martedì 29 settembre 2015

Incoronate - Fancy Meatballs

Italian polpette (meatballs) is a domestic dish you are unlikely to be served if you are invited to someone's house, unless you are regarded as part of the family. Polpette  belong to the cucina povera, they express a popular way to recycle a leftover piece of meat. 

lunedì 21 settembre 2015

Spaghetti Tonno e Limone - Tuna and Lemon Spaghetti

Ricetta Spaghetti al Limone

This is a quick pasta sauce you can prepare while the pasta is cooking, without planning your shopping. The ingredients for this recipe come from the pantry.
The secret: cook your spaghetti al dente, drain and return them to the pan; dress them at first with their cooking water combined with a little olive oil, which keeps the pasta moist and light. Afterwards add the sauce.

Pasta Cipolle, Salvia e Zafferano - Onion, Sage and Saffron Pasta

A colourful recipe, which needs to be slowly cooked for a while, to allow the onions to dissolve. 

venerdì 18 settembre 2015

Sorbetto alle Fragole - Strawberry Sorbet

I always add a tablespoon of whisked egg white to my sorbetto, no more than that. It is enough to make it smooth and creamy like an ice cream, without leaving any trace of egg flavour.

giovedì 17 settembre 2015

Pomodori Ripieni - Stuffed Tomatoes

A summer recipe, which treasures Mediterranean flavours. Choose large and ripe vine tomatoes from the market. 


Bruschetta comes from the Italian  bruscare, which means “roast over coals”. In Tuscany, thick slices of farmers’ bread were lightly toasted, rubbed with garlic cloves, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then drizzled with the new crop olive oil. 
Sometimes, fresh chopped tomatoes were served as topping. 

Riso al Forno Colorato - Baked Rice

There are different varieties of rices in Italy, suitable for different dishes. The most famous is the rice for risotto (Carnaroli, Arborio, Vialone Nano). However, in this recipe, I suggest using the long rice, which doesn't contain starch and once cooked, the grains remain separated.

Risotto Zucca e Porcini - Squash and Porcini Risotto

Picture by Giulia Verdinelli

Risotto is a versatile dish I like to make in every season with different ingredients. This is an Autumn recipe, tasty and colourful. Butternut squash and porcini combine well together and the fresh rosemary enhances the earthy aroma of the dish.

Malfatti Burro e Salvia - Butter and Sage Malfatti Gnocchi

"Malfatti" are spinach and ricotta gnocchi (dumplings) from Lombardy, which come out in slightly different shapes. In fact, "malfatti" literally means "badly formed", to enhance their rustic  appearance.
Quick and easy to make, kids and grown-ups love them, they are a good alternative to pasta. They are delicious simply dressed with butter and sage.

Gnocchi di Grano Saraceno - Buckwheat and Potato Gnocchi

Being asthmatic, I like to spend as much time as I can up in the mountains, where I enjoy long walks with deep and regular breathing.
I always like to explore the local food, wherever I am. One of the most popular ingredients from the Alps is buckwheat flour. Gnocchi di grano saraceno (buckwheat gnocchi) are a typical example from an alpine kitchen. You can taste them in many restaurants and alpine huts. 

Minestra Farro e Ceci - Farro and Chickpea Soup

Farro and chickpeas are two ingredients already popular in ancient Roman cuisine. Combined with tomato comfit, they turn into a tasty and colorful soup, enjoyable at the end of summer. Serve with plenty of fresh herbs.

Amor Polenta

Foto di Giulia Verdinelli

A polenta cake from Lombardy with a romantic name and a unique shape. The peculiarity of Amor polenta is the ridged cake tin, specially created for this cake. 
When I was a child, we used to get it from Marchesi, one of the best pastry shops of Milan,  and have it for tea on special occasions. Marchesi still make it and I still enjoy its intense flavour, the golden colour and  crumbling texture. 

mercoledì 16 settembre 2015


The Italian pasticcini - the French petit four - are fine, small pastries with different fillings, textures and fragrances. A sort of miniature cake. We usually buy them in the pasticcerie (pastry shops)  to celebrate domestic festivities, sharing the variety of sweet flavours. Children like pasticcini. In just one bite, they can taste a chocolate eclair, a fine fruit pastry and a chestnut Mont Blanc.

lunedì 7 settembre 2015

Torta Cioccolato e Castagne - Chocolate and Chestnut Cake

This is an alternative to pure chocolate cake. The chestnut puree softens the chocolate, giving a sweet delicate aroma. 
I mainly make it in autumn and winter, when we need more energy to face the cold. It is also a true comfort food. I like to serve it with berries and whipped cream.

sabato 5 settembre 2015


I made pizza on Saturdays for years since we moved to London in the early 90s. My son loved it as it was a reminder of his roots and gave him the pleasure of conviviality. 
I prepared the dough in the morning and thanks to our double oven, I was able to serve pizza for a crowd of children and grow-ups. We made many new friends around our pizza Margherita. We kept it simple, without olives, anchovies, capers, in order to please everybody. 

Pizza alle Patate - Potato Pizza

No need for using yeast in this pizza, where the potatoes give softness to the dough.
For a gluten-free dish, replace the wheat flour either with rice or chickpea flour.
I like to add cherry tomatoes to the potato pizza,  so fresh and juicy.

mercoledì 2 settembre 2015

Gnocchi di Semolino - Semolina Gnocchi

Semolina gnocchi remind me of my childhood. We called them "Gnocchi alla romana" and we used to have them once a week, as a first course, instead of pasta or risotto. We loved them so much that I cannot remember any ever left over. 
I like to revive this vintage dish, reducing the amount of butter and serving it either as a main course or a side dish with any meat or just a fried egg.