Spanish Puchero

1 / 2 kgr chickpeas
1 / 2 kgr (pieces of: panceta, pig trotter, pig cheek)

1 / 4 kgr Beef shank
2 old chicken drumstick
4 Spanish Sausage "chorizo"

2 Potatoes
2 Carrots
Handful of green beans
1 Onion
4 cloves of garlic1 Piece of celery
1/2 cup of black olives
1 cup of tomatoes crunched
1 tbsp of Spicy Paprika
1 tsp pf turmeric
Fresh herbs of your choice (Basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano)Salt & Pepper

Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Bicarbonate of soda will help when cooking the beans and will ensure that they are softened.

The best way to cook Puchero is to use a pressure cooker, it will only take 1 hour, but if you cook it with a normal pot it will take about 4 hours for the chickpeas to cook and soften. Before you put the chickpeas into the pot be sure you have rinsed them thouroughly. 

So, put everything in the pot: chickpeas, meat and vegetables. Cover all the ingredients with water and add salt. Seal the pressure cooker and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point, open the pot and taste for seasoning. If needed add salt and then let  boil for several minutes

French Onion Soup


1 large onion per person.
250ml of beef or game stock per person.Fresh thyme stick.
2 or 3 bay leafs
1 glass of Bordeaux wine per person
15 grams of butter per person.
French hard cheese gruyere or emmental (can even use swiss hard cheese)

1. Cut the onions in very thin rings.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan to cook the onions till slightly golden and wet.
3.  Add two tablespoons of flour in the onions and stir for a few seconds to mix it in well
4.  Add the hot stock and the wine to the mix slowly stirring continually.
5.  Add the thyme and bay leafs hint of nutmeg
6.  Stir till boiling on high heat
7.  Then simmer for 30 minutes with a covered dish stirring occasionally and tasting to salt and pepper to taste.

8.  In the meantime cut the bread and grill
9.  Rub the garlic on one side on the bread
10.  Then cover the bread with the grated cheese on a grill dish ready to melt the cheese.

11.  Once the soup is cooked, take off the heat,
12.  Now melt the cheese on the bread ready to be served.
14. Serve the soup and put 3 slices of the cheesy bread on top.



Capelacci Ferrarese with Ragu

For the dough:

3 cups of Semolina flour + more if needed
6 egg

Using a fork begging mixing in the egg with the flour.  Once egg has been mixed in enough, begin using your hands to work the dough.  Continues until reaches a smooth consistency, adding a light dust of flour if necessary.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap to protect from drying.  For best results, let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes.

For the filling:

1 baked pumpkin (Zucca verdi) Pic bellow 
1 tbs paprika
1 cup of Parmiggiano or Grana Padano grated
1/4 tea spoon of nutmeg
1 tea spoon of black pepper
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Put into the oven the whole squash. Roast for 30 minutes until tender. Leave until cool enough to handle and then take the seeds and skins off.

Put the flesh in a bowl and mash to a smooth purée with a fork. Stir in the parmesan, nutmeg, paprika and the salt and pepper.

For the Ragu Ferrarese:

1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic, minced
200g of sausage, taken out of their casings
1/2 cup of tomato paste
1 1/12 cup of red wine
1 teaspoon of paprika
Thyme, about a Tablespoon
Olive oil for frying the onion
Salt & Pepper to taste

Fry the onion, garlic and sausage in a generous amount of olive oil.  Once onions have browned and meat has cooked, add one cup of wine and let liquid reduce half it's amount.  Add tomato paste, paprika and thyme.  Let cook for five minutes and add another half cup of wine.  Cover and simmer the sauce at a low temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, do not allow to boil.
Serve with a hard cheese, recommended Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano).
Buon Appetito!!

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