Farinata, italian chickpeas focaccia

Alternative and healthy bread, very good focaccia, especially for those who are gluten intolerant or have problem to digest yeast, because it has none!! This is another Italian recipe, typical from Liguria, but also in other areas of Piemonte, (both region are in north Italy).

farinata_ceci

Time: 30 min – 1 hours preparation

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gr chickpeas flour
  • 700 ml water
  • 1 stick fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 glass extravergin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1.In bowl filled with 700 ml water (room temperature) with the help of a whisk slowly pour the chickpeas flour and keep stiring till every lump is dissolved. Add a stick of fresh rosemary. Let the mix rest for at least 1 hour.

2.Preheat your oven, very high temperature 220º/ 428 f.

3.Always stiring with a whisk, add half glass of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper. I also cut in small pieces the rosemary. Don’t worry, the mixture has to be very liquid, you did nothing wrong.

4.In a lasagna tray or other quite large baking tray covered with waxed paper ( so it would be easier to remove the focaccia later) pour the liquid mixing.

5. Cook for 25 min at 220º, until it become crispy and golden-brown on the top. If it is not there yet, put your oven in ‘grill mode’ only from the up side, for other 5 minutes.

Traditionally, some extra salt and pepper are grained on the top of it, while it is still warm, but I don’t find healthy and necessary, it is already very very tasty.

Buon appetito!

 

Advertisements

Potatoes “alla pizzaiola”

 

potatoes_alla_pizzaiola

These kind of potatoes are usually available in special places in Sicily called “pollerie”, they are gastronomical stores specialized in cooking chickens in long spits,that slowly rotates about their axes and make the skin crispy but remains juicy inside. For around 8-10 € you can get a whole chicken  as well as some sides, either french-fries or these potatoes; and usually, for half price, half chicken. My other Grandmother was an absolutely fan of them, and often ordered half for both me and her on our Saturday-nights together.

Time: 1 hour – 20 minutes preparation

Ingredients: for 4 portions

  • 6 potatoes (medium size)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 can chunks tomatoes
  • 3 tbs e.v. olive oil
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper

1. Peal and clean your potatoes. Cut them very fine. Do the same with the two onions

2. Grease a large casserole with olive oil. Put a first layer of potatoes and remember to salt them. On top of potatoes add: onions, pepper, sprinkle some oregano.

3. Filter the liquid part from the tomatoes chunks in your can, add only those. Drizzle some drops of olive oil on top. You can always use fresh tomatoes instead, but not the seeds-central part, which would be too watery.

4.Go on and complete with 1 or 2 others layers, until you’ve used all your potatoes slices up.

5. Cook for 1 hour at 160°c .

Buon appetito to everyone!

No-effort Vegan Parmigiana

parmigianaI’ve been always cheating on parmigiana recipe. Vegan or original recipe, I do not want to spend hours frying or roasting eggplants. Of course, it tastes slightly different, lighter I would say. But in 30 minutes it is ready to go and healthier. The tricks are very easy: cut very thin your eggplants and make a maximum of three layer, better only two. I’ve never find the need of put eggplants under salt and press, have you?

Note: You’ll need a sheet of baking-paper

Time: 30 minutes cooking + 10 minutes preparation

Ingredients:   [6 portions]

  • 2 eggplant
  • 500 m (1 pack) of tomatoes passata
  • vegan soy-based prosciutto/mortadella ( what you find on offer :) )
  • vegan cheese (optional, if costs too much, screw it!)
  • salt & pepper
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • fine breadcrumbs (as required)

1. Wash and cut eggplants very thin, almost 5 mm thick.

2. In a lasagna tray, or any backing tray you have on hand, lay a sheet of baking paper. Put the first layer of eggplants: avoid to overlay them on each other and salt them.

3. Cover the eggplants with the tomatoes passata. Use a spoon to spread it even.

4. Add pepper and oregano. Put a layer of vegan prosciutto and cheese, if you have it.

5. Repeat the layer: 1. eggplants 2. salt  3.tomatoes passata 4.oregano and pepper

6. For the last layer: spread some fine breadcrumbs all over and some olive oil. In this way you’ll have some kind of soft-crust on it. Cook for 30 minutes at 200° both up and down heat.

