lunedì 29 settembre 2014

How to prepare quick Italian beans and farro soup

Here's the video to our weekly recipe!!!


Soup - Vegetarian, vegan and lactose free - Can be gluten free (READ notes at bottom)

1 can Italian Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Italian Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
1 scant cup Italian Farro
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp Italian tomato paste (in tube, double concentrated)
Italian Extra virgin Olive Oil
Rosemary, Sage
Italian sea salt
Vegetable stock, 10 cups at least

In a big pot, over high heat, let the vegetable stock boil and keep it warm. Set aside some stock (about 2 cups) and keep it warm in case you need it.

Add beans, onion, carrots and herbs, stir and let it boil again.

As soon as the soup boils, add the farro and adjust with salt (if needed), lower heat to medium and cook for about 20-25 minutes.

If the soup becomes too thick, add warm stock, little by little.

Serve drizzled with olive oil.

This recipe serves about 4.

- This is a typical Tuscan soup; farro is a grain similar to rice and can substitute it in every recipe, it has more proteins and fibers. Being a grain, it's NOT suitable for celiacs.
- This soup can be considered as a full meal because of the noble proteins and the carbohydrates contained in both beans and farro.
- You can use chicken stock, if you like it, but it won't be vegetarian anymore.
- It's vegetarian and vegan and lactose-free. For a gluten-free version, use rice instead of farro.
- You can find a video for this recipe here.

lunedì 22 settembre 2014


Entree - Gluten and lactose free - Good for diets

8 chicken thighs, skin and visible fat removed
1 28oz can Italian San Marzano peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped with their juice.
1/2 cup dried Italian black olives
3-4 Italian anchovy fillets, in olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt
Rosemary and sage, as liked.
Hot pepper flakes (optional)

Pat thighs dry with a paper towel.

Prepare the sauce. In a large non-stick skillet warm up the olive oil, sautee onions until translucent, add anchovy fillets and olive and stir for about one minute (until anchovy fillets dissolve), then add tomatoes.

Season with salt, hot pepper flakes, rosemary and sage and simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes.

Now add the thighs and cook thoroughly, turning them once or twice, on medium-low heat, covered with a lid.

Serve immediately.

- You can add capers, packed in salt and rinsed, when you add olives.
- Hot pepper flakes can be avoided, if you don't like them.
- You can add 1/2 glass of red wine, if you like it.
- It is gluten and lactose free,it's also suitable for diets.

lunedì 15 settembre 2014

How to prepare Italian fried zucchini blossoms

Here is this week's video recipe! The written version is here below!


Appetizer - Lactose free - Vegetarian (can be vegan, read notes at bottom)

- If you grow your own zucchini, just use the free-standing blossoms, not the ones at the tip of the zucchini. Keep them refrigerated in a ziplock bag up to 4-5 days. If you buy them at the farmers' markets, you may want to use them that same day or the following one, at most.

Zucchini blossoms (11)
1 egg
Italian 00 flour (about 1 cup)
cold beer (about 6 oz.)
Italian sea salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil to fry

Lightly beat the egg with a couple pinches of salt, then add beer and flour and mix well, to avoid lumps, until you obtain a smooth batter (a little thicker than pancake batter).

Dip the blossoms in the batter, tossing them carefully (so you won't break them), until they are all well coated.

Refrigerate until olive oil reaches the right temperature.

Dip battered blossoms in oil, few at a time, and turn them until they are golden on both sides.

Remove from oil and line on paper towels, to absorb excess oil.

Serve immediately.

- Quantities are aproximate: it depends on the amount and size of the blossoms and on the flour you're using.
- With leftover batter you can just make some fritters to add to your appetizer.
- You can add some nutmeg to the batter, as my friend Renata does (and it tastes good!!!)
- If you don't want to use beer, you can do with sparkling water (it won't be as tasty, though)
- In some parts of Italy, they are prepared stuffed with mozzarella.
- Keep the batter in the refigerator until right before frying! The thermal shock will prevent them from absorbing too much oil.
- They are a typical Italian appetizer in summertime.
- They are lactose free and vegetarian. You can make it vegan by avoiding the egg in the batter.
- You can find the video to this recipe here

lunedì 8 settembre 2014


Appetizer - Can be lactose free (read notes at bottom)

Thanks to our Italian friend Felicita` Piena for this recipe!

200 grams (about 1 1/2 cup) Italian 00 flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 can Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
50 gr. (about 3 tbsp) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg
Salt, if needed.

Mix flour, egg, baking powder, parmigiano and water until you obtain a smooth batter, then stir in tuna, drained and crumbled. Adjust with salt, if needed.

Warm up the griddle or a non-stick skillet lighty greased and cook your tuna pankes (as you would do with any other pancakes).

Serve warm in a mixed appetizer.

- For this recipe it is mandatory to use real good tuna (like the Tonnino that we carry) and high quality ingredients, given the fact there there are just a few of them.
- Quantity depends on how big you're making your pancakes, I think mine were a little too big.
- You can add chopped fresh parsley and grated lemon zest.
- If there are lactose intolerant people, avoid parmigiano!

martedì 2 settembre 2014

how to prepare Italian side dish (Mediterranean)

Here is our new weekly recipe!!! Give it a try and you won't be disappointed!!!!! Written version is here below!!


Side dish - Vegan/vegetarian - Lactose and gluten free

1 medium onion, cubed
2-3 zucchini, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, inner ribbings and seed removed, cubed
1 red bell pepper, inner ribbings and seed removed, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup Italian dried black tomatoes
1 1/3 cup Italian San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped with their juice
3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil or parsley

In a saucepan (with lid), over medium-high heat, warm up olive oil and sautee onion, potato and carrot for 2 minutes, then add bell pepper, stir and sautee for 2-3 more minutes.

Now add eggplant and zucchini, sautee and add olives.

Season with sea salt and add tomatoes.

Lower heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables reach desire tenderness, and add basil or parsley.

This recipe serves 4-6

- It is a great side dish for grilled/roasted fish or white meat.
- It is great even at room temperature.
- You can use it as sauce for pasta (egg pasta like tagliatelle or pappardelle would be the best).
- Remember that zucchini and eggplant cook slightly faster than bell peppers and way faster than onions, carrots and potatoes, that's why you start cooking in that order.
- It's vegan/vegetarian, lactose and gluten free.
- You can find the video for this recipe here.