martedì 27 ottobre 2015

Vellutata di zucca e pistacchi

Yes, I believe in simplicity. Cooking is for me a way to enjoy good food, keeping it more natural I can. Even if I don’t like orange -I could never wear something orange- I do love having it in my plate, especially if it is made with pumpkin. 

350 gr Kabocha pumpkin (serving 2 as main dish or 4 as appetizer) 
120 gr Fresh ricotta or feta cheese 
Salted pistachios 
Fresh ginger 
Red chili 
Evo oil 

Grind some salted pistachios and set aside. 
Steam or boil the pumpkin with the rind. Once cooled down, peel it and put into a food processor with some fresh ginger and a bit of red chili.Pour some water to have the desired texture. 
Warm it up and serve in a bowl with some fresh ricotta quenelle or feta cheese and garnish with the ground pistachios and evo oil. 

mercoledì 30 settembre 2015

Summertime sadness

There are magic places timeless and spaceless! They are not so far away but not for this less interesting! For this reason I would like to tell you about an island, very close to my hometown, in which I need to spend at least some days every year: Sant’Angelo, a little area on the Island of Ischia.
View of Sant’Angelo from Serrara Fontana

Fishermen village, popular for a beach tongue between white houses and lots of bougainvillea. The main square, Piazzetta Sant’Angelo, is full of bars, restaurants and nice shops. The reference here is Dal Pescatore. A bar and a restaurant that serves a very good coffee. Paolo welcomes you, telling more about the cakes (around 50), that his mother, Signora Lucia, prepares every day. I love going there for my second breakfast (bad Milanese habit), coffee and croissant, both delicious or in the late afternoon, where the sunset colours reflect into the blue sea and I love drinking their homemade tea with some granita.
Signora Lucia and her morning sweeties
On the small port of Sant’Angelo, there are taxi boats to bring you to a wonderful and long beach, Fumarole  and Maronti, with a great view on the island of Capri.
View on Capri from Via Sant'Angelo

There are several beach properties. There is Ferdinando, who cooks a lot of dishes with the Volcanos comingout gas. You can have octopus, squid, rice and even some amazing stuffed figs. There is also DEmanuela that serves anchovies stuffed with mozzarella. From le Fumarole to i Maronti, at Cavascura, there is a very popular small restaurantStalino, a very simple and traditional place. It is very small so you need to book in advance. They offer the most famous and typical dish, coniglio (rabbit)all’ischitanaThe recipe is secret but it is not so difficult.The rabbit is marinated, seared and then cooked with tomatoes and spices in a large clay pot for long time.
If you wanna to relax with a massage or some hot springs, stop at Giardini Aphrodite-Apollon.
Taverna Pietro Paolo, better known as Stalino
Around 19 this part of the island gives its best. The sunset, orange, yellow red and the sea, deep blue, light blue, green:this is pure poetry! During this part of the day I love running, feeling completely part of the amazing nature around me.


You might be asking why Sant’Angelo is so special?Sant’Angelo is special because it gives the pleasure that only small things give…Note that cars are forbidden so be ready to look at the most magnificent sky youve ever seen.

martedì 14 luglio 2015

Orecchiette improvvisate

Flight booked the day before the departure, luggage prepared few hours before landing…here we are, off to Villasimus. 

This is a magic place in which nature rocks: white beaches, light blue sea, blue sky, flamingos, fluo spider and good food in good company. 

Even in Paradise I can’t not cooking so I prepared this fragrant and quick recipe. 

100 gr broccoli (serving 4)
 70 gr Anchovies fillets preserved in evo oil 
150 gr goat ricotta
A clove of garlic
Fresh red chili

Wash the broccoli and cut them into big pieces. Put a saucepan over high heat with water. When It starts to boil, add the broccoli for 10 min then drain the broccoli and save the water to cook the pasta. 

In the meanwhile in a pan, heat up the oil with a clove of garlic, add the broccoli smashed into small pieces and the anchovies and some raisins you had rinsed before in warm water.

Pour 2,3 spoons of the pasta and broccoli water into ricotta to get a cream.

Once the pasta is cooked, mix with the ricotta cream and then toss with the broccoli sauce into the pan. 

