My Sicilian Pesto ~ Recipe

sicilian_pestoAs you’ll read below I wrote a general name as “salty cheese”, because now that I live abroad, I know how hard is to find all Italian cheese, such us ‘ricotta salata‘ or ‘primosale” etc, so I simply adapted this recipe with any kind of salty cheese I am able to find. I tried with Feta, and it taste amazing!This recipe is inspired by the famous ‘pesto alla trapanese‘, but I changed it a little bit to my own taste. Trapani is a beautiful sea city in the west Sicily.

Easy and quick, with few ingredients.This is my favorite dressing of a quick pasta recipe ever! Yumm… In this picture I was using ‘spinach pasta’, but with a regular kind of pasta it is as tasty.

Note: You will need an electric chopper/blender.

Time:  7 minutes

Ingredients:  [ for 2 person]

  • 1 big tomato or
  • 50 gr any salty cheese ( better of course is with ‘ricotta salata‘..but also Feta is good)
  • 15 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper ( good amount)
  • pine nuts (20 gr ca.)
  • almonds (6 -7) ( you can skip them)

1. Just toss everything in the blender and push the bottom!

2.Keep always one glass of boiling water from your pasta and add it in the sauce in order to make it creamier.

Buon appetito!!!

 

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Potatoes Purèe ~ Family Recipe

purèeWho doesn’t love smashed potatoes?They are not the lightest side dish, but they taste amazing. This recipe is my father’s, it’s light and delicate. It is perfect to be served not only with meat, but also with fish. Be prepared to the fact, that once you get used to fresh purèe, you won’t be able to eat the pre-cooked one sold in the supermarket.

One trick: you can always boil potatoes with the skin: when you smash them, the skin get trapped in potatoes masher and doesn’t pass through.

Time:  1 hour preparation + 15 min cooking

Ingredients:  [ 4 portions]

  • 700 gr boiled potatoes
  • 50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 glasses milk
  • 2 spoons butter
  • pepper, salt, fresh parsley,nutmeg

1. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. You can use normal pots or, if you own it, a pressure cooker.

2. Smash the potatoes directly inside a pot. Add 2 spoons of butter, with a medium heat, starts add one by one the milk glasses. Use a whisk to stir.

3. Add slowly Parmesan cheese, pepper, small amount of salt. When you see the first bubble, it’s ready. Add some fresh parsley.

Once it cools down a little, it will be denser, don’t worry!

Buon appetito!

Chocolate Cookie

chocolate_cookieSince I moved out of Italy, there is something that I really miss finding in the supermarket: cookies. We have a wide range and assortment; on the contrary, here in Germany cookies are often disappointing :( The one  you can find in a bakery are not, but often, they are quite expensive and taste awful. So I decided to self-make them more often, or at least try to.

Time:  30 minute preparation + 20 min cooking

Ingredients:  20-25 cookies

  • 110 gr butter
  • 220 gr 50% dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs ( both white and yolk)
  • 100 gr white sugar
  • 220 gr white flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

1. Melt the butter and the chocolate previously cut in small pieces with low temperature.

2. In a bowl, mix eggs and sugar with a whisk.

3. Add in the bowl: melted chocolate, flour and baking powder. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

4. Make little balls with the help of a scoop and place them on a baking sheet tray.

Cook for 20 minutes for 180°c and Buon Appetito!!!

Snow peas with tomatoes sauce

snow_peaThis kind of peas are rare to find in my island, but in other Italian region, for example Lazio, are quite common. My uncle lives in Rome and used to cook them for me.This is the easiest way to make them, you can serve like this as side-dish or cook some pasta together. I looked around to see what kind of nutritional properties they have; apparently, they come from the family of peas, but even better, here you can eat the entire pod skin, which contains a lot of goodies in!

You can boil them first, and after you drained them, finish some minutes cooking in the pan. Or, you can be just lazy as I am, using one pan and not boiling them.

Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:  4 portions

  • 500 gr fresh snow peas
  • 1 big onion
  • 4 fresh tomatoes or 250 gr peeled tomatoes in a can
  • pepper, salt
  • basil
  • olive oil

1. Peel the onion and wash it together with snow peas under cold water.

2. Cut finely the onion. Heat some olive oil in a pan with high hedges. When it’s hot enough, let the onion becomes gold.

