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
evo oil
lemon juice

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


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

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


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.