It is well known that Italians need a constant intake of carbs and, if we don’t have pasta for a few days, we’ll feel as if we haven’t eaten it for years. Nowadays pasta is consumed mostly dried, as the latest generations see the making of fresh pasta confined to the most traditional shapes and the stuffed variety of pasta, such as tortellini or ravioli. Continue reading “Homemade Pasta”
Whatever the season, here’s a classic Italian veggie bake: Aubergine Parmigiana. As usual with typical dishes, this is a homemade tradition and every family has their own method and ingredients to make it. My friend Gianfranco from Puglia always says “You can be as beautiful as ever, but if you don’t know how to make parmigiana, you have no charm!” – this saying, applicable to men and women alike, illustrates how big a staple of the Italian kitchen this recipe is. Continue reading “Aubergine/Eggplants Parmigiana – a Classic Veggie Bake”
I won’t dwell too much on the name origin of this Italian classic recipe, for which many are the presumed stories , but none of them sure. What is certain is that this classic recipe from Lazio was popular only after the Second World War, it is one of the most famous recipes in the world, and also one of the simplest pasta sauces there are to make. However, you still find some recipes that get it completely wrong, by adding extra ingredients that are not necessary at all for this recipe. It is definitely a winner at dinner parties with Anglo-Saxon friends – who will wonder at how magically you pulled together their favourite breakfast ingredients in a dinner dish. Serves two people.
I love this dish because it requires few ingredients and provides a lot of flavour. It is a great side dish to present at a dinner party – but I love it solo or with a naughty slice of cheese on top – just like how I’m making it today, with my favourite smoked provola sarda (which I’ve imported from home). I often use bell peppers for this, mixing all colours in, but this time I’m making it using these long red and green peppers, very sweet flavoured and comforting to the palate. This recipe makes enough for two.
As the queen of pasta sauces, Tomato sauce is well known worldwide. Yet, it is a classic Italian recipe we cannot skip, especially after our blog post about fresh, home made pasta. Also, there are so many variations of it, that you can obviously find your own way around it depending on your gusto. For example, you can still make it even if you don’t have carrots and celery in the fridge, by just frying onion and garlic. You can also use a bottled tomato passata if you don’t want to go through the steps of tomato preparation, and if you do, I recommend this one. But, as said before regarding fresh tomatos vs ready passata or peeled tomatoes, it won’t taste as good even though it does save you some cooking time, especially now that the tomato season is starting. So take your time, get your hands a bit dirty and enjoy!
During the Easter break, I went to visit my father who at the moment works in Belgium. Even though he works around the world, he always brings with him a stock of Italian ingredients so he can cook his favourite Sardinian food wherever he is. To make this recipe, he used canned sea urchins, which you don’t find so easily in London. Continue reading “Sardinian Pasta (Malloreddus) with Asparagus and Sea Urchins”
This traditional Sardinian recipe will be a great alternative to your classic Thanksgiving roast. Instead of being cooked in the oven, this bird is boiled, instead of giving you turkey sandwiches as leftovers, this will give you succulent tender meat to add to your salads and a rich stock for your risottos, soups or meat stews. It brings me so many childhood memories because this is the Sunday dish my grandma used to prepare for the family. Like she would have done, I used a nice corn fed rampant chicken: my butcher cleaned it for me so it was ready to stuff. I would have needed the inside organs for the stuffing, but they were not included in the purchase, so I bought some chicken hearts separately. Another must-have ingredient is lard: according to all my family, it is the very ingredient that keeps the stuffing together and gives it the right texture. But worry not, just like I did, you will be able to find it at the supermarket.