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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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Pasta al forno means Oven Baked Pasta and it’s a very basic Italian main course. I don’t know a single Italian person who dislikes Oven Baked Pasta: we do this kind of recipe very often and actually with everything we have in the fridge.
The one I’m going to illustrate is been ‘created’ and cooked by me and by my husband Federico who had the brilliant idea of using Curled Chicory.

You see, chicory is maybe a little bitter for the common taste, so you may also use spinaches or other vegetables with green foliage. Besides this specific Pasta al Forno is a simple variant because there is no mozzarella or complicated stuffing.
Very easy to do and very yummy, so let’s start!

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

  • 400 g (14 oz) short pasta of your choice (here I used a mix of 2 different shapes of pasta)
  • 1 kg (35 oz) fresh Curled Chicory /Cicoria Riccia
  • 1,5-2 cups of Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (here is a nice post about Pecorino I found from Deutschmaus page)
  • 500 g (2,2 cups) Bechamel/Besciamella sauce (here I used a packed one but you can of course do it by yourself)
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated nutmeg to taste

Instructions

1- Boil the Chicory in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes. Then drain well the vegetables in a colander but keep in the same pot the water you cooked the chicory in.

2- Boil again the ‘green’ water of the chicory and pour the pasta in the same water. Make it al dente, very firm, because it will cook in the oven too. In the meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200° C (390° F).

3- When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander (not the same of the chicory!).

4– In a squared glass or non-stick oven tray, pour a thin layer of Besciamella sauce and spread it with a paddle, then put some pasta and cover with some chicory, the grated cheese, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Now pour again the Besciamella and repeat this step. You have to obtain 2 or 3 layers. Eventually the last layer must be the grated cheese, with some butterball on the top.

5- Put the tray in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until it dries a little and the top becomes golden and crispy.
You can enjoy this dish even the day after because, in my and my husband’s opinion, it becomes tastier!

Buon appetito!


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Well, it sounds like an alcoholic drink. I give up, better use ‘Spaghetti allo Scoglio‘.
In this case Scoglio or Rock is the one in the sea, the one covered with mussels, clams and seafood. Exactly like this pasta from the tradition of southern regions of Italy.

Before starting, just 2 words about the mixed seafood necessary for this recipe.
I’m not a fan of fish cleaning, so when I want to do this kind of recipes I usually go to my trusted fish dealer to buy ready fresh mixed seafood or I go to the market to buy frozen mixed seafood.
Whatever your choice (you may also buy the fresh fishes and clean one by one. It’s up to you!), this dish can be made with various kind of seafood like mussels, clams, shrimp, and squid in varying proportions. If you want you can also add some piece of fresh salmon or grouper. In short you can do it with whatever seafood you like the most.

So, are you ready? Here we go!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 500 g (17,5 oz) frozen mixed seafood or fresh mixed seafood (if you use the frozen one, defrost before cooking)
  • 1 little dried peperoncino (red pepper)
  • 3 garlic cloves cut in 2 pieces and without the green core inside
  • Anchovy paste to taste
  • 700 g (24,5 oz) Canned Italian tomato sauce or 500 g (17,5 oz) chopped fresh tomatoes
  • half glass of white wine
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 400 g (14 oz) Italian spaghetti
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1- Fill a big pot with water (the more the better!) and put it on the kitchen stove and turn it on. Here you’ll cook the spaghetti.

2- Put the olive oil in a large nonstick pan, a wok would be great, and put it on the kitchen stove, regulate medium fire. After one or two minutes add and sauté the garlic, the hot pepper, half of the chopped parsley and a bit of anchovy paste. Stir all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

3- When the garlic becomes golden, add the seafood with a bit of its water and set  the fire to maximum. Stir well the mixture. If you are using fresh mussels and clams cook until the shells are open. After a while add the white wine and cook until it totally evaporates (how to know? Sniff the pan and if it doesn’t smell of wine, well it’s done!). Remove the garlic cloves.

4- Put the tomato sauce or the chopped tomatoes into the pan, regulate the fire to minimum. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t exaggerate with salt because the anchovy paste is quite salted on its own). Cook for about 15-20 minutes and taste often to check the salt.

5- While cooking the sauce, let’s return to the pot of water that, at this point, is surely boiling. Add 1 tbsp of salt and and the spaghetti in the boiling water. Start timing when the water returns to boiling. Good spaghetti needs about 8-10 minutes to cook but read the directions on the package just to be sure.  Taste often the pasta and add salt if needed. Remember that the only way to determine if the pasta is well cooked is to taste: it has to be al dente: firm and yet a little elastic. Never sticky!

6- For this dish you need to cook the spaghetti less than the proper time, because you have to sautè it a little in the pan with the seafood sauce. So, drain the pasta into a colander in your kitchen sink. Shake the colander to remove the water in excess. Add the drained spaghetti into the sauce’s pan, regulate the fire on medium/maximum and stir it well. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

7- Serve into dishes and add the rest of the fresh parsley directly on the top of the spaghetti to decorate them. Enjoy now your Spaghetti allo Scoglio!

Buon Appetito!

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