during summertime. This express and easy recipe is very aromatic and fresh, vegetarian and not fat too because I prefer grilling the courgettes than frying.

2, 3 courgettes (sliced into 1 cm thick slices)
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh mint
white wine vinegar
evo oil

Grill the courgettes slices and cool down. In a bowl mix 2 tbs of evo oil with 1-1/2 tbs of white wine vinegar and the minced garlic. Put the courgettes into the bowl and mix, serving with fresh mint.



lunedì 15 luglio 2013

Mozzarella di bufala

Mozzarella di bufala is a fresh cheese from Southern Italy. The best production is in Caserta and Battipaglia nearby Naples. Mozzarella holds the protected designation of origin (PDO) under the European Union law.

It is made from buffalo's milk. The curd is stirred and heated to be separate from the whey. The cheese is then stretched and kneaded to produce a delicate consistency (this spinning and cutting method is also known as pasta filata).
The cheese-maker kneads the cheese with his hands, like a dough, until he obtains a smooth, shiny paste, a strand of which he pulls out and lops off, forming the individual mozzarella (hence, the name comes from the Italian verb "mozzare", i.e. to cut).

Mozzarella is usually sold as a ball (from 100 gr to 1 kg), small balls (bocconcini) or twisted to form a plait (treccia). Mozzarella is soaked and sold with its brine in a bag.
Mozzarella di bufala must be distinguished from fior di latte that is processed with the same method but with pasteurzied or unpasteurized cow's milk.

Mozzarella must be smooth,  with a creamy and rubbery texture and It is slightly sweet/sour with a distinct milk flavor. Fresh mozzarella DOES NOT go to the fridge. It must be soak with its bag in a bowl with water at room temperature. Change the water into a very hot one, 10 min before eating.

Enjoy mozzarella with some tomatoes and basil and you feel in paradise (do not put oil or salt on mozzarella, you'll become a sinner).


 

venerdì 12 luglio 2013

Alici in carrozza

Small, shiny and silver: anchovies can change your dish from good to extraordinary delicious.
 
They are sold fresh, oil-canned or salt-preserved, as a paste, oil or extract (the so-called colatura). Full of Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium they can be used to enrich salads, pasta, stuffing or to marinate.
 
I fell in love with this dish when I tried it for lunch on the beach. Today I will give you the light version of the original recipe where the anchovies were fried.

300 gr anchovies (serves 2)
2 eggs
125 gr mozzarella
breadcrumbs
white wine
chili
lemon zest
ginger
parsley
oil
salt

Wash the anchovies under cold water. Open them horizontally from the head to the tail and Remove the head and the innards.

Mix in a bowl the eggs. Blend in the breadcrumbs with the ginger, the chili flakes and the salt on a wax paper. Cut the mozzarella into sticks, squeezing out the liquid on a paper toilet.

Lay 1-2 mozzarella sticks with some lemon zest between two anchovy fillets (like a sandwich). Dip it into the eggs and dredge in the breadcrumbs.

In a oven pan put the anchovies with 2 tbs of oil, a sprinkle of white wine and parsley and cook in a preheated oven to 200°C for 10-15min.










mercoledì 10 luglio 2013

Pummaroò&Friends: il succo di pomodoro di Rudy!

If I had had an elder brother,  It would have been Rudy!
I met him in Nice some years ago when I started to appreciate this fresh and tasty cocktail.
Rudy is smart, ironic, generous, nice and sexy...he is a real Italian stallion and girls... he is single!!!



tomato juice
lemon juice
worchester sauce
tabasco
ice cubes
salt
pepper


Put in your glass: a splash of lemon juice, a spray of salt, a spray of pepper, a few drops of tabasco and a few drops of worchester sauce, add a few cubes of ice, and pour in the tomato juice; shake it all and drink it fresh.

Rudy







lunedì 8 luglio 2013

Spaghetti alla carbonara

You think that you need double cream...NO!
You think that you need onions...NO!
You thinking that you need to cook eggs...NO!

The misinformation about this Roman dish is huge. I'll try to give you the authentich recipe.

320 gr spaghetti (serving 4)
130 gr cured pork cheek (guanciale) or bacon
3 egg yolks
black pepper to grind coarsley
pecorino romano cheese
oil
 
Set a skillet over medium heat when hot put the cured pork cheese or bacon in cubes to brown then lay on paper towel to absorbe the fat.
 
