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Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since I wrote here, but, during all this time, I haven’t cooked anything particularly interesting: too little time!
But I hope to make it up with this excellent summer recipe.
With the heat, there’s nothing better than a seasoning and fresh (and fast!) red pepper pesto sauce.
In the next days I plan to cook different types of pesto, even the classic pesto Genovese, but, just to start, let’s make one with red peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 big red peppers, washed and coarsely chopped;
  • 3 cleaned cloves of garlic;
  • 40 g (1/2 cup) of shelled almonds;
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) of grated pecorino cheese;
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste;
  • Salt to taste.
Instructions:

1- Put peppers, garlic, almonds and pecorino cheese in a food processor or a blender. Blend everything but not too much.
The ingredients must be finely chopped and not too melted. Drain several times the excess water from the mixture (peppers have the bad habit to have so much water inside!).
2- When the mixture is well chopped and well drained, remove it from the processor and put it in a bowl. Only then, add oil and salt. Mix well the compound with a spoon.
3- With the amount of ingredients listed above, I got about 3 servings for a couple. I therefore suggest to put the extra pesto in clean jars, cover the surface of the pesto with oil and place in the fridge. You can eat it within 10 days.
4- Of course you can also eat it immediately: D. It’s excellent as a sauce for pasta and it’s also delicious on sandwiches and bread.

Buon appetito!

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I fear that those reading this blog think that I eat only super calorie recipes. it’s just a coincidence!
Typically, the ‘special’ recipes deserve a post, perhaps the recipes that I do not eat every day, but now and then. Sometimes ‘special’ means ‘fatty’…
So I feel compelled to inform you of my thoughts on the food matter: I invite everyone to eat well and healthy avoiding fatty foods as much as possible and frequently choosing vegetables, fruit, and fresh food! When possible, organic and whole foods. Health is important and the body is one, so behave well 😉

That said (and with a clear conscience!), let’s come to my recipe! La Carbonara, for the uninitiated, is a typical dish of Italian cuisine. In particular, it’s a specialty of Rome, my hometown. It’s a ‘poor’ traditional recipe, with simple ingredients and a strong and decisive taste. The main ingredient is bacon, but since I am a vegetarian (or pescetarian to be precise), I replaced bacon with smoked tuna. The result is truly amazing. Just try it.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 200 g of long pasta such as spaghetti or bucatini o. .. I’ve already said? Long pasta!
  • 160 g smoked tuna;
  • 1 egg;
  • salt and black pepper;
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil;
  • 100 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Instructions:

1- In a large pot put a large amount of water in order to cook the pasta.
2- In the meanwhile, place the oil in a frying pan, heat it and add the diced smoked tuna. The smoked tuna is quite salty, so do not add too much salt, if not necessary, but a good grind of black pepper. Sauté a few minutes, then turn off the flame.
3- Beat the egg with a fork and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
4- When water boils, cook the pasta and respect the cooking time indicated on the the package. Remove from the heat when the pasta is still a bit hard. Keep a few tablespoons of cooking hot water in a cup, then drain the pasta in a colander.

5- Turn on the heat under the saucepan of tuna, add the pasta and heat together for a few seconds. Then add the beaten egg, the cheese and a bit of hot water if the pasta seems too much dry. Mix all on the flame for up to one minute.
6- Serve hot!

Buon Appetito!

 

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Fast because I think that there isn’t a sauce for pasta faster than this … Furious because, come on, it’s very ‘angry’ with our health: butter, butter and more butter. But, as I usually say, if one must do bad, must do it to the fullest! But back to our happy recipe. This sauce is excellent with all types of pasta, ravioli and gnocchi. Specifically, today I’ve cooked with these special Gnocchi called ‘Spätzle‘. They are typically made in South Tyrol, an autonomous province of the northen Italy, Austria and Germany, and are made ​​with wheat flour, eggs and water. The ones I used today were ready-made and flavored with spinach. Delicious!

Ingrendients for 2 servings:

  • 350 g Spätzle;
  • 30g of butter (try with margarine for those suffering from high cholesterol);
  • a handful of dried or fresh sage, chopped;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;
  • Parmesan cheese to taste.

Instructions:

1- In a bowl, boil the water for the Spätzle;
2- In the meanwhile, put in a saucepan (large enough to put then the Spätzle) butter, sage, salt and pepper. Then, with a very low heat, stir the ingredients. The heat has to be very low because the butter must not fry, but just melt. So turn off the heat when the butter is melted.
3- When the water boils, add salt and then add the Spätzle. As for the potato gnocchi (check out my previous post), remove them from the water with a perforated spoon when they come to the surface and pour them into the saucepan with the butter.
4- Add the Parmesan cheese, and, turning on once again the stove under the saucepan – always low heat – stir well until all the cheese melts.
5- Serve hot and well … enjoy it!

Buon Appetito!

