Rice Salad ~ Recipe

rice_saladTime: 20

ingredients:

The ingredients quantity can be altered up to your taste. You can also skip some ingredients you don’t like and adjust to your own favorite pickles. Each family has its own mix of ingredients in Italy, this is my daddy’s recipe.

  • 500 gr rice ( short grain one)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • tuna can ( 150 gr)
  • 20 green olives
  • roasted peppers 400 gr ( I usually buy them ready to be eaten)
  • peas can ( 280 gr)
  • corn can ( 200 gr)
  • oregano and fresh basil
  • 3 spoons olive oil
  • 1 spoon balsamic vinegar

1. Boil the water with some salt in it and cook the rice following the directions in the box. Arborio or Carnaroli rice usually takes about 20 min to be fully cooked.

2. In the meanwhile, open all the cans and toss what they contained in a strainer and wash everything with cold water. Grab a big bowl and cut the tomatoes, peppers and olives in smaller pieces. Seasons everything with some oregano and fresh basil,3 spoons olive oil and 1 spoon balsamic vinegar. Add the rice, mix everything and it’s ready!

If you keep the bowl inside the fridge, it will last up to thee days without problems.

Buon appetito!

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Fratelli Contorno Products Review

fratellicontornoFratelli Contorno is a brand specialized in Sicilian goodies: from typical starter as ‘Caponata’ to different pasta sauces. They offer a wide range of products; in this picture from left to right: 1. Cherry tomatoes sauce, 2.Swordfish and eggplant sauce, 3.sardines sauce( two different sizes),wild fennel sauce, artichoke caponatina. You can also check out their official website to look other products they offer. For most of their products you can find different sizes: from very small portion: for 1 max 2 people, to very big jars for 4-6 people.

Here  you can find their official website( both in English and Italian): http://www.fratellicontorno.com/english/

How do they taste? They do taste quite close to the original recipes, however not completely the same. They are a good approximation to a homemade recipe. As I will show later in this blog, I do use their products,but I always add my personal touch to make them as close as I can to a fresh sauce. To whom live far away from Italy, some ingredients are very seldom available: like swordfish, cuttlefish ink, celery or artichokes, so they really help you to recreate those recipe otherwise impossible to make.

How is the quality? Compared to other brands that offer similar half-ready to go products I find the quality very high. The ingredients used are genuine and natural, no colorants added, no chemical stuff inside. Usually you only find a very little amount of sugar or salt as last ingredients ( so very low percentage), in order to preserve the taste and acidity level. In some recipe they also use olive oil, which is quite rare for these kind of products.

Here an example of ingredients used in ‘Swordfish and eggplant sauce’(jar 2 from left to right):Tomato, swordfish (20 %), eggplant (20 %), sunflower oil, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic, mint, sugar, salted sardines puree, salt, chilli.

Packaging: I really like the packing style, very Italian, with bright color, but mostly I have to say: their cans and glass jars are very sturdy!If you’re traveling inside EU, as I do, you can board them easily.For me it’s a tradition to bring home some of their stuff for the next months when I get nostalgic of my hometown, and they’ve never cracked or damaged!

frat_contorno02

Where can you buy them? They are very easy to find in any good quality supermarket, not only in Sicily but in whole Italy. Also, some of their products are sold in USA but under a different brand name: “Cuoco“.

How much do they cost? The price can fluctuate very much. I would say from 1 up to 5 € for big jar ( around 400 gr of caponata). I also find that they can be quite often on sale or promotion ( for example I’ve often found cherry tomatoes sauce for 0,89 cent pro bottle), so watch out!

Vote: A–

For me, overall they are all good products, none of them let me disappointed. I have to say that I’ve still not tried the whole range ( for example mushrooms,tomato concentrate nor pesto etc..)That’s why I don’t speak up with a full A. My only regret is that you can’t find them in the rest of EU! Definitely I suggest to buy one of their products as souvenir from Sicily, so you could recreate for your friends or family some original Sicilian recipe you ate there :))

*All opinions are genuinely my own. I am not affiliated or paid by the company*

Pasta with Pistachio ~ Recipe

pasta_pistacchioTime: 15 minutes

Ingredients:  2 people very hungry!

  • 1 onion
  • 180 gr pasta you like
  • 125 gr pancetta ( bacon bits)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 100 gr pistachio
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • pepper

1. Put the water on the stove with some salt in it and when the water is boiling throw your pasta in.

2. In a pan put a tiny amount of olive oil or butter. Meanwhile, chop finely a onion and let it fry on the hot pan. After 3 minutes add also your pancetta  and cook until it changed its color. Watch out,try not to overcook it, otherwise it will become too crunchy.