In a glass or ceramic bowl (not in metal otherwise th eggs would cook) put the yolks with the pepper and the pecorino romano cheese and mix grossly and quickly (You must not whip the eggs since they must remain creamy and not fluid).

Drain very well the pasta (no water at all) and fold it into the egg cream and mix powerfully, adding the bacon or guanciale. Do not add salt since the bacon or guanciale and the pecorino cheese are naturally salty.

Serve with other percorino cheese and black pepper.
 
 
 

venerdì 5 luglio 2013

Involtini di vitello

The sun is shining so let's give the go-ahead to the weekend!!!
 
You can prepare these rolls in advance and stuff them with the vegetables you more enjoy.
 
2 thin veal round steaks (for 4 rolls)
100 gr Swish chards
5 black olives
8 raisins
oil
salad
 
Boil the Swiss chards and drain well. Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 min.
 
In a bowl put the raisins, the pitted black olives in pieces and fold the Swiss chards in, mixing with 2 tbs of oil and salt.
 
Set the skillet over medium-high heat with the steaks, cook for 3 min per side (longer time depends on the thickness of the meat).
 
Cut each steak into two parts and roll with the Swiss chards mixture.
 
Serve on a mix salad plate. 




mercoledì 3 luglio 2013

Le mie casarecce

Sometimes you do not have time but in need of good food, sometimes you do not have time but some friends are coming to dinner,  here's the recipe you are looking for.

I tried the combination of these ingredients and I love the fresh, crunchy, sweet, bitter and creamy taste of this recipe that is also very express and easy to prepare. You can serve warm or cold.

180 gr casarecce (serving 2)
6 sundried tomatoes
80 gr ricotta
1 bunch of rocket
chopped almonds
lemon zest
black pepper (possibly the seichuan pepper)
oil
salt

Put the rocket with water and ice in a bowl for 15 min and dry. Let the sundried tomatoes soak in warm water for 15 min until soft and drain. Brown the chopped almonds in a skillet. Mix in a bowl the ricotta with 2,3 tbs of pasta water.

When the pasta is ready, set a skillet over medium-high heat with the sundried tomato in pieces and a tbs of oil (a pinch of salt, If needed), add the pasta and the rocket and fold the ricotta in.

Garnish with the black pepper, the almonds and the lemon zest.


lunedì 1 luglio 2013

Nonna

I have never been a quiet child. My parents worked and I spent all my childhood and more with a great woman, my granma. When I was a little girl, I could not understand how lucky I was growing up with her.

I was more a hurricane than a baby. It was really difficult to look after me but my granny has been amazing. She had and has an extraordinary power.
She hasn't had an easy life, she has suffered a lot.
She knows hunger, poverty, pain, abuse and danger. She lived the Second World War. 
She is 86 years old and she is always ready to give love.

I remember days passed on her legs, hearing stories belonged to her life. Morning passed in the kitchen, preparing love and afternoon spent sewing or crocheting.
I loved playing with a sort of big box where my granny kept all memories so I had the impression to meet her as a woman.

We loved cooking for many hours. My granny always prepared delicious but simply recipes.
I remember our lunches where she always tried to cook something I liked.
Her food has a special taste, It is love and dedication.

Today I cook because It is something that belongs to me. It's my life, It is the way in which I grew up, It is a way to show love, It is a way to share passion, feelings and moments.

When I feel sad and I am far, I call her to find a smile again otherwise I go to her place and I love sitting on her legs, caressing her soft, strong hands and wonderful hair, smelling her perfume and I feel that I am happy!!!

Thanks Nonna to have taught me love, passion and sacrifice.

venerdì 28 giugno 2013

Zuppetta di ceci e vongole

I love seafood and the combination between clams and chickpeas is so elegant and tasteful!

If you are thinking about a romantic dinner this weekend, you know what you can cook!
Be aware this is a dish to impress!
 
400 gr chickpeas (2 yields)
250 gr clams
1 garlic clove chopped, unpeeled
white wine
chili
olive oil
salt
parsley
baking powder
 
The night before, soak the chickpeas in a bowl with plenty of water and a tbs of baking soda. The day after, drain and rinse well. Boil them for 1h, 1/2-2h, add salt. Drain and skim off the foam on the top, saving some water (If you use the canned chickpeas, you can go to the next step directly).

