giovedì 13 marzo 2014

Insalata di puntarelle

Chicory Sprouts (Puntarelle) are a vegetable from the chicory family. It is traditional dish from Rome, served as antipasto, contorno or salad (mangiare in Italia).

Puntarelle are green and leafy and once pried apart the outer leaves, there is a crunchy center, full of pointy spears. Their taste is delightfully bitter.

First thing to do: clean the Puntarelle! It is a bit laborious and requires time, but in some supermarkets you can find the ready-to-eat version to make life easier!

Rinse under cold running water, pry apart the outer dark green leaves and then cut off each spear from the center that will be cut lengthwise into thin strips. Soak them into a bowl with ice and water for an hour until they curl up and lose part of  their natural bitterness.

250 gr puntarelle
8 anchovy fillets, packed in oil or anchovy paste
200 gr mozzarella di bufala
Evo oil
Balsamic vinegar

In a glass mix the oil with the some drops of balsamic vinegar, do not add salt since the fillets are salty (If you are using the anchovy  paste, just mix the oil with the paste). This is our dressing to pour on the puntarelle.

Once seasoned add the anchovy fillets, some diced mozzarella and enjoy with some warm bread.

mercoledì 5 marzo 2014

Homemade Pizza

I cannot resist to Pizza. I need to eat a pizza at least once per week to be happy: It’s my birthright.

Pizza dough has accompanied my childhood when I was with my grandma and she always gave me the task to melt the fresh active yeast. Tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil, easy ingredients for an easy recipe with many different results…why? As I told you some posts ago, LOVE always makes the difference, especially for kneading and baking.

I enjoy preparing the dough, waiting for its rising and preparing my favorite topping.

Let’s start with the basic recipe with the traditional topping for your own homemade pizza.

500 gr “00” flour (if you can, find the Caputo flour)
10 gr fresh active yeast
1 tbs oil
Lukewarm water

500 gr peeled canned tomatoes
300 gr mozzarella
Fresh basil

In a bowl mix the flour and the salt then in the middle melt the yeast with the water and oil, adding little by little the flour until you get your dough. Kneading it with some movements from the bottom to the top as you wanted to push the dough on the table. When you get a smooth dough, let it stand covered for 2 hours in a warm place or with some blankets.

Preheat the oven to 250°C. Smash in a bowl the tomatoes and add some salt. Dice the mozzarella and put it into a strainer.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work it using your fingers or a rolling pin. Transfer the dough on a baking pan, add the red sauce and some oil. Bake for 15/20 minutes then add the diced mozzarella and bake until melted. Garnish with some fresh basil.