lunedì 28 marzo 2016


Entree or complete dish - Lactose free - Can be gluten free (read footnotes)

I like to prepare dishes that can be considered "complete", therefore that have carbs, proteins and vegetables: it makes my life much easier. Since I love to cook, I always try to be creative and prepare different things every time (celebrations and holidays are a different chapter, though ;-) ). By the way: it's not linguini, it's linguine (like penne ;-) ).

1 lb Italian linguine
2 cans GOOD tuna in olive oil (like the one we carry ;-) )
1 tbsp Italian capers, packed in salt, rinsed and halved
1 tsp Italian anchovy paste
2 cups Italian strained San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 Italian sundried tomatoes, packed in oil and julienned
2 cups pearl onions (I used frozen ones)
2 cups cut green beans (I used frozen ones)
Italian sea salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil (if needed)

Bring a tall pot of water to a boil. Drain the tuna, reserving the oil; crumble it.

In a big skillet on low heat, warm the tuna's olive oil; add capers, anchovy paste and sundried tomatoes and stir.

Stir in the strained San Marzano and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add tuna, stir and simmer for 5 more minutes.

When water boils add salt and veggies, wait until water comes back to a rapid boil, then add linguine; cook until "al dente" (about 8 minutes) and drain, reserving some water to thin the sauce if it's too thick.

Transfer linguine and veggies to the skillet with the sauce and toss to coat evenly, sauteeing on medium heat.

Serve immediately

- You can use whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, if you like pieces of tomatoes in your sauce, same quantity.
- You can use as many or as little sundried tomatoes as you like. I like them A LOT.
- If you need some extra oil, use the sundried tomatoes' oil, which is super flavorful (and don't throw it away that oil, keep it in the refrigerator and use it for other dishes, too ;-) ).
- You can use 2-3 of anchovy fillets, if you like them.
- I always add veggies to the pasta, this way pasta will absorb their flavor and nutrients. Never add veggies after pasta: it will cool down water and interrupt pasta's cooking.
- Please, do not serve it with Parmigiano: its flavor will cover all others.
- It's lactose free and, with the right pasta, it can be gluten free too!!
- Except for the fresh or frozen veggies, we do sell everything on this recipe ;-)

lunedì 21 marzo 2016


Dessert - Vegetarian - Can be lactose & gluten free and vegan (READ footnotes)

Nothing tastes bad, when fried ;-) I love apple fritters, and this is a recipe nicely provided by a Facebook friend: Simo. I slightly changed it, I can't follow a recipe ;-) and they are delicious!!

1 to 4 apples, depending on the size
100 gr Italian 00 flour (1 scant cup)
40 gr. sugar (about 4 tbsp)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk, be flexible with the quantity
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
Italian extra virgin olive oil to fry

Peel, core and thinly slice apples, then arrange in a bowl with the lemon juice; stir to coat all the slices, to prevent them form darkening.

In a large bowl, stir all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and grated lemon zest), then add the egg and enough milk to obtain a smooth, thick batter. Add apples with the lemon juice and adjust with milk, if batter is too thick (refer to our video to check on the batter thickness).

Refrigerate until oil gets to the right frying temperature.

Spoon apple batter in the oil 4-5 fritters at a time, so the temperature won't drop too much. Turn them a couple of times until they are golden on both sides. Remove and line on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

These quantities made 20 medium fritters. The actual quantity (and the cooking time) will depend on how big you'll make them.

- Remember to adjust the heat underneath your oil because it will get warmer with time, resulting in "burnt outside" and "not cooked inside" fritters. I don't use a thermometer, I use my eyes so, if the fritters tend to golden too fast, start lowering the heat little by little: you don't want your oil to be too cold.
- If you want to use cinnamon, don't use lemon and add a pinch of it to the dry ingredients: a pinch, not a truck load... it's supposed to enhance apple flavor, not cover it.
- After frying you can roll them in sugar, or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, or leave them as they are.
- It's vegetarian. Use non-dairy milk to make it lactose free and/or corn starch to make it gluten free. If you are vegan avoid the egg and use a little more non-dairy milk.
- You can find our video here

lunedì 14 marzo 2016


Entree - Gluten and lactose free

During winter time, it's a perfect meal (and a complete one!) to warm you up and satisfy you completely! It's the perfect comfort food!!

For the stew:
1 lb cubed beef for stew, about 1" side
2 large carrots, cut in 1" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut in 1" pieces
1 large onion, cut in 1" cubes
1 28-oz can Italian peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 rosemary sprig
3 sage leaves
3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt

For Polenta:
12 cups water
1 lb. Italian coarse polenta flour (bramata)
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian sea salt

First of all, start preparing your stew, which will cook for a longer time.

In a large and deep saucepan with lid (better one with a heavy bottom), over medium high heat, warm the olive oil and sautee meat cubes stirring to try to get them golden on all sides.

Deglaze saucepan with red wine and let alcohol evaporate. Add the San Marzano tomatoes with their juice and the herbs, stir, lower heat to simmer, cover with the lid and cook for 2 1/2 hours at least, stirring occasionally.

At this point, add the vegetables, stir and season with salt to taste. Cook until vegetables are soft.

While your stew cooks, prepare polenta: bring a large pot of 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 frequently; reduce heat to low and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Serve polenta together with spezzatino, either on a side or on top of it.

This recipe serves 4

- If you want a softer polenta, use a little more water; if you want it harder, use a little less water or cook it for a longer time, so that water will evaporate more: there is NO overcooked polenta ;-)
- It's gluten free and lactose free.
- If you have leftover polenta, you can slice them and make a "lasagna" with the slices to be used instead of pasta.

lunedì 7 marzo 2016


Appetizer or entree - Lactose free

I really like tuna, as long as it's good quality. The tuna I use in this dish and it's truly important, since this recipe has few ingredients. It's very easy and quick!! They certainly are perfect if eaten right away but they're good at room temperature, too ;-)

1 5.8oz (160gr) can Italian Tuna in olive oil, high quality
1/2 cup boiled potatoes
1 or 2 eggs
1 tbsp Italian green olive spread
1 tsp Italian capers, packed in salt and rinsed
Few parsley leaves
Plain breadcrumbs
Italian extra virgin olive oil to fry

Drain tuna and smash it with a fork, transfer to a bowl. Force potatoes through a ricer and add to the tuna, together with the egg.

Chop parsley and capers and add those too, along with olive spread, to the bowl.

Stir to combine, until you obtain a nice soft mixture. Make small "balls" about the size of a walnut, flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand and dredge in breadcrumbs, then do it a second time.

Warm the olive oil in a small, deep skillet and fry the "balls", a few at a time, until golden on both sides.

Remove them and lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve immediately.

With these quantities I made 15 pcs.

- I haven't set a specific amount of eggs... it depends on their size, the humidity left in the potatoes and on the tuna, too.
- You can use basil or other herbs, if you don't like or find parsley.
- Don't add any salt: capers, tuna and olives are salty enough.
- It's lactose free
- It's great in and appetizer or even as entree, served with fresh or steamed/sauteed vegetables.
- You can find our video here