Tag Archives: Recipe

Recipe Corner: Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Garlic Olive Oil and Chilly)

You might believe it or not, but in Italy we have a quite common tradition to have a midnight Spaghettata (Spaghetti festival) with friends during summer time, to celebrate a successful event organized or simply after a party. Since it is late in the night and there is not much time to prepare a complicated condiment, the most commonly prepared dish is Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilly).

This dish is super easy to prepare and gives you a blast of taste and energy. The presence of chilly, moreover, makes this plate suitable to fight against flue and other similar infections.

We can make it in 10 minutes, just the time to cook the spaghetti. Just put extra virgin olive oil in a pan and heat it. Once it is hot put in the pan some garlic cloves and let them brown. I usually use 2 cloves per person but you are free to follow your taste buds.

Once the cloves are golden color, remove them from the oil and add the chilly, preferably the fresh small red chilly peppers from southern Italy that you have sliced in advance. If you do not have fresh chilly peppers, you can use the dry flakes or powder. Just remember that the powder will burn quickly and its flavor will be stronger in the oil.

Pay attention to two things: wash thoughtfully your hands after having cut the peppers and keep the heat on low/medium to avoid the chilly, rich in water, to violently react in the oil. You shall just let the peppers release their flavor in the oil. No need to cook or burn them. How much chilly to add? It is entirely upon you and your taste as well as the choice to leave the peppers inside the oil (as I do) or remove them (this option is not possible if you use the powder).

If you we have planned the cooking session at the perfection, at this time we should have the spaghetti cooked and ready to be drained. Once you have done so, put them in the pan with the oil and let them “fry” a bit with moderate to high heat, continuously tossing them.

At my place, we add at the “frying” spaghetti an handful of bread crumbs that will make your pasta even crunchier.

Serve hot with a handful of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Speghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio are the easiest one to be prepared by also the tastiest. I have used chilly flakes this time.

Advertisements
Quiche Slice

Recipe Corner: Vegetable Quiche

Sometimes it can be tough to get the daily 5 portions intake of vegetables and fruits as many doctors recommend. I personally like fruit and have it once a day, but when it comes to veggies, I struggle to complete that plate full of boiled carrots or salad. The problem is that I get bored of eating the same kind of food for more that few days, hence I need to “invent” something different.

Yesterday I had some mixed leftovers to eat including a mozzarella (expiring that day), some broccoli, peas and spinach and few eggs.I decided then to prepare the famous Quiche Lorraine with the vegetables I had available, instead of following one of the dozens recipes available in internet like the one with bacon and double cream promoted by BBC or the spinach and bacon proposed by Foodnetwork.

It is extremely easy to make and cook and we can do it together step by step.First thing chose the backing tray because its dimension is important to understand the quantities to use. I have bought a ready to cook pastry puff roll since it is easier, faster and more convenient than backing just that little amount of pastry, but if you prefer to make it by yourself it is going to be even better.

Then boil the broccoli, peas and spinach (baby spinach or frozen ones are alright) I had available until tender. I dried them up very carefully,  especially the spinach that need to be squeezed until dry. The presence of the water in the pie will turn your crunchy delight in a boiled mix of vegetable that we want to avoid. If you are not sure about the quantities to use, I  have used for a pastry roll some 100g of frozen broccoli, a small cup of frozen peas and about 250g of spinach.

Russian Cheese

Any kind of cheese is suitable for a Quiche

Once dry, cut the veggies in chunks (especially the broccoli and the spinach leaves) and pour them in a bowl. Add the mozzarella cheese you have cut in small cubes, any other cheese you need or want to use (I used a mysterious Russian cheese) and a slice or two of chopped turkey breast ham or cooked pork ham.

You can start mixing the ingredients and add some pepper if you like, nutmeg (it’s my favourite) and a handful of Parmigiano (Parmesan Cheese) that will give to the mix the required salty taste without the need to add salt. Once you are done with the mixing and verified that the quantity is suitable for the tray you have chosen, add two entire eggs and mix well. You will feel a sudden change in the consistency of the ingredients. You should add eggs until the ball of mixed ingredients is fluid enough to be poured and levelled.

