lunedì 25 agosto 2014

How to prepare Italian zucchini fritters

And here is this week's video recipe!!!!!


Appetizer - Vegetarian

This is the result of brainstorming with some online friends and a little change from Irene`s (who lives in New Mexico) recipe! Thanks for the idea, Irene!!!

4-5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced and sauteed with some onion
Italian grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano (about 1/2 cup)
Italian fine NON seasoned breadcrumbs
fresh mint, chopped
some diced mozzarella
2 eggs
Italian sea salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil

I sauteed zucchini and onions in Italian extravirgin olive a few days in advance. You can do it the same day, provided that you'll let them cool down completely before using them.

Roughly chop the sauteed zucchini/onions and transfer them to a big bowl, then chop mint (as fine as you want) and add to the zucchini. I did it with a knife becase the leaves were not enough for a food processor.

Now add eggs, parmigiano and enough breadcrumbs to obtain a mixture dense enough to withhold shaping. When shaping it, add a piece of mozzarella in the heart of your fritter, so it won't come out when frying.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Warm up olive oil and, in the meantime, remove fritters from refrigerator and dredge in breadcrumbs and, when oil is ready, toss them in and fry until golden on both sides. Make sure they are cooked through and mozzarella is melting...

Line on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

The final amount depends on how big the zucchini are.

- Irene boils the zucchini, smashes them with a fork and also adds a piece of hot salami, along with mozzarella.
- You can serve them in a mixed appetizer but make sure you fry them right before serving, or keep them in a warm place.
- It's vegetarian but not gluten or lactose free.
- You can use fresh chopped parsley, if you don't like/have mint.
- You can find the video here

martedì 19 agosto 2014


Soup - Lactose free - Vegan/vegetarian - Can be gluten free (READ notes at bottom)

1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms
2 oz Italian dried porcini mushrooms
2 medium potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
3 sage leaves
2 tbsp Italian extra virign olive oil
6 cups vegetable broth
Ciabatta, Italian or Pugliese bread
Italian sea salt

Put broth in a saucepan, warm it up and keep it warm.

Soak dried porcini in lukewarm water for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, peel and dice potatoes; arrange onion and sage and finely mince them; clean and dice fresh mushrooms.

In a large saucepan with lid, on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and sautee the onion mixture until lightly golden, then add the fresh mushrooms and mix to combine.

Remove porcini from water and squeeze them; carefully strain water, in order to remove all impurities, and set it aside. If needed, cut the bigger slices, add them to the saucepan, mix well and sautee for 2 minutes.

Now add the porcini's water and about 4 cups of the warm broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to minimum, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Season with salt, if needed.

Slice bread about 1/2" thick and toast it in a toaster oven or under the broiler. Cut garlic in half widthwise and "brush" it on the slices, then cube sliced into croutons.

Blend soup until you obtain a smooth cream, you can use an immersion blender if you have it.

Put it back in the saucepan, on the stove, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Place even quantities of garlic croutons on the bottom of individual bowls, then pour mushroom cream and drizzle with some really good Italian extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe serves 4-6

- If you want, you can cook pasta (short cut or broken spaghetti), rice or farro in it: in this case you will need to add some of the reserved broth, because it would be too thick to allow proper cooking.
- DON'T use Parmigiano: as good as it is, it would cover mushrooms' delicate flavor.
- You can sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley.
- It's perfect even at room temperature, making it a perfect dish for every season (even though mushrooms are more of a "fall" dish)
- If you don't want to buy vegetable broth, make your own with onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, potatoes, Swiss chard and other veggies you like. Then eat boiled veggies and save the broth (you can also freeze it!)
- It's lactose free, vegan and, if you use gluten free pasta (or rice) it can be gluten free.

lunedì 11 agosto 2014

How to prepare Italian Frittata with pasta

Here is our new weekly recipe!!!


Entree - Complete meal - Vegetarian - Gluten and lactose free

6 extralarge eggs
leftover pasta
1 pinch salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil

Lightly beat eggs with salt, add pasta and mix well to combine.

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 3 tbsp of olive oil and pour the eggs-pasta mixture. Let it thicken, allowing the liquid part to get to the bottom, lifting the edges and tilting the skillet to ease the process.

Invert the frittata onto a platter (or a lid) and slide it back in the skillet, cooking until lightly golden. Invert one more time to evenly golden it on both sides.

When ready, slide the frittata onto a serving platter and serve with a fresh salad and/or boiled-steamed-sauteed vegetables.

Serves 4-6

- You can chop pasta, if you so wish. I don't do that,because you're slicing the frittata anyway.
- If you don't have leftover pasta, you can cook some and toss with you favorite sauce; make sure it's at room temperature when you add it to the eggs.
- This is the perfect way to use your leftover pasta, please DON'T warm it up in the microwave!!!!!!!!
- It can be served warm, cold or at room temperature.
- It's vegetarian, gluten and loactose free.
- If you see that pasta is too much for the quantity of eggs, you can add a few tbsp of milk.
- You can find the video to this recipe here

lunedì 4 agosto 2014


Entree - Lactose free - Vegetarian/Vegan - can be Gluten free (READ notes at bottom)

1 lb of Italian egg fettuccine
3 medium tomatoes, ripe but firm
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 leaves of fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 tbsp of Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt

Dice the tomatoes, put them in a bowl along with garlic, basil and salt. Stir and set aside to marinate, allowing tomatoes to pull out their juice.

In the mean time, bring a large pot of water to boil.

Place a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and warm up the olive oil. Sautee onions and zucchini, until lighly golden.

When water boils add salt and pasta and stir; at the same time add the tomatoes with thier juice in the skillet with the zucchini and onions, stirring. Cook for a few minutes.

Drain the pasta, transfer it in the skillet and toss it with the tomatoes and zucchini, sautee for a couple of minutes and serve.

This recipe is for 4

- Don't add oil to the pasta water: it will coat your pasta and prevent sauce from sticking to your pasta. Just stir it.
- Always save some of the cooking water, in case your sauce thickens too much.
- If you don't like the tomato skin, peel them this way: make a cross on the bottom of the tomatoes, put them in boiling water for 30 seconds or 1 minute depending on their size, remove them from water and the peel will come away easily.
- It's vegan and lactose free. It can be gluten free if you use gluten free Italian pasta.