Monday, 25 March 2013

Tasty Vegetarian Sandwich

How can you make a sandwich without a nice slice of prosciutto crudo?! First of all, I think that if you make sure to have some " jolly" ingredients , as I like to call them, in your kitchen like tapenade, olives, hummus, any vegetables in a jar like artichokes or caperberries in this case, it is much easier, faster and tastier to make a vegetarian quick snack.

I have thin-sliced and grilled some zucchini and then i have seasoned them in a bowl with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. I have toasted some bread, and then I have started to build my sandwish with:
- Some slices of grilled and seasoned zucchini
-  Fresh Mozzarella
- Slices of Tomatoes and Radish
- Hummus
- Caperberries

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Vegetarian Alternative to a Sunday Supper

The most challenging thing about being vegetarian is keeping the tradition alive. Especially when you come from Emilia Romagna and it is Sunday, and you kinda wanna eat some Lasagne, Tagliatelle or…Pasticcio. This is my Vegetarian alternative to the most famous dish of Ferrara: Pasticcio di Maccheroni.

As I have turned vegetarian only 3 months ago, I still have fresh memories of how the original one should taste like and I have to admit that the meat plays an important role in this recipe. But if you can pimp your vegetarian ragù with the right spices you are more than just fine.
For the pastry, the béchamel, how to cook the pasta and how to build this masterpiece follow the instruction of the previous post about the original pasticcio.
The only thing that changes is the ragù.
First, diced 1 carrot, half of a big white onion, 1 celery and some green cabbage. Oil the pot and put the diced vegetables. Cover and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. If you have one zucchini, this is the time to dice it and throw it inside the pot. Add a bay leaf. After 10 more minutes add a glass of red wine and higher the heat. You can add some tomato concentrate diluted in some warm water or just leave it “ white” with no sauce. It is up to your own preference. For pasticcio I prefer not to put tomato sauce but if I were making lasagna, I would add tomato to the veg ragù.
Now it is time to pimp the ragù with some smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I found that smoked paprika is like an injection of pork flavoring but without actually involving any pork.  
Once the ragù is ready, you can start mixing it with the béchamel, the pasta and start building the masterpiece.

Portobello Mushroom Burger

Many people have been upset by my decision of turning vegetarian, especially my 94 years old Granma Curti Giannina aka Carmen who has survived all of these years with a diet of cappelletti, cappellacci, cotolette and lasagne. 

Here is a veg recipe that will cheer everyone up. 

First prepare the marinade for the mushroom by adding all of these ingredients in a mixing ball:

·      3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

·      3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

·      3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

·      Salt and pepper

Clean the Portobello mushroom and brush them with the marinade and let them soaked for 1 hour. After that, heat a grill pan and grill the mushroom.

I have made a fresh salsa with tomatoes and Danish blue cheese, olive oil and salt to taste. Add some mixed salad green and if you want, you can add some shaves of Parmesan cheese.

But don’t forget to steam the buns!!!