Serve with some fresh red chili flakes.

sabato 9 maggio 2015

Paccheri al coccio

Gurnard is a very popular fish in Italy since its firm flesh is well suited to soup and stew.  I wanted to prepare something more springy so I decided for this simple pasta recipe.

300 gr paccheri Gentile (serving 3)
800 gr gurnard (fillets 350/400 gr)
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh parsley
Evo oil
Red chili flakes

Put some evo oil over medium heat with the fish head after 10 min cover with water and some celery, cooking for 30 min. Then filter water and save it. Fillet the gurnard and set aside.

In a pan put some evo oil and a clove of garlic, add the tomatoes and cook for 8/10 min with some spoon of fishy water afterwards add the gurnard fillets (350/400 gr) and cook for 20/30 min .

Cook the pasta in boiling water adding the fishy water too and when the pasta is very al dente, finish for one minute the cooking into the pan with sauce.

Serve with some fresh parsley and red chili flakes.

domenica 15 marzo 2015

Rhubarb jam

If you had asked me 7 years ago, what rhubarb is, I wouldn’t have had an answer.

I discovered rhubarb when I lived in Paris. I was in a bakery shop and  I saw some delicious pinky cakes: the rhubarbe tarte…I could not resist to taste them: fruity tang, sweet, hot, sour…a real explosion in  my mouth.
In Italy especially in the South rhubarb is little known and in the North is not so easy to find it and the price…oh my gosh…very high around 10-15 Euros per kilo. When I find it, I prefer to prepare jam rather than cakes so here’s below my special and natural rhubarb jam.

500 gr rhubarb
120 gr brown sugar
80 gr sugar
Lemon zest
Grated ginger

The night before cut into slices the rhubarb and mix with sugar, lemon zest and let it covered.

The morning you will find in your bowl a  lot of water. It is very very good because this liquid will be our jelling agent. Grate the ginger and put on the stove over medium high heat for 10 minutes afterwards cook for 30-40 over low heat. Your jam can need extra time to be ready if it is not so dense as it should be (or as you prefer it is).

domenica 8 marzo 2015

Lost in translation

There is one thing that makes me feel alive more than others: travelling!  When  ! I check new flights and destinations or I start to read about a new trip I feel something that flows in me.  This is definitely a meaning of the of life.

This post does not pretend to be a guide but a way to share my experience in Japan with some tips.

Tokyo is surely a city full of contradictions, lights, colors, noises and gadgets.  I am addicted neither to cartoons nor to technological and electronic staff so I was looking for a different Tokyo and I got it.
Tokyo is enormous. There is not just one city center also because the distances are very big. The tube works amazingly and allows around 15 million of people to move from/to Greater Tokyo daily. Do not panic once you see the Tokyo tube map, it seems more difficult than how it is. You just need to pay attention at which kind of tube you want to get on, -there are different colors and letters and mainly two different companies (Toei, JR and Tokyo Metro)-, the final destination and the stops of the train- no all trains serve all stations, and the platform from which your train will leave. Do not take the first train! Never do it!

