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
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
soy sauce
lemon zest
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
evo oil

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
black pepper

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
10 gr butter
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)
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.