domenica 7 febbraio 2021

Conchiglioni ripieni spinaci, piselli e ricotta - Spinach, Peas and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta


I like to make my conchiglioni on Sundays, to celebrate the conviviality of a festive day. 

I combine ricotta with spinach and green peas. I finish my mixture with Parmesan and nutmeg.

While preparing a simple passata sauce, I cook my conchiglioni pasta. I drain and arrange them in a large dish with a drizzle of oil. I fill them with the spinach mixture and place on the oven dish.

I cover the pasta with the passata

I sprinkle my pasta with Parmesan and dot it with ricotta before baking it. Its ready in 20 minutes. Everybody likes it! 

Conchiglioni ripieni spinaci e ricotta 

Spinach, Peas and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

250 g conchiglioni (large pasta shells)
500 g fresh spinach, washed and chopped
250 g garden peas, frozen
250 g ricotta cheese
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon nutmeg
60 g freshly grated Parmesan
1 medium onion, finely chopped
600 g tomato passata
Salt and black pepper
Extra virgin oil

Serves 4 to 5
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

1) In a large pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and sauté the spinaches with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes on medium heat, until the water has evaporated. Stir frequently.

2) In a small pan, cover the peas with cold water, bring to the boil, add salt and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and add to the spinach.

3) In a large bowl, combine 200 g of ricotta with 50 g of Parmesan, stir in spinach and peas and add nutmeg and sage. Check the seasoning.

4) In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes on low heat. Add the tomato passata and leave to a simmer for 15 minutes, covered.

5) Cook pasta in plenty of salted water, drain al dente and place in a large dish. Dress with a tablespoon of oil.

6) Preheat the oven to 180°C, with fan.

7) Grease an oven dish (25cm x 30cm) with butter and pour 3 tablespoons of passata over the bottom. Fill the conchiglioni with a tablespoon of spinach mixture. Arrange them on the dish - open side up – on one layer. Cover with the passata. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, dot with the remaining ricotta and bake for 20 minutes. 

8) Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

lunedì 12 ottobre 2020

Tortino di fagiolini e patate - Green Bean and Potato Tortino


Tortino di fagiolini e patate

'Tortino' is a rustic vegetable pie, usually made without pastry. Liguria is the homeland of tortini.

I make my tortino with green beens, potatoes and 'primo sale' cheese, replaceable with ricotta.

In a round (22 cm) oven dish, greased with oil and dusted with breadcrumbs, I arrange the boiled vegetables and the pieces of cheese. I cover them with lightly beaten eggs.

I dust it with Parmesan and breadcrumbs and bake it (in preheated oven to 180 C) for 20 minutes.

I leave it to cool for 10 minutes before serving with tomato and green salad.

Tortino di fagiolini e patate - Green Bean and potato Tortino

250 g green beans, trimmed
150 g potatoes, skin on
150 g primo sale cheese (or ricotta), cut into chunks
40 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
20 g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
Sea salt

Serves 4 to 5
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

In a pan, cover the beans with water, add a teaspoon of salt and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

in another pan, cover the potatoes with water, bring to the boil and cook for 40 minutes, until tender. Peel and slice.

In a large bowl, combine green beans and potatoes and dress them with a generous pinch of salt and a table spoon of oil. Toss well.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs along with 20 g of Parmesan and a pinch of salt.

Preheat the oven to 180 C, fan on.

Grease a round oven dish (22 cm) with oil and dust with breadcrumbs.

Arrange the vegetables over the oven dish, along with the cheese. Cover it with the egg mixture and dust it with the remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden on top.

Serve tepid, with salad.

giovedì 11 giugno 2020

Crocchette di lenticchie rosse e zucchine - Red Lentil and Courgette Croquettes

Lentils are my favourite pulse. No need to soak, quick to cook, versatile. I eat them at least twice a week, always in a different recipe. Today I combine my lentils with courgettes and make croquettes. You can have them as a snack, as a main course for a light lunch, paired by green salad; as a starter. Whatever you like. 

I use the red lentils, which are lighter to digest and quicker to be cooked than the other ones, as their skin has been removed. 

