domenica 29 novembre 2015

Zuppa di pesce a modo mio – My Fish Soup

On Saturdays, I buy my fish from a stall in the farmers' market, where I enjoy going early in the morning in order to get the best choice. Yesterday the fish looked wonderful so I decided to make a fish soup, a simple and quick one with a mixed of firm-flesh fishes plus few prawns. I picked up a wild sea bream and two mullets the fishmonger cleaned for me and I kept the bones and the heads for the stock. 

giovedì 26 novembre 2015

Crostata integrale con marmellata di pere - Wholemeal Crostata with Pear Jam

Crostata is one of the post popular Italian tarts, made with shortcrust pastry and jam, usually homemade. It's a domestic tart we mainly serve either for breakfast or for tea, but it could also become a  perfect family dessert. Traditionally, we never pair it with any cream.

lunedì 23 novembre 2015

Vellutata finocchi e scalogni - Fennel and Shallot Veloute'

This morning, I spotted frost covered windscreens on the cars parked in the street. Winter has arrived, at last. I am recovering from a flu and I immediately decided not to go out for my shopping. I  work from home on Mondays and today I can be creative, inventing a soup with what's left in the pantry. Not much, but enough to make a comforting velouté.

domenica 22 novembre 2015

Polpette di piselli – Green Pea Boulettes

I love ball-shaped food. Any kinds of gnocchi and polpette is relaxing to mould for me, quick to cook and easy to eat. It is a convivial shape everybody loves. No need of knife.
Here I prepare vegetarian polpette with green pea and I serve them in a tomato sauce. 

giovedì 19 novembre 2015

Polpette al pomodoro – Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce

In Italy, polpette is a traditional domestic dish. They are prepared either to recycle meat leftovers or to serve inexpensive meat, which is minced, combined with stale bread and flavoured with plenty of herbs. 

mercoledì 11 novembre 2015

domenica 8 novembre 2015

Pizza al cavolfiore - Cauliflower Pizza

Sunday, family lunch, pizza for everybody, as usual. Yet, I suddenly realise that today somebody cannot have it. My niece Bianca, in London for few days, has intolerance to yeast and flour. Do I change the menu? I prefer to change the recipe, as everybody looks forward to the homemade Sunday pizza.

giovedì 5 novembre 2015

Crespelle Funghi e Melanzane - Mushroom and Aubergine Crespelle

I love mushrooms. I love picking them in the wood, I love cooking and combining them with pasta, ravioli, risotto, polenta or simply scramble eggs. Mushrooms, especially the wild ones, bring an earthy flavour to the table. 

lunedì 2 novembre 2015

Torta di mele – Apple Cake

It is a family recipe we have been cooking over and over without remembering the author. Was it my aunt, my granny or my mother who made it up? It doesn’t really matter; it is a family legacy, or better a “family signature dish”.

domenica 1 novembre 2015

Pasta con broccoli alla Siciliana

If you happen to order Pasta con broccoli in Sicily, you will get delicious cauliflower pasta. Do not blame the waiter, he is perfectly right, as in Sicily cauliflower is called broccoli, while the light green broccoli (Romanesco broccoli) are cauliflower and the dark green ones (the traditional broccoli) are ‘sparacelli’. A bit confusing, but the language enhances the independence of this beautiful island.

Whatever you call it, pasta with seasonal vegetables is a popular dish in Italy, with plenty of variations and inspirations. It is the perfect example of cucina povera: inexpensive, traditional, healthy.
The sweet and sour pasta with broccoli (cauliflower) alla Siciliana is made with raisins, pine nuts, anchovies and saffron. I like to prepare it with short pasta, such as maccheroni, but both bucatini and spaghetti would work as well.
Remember to keep the cauliflower al dente and to add the saffron at the very end. You will preserve its full flavor.

Pasta con broccoli alla Siciliana
Cauliflower and Raisin Pasta

350 g maccheroni
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cauliflower, about 800 g
50 g raisins
50 g pine nuts
6 anchovy fillets in oil
15 g saffron
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin oil

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

  1. Soak the raisins in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. 
  2. In a pan, sauté the pine nuts without any fat for 4 to 5 minutes until just golden, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl; do not leave them in the pan, as they would keep on cooking, even off heat. 
  3. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt on low heat for 10 minutes, until translucent. 
  4. Stir the anchovies into the onions and cook until dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  5. Divide the cauliflower in florets and boil them in plenty of salted water with a good pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Drain and keep the water for the pasta. 
  6. Add the florets to the onion along with two tablespoons of their cooking water and leave to cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Dissolve the saffron in 2 tablespoons of hot water and add to the cauliflower sauce with the raisins. Stir well. 
  8. Cook pasta in the cauliflower water until al dente. Drain, reserving one ladleful of cooking water. 
  9. Add pasta to the cauliflower, stir in half of the cooking water, sprinkle with pine nuts and sauté for 2 minutes on high heat. 
  10. Serve at once, with a drizzle of oil.