‘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┬á – 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┬á to obtain a cream consistency.┬á 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!

 

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Stuffed Peppers with Rice

stuffed_pepperI cook often stuffed pepper because it is a good solution to have a main dish and side dish all together. For this reason, I tried out many different ways to make them special every time. This is the easiest and quickest version recipe. Serve them room temperature or a littler warmer. This is one of those dish which is tastier the next day, if you know what I mean.

Time: 20 min + 45 min cooking in the oven

Ingredients:  for 6 portions

  • 5 red and yellow peppers
  • 100 gr Parmesan
  • 50 gr breadcrumbs
  • 150 gr white rice ( short grain)
  • 250 gr peas (frozen or in a can)
  • dry parsley
  • pepper,olive oil, salt

Option 2:

When I want to make this dish super complete, 3 in 1 effects (as my dishwasher tabs are supposed to be…) I prepare what in Italy is called ” rag├╣ in bianco“, or white rag├╣. Basically just follow my rag├╣ recipe (click here) skipping step 3 and 4 . Simply mix it with the rice and follow the rest of the recipe I am posting below.

1.Bring water to boil in a pot and cook your rice, but not completely. Drain it 3-4 minutes before the total amount of minutes suggested in the package. It will continue to cook in the oven.

2.While your rice is cooking, cut the top of peppers, get rid of seeds, cut them in half when they are small, or more for bigger peppers.Wash them, salt them inside and let them drain a little water out.

3. Mix in a bowl rice, Parmesan, pepper, parsley,peas or rag├╣ in bianco. Put peppers with the concave part facing up in a baking tray. Fill all shells with a spoon. Spread breadcrumbs on them and olive oil to make the top part crispy and gold.

Cook for 45 minutes at 180┬░c

Let them cool down and.. Buon appetito!

Russian Salad ~ Recipe

russian_saladIn Italy we call this recipe ‘Russian salad’, but now that I live in Germany I found out that here it is called just ‘potatoes salad’. However, the taste is quite different.┬á We use to make this dish as starter during holidays, for example for Christmas or New Years Eve, because it is easy to bring to someone’s else home and because it is usually presented scenic decorated with tons of pickles and more mayo on the top. I saw many time this salad adorned as porcupine, with carrots stick as spines.

This is my version of this recipe: the common recipe among Italians include also tuna and more mayonnaise. I like to put also a lot of fresh basil and one green apple inside, to give a more “summer” touch and freshness to the dish. Just adapt the recipe to your own taste :))

Little advice: this recipe is good and convenient to be prepared one day before being served.

Time: prep 1 hour + at least 2 hours resting

Ingredients:  for  15 portions

  • 1 ┬Ż boiled potatoes
  • 1 fresh cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 250 gr frozen peas
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled carrots
  • 250 gr ( 1 jar) pickled celery
  • fresh basil
  • pepper, salt
  • 1 tube light mayonnaise

1. Let’s start peeling and washing the potatoes. Bring them to boil til they’re fully cooked. Boil also your frozen peas. You can always use a can of peas, but I find the taste not the same.

2. In the meanwhile, wash your pickles to get rid of extra vinegar in it. Peel, wash and cut in tiny cubes the fresh cucumber and the green apple. Mix everything together in a big bowl with mayonnaise and little pepper.

3. When your potatoes and peas cooled down for a while, add also them together with a lots of fresh basil leaves. Be carefully while stiring not to smash too much your potatoes.

Keep in fridge for at least two hours. It always better to take it out at least one hour before your guests come in.

Buon appetito!

Minestrone Recipe

 

minestroneTime: 40 min + 10 prep.

Ingredients:

You can also add green beans or broccoli; I hardly have them fresh at home, so this is exactly my typical version of minestrone.

  • 1 big onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 potatoes ( medium size)
  • 1 can peas ( ~250 gr)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • rosemary
  • pepper, salt, 2 cup water

1. Peel, wash and cut everything :)

2. Toss everything in a pan (including bay leaf and some fresh or dry rosemary) with two full big cups of water and cook for 30 min with the lid always on.

3. Rinse your peas, add them together with salt and pepper and cook for other 10 min. And it’s done! Buon appetito.

Spezzatino Recipe

spezzatinoThis is my father’s stewed beef recipe, it reminds me a lot my childhood and it’s really tasty. I hope you’ll like it !

Time: 1 hour + 20 prep min

Ingredients:

  • 500 gr beef ( already cut in chunks)
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 glass white kitchen wine
  • salt + pepper
  • white flour
  • a spoon olive oil

1. First of all, I usually cut my beef pieces in more little one. Then, I salt+pepper them  and roll the chunks into some white flour.2. Pre-heat a spoon of olive oil in a quite large pot.After, add the meat and brown it for a little while.Then, add a glass of white wine and let it evaporate with a slow-temp and put the lid on for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel and cut both potatoes and carrots.

3. Now you should have a creamy-delicious consistency.

4. Add potatoes and carrots and adjust with more salt+pepper.

5. Add the entire tomatoes can and cook for 40 minutes with the lid on (always with a low-heat temprature). Once in a while remember to stir it carefully,otherwise the bottom is going to burn easily ( trust me, this is an experienced advice ….). 6. In the end. rinse the peas and add them too. Cook for about other 10 minutes with the lid on. And now should be ready and yummy! Buon appetito!