To start, I make a sort of Dahl, heating little oil in a pan where I sauté a chopped carrot and onion for few minutes. I add lentils and double quantity of vegetable stock and leave to simmer until just tender and dry, about 25 minutes.

I grate (in a large grater) the courgettes and sauté with a chopped  onion in little oil with a pinch of salt and a sprig of fresh rosemary for 5 minutes, on high heat. I want them golden and dry. You need to let evaporate the water to make a dry mixture.

In a large bowl, I arrange 200 g of cooked lentils (I keep the remaining for a soup) and I combine them with courgettes, ricotta, Parmesan, egg  and breadcrumbs. I mix through and adjust the seasoning.

I grease an oven tin with little oil and preheat the oven to 200 C. With my floured hands, I make boulettes the size of a ping pong ball and coat them with breadcrumbs. They are soft and slightly sticky, which is right. They'll become firmer in the oven. I arrange them on the tin.

I brush them on the top with little oil, before baking them for 10 minutes. I remove them from the oven, turn on the other side and bake for another 3 minutes.

I remove them from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. I like to serve them warm for lunch, with a green salad.

Crocchette di lenticchie rosse e zucchine  
Red Lentil ad Courgette Croquettes
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
150 g red lentils
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper
300 ml vegetable stock
300 g courgettes, grated in a large grater
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
100 g ricotta
1 egg, lightly beaten
30 g freshly grated Parmesan
40 g homemade breadcrumbs
Extra virgin oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Serves 4 to 5 as a main dish
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1. In a pan, heat little oil and sauté one onion and the carrots with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes.

2. Add 150 g of red lentils and cover with 300 ml of stock. Leve to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and dry.

3. In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and sauté the other onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes on medium heat.

4. Add the courgettes with another pinch of salt and the rosemary and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden and dry. You need to remove all the water.

5. In a large bowl, combine the courgettes with the lentils, the ricotta, the egg, the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs, Season with salt and pepper. Your mixture will be soft and sticky.

6. Preheat the oven to 200 C, with fan.

7. Grease an oven tin with oil. With your floured hands mould a croquette, the size of a ping pong ball, coat it with breadcrumbs and place it on the oven tin. continue until you finish your mixture.

8. Brush with oil the top of the croquettes.

9. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the croquettes and bake for another 3 minutes.

10. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

domenica 7 giugno 2020

Gnocchi alle ortiche - Nettle Gnocchi

Nettles are everywhere in May and June, and I like to add this healthy herb to my dishes (soups, frittatas, pasta, risotto) as it brings flavour and wellness. You might find stinging nettles in your Farmers Markets but I suggest your picking them in the fields, while you are walking. Remember that nettles sting, so you need gloves and scissors, along with long trousers when you pick them. Harvest the nettles by cutting off only the upper leaves and separate them from the stalk when you are at home.

mercoledì 5 febbraio 2020

Caponata di carciofi - Artichoke Caponata

Caponata is a Sicilian aubergine dish, made from cooked vegetables (onions, celery and tomatoes) seasoned with capers, olives and pine nuts, in a sweet and sour sauce.
I buy two bunches of artichokes today at the market, they looks so fresh, and I decide to make a winter caponata, using artichokes instead of aubergines.

lunedì 3 febbraio 2020

Parmigiana di zucca e lenticchie - Squash and Lentil Parmigiana

Today I feel like having a vegetarian Sunday lunch: something special but without meat. I prepare a winter Parmigiana, made with squash, lentils and spinach.
I start by cooking my ingredients, separately and in a different way: I bake the squash for 20 minutes, as I want it still crunchy.
I sauté my small brown lentils with onion and carrot and then I braise them in a little tomato passata and vegetable stock for 30 to 40 minutes.
I  sauté my spinach in oil and garlic for 5 minutes.

giovedì 6 giugno 2019

Tiramisù di fragole - Strawberry Tiramisù

The Strawberry Tiramisù is the summer version of the traditional one. Plenty of strawberries, with apple juice instead of coffee, it is a fresh pudding for the hot season.