Wait a little bit before serving, when parmigiana is too hot it is easy to fall apart and become a mess (prooved by personal experience >.< ). Buon appetito!

Handmade Gnocchi ~ Recipe

gnocchiOnly two ingredients for this gnocchi. They are very filling and delicious. You can boil potatoes the day before and smash them, keep them in the fridge and then make gnocchi shape the next day, as I do when I have people coming over. It is much easier though if you just smash the potatoes when they are still hot and mix them with flour right after, they stick together easier and quicker. Anyway, I tried both ways, and they come out as good! Freezing them it is not possible, unfortunately they loose their texture.

How to serve them:

This is a typical north-Italy dish and it can be served in many ways. What I personally love the most, is with just knob of butter, melted with some black pepper,sage and Parmesan cheese on top. I prefer it because it emphases the taste of potatoes and it is not over-powering. You can also have them served with ragù (click here for recipe).

Time: 1 hour and ½ preparation + 10 minutes cooking

Ingredients:   [8 big portions]

  •  1kg potatoes
  • 400 gr white flour
  • salt

1, Boil the potatoes in salted water. There is no need to remove the skin, it will remain trapped inside the potatoes masher.

2. When they are tender (check with fork, around 40 minutes after), smash them with an old-style potatoes masher. Taste them, if it is needed, add more salt, which usually happens.

4. Put some extra flour on your clean table surface and start working your potatoes with 400 gr of white flour until you’ll have  a compact texture, enough to create a mass. See the picture below.

gnocchi025. In the meanwhile spread a clean tea-towel on your table and cover it with some flour, as in the picture, in order to prevent your gnocchi to get sticked on each other.

6. With a knife, cut a small quantity from your mass. Now go back to your childhood and model it to obtain the shape of quite long worm. With a knife, cut it in smaller pieces, almost 3 cm long. Be sure to add extra flour on your table if they get sticky. While you’re making them put them on the tea-towel to rest.

7. Cooking process: Use an extra-large pot to bring salted water to boil. Add small quantities of them, not all together, otherwise they will stick on the bottom of your pot or even worse, they lose their shape and become one huge gnocco. They are cooked, as soon as they float on water surface again. Use a small colander to pull them out and keep cooking in the same pot all the other gnocchi left.

Buon appetito!

PS: I want to add a funny and unrelated information: in very informal Italian language we use the word ‘gnocca/o’ to point a sexy/attractive woman or man out: ‘Che gnocca!’ XD

Peperonata ~ Recipe

peperonataPotatoes, peppers and onion are cooked in a wok, with a sweet and sour sauce, made of balsamic vinegar. This recipe recalls Summer time, when peppers are in seasons and are sold for super cheap prices in Sicily. The tradition wants it served cool,but I prefer it lukewarm. Another family recipe: love my daddy.

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 750 gr potatoes
  • 4-5 red peppers
  • 2 onions
  • 45 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoon white sugar
  • mint, salt, oregano and fresh basil
  • 3 tbs olive oil

1. The boring part: peel and wash potatoes, onions and peppers. In the meanwhile, pre-heat a wok with 3 tbs olive oil.

2. When the oil is hot, add onions and let them cook for a couple of minutes.

3.Next, add potatoes only. Smaller they are cut, quicker they will cook.

4. When the potatoes are a bit softer, add peppers and a generous amount of salt. Cook for other 15 minutes.

5. In a glass mix 45 ml balsamic vinegar and 4 teaspoon of white sugar, stir until it dissolves.When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the liquid, wait until it will bed reduced and become creamy.

6. Finish the recipe with herbs: mint (not too much, otherwise it will taste like a toothpaste, true story here)and oregano. Fresh basil, only when the heat is turned off.

Buon appetito!

Bruschetta Recipe

bruschettaTime: 10 minutes

Ingredients: (for 10 pieces of bruschetta)

  • any bread you like, toasted
  • 500 gr tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • e.v olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt
  • oregano
  • 2 clove garlic

To obtain a very good bruschetta you just need to prepare it in advance, and serve 20-30 min later. In this way all flavors will pop out and give you an amazing result. Very important: put bruschetta dressing on your bread only few minutes before serving, otherwise your bread will sink all tomatoes juice and will be no longer crunchy as supposed to be.

