lunedì 26 luglio 2010


Salad - vegetarian - lactose free

This is a Tuscan peasant style dish, created to get rid of stale, old bread during summer time; the winter version is a soup called ribollita that you can find in our blog.

1/2 ciabatta, dry and cut into 4 parts
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 big and ripe tomatoes, diced
10 basil leaves
1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Fill a bowl, big enough to contain all bread, with cold water and vinegar and soak bread in it.

When bread is soaked enough to be handled, pull it out and squeeze it really well, in order to remove all water, crumbling it and arrange it in a different bowl.

Add all vegetables and basil, season with olive oil, salt and some more vinegar if desired.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.

This recipe serves 4.

- This is the original recipe, you can add any other vegetable you like: cucumbers, lettuce, celery stalks, etc. all thinly sliced.

- To have a complete meal you can add tuna in olive oil or hard boiled eggs; I avoid mozzarella because of vinegar.

- The more ingredients you add, the more people you'll serve; you might also need to add some more bread.

- Use only high quality extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar in oder to give a better flavor and taste to your dish.

lunedì 19 luglio 2010


Appetizer - salad - gluten and lactose free

1 lb shrimp, boiled and peeled
1 can Italian cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Italian chick-peas, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper (optional)

First of all, prepare the salad. In a bowl, combine shrimp, cannellini and tomatoes, season with salt, pepper (optional), half of the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well to combine all ingredients; sprinkle with 2 tbsp parsley and set aside.

Prepare the chick-peas cream. In a blender, arrange chick-peas with the remaining oil and blen until a smooth cream forms; if it's too thick, add a few tbsp of chicken or vegetable broth to thin it, do not use more oil and do not add too much liquid: you need to have a cream.

To serve: line 4 individual small plates with the chick-peas cream and top with the salad, evenly distributed.

Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.

This recipe serves 4.

lunedì 12 luglio 2010


Pasta entree - first course - vegetarian

1 lb. Cavatappi shaped pasta
12 black olives
12 small leaves swiss chard, julienned
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup peas, frozen
1 cup green beans, french cut, frozen
1 tbsp capers, packed in salt, rinsed
1 cup strained tomatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cream cheese (optional)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Put a large pot of water to a boil.

In a large skillet, warm the olive oil and sautee onions until translucent then add swiss chard, peas, green beans, strained tomatoes and a few tbsp of water to help cooking the vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Now add olives and capers and reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper (optional) and simmer for 10 more minutes.

To have a creamier sauce, add cream cheese along with a couple tbsp milk to help cheese melting.

When water boils, add salt and pasta and cook for about 7 minutes; drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and arrange in the skillet with the sauce.

Sautee for 1-2 minutes, tossing to coat evenly; add a few tbsp of the cooking water to thin sauce, if it's too thick.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4.

- If you use fresh peas and green beans, it is better to "pre-boil" them in the same water you'll use to cook pasta.

- Since we're in summer, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of strained ones: in this case you'll need at lease 2 big ones.

- If you use fresh tomatoes, I would avoid cream cheese.

lunedì 5 luglio 2010


Entree - first course - vegetarian


1 lb dry egg fettuccine
1 cup walnuts, crumbled
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
4 big sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the mean time, warm the oil in a large skillet and sautee walnuts and sage for a couple minutes, stir in ricotta diluited with milk and season with salt and pepper (or hot pepper flakes), if desired. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens a little.

When water boils, add salt and fettuccine, stir and cook for 5-7 minutes; drain them a minute before being "al dente" and reserve some of the cooking water.

Arrange pasta in the skillet with the sauce and toss to coat, cooking for about 1 or 2 more minutes; if sauce thickens too much, thin it with the pasta cooking water.

Serve immediately sprinkled with some grated Parmigiano and/or chopped parsley.

This recipe serves 4

You can use any nuts you like: almonds, hazelnuts, etc. instead of walnuts.

If you use low fat milk and ricotta you obtain a lighter dish, in terms of calories.