3. Add your double cream and let it boil a little to reduce with medium heat. When you see it’s reducing, add your pistachio and only the grated skin of an orange . This will make a huge different: giving a touch of sophisticated and more gentle taste. Don’t skimp on pepper now, you should have obtained a soft-green cream.

4. Drain your pasta “al dente” and add it in your cream. Get it all mixed and serve with more pistachio on top….and it’s done!

This the absolute final favorite pasta for my fiancée. If I really want to spoil him, I make this typical Sicilian pasta with pistachio from Bronte. If you come in Sicily during your vacation, stop by any supermarket and you’ll find it already crumbled and ready for this pasta and many other recipe.

Watermelon Jelly Recipe

watermelon_jellyTime:1 hour prep + one night resting

Ingredients:   for 8 medium ice cream bowl

  • 2,5 kg watermelon
  • 250 gr white sugar
  • 65 gr potato starch
  • chocolate chips ( they will look like watermelon seeds but they are not :D)
  • some pistachio ( not salted!) or cinnamon powder
  • vanilla extract or vanilla powder

This is a typical Sicilian summer dessert, called “gelo di mellone“. It’s  good to recycle watermelon not so fresh anymore and also it is used to fill pies or little pastries. NB: For this recipe you’ll need an hand-blender.

1. Cut the watermelon and get rid of seeds. If you buy a relative small one, they usually don’t have those big black seeds, but only little “yellow” one, which you can easily ignore and keep.

mix_watermelon

2.Blend the watermelon directly inside a quite large saucepan and add sugar and starch. Put on your stove with a medium heat. Keep stiring until it is boiling. Wait 5 minutes and now turn it off. Wait to cool it off to add your vanilla powder and chocolate chips, otherwise they will melt and you could use the “fake seeds”effect.

Divide in different containers and decor with some pistachio. You can buy them  and use your own mixer to reduce them in a fine flour.Put in the fridge for at least 6 hours, one night is much better though :) It’s also a good solution if you have people come over!

Buon appetito!

Gratin stuffed Tomatoes – Recipe

pomodori Time: 15 min.preparation + 20-25 min cooking

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 100 gr Emmental cheese ( or any other cheese, except mozzarella or other “too watery” cheese, otherwise it would melt too much)
  • 50 gr bread crumbs
  • oregano + salt + pepper
  • olive oil

1. First of all, we need to work on those tomatoes. Of course, more mature they are, easier will be empty them out. With a knife, cut the top and get rid of hard part. Then, empty one by one each tomato with a teaspoon. Keep the inside in a medium bowl and smash it with the knife.

2. Add salt inside the tomatoes shells and put them upside down. In this way they will lose all the extra water.

3.Add all the other ingredients (except olive oil) in the same bowl with tomatoes’inside and mix them.

3. Fill each tomatoes and put them on a oven track with a baking paper sheet. Put some olive oil on the top  in order to make a better gratin. Cook for 20-25 min 180° ventilated mode.

Buon appetito!!stuffed_tomatoes

Chicken “alla Cacciatora” Recipe

pollo_alla_cacciatora

Time:  ~1 hour and 10 minutes

Ingredients: ( for 4 ppl )

  • 4 chicken haunch (without skin)
  • 1 or 2 can tomatoes sauce (500 gr)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 anchovy ( bottled in oil)
  • 1 glass red kitchen wine ( or leftover from a good one, it’s even better!)
  • bay leaf, pepper,salt,rosemary, salt
  • 2 spoon olive oil

pollo_cacciatore1    pollo_cacciatora2

 

 

 

1. In a saucepan heat 2 spoons of olive oil together with 3 anchovy, with a spoon help them to melt inside the oil. Then, add the chicken legs and fry them both sides. 2. Add a glass of wine ( I am using white because I realized I had no more red)

pollo_cacciatora3pollo_cacciatora4

 

 

 

 

3. With a chopper, cut finely the onions and the carrots. 4. Add all the flavors: bay leaf, salt, pepper, rosemary and a clove of garlic. Turn to low heat and let the wine evaporate.

pollo_cacciatora5

 

 

 

 

5. After the wine restricted, add one or two can of chopped tomatoes, it depends how much salsa you want. You can use the extra-salsa to make a delicious pasta! ( I used two can :) Put a lid on and cook for 30 minutes and it’s done! Buon appetito