Friday, 23 December 2011

Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Raisin

I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing but it is really good. This is actually my favorite dish growing up. I must have grown up in a weird family if you can sell this cauliflower and raisins dish to a kid and make them loving it. 

You’ll need:

·       1 white cauliflower

·       Half white onion

·       2 Anchovies

·       250 ml of Tomato Sauce

·       Some raisins

·       A small bag of pinenut

·       500 gr of pasta

·       Extra virgin olive oil

·       Salt, pepper to taste

·       Mozzarella

·       Parmesan cheese

Start by cooking the cauliflower in abundant water, which you will use later to cook the pasta. Once the cauliflower is tender, drain it. In a frying pan, start heating some olive oil and the anchovies. Once the anchovies have dissolved add the chopped onion. After 10 minutes add the cauliflower.

Put the dried raisin in some water until it is has softened up. Add the tomato sauce to the pan, then the raisin and the pinenut. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta in the cauliflower water al dente!. Mix the pasta with the sauce. Add some chunks of mozzarella and pour it into a big baking shape.  Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over and bake it for 30 minutes at 180°C.   

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Pasta with Meatballs!!!

The stereotype of Italian cuisine in the world has finally come to my kitchen: Pasta with Meatballs!!!! 

You’ll need:

·       150 g of minced beef

·       150 g of minced pork

·       1 egg

·       4 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

·       Salt and pepper

For the sauce

·       A can of peeled tomatoes

·       Half of a white onion

·       Salt, pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar

Mix the meat, the egg and Parmesan in a mixing bowl, season and start making the meatball (I like them very small, they are also much more sophisticate).

Put 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and add the finely chopped onion. When it starts sizzling add the tomatoes and season. After about 10 minutes you can add the meatballs. Let them cook with the sauce until the sauce has reduced.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fettuccine with hot Spinach, Cream of Gorgonzola and a sprinkle of toasted almond

In the Kitchen there is one important rule: NO WASTE! As I entertained my beloved guest with a 4 courses menu, I had to play around with some interesting leftover the day after for lunch. So I image to be in the Masterchef's Mistery box challenge and this is what came out.

You'll need:
  • Fettuccine
  • Leftover Gorgonzola cream (made with Gorgonzola and single cream)
  • Cooked and drained Spinach
  • Almond
  • Fresh Hot Pepper
  • a Clove of Garlic
  • Salt pepper and olive oil
How to make it
In a frying pan add some extra virgin olive oil, some chopped fresh hot pepper and a clove of garlic and then add the spinach. The spinach is already cooked and they only need to absorb the other flavors.
 Start toasting the finely chopped almond in a pan with no oil until they start coloring. At this stage you can cook the fettuccini in abundant salty water for few minutes and when they are done,  mix them with the spinach.
Serve them with the cream of Gorgonzola over and a sprinkle of toasted almond.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Plum Tart

A classic and easy to make tart to finish the Dinner Party. Very Very Good to serve with an espresso and a glass of Montenegro on the rocks.

You’ll need:
·      125 g of butter
·      1 or 2 eggs (depending on how big they are)
·      A pinch of salt
·      250 g of Flour
·      Plum Jam or any Jam and Preserve

Melt the butter and mix it with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the egg and finally the flour. Make a buttery and sticky dough and press it over a tart shape using your hands. Do not use a rolling pin and don’t add any more flour to work the dough otherwise it will loose its friability once it’s cooked. Leave some of the dough for the decorations. Now let the Shape and the small dough to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Spread the preserve over and decorate the tart with the remained dough. Bake it at 180°C for 30 minutes.   

Rice Soufflé with Double Ragù

·      250 g of Carnaroli Rice
·      1 liter of Milk
·      250 ml of Water
·      A teaspoon of salt
·      4 yokes
·      4 egg whites
For the first Ragù:
·      Pancetta dices
·      1 Celery
·      1 carrot
·      1 onion
·      Minced Chicken guts
·      Cloves
For the second Ragù
·      A Can of Green Peas
·      Pancetta dices
·      1 onion
·      Salt and pepper

Mix the water and the milk and the salt in a pot. Once it starts boiling add the rice and let it cook until al dente. In a mixing bowl whisk the yokes and some butter with some of the cooking milk. By doing this, you avoid that the yokes cooked once you mix them with the hot rice. Put the rice and the all the juice in the bowl with the yokes and stir. Add the whipped egg white. Butter a big cake shape, preferably the one with the hole in the middle and sprinkle with some breadcrumb. Pour the mix into the shape and bake it at 180°C for 30 minutes.
Make the 2 ragù by dicing and frying the vegetable with some olive oil and then add the respective meat. Let them cook at medium heat and adjust the flavours with salt and pepper.

Spinach pudding with a Fondue of Gorgonzola ad Straw Potatoes

Let’s start with the Starter!

For 4 people you’ll need:
For the Pudding
·      200 g of Spinach, already cooked and squeezed to remove the water
·      220 g of single cream
·      2 eggs
·      1 egg yoke
·      Salt and pepper to taste
For the potatoes
·      4 medium size potatoes
·      1 teaspoon of curcuma
·      Vegetable oil for frying
·      Salt to taste
For the fondue
70 g of Gorgonzola
100g of single cream

How to make it
Chop the spinach until they form a paste and put them into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, the cream, salt and pepper and amalgamate. Butter the pudding shapes or the cupcake ones and pour the mix inside, until teh shape is full.
Bake them at 140°C for 40 to 50 minutes in a bain-marie
For the potatoes:
Peel and thin slice the potatoes and them chop them a la julienne. Leave them in a bowl with water for about 30 minutes. Change the water and pour the curcuma over and leave it for at least 15 minutes to soak.  Start heating the frying oil while you drain and dry the potatoes. Fry the potatoes in abundant oil.
Just 10 minutes before serving, start making the fondue by mixing the Gorgonzola and the cream into a small pot and leave it to simmer.
Serve it like in the picture. You can also add a fresh leaf of Spinach and a sprinkle of curcuma.

Dinner Party “Pollo is Back” Full Menu

I just came back home in Italy to spend some quality time with friends and family. Since while I was gone, my best friends missed some important moments of my life, such as my Birthday, my recent graduation and the birth of this blog, it is time to catch up with celebrations. A dinner party is definitely the best way to do it!
The menu for the Dinner Party includes:
Starter: Spinach Pudding with a fondue of Gorgonzola and Straw Potatoes flavored with Curcuma

First course: Rice Timbale with double Ragù

Second Course: Honey and Mustard Glazed Sausages with carrot puree (for this recipe search in this blog)
Dessert: Plum Tart

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Easy and Fast Apple Strudel

Sometime is so nice to cheat on some recipes that should require lots of patience, money and time. This is to me a great example.

You’ll need

·      4 apples

·      2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

·      Lemon Juice

·      Peanut

·      100 g of Sugar

·      Sultanas or not

·      Toasted Flakes of Almond

·      Puff pastry

·      Butter

 How to do it:

Peel and cut the apple into thin slices. In a mixing bowl, marinade the apples with the lemon juice, sultanas, sugar, peanut and the toasted almond. Once the mix have come together very well, place it in the middle of the puff pastry sheet that you have previously put on top of baking parchment, on a baking tray. Butter the edge of the pastry so that once you fold the 2 side, it sticks perfectly. Place the open part of the strudel to the bottom of the baking tray. Brush the strudel with the remaining melted butter.

Bake it for 25 minutes at 200°C.

Once it cools down, sprinkle some powder sugar.