3. Add the snow peas cut in half (in this way they get quicker cooked and also easier eaten) and peeled tomatoes can. Otherwise, boil some water and sink the tomatoes in for 5 minutes. The skin will crack and you can easily remove it and add them in the pan.

4. Cook until snow peas are tender, around 30 minutes with a lid on. Add salt and pepper, garnish with fresh basil.

Buon appetito

Cauliflower with Sausages ~ Recipe

cauliflowerOne pan, full dinner :) This is another sicilian inspired recipe.  My father used to cook this also with pasta. You can try it or just serve it like this.

Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:  8 portions

  • 1 kg cauliflower ( oh yes.. this one was frozen!)
  • 5 sausages ( around 450 gr)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 gr pine nuts
  • some sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 black olives
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 saffron bag
  • pepper and salt

1. In a big pot, boil salted water. If you use fresh cauliflower, cut the leaves out and clean it. When you want the quick way, buy it frozen :D Cook until is quite tender. Drain it.

2. In a pan with with high edges, toss some olive oil. Let it frizzle.

3. Add the onion finely cut and 2 cloves garlic. With the help of a knife, cut the sausages casings away. Put the inside of sausages in the pan. Mush it with a wooden spoon. Add also pine nuts and let them roast.

4. Let the meat cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower cut in little pieces with 1 saffron bag, salt, and pepper.

5. Add black olives and sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces, cook other 5 minutes.

When it is cooked, and all cauliflowers got a nice yellow color, add fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!

‘Maccu’ ~ Broad Beans Recipe

macco‘Maccu’ is an old and poor dish, cooked in the entire Sicily island with many variations. In some village it is cooked with short pasta, some other with beans and different aromatic herbs. The tradition wants this dish as main dish the day of Saint Joseph, 19th March in Italy. This is also Father’s day for Italians.

Note: some broad beans package suggests to let them soak for 6 hours. Just check what is written on the back of your package and follow its directions.

Time:  2 hours

Ingredients:  4 portions

  • 500 gr dehydrated broad beans ( or double amount fresh without skin)
  • 1 onion
  • 250 gr peas in a can
  • 4 tbs e.v. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • wild fennel **( or you can use one jar of already prepared…) This last ingredient is very rare outside of Sicily, maybe some fresh dill could be used as substitution or just skip it.

1. Peel, wash and cut finely the onion. Put 2 tbs in a pot, when it start frizzling, add your onion. After 3 minutes, add also the broad beans.

2. Add 800 ml water, put lid on, and cook for around 1 hour and half, low temperature  – add some wild fennel if you have it. Every once in a while, stir it and use the spoon to smash apart the broad beans  to obtain a cream consistency.  When they are perfectly melted and almost fully cooked, add 250 peas, salt, and pepper. Cook for other 10 minutes.

Let it cool down a little bit and add 2 tbs e.v.oil. It is served lukewarm.

and.. Buon appetito!

 

Yogurt Cake ~ Recipe

yogurt_cakeI originally saw this recipe in one of Bendetta Parodi tv show, but I realized that I changed it during the years, to suit me better. This is one of those cake that all kids like. Very simple, but very soft and tasty, perfect for breakfast.  My husband love to cut the slice in half and put some jam in it. You can fill it also with some Nutella, but definitely it won’t be healthy anymore…^-^””

Another advantage: we don’t have to divided yolk from white albumen. It take 7 minutes to make the mix and no butter!! Buona colazione! ( have a nice breakfast!). You can use the same yogurt container as measurement cups. Always happy when I have less dishes to wash :D

Time:  7 + 35-40 min cooking

Ingredients:  for 26 cm round baking

  • 250 gr plain yogurt  ( 2 yogurt tub)
  • 300 gr white flour ( or 3 tub)
  • 3 eggs
  • 220 gr sugar (1 ½ tub)
  • ½ tub vegetable oil or olive oil ( around 4 tbs)
  • 1 bag vanilla flavored baking powder ( 13 gr ~ 1 full teaspoon)

1. In a bowl mix yogurt with 3 eggs and mix with a whisk.

2. Add sugar, stir till it is incorporated.

3.Add flour, oil, baking powder for dessert. You don’t need to sift it. Put the mix in a 26 cm round baking pan covered with baking sheet (so you won’t need extra butter and extra cleaning :).

Cook for 35-40 min for 180° static oven. Check with a toothpick if it is ready: stick it inside in the middle, if it is wet, it needs some extra minutes. Spread some powdered sugar on top of it, when it is fully cooled down.