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!

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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!!!

 

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.

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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.

Homemade Pizza Recipe

DSCN1032Time: 10 min prep + 1 hour waiting + 20 min cooking

Ingredients: [for 4 ppl]

  • 1 fresh block yeast , 25 gr ( I find it in the refrigerator section )
  • 500 white flour or durum wheat ( this one is less easier to work with)
  • 1 spoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 spoon olive oil
  • 300 ml hot water
  • mozzarella cheese (120 gr ca.)

For the tomatoes sauce:

  • 1 can tomatoes in bits (450 gr)
  • black pepper
  • 1 spoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugarpizza

1. Heat some water up, lukewarm. In a big bowl, weigh the with flour, olive oil, sugar, and salt. With one hand pours some water directly on the yeast in order to make it softer and start working on it. Keep adding water little by little. Work on pizza-mass for at least 10 minutes: in this way you’ll be sure that it’s going to rise properly. When your mass start getting elasticity and solidity, it is ready to rest( fig 3. top line on the right).

2. Put your pizza-mass in dry place – I usually use the inside of the oven – and cover it with a thick cloth. Wait 1 hour.In the meanwhile let’s make the tomatoes sauce: in a little bowl, just mix all the ingredients and let them soak up together.

3. After 1 hour your pizza will be ready to be cook. Oil your baking tray carefully and put some oil on your fingertips also. In this way it would be easier to work your mass without get it sticky. Stretch it out with your hands till it gets a good thin layer.

4.  Pre-heat the oven 200°c.

5. Put generously your tomatoes salsa on it, leaving borders free and add mozzarella cheese. Toss it in the oven for 20 minutes. If you’ve done a thin layer it will be fully cooked, otherwise no problem, just wait other 10 min. I usually lift it up with a spatula and see if it’s getting gold-brown on the bottom to be sure it’s crunchy and good :)

Buon appetito!!!

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!

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