lunedì 25 aprile 2011


Dessert - Lactose intolerant safe (read bottom note)

5 ripe peaches
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
4 oz mixed berries
3 oz almonds, chopped
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp aromatic liqueur (Amaretto is the best)
4 ladyfingers, chopped
4 amaretti (cookies) crumbled
Butter, salt

Wash and dry the peaches, divide 4 of them in half and remove the pits, scoop out a little bit of pulp in order to "make room" for the stuffing; peel and chop the 5th peach along with the pulp removed from the other ones.

Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar the bottom of a non-stick skillet, place it over medium heat and when it turns into golden brown, add the halved peaches cutside down. After 1 minute flip them and caramelize the other side for one more minute. Remove them from the skillet and sautee, in it, the chopped pulp for 2 minutes.

In another skillet melt a dollop of butter with the remaining sugar (not the powdered one), add the berries, 3 tbsp water and cook for 3 minutes; crush with a fork and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the chopped peach with almonds, cocoa powder, ladyfingers, amaretti, powdered sugar, liqueur and a pinch of salt.

Distribute the stuffing over half peach and top with another half. Garnish with the mixed berries sauce.

This recipe serves 4.

- You can also serve these peaches halved (not topped by the other half) and grilled for 5 minutes in the oven.
- If there are kids, use milk instead of liqueur.
- Lactose intolerants can use one extra tbsp of water instead of butter and fruit syrup instead of milk, in the stuffing, if there are any kids.


lunedì 18 aprile 2011


Condiment - dipping sauce

- Similar to hummus, it gets a boost of flavor from parsley and scallions

1 can Italian cannellini beans, drained and rinse (always rinse canned beans to remove excess salt)
1 tbsp+1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped
3 tbsp almonds, finely chopped

Puree beans with lemon juice and garlic, until you obtain a smooth cream.

Transfer puree in a bowl and stir in all other ingredients.

Season dip to taste with salt and pepper; refrigerate until serving time.

- This is a very simple recipe; the better the ingredients you use, the better the final result will be. Use fresh lemon, really good olive oil, fresh parsley and so on....

- It's vegetarian, celiac and lactose intolerant safe.

lunedì 11 aprile 2011


Soup - vegetarian - celiac and lactose intolerant safe (see end of recipe)

1/2 lb green beans, cut into 2" pieces
1 1/4 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
4 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth, for tastier flavor)
4 tsp Pesto alla Genovese

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tbsp of water (or broth) and "sautee" onions for a couple minutes.

Add potatoes, green brans and water (or broth) and bring to a boil; when it boils add salt, then reduce heat to minimum and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15/20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend (with an immersion blender is easier).

Serve in individual bowls with 1 tsp of Pesto each. Add garlic crostini, if desired.

This recipe serves 4.

- It is better to perpare this soup ahead of time and serve it just warm, in order to obtain its best flavor.
- Vegetarians, don't use chicken broth.
- Lactose intolerants, use a pesto without cheese.
- It's also celiacs safe.

lunedì 4 aprile 2011


Pasta entree

1 lb orecchiette
8 slices of Prosciutto crudo (Parma or San Daniele), julienne cut
8 - 12 asparagus, depending on the size, cut the bottom, harder part
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine

Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and asparagus and cook them for about 5 minutes.

Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and slice in thin rounds, leaving tips intact. Add pasta to the boiling water.

Warm olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and sautee onion until translucent, stir in all asparagus (rounds and tips) and cook for about 2 minutes; add wine and let alcohol evaporate. Remove from heat.

Arrange half of the asparagus slices in a blender along with cream cheese and milk and blend untli you obtain a smooth cream; put it back in the skillet together with prosciutto and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring well to combine all ingredients.

Drain orecchiette and toss them in the skillet with the sauce; if it's too thick add some pasta water to thin it.

This recipe serves 4-6

- You can use cooked ham (4 slices, being thicker, are enough)
- You can use cream (1/2 cup) instead of cream cheese and milk
- Orecchiette stick a lot: add oil to water and stir constantly for the first couple minutes, they will stick anyway, but a little less.