In the same pan, smash roughly the chickpeas with an immersion blender, adding 1 tbs 1/2 of oil and half glass of the cooking water till creamy but not smooth.

Put the clams in a bowl with water and rinse twice. Set a covered shallow saucepan on the stove over medium high heat with the claims for 6, 7 min till clams have opened and turn the heat off. Put the clams aside and filter their cooking water in a cup.

In the same saucepan, brown the unpeeled garlic clove chopped with some fresh chili, the clams and sprinkle some white wine (do not add salt since the clams are naturally salty), when reduced add the clams cooking water filtered (It must not cooked more than 10 min otherwise the clams become chewy).
 
Reheat the smashed chickpeas (lukewarm), if necessary, serve in a bowl with the clams on the top (some with their shells) and fresh parsley.
 

mercoledì 26 giugno 2013

Carré di tacchino

Here It is terribly hot so let's prepare this express dish that can be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge and served for a lazy dinner or for your weekend brunch.

700 gr minced turkey (serving 6)
150 gr bread
1 egg
200 gr spinach
15 cherry tomatoes
milk
ginger
tabasco
white vinegar
oil
salt
pepper


In a bowl marinate the meat with a pinch of ginger and tabasco with 2,3 spoons of white vinegar for half-hour.

In another bowl put the bread cubes and pour the milk over them. Let the bread soak until it is soft then squeeze out the excess milk.

Fold the bread, the egg, the salt and the pepper into the meat bowl.

In the meanwhile put the fresh spinach in a hot pan for 3 minutes. If you use the frozen spinach, boil them and be sure to squeeze out the excess water, they must be pretty dry.

Oil a loaf pan and put a meat layer, some tomatoes cubes and the spinach then cover with a meat layer.

Preheat the oven to 180 and cook for 50 min, the last 30 min with a tinfoil over the pan.

Let cool before slicing. It can be served warm or cold.

lunedì 24 giugno 2013

Pummaroò&Friends: Μουσακάς with Katerina!

When I met Katerina, I loved speaking about her wonderful country, its sea and beaches, its food and its smiling people.
Hello pummaroò friends!
Good quality, home cooked food is what we all need, so thank you Elvira for this recipe-sharing blog.
Today, I will share with you a dish that is a favourite for many in my home country, Cyprus. It's called mousaka. It is a dish that belongs to the Balkan-Mediterranean cuisine too. Here's my greek-cypriot version  of it!
It takes sometime to make, but it's delicious!

Ingredients for 4: 
1 big aubergine                                                                              
2 courgettes                                                                             
2-3 medium sized potatoes                                                     
1 medium sized onion
500 gr minced meat  (pork, beef or chicken)
2 tomatoes grated or tomato paste
oil
salt-pepper

For the béchamel sauce
oil                                                                                                                                                
3 tbs flour
2.5 cups of milk
1 egg yolk beaten
2 tbs grated cheese
salt-pepper

Wash and peel the aubergine and the potatoes. Wash the courgettes. Cut all the vegetables into slices (not very thick, nor very thin). Put a bit of salt on your sliced vegetables. Put a bit of oil in a big pan and start placing the vegetables on the surface of the pan. When they are cooked on one side turn then on the other. When fried on both sides put them in a plate, where you have placed two layers of absorbing kitchen paper,  so that it absorbs the oil. Do this until you have fried all the slices. Please note that, if you prefer,  you can cook the vegetables by putting them straight on the hot pan, without putting oil.

Once you have finished, preheat the oven to about 170-180°C.

Then, wash the minced meat and chop the onion. Put them in your pan with a bit of oil. When the meat gets a brown colour, add the grated tomatoes or the tomato paste. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and until there is no or little liquid.

In a small oven dish (19x20cm) put the ingredients in layers as follows: potatoes, aubergines, half amount of minced meat, courgettes, rest of the meat.

On top of that you put béchamel sauce. How to prepare the béchamel sauce:
Heat the oil, add the flour and once it changes colour, pour in the milk slowly slowly. You stir constantly until you get a thick sauce. Then you turn out the fire and you add the egg yolk, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!
Katerina