1. Wash and cut tomatoes in teeny-tiny cubes: smaller they are, easier will be eaten bruschetta without any stain on your t-shirt. Add salt, pepper and olive oil in plenty. Cut finely two peeled cloves of garlic ( if they are too big, just one is enough) and finish seasoning with fresh basil and oregano.

2. Mix all together and let it rest for a while and taste it, in this way you’ll know if you need more salt and pepper.

and enjoy it! It’s super easy and super good for party as finger-food or as appetizer with some wine.

Buon appetito!

Meatballs Recipe

meatballs

Time: 10 min prep + 15 cooking

Ingredients:

  • 500 gr beef and pork  minced meat mix
  • 100 gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 50 gr bread flour
  • 2 eggs
  • parsley, salt, pepper, oregano
  • 500 ml tomatoes sauce

meatballs02

1. In a big bowl mix first with a fork and then with hands: meat, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and bread flour. If you don’t have the bread flour just use some old bread you were supposed to throw away. To be honest, meatballs recipe was born to recycle meat leftovers and bread leftovers. If your bread it’s too hard, just put a little bit of milk on it and let it soak in. Before using sqeezes it well.

2. Make the balls with your hands and eat a pan in the mean while. You can put just tiny amount of olive oil on it or skip it; with a good non-stick pan it’s not necessery (I didn’t use it here).

3. Brown both sided of meatballs a little bit and put tomatoes sauce. Season with pepper and oregano. Cook for 15 minutes with your lids always on. Shouldn’t need to turn them anymore.

And they are super-yummy, buon appetito!!

Other options:

You can cook them without tomatoes sauce – just make them brown all sides and serve with some potatoes. This is how my daddy used to cook them when I was a kid.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13047627/?claim=4mnytcubejd”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Ragù Recipe

raguThis is my daddy’s recipe. Our family tradition includes peas, also because is the typical stuffed of arancini , a sicilian ball of rice and meat,covered with eggs and bread chunks, and fully fried.

Time: 1 hour and ½

Ingredients: The proportion are thought for a lots of ragu’: you can always freeze it and use whenever you need.

  • 500 gr minced beef and pork
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • celery
  • 1l tomatoes sauces
  • 500 gr tin tomatoes
  • 1 can peas (optional)
  • 1 spoon tomato paste
  • olive oil, pepper, salt

1. Peal and cut finely onions,celery and carrots or use a mixer. Let them sweat in a big pot with some heated olive oil.

2.Add the meat, spoon of tomato paste and a glass of  red wine. Let the wine evaporate.

3.Add the tomatoes sauces and tomatoes can,season with pepper and salt in good amount.

4.Cover with a lid and turn to a very low temperature, cook for 1 hour, stiring every now and then.

5. (Optional) The last 10 minutes add your peas, in this way they won’t cook too long.

Buon appetito!

Food Diary 11th-17th August

food_diaryLate..but still here!Honestly we’ve been in holiday in Wien this week and I’ve constantly forgot to take pictures of what we ate, so I won’t  publish the diary next week.

On Monday’s dinner we had guacamole with some cereal bread; I find this kind of bread at Aldi and it’s good also for breakfast. I also made zaziki with fresh cucumber.

On Tuesday, I tried another Laurel Evans recipe from her book “La cucina Tex Mex, Storie vere e sapori forti dai confini sconfinati dell’America“, which was a chicken soup, but of course I had to adjust it to what I had home,added some mushrooms that were turning bad and other stuff.

WednesdayOn Wednesday we had some leftover codfish soup with tomatoes and capers and basmati rice, together with a sort of caprese salad with cucumber as extra in it.

food_diary_friday

This week I was in “soup-mode”, so again: lentil soup on Thursday with red lentils I bought in Italy; They are my favorite kind of lentils, so tasty. One kind of red lentils is typical from Sicily and they grow in Ustica, a very small island. This website sells them and send in Europe if you wanna try them: http://www.gustaitipicisiciliani.it/ but unfortunately it is only in Italian language.

On Friday, I tried out another Benedetta Parodi recipe: meatball (meatless) with navy beans, I think she used another kind of beans, but they turned out amazing anyway!

On Saturday, we had some friends coming over so I cooked spelt (hulled wheat) with grilled veggies.

Next week we are moving to Dresden, Germany, so who knows when I’ll post again…!See you (hopefully) soon!

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!