Lay the pastry puff in the tray with the oven paper and add the mixed ingredients. Ideally, you should reach almost the top of the pastry puff and roll the exceeding quantity in order to make a sort of crust. Once ready, put it in a pre-heated oven at 180 Celsius for 30 minutes circa. Once it is cooked, hence the crust is slightly brown and the eggs are completely solid, you might turn on the grill and let the surface of the pie cooking for 1 or 2 minutes.

Cooked Quiche

The quiche after cooking shall look like brownish on top and the eggs shall be completely cooked.

Once you get the quiche out of the oven, you need to wait some times because the pie needs to cool off before being served. It is a complete meal, reach in fibres, proteins and vitamins, hence it does not need any side dish. It is great also for parties since its intense flavour make it suitable with drinks and friends.

Quiche Slice

The rich vegetable quiche should have more green stuff than others.

Recipe Corner: Cucumber salad with langoustine and smoked salmon

When I have special guests at home and want to impress them without wasting hours cooking, I prepare this easy and tasty salad that requires just 10 minutes. I usually serve the salad with some sides like smoked salmon and a langustine or prawn, but it is also good if served alone.

Ingredients for four people

4 langustine (I buy them already cooked), 150g of smoked salmon, 3 big cucumbers, 4 prawns, 50g of surimi or crab meat, one lemon, a pinch of nutmeg, olive oil, 125g of plain yogurt, salt and two slices of toasted brown bread.

Cucumber salad with langoustine and smoked salmon by (C) ANDREADETTO

My favourite Antipasto: light, easy to prepare and tasty

Directions

Wash and cut “a la julienne” the cucumbers and put them in a bowl together with the surimi you have already sliced. In a cup put the yogurt together with a pinch of salt and nutmeg, some olive oil (1 tea spoon) and the juice of half lemon and mix until creamy and amalgamated. Pour the yogurt cream in the cucumber’s bowl and mix it well. You can add some crushed almonds if you want to add a crunchy touch. Serve the cucumber salad together with a prawn you have put on top of it, one langoustine and some slices of smoked salmon and the toasted bread.

Recipe Corner: Wild mushroom omelette with ham and cheese

Time: 15 minutes, very easy to make and super tasty

Ingredients for two people: 3 eggs, 50g of mushroom (e.g. champignon), 50g ham (turkey or pork), 50g cheese (emmental or kashkaval), a pinch of nutmeg and salt, parsley, garlic, olive oil.

Wild mushroom omelet with ham and cheese by (C) ANDREADETTO

Amazing Omelette with Wild Mushroom, Ham and Cheese.

Directions

Clean and slice the mushroom and then put them in a pan with olive oil, parsley, garlic and a pinch of salt. Let them cook slowly, adding from time to time a bit of water if they become too dry. Meanwhile scramble the eggs in a cup together with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and parsley. Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the eggs and mix the ingredients until having a homogeneous layer. Cook at low heat. When the eggs are almost done, add the ham and the cheese in layers on the top of your omelette and cover with the lid. After few minutes, when the eggs are completely done and the cheese starts melting, just roll the omelette and leave it in the pan for few seconds to be sure the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Another option is to fold the omelette in 2 instead of rolling it.

Recipe Corner: Spaghetti with shrimps and zucchini

A easy recipe to prepare a tasty pasta with very little effort. I usually prepare it with prawns or shrimps and sometimes with salmon.

Ingredients for 2 people

1 Zucchino Trombetta (aka Tromboncino squash), some surimi or crab meat, 50/80g of frozen shrimps (or better the fresh ones if available) and 160g of  spaghetti, extra virgin olive oil, salted butter, garlic, parsley, a pinch of salt, nutmeg, chilli, two spoons of milk and white wine.

