lunedì 30 settembre 2013


Thanks to a friend, we had a great cooking demonstration! 

We prepared bucatini alla carbonara (sorry no pictures), hand made egg fettuccine:

Then we prepared a Mediterranean vegetable dish:

 And to close the meal... a crostata with Italian fig spread (organic and no sugar added):


Side dish - Gluten and lactose free - Vegetarian - Vegan - Great for diets

2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers (or a mix of them)
2 zucchine
1 medium eggplant
2 medium potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
1 28-oz can Italian peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice.
1 cup Italian dried black olives
Fresh basil, chopped (or parsley or oregano)
Extra virgin olive oil - Salt

Wash peppers, zucchine and eggplant. Remove stem, seeds and inner white ribbings from bell peppers, peel potatoes, onions and carrots (if needed).

Roughly chop the peeled San Marzano, and set aside with their juice.

Dice all vegetables (not too small) and keep eggplant and zucchine separate, since they cook faster.

In a big saucepan with lid, warm 4 tbsp of olive oil and sautee onions, carrots, peppers and potatoes for about 5 minutes, then add eggplant and zucchine, sautee everything together for another couple of minutes, stirring, then season with salt.

Add San Marzano with their juice and olives, stir well, season with salt again, if needed; lower heat to simmer and cover with lid.

Cook for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft.

If it thickens too much, add a few tablespoons of warm water or vegetable broth.

When it's almost ready, add the fresh herb you prefer.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

This recipe serves 6-8 pepole at least, depending on how it's used

- It can be served with eggs, cheese, grilled with meat or fish. It's also good on toasted bread (bruschetta style).
- It's a great pasta sauce
- I sauteed all vegetables separately, in a non-stick skillet, seasoning with salt during the "sauteeing", then I transfered the vegetables in a saucepan and cooked as specified: it takes longer but gives a better flavor.
- It's lactose and gluten free. It's vegetarian and, given the very low amount of fats, it's great for diets!

lunedì 23 settembre 2013


Meat entree - Gluten and lactose free

2-3 lbs of beef, in one single piece
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups dry red wine
Warm meat broth
1 sprig rosemary
4-5 sage leaves
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 qt. water
1 lb. Italina corn flour for polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a non-stick skillet warm half of the olive oil and sautee the chopped vegetables, remove them from skillet; warm the remaining olive oil and sear meat on all sides (so you'll trap all meat juices inside).

When meat is seared, transfer chopped vegetables back into the skillet and pour wine. When wine is evaporated, transfer everything into a saucepan with lid, slightly bigger than the meat piece itself. Cover with warm broth and simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours.

At about half cooking time, add rosemary and sage and season with salt.

About 45-50 minutes before serving, prepare polenta.

Bring a large pot with water to a boil. When the water boils, add salt and slowly add polenta flour in a thin stream, whisking; reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes whisking often, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes, whisking occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Slice meat not too thin and thicken meat's cooking juices; the easiest way to do so is to stir in some flour or corn/potato starch and boil it for a few minutes.

Serve meat with its juices and polenta.

This recipe serves about 8

- Use a good quality wine.
- The long cooking time is the secret in order to obtain a very tender meat.
- This recipe is gluten and lacose free!
- You can serve it with steamed/sauteed vegetables, making it a complete meal.

lunedì 16 settembre 2013


Soup - lactose free - gluten free and vegetarian (READ notes below)

1 lb Italian ditalini (small pasta)
1 can Italian Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Italian Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 bunch kale, central rib removed and broken into pieces
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
2 qt Chicken or vegetable broth, minimum
1 tbsp Italian double concentrated tomato paste
Italian extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Bring the broth to a boil and cook celery and carrot in it. Blend celery, carrot, 1/3 of cannellini and 1/3 of borlotti beans with a few tablespons of broth.

Stir into the broth and add the peas, the remaining whole beans, the kale and the tomato paste; let boil for about 10 minutes, then season with salt, if necessary. Add ditalini and cook until al dente.

Serve immediately in individual bowls, drizzled with some olive oil.

Serves 4-6

- I used some leftover rotisserie chicken, used the bones to make a quick broth and scraped meat off the bones, adding them to the soup.
- You can use Italian dried cannellini and borlotti beans, just soak them 12-24 hours before and adjust cooking time accordingly (at least 2 hours for the beans)
- You can use Italian corn anellini and have a gluten free dish.
- It's lactose free and can be vegetarian, if you use vegetable broth.
- We carry both beans (canned or dried) and pasta.

venerdì 13 settembre 2013

A friendly chat about pasta (and some cooking tips)

Here's our new video: A little chat about pasta, shapes, varieties and more. Plus some pratical cooking tips!!

martedì 10 settembre 2013


First course - Pasta entree -Vegetarian - Gluten intolerant safe (READ notes below)

1 lb Italian penne pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup milk, warm
1 tbsp 00 flour
2 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mozzarella, chopped
1/4 cup asiago, chopped
1/4 cup provolone, chopped
1/4 cup parmigiano, grated
1 envelope Italian saffron
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and vegetables. When water boils again (frozen peas will drop water temperature), add pasta.

In the meantime prepare your sauce.

In a saucepan over medium heat warm olive oil and stir in flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes, then pour warm milk, in a thin stream, stirring; cook until it thickens, stirring contantly to prevent sticking.

When thick, remove from heat, stir in saffron and all cheeses, until they melt; keep warm.

Drain pasta with veggies and toss with cheese sauce.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley.

Serves 4-6

- Italian saffron is much tastier than all other saffron. It will give a nice golden color to your sauce and a nice light "exotic" taste.
- Cooking vegetable with your pasta will allow it to absorb some nutrients lost in water by the veggies.
- You can use a high quality Italian whole wheat pasta, if you like it (our Tomasello is great for that, I used half whole wheat and half normal penne, which cook in the same time).
- For gluten intolerant and allergic people: use corn or potato starch to prepare your sauce (same quantity as flour) and use Italian corn pasta, made with only Italian corn flour which is GMO free.