Tortellini di Valeggio

Tortellini di Valeggio

1/2 pound of minced pork meat
1/2 pound of minced cow meat
1/2 pound of minced chicken meat
1/4 pound of Parma ham
1/4 parmiggiano cheese
1 onion finelly chopped
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Semifreddo alla Nutella

Semifreddo alla Nutella


2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup of sugar
8 chocolat cookies
3 tbsp of Nutella
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 pich of fine salt
4 tbsp of chocolat liquor or bayleys
200ml of wiping cream

1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are soft and light. 

2. Stir in the crushed chocolate biscuits, nutella, liqueur and the salt. 

3. Gently stir in the whipped cream. 

4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then fold gently in to the semi-freddo mixture. 

5. Cover the mould or loaf tin with cling-film (this will enable you to tip out the semi-freddo when ready and slice it easily). Pour the mixture into the mould and place in the freezer for at least six hours, or overnight. 

6. Serve in slices on dessert plates dusted with cocoa powder, alongside a cup of espresso coffee. 


Bigoli Agli Sfilacci Di Cavallo (Bigoli with Horse Beef)

Bigoli Agli Sfilacci Di Cavallo (Bigoli with Horse Beef)

Ingredients for Bigoli Agli Sfilacci Di Cavallo for Two:
1/2 Yellow Onion -  Chopped
2 Garlic cloves - Minced
1/2 package of Sfilacci (thin, dried horse beef slices - see picture)
2 dollops (spoons) of Cream Cheese
4 Tbsp of Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Paprika (Sweet or Spicy - as you prefer)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Recipe for Bigoli Agli Sfilacci Di Cavallo for Two:

Sauté the garlic and onion in a pan over medium-high heat in olive oil.

Add the horse beef and the paprika, mix and sauté over medium heat for one minute.

Add the cream cheese, cream, ground pepper and mix thoroughly.  Taste before adding salt.  The sauce is finished.  Set aside until bigoli is ready

Once the pasta is cooked, add the bigoli to the sauce and mix carefully trying to avoid breaking the pasta.  Add a little bit of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick.

To serve, swirl the bigoli with a serving spoon and plate with freshly grated Grana Padano and arugula topped with high quality olive oil.  Enjoy!

Bigoli dough

Bigoli Dough Recipe:

Bigoli for four people:
400g (3 1/3 cups) of flour ("00" or cake flour)
3 eggs (you can also use duck eggs, however their eggs a slightly bigger and modifies the recipe)
Water (small amount, appx 2-Tbsp)
Salt - 1 Tsp

In a bowl mix the flour and eggs with a fork until it has formed clumps in the flour.  Switch to using your hands and mix rigorously.  When the dough has become one large ball, move to tabletop (preferably a wood surface) and continue to work and mix the dough with your hands just like any other pasta dough.  Bigoli is traditionally made using a torchio, make sure you load your pasta with it floured into the cylinder.  Begin to twist and cut twice for one cylinder load of dough. Use flour liberally and ensure the pasta is not sticking. The texture of the dough needs to be hard and not sticky.
Traditionally Bigoli is made by mens. That's a picture os a Bigoli competition in the south of Vicenza.


Sautéed zucchini in tomato sauce

Sautéed zucchini in tomato sauce with Cinnamon

1 pound zucchini
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp oregano

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in hot oil until tender.  Add the tomatoes; simmer several minutes.  Add the zucchini, salt, pepper, cinnamon and oregano.  Simmer partially covered until tender, but not overcooked.  Do not stir to much.



Ingredients for tiropitakia:

3 eggs
8 oz of cream cheese
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 pound phyllo
1 pound clarified butter

Beat the eggs until fluffy.  Add the cheeses and mint, mixing well.  Prepare triangles as the pictures.



Ingredients for Spanakopita:

1 medium onion, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
10oz of cooked spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp thyme
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 pound phyllo
1 pound clarified butter

Saute onion in hot oil until soft.  Add spinach and salt; saute a few minutes.  Cool slightly.  Stir in cheeses and egg, blending thoroughly.  Prepare triangles as the pictures.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until golden.

Classic Greek Salad

Classic Greek Salad for Two:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 crushed garlic (Optional)
2 tsp fresh dill (better if you have fresh but dried will work)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, and extra for garnish
3 tomatoes—cut rustically in pieces 
2 red onion—halved and sliced into rings
2 cucumbers—sliced into thick half-moons
1/2 cup banana pepper - sliced thick with caps/seeds removed
4 oz (120g) feta cheese—cut into small cubes
20 (appox) kalamata olives

Place the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine; or whisk in a bowl.  Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine just before serving. Garnish the Greek salad with a little freshly ground black pepper.


Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce

Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce

Ingredients for the Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce:

4 Tbsp olive oil
8 cloves minced or sliced garlic
1 chopped onion
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp oregano
1 cup of white wine
2 cups of crushed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
3 pounds of mussels
3 Tbsp fresh Parsley chopped

Recipe for Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, chopped onion, red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano, paprika, and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds.  Add the white wine and tomato sauce, increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil.  

Add the mussels and cover the pan with the lid.  Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, the steam will cook the mussels.  Remove the lid and stir once gently.  Continue to cook until the mussels are completely open and fully cooked, 4 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the mussels gently from the pot to a large bowl.  Return the pot to the heat and increase the heat to high.  Boil for a minute or 2, until the sauce is thicker.  Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve immediately.

Recommendations for serving:

This recipe is very healthy and surprisingly light.  It can be served as an appetizer or main dish.  Serve with a thick crust bread or garlic toasts.  Best served with beer or white wine!



What's Paccheri?

Although the origin of Paccheri is disputed between the Southern regions of Calabria and Campania their provenance cannot be traced with certainty to either. They belong to the short ribbed stright cut pasta family. They have a 28 mm diameter, they are 46 mm long and their thickness can vary from 1,18 and 1,26 mm.People from Naples also call this pasta « paccare », a dialect word which means « schiaffo » (slap). Probably their thick and heavy consistency is associated in the popular tradition to a nice good slap.Paccheri are recommended in the making of dried pasta dishes with thick chunky meat ragùs, such as the Neapolitan ragù, which can easily penetrate and cling into the pasta making it even more dainty. Alternatively they are also excellent in casseroles baked with cheeses and tomato sauce.

'Cecco pasta factory'

Paccheri alla Napoli

Paccheri alla Napoli - (Spicey Sausage pasta with Ricotta Cheese)

What's Paccheri!????

Ingredients for Paccheri alla Napoli for two portions:

24 Paccheri (the pasta shape) for two portions
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of Napoli sausage, sliced (or Spanish chorizo or any other spicy sausage can be used)
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp of ricotta
1 Tbsp of capers
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

 Recipe for Paccheri alla Napoli:
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and sauté about a minute.  Add the sliced sausage and continue to stir occasionally for a few minutes.  The onions will be translucent and turning light brown.  Turn the heat on hight and add the tomatoes; cook the tomatoes for about one minute and add the balsamic vinegar.  Add the capers and the fresh tarragon (or basil, or oregano, or parsley).  Spoon in three dollops of ricotta cheese and mix by folding the pasta in the pan.  Plate with a swirl of balsamic or reduced balsamic cream.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti al cartoccio with sea food

Spaghetti  al Cartoccio with Seafood

Ingredients for the Spaghetti al Cartoccio with sea food for 2 portions:
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 roma tomatoes, in cubes
1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers (red and yellow)
1 tsp of capers
2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
10 olives
10 mussels
10 clams
10 shrimps
Chopped parsley, mint or oregano
1 lemon
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Recipe for Spaghetti  al cartoccio with sea food:
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers and sauté.  Turn the heat on hight and add the tomatoes; cook the tomatoes for about one minute and add the balsamic vinegar.

 Add the *very al dente pasta and mix it in the pan.  (The pasta packaging says to cook about 11 minutes, but you must consider we are cooking it in the oven too for 2 minutes, therefor it must be undercooked at this point).  Add the mint (or oregano) and squeeze a half lemon on top.  Mix again checking the salt and pepper are good.

Take a bowl and place a large cut piece of parchment paper (oven paper) over it.  Swirl one portion of pasta in the middle of the paper with the vegetables included (as pictured).  Add a spoon of capers and olives.
Next add your choice of seafood being carful not to overstuff the paper... It is essential to ensure a tight closure for the clams and mussels to cook and open their shells, so avoid putting too much in. You can also add swordfish, scallops, and calamari.

Now to tie up your paper.  Pinch all four corners, drawling them together and synching in remainder of the paper with your other hand.  With oven safe string, tie a tight knot and ensure it is secure.  It is now ready for the oven!  (You could also refrigerate multiple bags at this point for hours and plan on cooking them about 3 minutes longer to ensure they will be hot and cooked completely)... This would be great for a dinner party!

After 20/25 minutes in the oven at 375F or 180C, take the bag out and it is done.  Serve and enjoy!