Directions

Wash the zucchini and cut them in small cubes and slice the surimi while the frozen shrimps are boiling. Heat some olive oil in a pan with garlic and parsley and add the zucchini with a little water and a pinch of salt. Let them cook slowly, sprinkling a bit of white wine from time to time. Once the zucchini are cooked (they should be soft at the touch), add the boiled shrimps and brown them together. Add a pinch of salt, nutmeg and chilli and toss from time to time adding some wine when they seem to be to dry. After few minutes (let’s say around 5), add the surimi, two spoons of milk (it helps in creating a creamy sauce without the use of cream), some salted butter and a handful of Grana Padano to render creamy the seasoning.

You can adjust the quantities of the various ingredients at your taste. You can add some cream or ricotta cheese if you want the pasta more yummy, instead of the milk. It will be a bit heavier but tastier.

Spaghetti with prawns and zucchini by (C) ANDREADETTO

Rich and tasty spaghetti with zucchini and shrimps

Dry the cooked spaghetti and mix them with the seasoning in the hot pan. Serve hot with a nice glass of white wine.

Recipe Corner: Vol-au-vent with prawns and mushroom

One of the most famous appetizers served in restaurant and prepared at home are the ever green vol-au-vent. They were very popular a decade ago in Italy, but they still conserve their role as must to have appetizer in many families. We always prepare them for Easter Sunday lunch celebration. This is the easiest recipe to prepare them.

Vol-au-vent with pawns and mushroom

Time required: 20 mins if you find ready-to-eat Vol-au-vent

Ingredients for 12 vol-au-vent: A pack of ready to eat vol-au-vent (usually there are 12 pieces inside), 25g Porcini mushrooms, 50g prawns, 100g of brie cheese, an handful of Parimigiano (Italian Parmesan cheese), a pinch of nutmeg, parsley and garlic, a bit of olive oil and two spoons of milk.

Directions

Cut the mushrooms in small pieces and brown them in a pan with olive oil, parsley and garlic. Do the same with the prawns (save 6 of them for the decoration). Meanwhile put in a pot half of the brie cheese, Parmigiano and milk. Let them melt slowly (preferably in a double boiler) adding the nutmeg and some extra milk if the consistency is too hard and sticky. Add the sauté prawns in the melted cheese and mix them. With a spoon, take a small quantity of the preparation and put it in the ready to eat vol-au-vent. Repeat the same procedure with the mushrooms. On the top of the vol-au-vent add some mushroom and the 6 spare prawns. Once your guests are at your place, just place the 12 vol-au-vent in the hot oven for few minutes and serve them hot. Easy and tasty!!!

Recipe corner: Paccheri (Pasta) with lentils and wild mushrooms

Paccheri (Pasta) with lentils and wild mushrooms

Time required: 25 Minutes

Ingredients for two people:

160-200g Paccheri (or Tortiglioni or another kind of short Italian Pasta), 50/100g of wild mushrooms (champignon, porcini or other), half can of plain lentils (100g approx), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 handful parsley (fresh or dried), garlic, a teaspoon nutmeg, chilli and pepper if you like, 1 handful grated Parmigiano (Italian parmesan cheese), a pinch of salt, 20g of salted butter, a tablespoon of milk and a small glass of white wine (optional).

Directions

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a pastry brush or a tea towel. Slice the mushrooms in tiny pieces. Put the olive oil in a pan together with the garlic and the parsley, brown them for few seconds and then add the mushrooms. Let them cook slowly for few minutes, tossing from time to time and adding a punch of salt. Then turn up the heat and add a part of the white wine. When the wine dries you can add some water until the mushrooms are almost cooked. At that point add the washed lentils, half glass of water, a pinch of pepper, nutmeg and chilly (if you like it) and cook at low heat mashing a part of the lentils and mushrooms with a fork. When the lentils and mushrooms are cooked, cook fast increasing the heat for 3 to 4 minutes adding the remaining wine and simmering until it will be almost evaporated. Then turn the heat off, add  the milk, a part of Parmigiano, the salted butter and a bit of crude olive oil. Toss and season, to taste.

 

Drain the pasta you cooked ‘al dente’ meanwhile and add it to the seasoning in the pan. Toss gently, coating the pasta with the mushrooms and lentils cream and their flavor.

Serve, sprinkling the remaining Parmesan on the top.