The Greater Tokyo is made up of different districts. My favorite place was TSUKIJI market, a vibrant place. I had the chance to see the Tuna auction and to visit the market with a local, my dearest friend Emiko. I suggest to go very early in the morning between 2-3 am to get the  number (there are just 120 entries, organized in two groups of 60 people).
GINZA is a district that could be in Tokyo or somewhere else. Full of wonderful buildings and luxury shops. Mitsukoshi is the biggest department store. I just enjoyed their gourmet floors, especially the fresh raw fish  and the patisserie corners. Japanese are keen on bakery, especially French patisserie. They love geometric dessert and fluffy cakes.
ASAKUSA is a really nice and traditional district. Sensoji is the Buddhist temple you must visit and If you love cooking, Kappabashi Dougu street is your place. It is a street with stores, offering Japanese tableware, kitchen tools and utensils, packaging supplies and many wax food samples.
SHIBUYA is very famous for its crossing. The metro station is served by different lines but It is impossible (I am always so optimistic) to get lost because each line has its platform and colors and there are  a lots of exit according to the place you wanna reach. In Shibuya I was at Starbuck at 5 pm, drinking my matcha Frappuccino without whipping cream  to see  many ants crossing the streets. Yes, Japanese, even if they are in hurry in rush hours,  are always in queue, surely a tiny queue. Hachiko statue is on a small square behind the big crossing. Takeshita Dori is full of original shops in which I bought several things and gifts.
YOYOGI park is a calm relief, one part of the park, on Shinjuku side, is quiet and silent where the Meiji Jingu shrine is whilst the other part of park, on Harajuku way, is like a theater where teens come here dressed up, singing, dancing and having picnic. Here I met Gothic Lolitas, many manga and anime characters.
MARUNOCHI is a very modern district where the Imperal palace is. I enjoyed Marunochi street a lot for its cozy coffees and wooded streets.
ROPPONGI is the expat area. I found it not so interesting and a bit dangerous compared to other districts. It’s worth just the astonishing panorama from the Tokyo city view.
AKIHABARA is your place if you love video games, manga, anime, electronic staff and tools indeed not my place!
SHINAGAWA is a nice ward on the Tokyo bay. I spent there a week, waking up with a wonderful view on the sea. If you think that Shibuya is a tough place because overcrowded, you haven’t see Shinagawa station. Here there are also Shinkansen trains platforms so it’s a bit a mess…surely a Japanese mess, so not a mess as we believe. It was so funny to  cross and overtake people …I’m Neapolitan, I’m pretty used to this.
SHIBAMATA is the place in which I stayed for a week at Emiko’s house. Emiko leaves with her two lovely children: Kaoru and Jun. They have a typical Japanese house on 2 floors and I slept on a tatami. Shibamata is a very traditional ward a bit out of the Greater Tokyo. It is well known for the Torasan statue in the main square out of the station. There are wonderful Zen gardens and a magic temple, Taisyakuten. Living with them has been special because It was ages I did not spend time with Emiko chan and with her two amazing children. I prepared pizza with Jun chan. Yes, he likes pizza, pasta and mozzarella more than sushi! I‘m so proud of him.  

Brave of the jetleg two days after my arrival in Tokyo, I left for the Kansai region. From Italy I have bought a Japan Rail Pass, that allows foreigners to travel on Shinkansen, Yamanote and JR train at zero cost for a period of 7, 14 or 21 days.
KYOTO is the old capital and the kingdom of geishas. There are wonderful temples and shrines. I felt in love with Sanjusangendo. It is a Buddhist temple where there are 1,000 standing life size statues. It is a so relaxing place and I felt for a moment out of time. I suggest to visit Funami Inari shrine too. It is  a bit out of Kyoto, but it is served by train  (it is on the JRP). In Kyoto I ate at the Nishiki food market and It was simple delicious, obviously raw fish, onigiri and radish but I must confess I still do not know what exactly I ate.
OSAKA is the most lively city of the Kansai region. There are not a lot of tourist attractions but Osaka people ar every friendly.  The Dotonbori area is really a labyrinth of colors and noises, shops and restaurants everywhere.
NARA is a nice village or more it is a nice Park since I just visited the Park to get lost in its nature and free deer.
KOBE is very nice, with its port and magnificent bridge. It is full of restaurants that offer the very famous beef Kobe. I had a delicious Shabu Shabu, a hot pot fondue.
KAMAKURA is a very small city out of Tokyo. There are wonderful shrines: the Sasuke Inari and the Tsurugaoka Hachiman- gu. The city is also very famous for its Amida Buddha statue at Kotoku-in.
YOKOHAMA is really a wonderful city. I really loved it. There is a wonderful walking bridge over the sea…amazing buildings, parks and surely Chinatown. I had lunch in a small place in which two ladies prepared dim sum. I had my portion of shrimp and veggie dim sum and the yummy matcha mooncakes. While I was coming back to Tokyo on my Shinkansen, the old man, sit next to me, just woke me up to show the beauty and the greatness of the Mont Fuji. YES, I saw it.

