lunedì 30 novembre 2009


Side dish - vegetarian

1 28oz can peeled tomatoes
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
6 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2" rounds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tsp oregano
1/4 lb mozzarella, sliced
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tbsp bread crumbs
salt and pepper

In a skillet, big enough to contain all ingredients, warm 3 tbsp oil on medium-high heat; sautee garlic and remove it, cook onion until it becomes transparent.
Add all other ingredients except for cheeses and bread crumbs. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are semi-soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the mean time, preheat oven at 400.
Place vegetables in an oven-proof casserole dish, lightly oiled.
Add mozzarella on top, dust with parmesan and bread crumbs and drizzle with the remaining tbsp of olive oil.
Cook until a golden crust forms and the mozzarella is melted.
Wait 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe serves 4-6

mercoledì 25 novembre 2009

lunedì 23 novembre 2009


Second course

7 oz sausages, not spicy nor flavored
7 oz ground beef
2 cans Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
6 tbsp parmesan, grated
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 cup broth, chicken or vegetable
salt, pepper (optional)

Blend the beans with broth until you obtain a smooth cream and put it in a bowl; add meats, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well to combine all ingredients.
Shape as hamburger patties and cook over high heat in a non-stick skillet or on the barbeque.
Serve as a regular hamburger or as a "steak" with french fries and or green salad (or any other vegetables you prefer).
If you have some left, you can freeze them separate and use them when you need.
You'll see that the beans give a different moist to the patties.

lunedì 16 novembre 2009


Soup - vegetarian

1 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14 oz) borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz garlic crostini
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 sage leaves
1 rosemary sprig
4 tbps grated parmesan (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Put potatoes, pumpkin, garlic, rosemary and sage in a medium saucepan over high heat, cover with water by about 3 inches and bring to a boil,add salt, reduce heat and simmer, covered with lid, for about 30 minutes.
In the mean time, blend beans with a bit of the pumpkin/potatoes cooking water until you obtain a smooth cream and set aside.
When potatoes and pumpkin are ready, drain them (saving the cooking water), remove rosemary and sage and blend them too, using only the cooking water necessary to blend.
If you don't like garlic, remove it before blending.
Arrange both purees in a saucepan mixing to combine, add some of the cooking water until to obtain your desired thickness.
Warm them up, seasoning with salt and pepper (or a few chilly pepper flakes).
Arrange crostini on the bottom of individual serving bowls, cover with soup, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan.
Serve immediately.

Probably, due to the quantity of the ingredients, you'll have soup left: freeze it for the future, when you want a soup and you don't have time to prepare it!
If you haven't used all the cooking water, freeze it too; you can use it later as a vegetable broth, or in any soup.
You can use chicken broth instead of water, but it wouldn't be vegetarian.
If you want, you can cook pasta or rice or farro but you need more water/broth and you'll have to stir it constantly because creamy soups stick on the bottom of pans.

lunedì 9 novembre 2009



For the dough:
11 oz 00 flour
5 1/2 oz sugar
3 1/2 oz butter, diced really cold
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

For the cream:
2 oranges, zest and juice
5 oz sugar
3 oz butter
4 eggs
3 tbsp confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp hazelnuts, chopped

In a bowl mix flour, sugar a pinch of salt and baking powder; add butter and eggs; mix quickly to combine all ingredients but not too long otherwise the butter warms up and the crust will become hard.
Put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes at least.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 350 and prepare the orange cream.
Melt the butter. In a bowl arrange eggs, orange zest and sugar and mix. Add the melted, cold butter to the mix together with orange juice. Mix well to combine.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it over a flour-dusted table, thick about 1/4".
Put dough disk in a pie-pan (buttered and dusted with flour or with parchment paper) and poke it with a fork.
Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts, cover with the orange cream and dust with confectioner's sugar.
Cook in the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
If there is some dough left you can either freeze it, in order to use it later, or roll it about same thickness and make cookies. Those have to be baked at same temperature but only about 10 minutes.

lunedì 2 novembre 2009


Complete meal - vegetarian

3 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
10 1/2 oz of mozzarella, thinly sliced (in about 24 slices)
1/2 lb of orzo pasta (or other small one)
1 eggplant, diced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
7 basil leaves, minced
4 sprigs parsley, minced
5 sprigs chive, finely chopped

Put a pot with water to a boil and preheat oven to 350.
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the eggplants and cook until tender and golden (about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes).
When the water boils, add salt and pasta and cook for half of the cooking time, drain and place it in a bowl together with all other ingredients (except for the mozzarella), adjust with salt and pepper, drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, mix to combine and set aside.
Cut the top off of each pepper and save it; remove the core and inner white ribbing and discard.
Arrange peppers on an ovensafe baking dish, brushed with the remaining olive oil, and fill each one halfway with pasta mixture.
Layer 2 slices of mozzarella and cover with the remaining mixture; finish with one more layer of mozzarella and put top back on.
Transfer the baking dish into the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and peppers are soft.
Serves 6 people.

You can use any kind of small pasta shape you like (tubetti, orzo...) or farro or rice, in which case you have to adjust the timing. You should cook them about 3/4 of their usual cooking time.