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The proceeding behind this side dish could be defined somehow as the foundation of Italian cuisine.
In fact, most of the vegetables can be cooked in this way, as well as many pasta sauces. So you can serve as an accompaniment to a main course or it can be even eaten alone with some fresh bread.
So I decided to post this recipe especially for the benefit of non-Italians who read my little blog!

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1 kg of broccoli (or cabbage or turnip tops or whatever you want, but green :-));
  • 4 cloves of garlic, to which you have carved some small cut with a knife and you have squeezed a bit;
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 or 2 dried chillies;
  • Salt to taste.

Instructions

1- Wash broccoli, remove any loose or damaged part. Boil them in salted water for 7 minutes from the recovery of the boiling or more if you are using cabbages. If you use a pressure cooker, cook for 4 minutes maximum after the hiss (or follow the specific instructions of your pressure cooker!).
2- Sauté in a a large nonstick pan the cloves of garlic and chilli. When the garlic turns golden, add the previously drained vegetables. Add salt to taste.
3- Sauté on high heat for three minutes, then add a glass of water and, covering with the lid, cook until water is absorbed and the vegetables are dried up in the pan. About 8 minutes. Actually you have to see by eye when the broccoli are ready: it depends on how much you like them soft.
4- Serve hot as a side dish. Very delicious with fresh Italian bread.

Tasty option: when sauté, you can use a bit of anchovy paste to give a stronger and savory flavor. In this case, pay attention that the anchovy paste tends to burn easily.

Buon appetito!

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Very difficult indeed. This is the best I can do… However it was really good!
Besides, it’s very simple to do and it’s sure. Sure in all senses: it has baked eggs inside rather than raw ones. Consider that the traditional Italian recipe relates only about raw eggs, but generally I don’t rely in eggs from common supermarket stores, so here you are this simple yet very delicious variant Tiramisù! Let’s start (and throw away from the window any slimming diet, please)!

Ingredients:

  • 500 g (2,1 cups) Mascarpone cheese
  • about 250 g (8,7 oz) Ladyfingers best known as Savoiardi in Italy (here is a good and… funny explanation)
  • 150 g (0,6 cups) white sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 400 ml (1,6 cups) semi-skimmed milk
  • bitter cocoa powder to taste
  • strong espresso coffè to taste, about 8 little cups (you can add a bit of sugar in the coffee to taste. Personally I prefer a bitter Tiramisù but it’s up to you)
  • a bit of a liqueur of your choice (I’ve used Egg Marsala but Rum or Maraschino Liqueur are fine too)

Instructions

1- In order to prepare this variant Tiramisù you need first to cook a Creme Anglaise, and this is the only difficult part of this recipe because this is a very delicate kind of custard: it’s likely to curdle and it’s no good, trust me! So if you have a family one or a trusted recipe, I advise you to use it. If this is the first time, follow my directions and cross your fingers.

  • Add the sugar to the yolks and beat them with an electric whisk until they become frothy and white.
  • Bring nearly to a boil the milk. I repeat NEARLY to a boil. Remove it from the stove and add, very slowly and always stirring, the beated sugar/yolks mix.
  • Put again the mix on the stove, very low heat, and always stirring to avoid lumps, cook it until it becomes velvety and softer. It needs few minutes.

Don’t overcook! If the cream curdles, and believe me it can easily happens, remove it fast from the stove, then filter the cream with a colander, add a spoon of wheat or corn flour, and, always stirring, put it back on the stove cooking for few minutes. At least it is usable for the Tiramisù!

When you’ve done with the creme, put in the fridge at least for one hour.

2- Make the espresso coffee. Add a bit of sugar if you like it (it depends on how sweet do you prefer Tiramisù) and a bit of liqueur. Let it cool completely in the fridge. An hour at least.

3- When the cream is completely cold, take it from the fridge and add the mascarpone. With an electric whisk or simply with a spoon incorporate into the cream. In this way you obtain a dense and solid cream.

4- Now it’s time to arrange the Tiramisù! First, take a rectangular glass tray (the same used for Lasagna… look a this one for example!). You have to set about 2 layers of the various elements of the Tiramisù.

  • First dip the savoiardi into the coffee, then put in the tray, one beside the other, creating a layer of dipped coffee savoiardi (actually about half of the savoiardi’s pack). Remember: dip a little and don’t soak them! Otherwise you’ll have a soggy Tiramisù!
  • Now create a layer with the Mascarpone cream with a spoon spreading as evenly as possible.  You need about half of the cream at your disposal.
  • Then sift the bitter cocoa powder and sprinkle it on the top of the cream layer.
  • Repeat the operation another time: dip and assemble the savoiardi, add the cream, and sprinkle the cocoa.


Oh, we’ve almost done. At this point you cannot wait to put your spoon into this delicious Tiramisù but sadly you have too wait a little more… Keep it in fridge for at least 3 hours then enojoy it! Ah, one last tip. Before serving, if you think that the cocoa powder atop has been absorbed by the cream, simply add a little more!

Buon appetito!

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