Japan is not an easy trip since the distances are very big, English is not so spoken and the streets have no name, yes it is a mess unless you find some nice people who will bring you directly to the destination after tons of bows!
I spent my last day in Tokyo before my night flight at Ooedo Onsen Monogatari. It is a hot spring bath park on Odaiba. You choose your Yukata and leave your clothes…yes, because you must be barenaked. There is a women and men area and a mix area in which you could eat or having massages or being out in the nature. There are baths with different temperature. I had my baths, my massage, my shower with the special products they offer. I came in at 10, I left the Onsen at 17. It was my special day, fully immersed in nature no time no space just me.
From this trip, I won’t never forget: the children, always smiling and nice, old people, so kind and really open to the world -because the most of Japanese people are not so open minded – last but not least, FOOD. I tasted everything I could. I ate sushi in the morning, for lunch, for dinner. It was an addiction, especially for the tuna sushi. Sea urchin, scallops, salmon, crabe, Ikura, shrimps…pickled radish, lotus, green tea, umeboshi, yuzu…I never tasted something that was bad, never…I also tasted NATTO (it is ranked as one of the 10 disgusting food in the world) and you know, it was not so bad.

Japan was a little discovery every day. You will feel lost in translation but out of blue you will meet yourself…as when I was coming back from Tsukiji market and walked alone until my apartment in Shinagawa at 5 am.

The far East is amazingly different and fascinating but to me it was more than just this, It was love at first sight with this young boy.


giovedì 22 gennaio 2015

Egg-free ravioli

I hate fresh egg pasta but I did not want to give up on ravioli so enjoy this egg free ravioli recipe.

For the dough
150 gr flour
150 gr hot water
2 sp. oil

Use a wooden spoon to combine the flour, oil, salt and the water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 min.

For the stuffing
80gr ricotta
80 gr spicy caciotta or other soft cheese

Put into a blender the ricotta and the caciotta cheese and 1, 2 sp. of hot water to get a smooth cream (add other water if needed) ad set aside.

To form the ravioli, cut te dough into 4 pieces and each into 2. Lightly dust the surface and the rolling pin. Working one piece at time (even f the dough is sticky, try to add just a bit of flour otherwise a big quantity of it could make your ravioli very tough), rolling it into squares. Personally, I prefer a thick dough when the stuffing and the sauce are light and fresh.

Place a teaspoon of stuffing and fold the dough over the filling, press down around  the  edge of each of the ravioli withyour  fingertips to seal. Cut them with a mould, a wheel or a knife. Place the ravioli on a baking tray with some flour.

Cook the ravioli on a large pot of salted water and drain when they float.

giovedì 15 gennaio 2015

Warm bread cream and braised artichokes

This end of the year has been crazy. I had a lot of work and a small health problem so I did not take care of you but 2014 is over so new chances, new adventures and surely new recipes.

I was watching a food TV show and I had the idea of this bread cream. As a first culinary experiment I put together my favourite veggie as Mr. Cheese, parmesan. It could be served as antipasto or as a main course, It depends on the quantity you serve.

1 fresella (for 2 people a antipasto)    

3 artichokes

A clove of garlic      

Black pepper


Put a pan over high heat when hot, add the artichokes cut into thick slices. Pour in 1-2 spoon of oil and a sprinkle of white wine. Cook for 12-15 min over medium heat. In the same (or if you prefer another) pan, put a spoon of oil and a clove of garlic, add the fresella, before sopped up in warm water, cook for 5 min. Turn the heat off and put the smashed fresella into a blender. Mic with some water until you get a soft and a smooth cream.

Serve in a soup plate the bread cream with the braised artichokes as some fresh grounded black pepper and Parmesan flakes.

venerdì 9 gennaio 2015

Liberté d'expression

Tout individu a droit à la liberté d'opinion et d'expression, ce qui implique le droit de ne pas être inquiété pour ses opinions et celui de chercher, de recevoir et de répandre, sans considérations de frontières, les informations et les idées par quelque moyen d'expression ce que soit.

giovedì 1 gennaio 2015


Christmas and New Year's Eve are usually time for balance! Definetevly not for me, at least not this year! Resolutions are boring and useless! I'll give myself the chance of being astonished 365 days on 365 days!

Happy life!