4.25.2020

Lasagna


Ragu
* 5 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 carrot, finely diced
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 rib celery, finely diced
* 1 clove garlic, sliced
* 2 bay leafs
* 500g veal, ground
* 500g pork, ground
* ¼ lb. pancetta or slab of bacon, chopped
* 2/3 cup tomato paste
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup dry white wine
* Salt and black pepper
* Parmigiano, for grating
1. In a 6 to 8-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.

 2. Add the carrots, pancetta, onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned (about 10-15 minutes).

 3. Add the bay leaf, veal, and pork; stir into the vegetables.

 4. On high heat, combine the wine, stir to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.

 5. Add the tomato paste and a cup of water, cook for 10 minutes, then add the milk, simmer over medium-low heat for 1-1 ½ hours.

 6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

Spinach Dough

 * 4 eggs

 * 2,5 oz / 170g cooked spinach

 * 4 cups 00 flour

 1. Using a blender , blend the eggs with the spinach;

 2. Mound 4 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board;

 3. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and spinach mixture;

 4. Using a fork, beat together the eggs, and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.

 5. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape (the dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated);

6. Start kneading the dough, more you knead, better it gets. Add more flour is the dough sticks on your hands;

 7. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits;

 8. Lightly re-flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky;

 9. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature

 10. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and roll each out to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine.

Béchamel
-1l or 4 1/4 cups milk
-1 onion, halved
-1 bayleaf
-2 cloves
-100g / 7 tablespoons butter
-100g / 11 tablespoons flour
-Salt & white pepper to taste
-1 tea spoon nutmeg
1 - Gently bring the milk to boil in a saucepan with the onion, bayleaf and the cloves. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 30 minutes;

2 - In another sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Stir until a paste forms (that's called roux), continue cooking for 2 minutes;

3 - Remove the onions, the bayleaf and the cloves out of the milk. Combine gradually the milk with the roux, stirring ad you go. Cook for another 20 minutes in low heat stirring until the sauce thickened. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
An ideal béchamel is a béchamel without lumps and without taste of flour. To avoid lumps stir and to avoid the taste of flour cook for minimum 20 minutes.

Directions for assembly

 1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F/190C.

 2. In a lasagna pan, assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of béchamel, a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano etc. until all of the sauce and pasta are used.

 3. The top layer should be pasta with béchamel mixed with ragu over it.

 4. Top the lasagna with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until the edges are browned, and the sauces are bubbling.

 5. Remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Melanzana alla Parmigiana


-5 Eggplants
-1 cup flour
-5 cups basic tomato sauce
-Parmigiano cheese
-Smoked provolone
-1 large handful of basil
-Salt & Pepper

  • Slice the eggplants ¼ - ½ inch thick. Sprinkle the slices with the salt and let stand in a colander for 1 hour to drain some liquid;
  • When you are ready to cook the eggplant, heat about 1 inch of peanut or any other vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  • Pat the eggplant slices dry to remove any excess moisture. Add the slices on flour, let the flour stick on the eggplant. Then start frying, a few at a time, to the hot oil. Fry on both sides until lightly golden
  • Remove the slices from the oil and drain on paper towels. Continue until all the slices have been fried, reducing the heat (and adding oil) as necessary.
  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • In a baking dish, start with a layer of sauce, then layer some eggplant slices, followed by a sprinkling of parmigiano cheese and smoked provolone. Continue the layers until all the ingredients have been used or the dish is full, ending with sauce.
  • Sprinkle the parmigiano cheese over top.
  • Bake the dish at 400F for 25-30 minutes, until nice and bubbly
  • Remove it from the oven and let the dish rest for 10 - 15 minutes for the juices to absorb before serving.

4.22.2020

Fresh pasta

Ingredients
4 eggs
2 cups of 00 flour
2 cups semolina
Water if necessary
STEP 1 - Preparing the dough by hand
Pour the flour into a bowl, then the eggs and water
in the middle.
Mix with a fork to thoroughly blend the eggs
with the flour. Do not add salt.
Knead the dough with your hands until it is completely
smooth and consistent. If the dough is too dry, add
some water; if it is too sticky, add some flour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a table, lightly dusted with flour.
If necessary, continue kneading the dough by hand and break it up into little pieces.
Dough should never stick to your fingers.
STEP 2 - Preparing pasta sheets
Set the adjustment knob of the machine to number 0, so that the two smooth rollers are fully open. Feed a piece of dough through the rollers while turning the crank.
Lightly dust both sides of the pasta sheet with flour and fold it in half. Feed the pasta sheet through the smooth rollers several times, until it is long and regular in shape.
Cut the pasta sheet in two and dust each piece lightly with flour on both sides.
Set the adjustment knob to 1 and pass the pasta sheet through just once; then, set the adjustment knob to 2 and pass the pasta sheet through once more; then, set the adjustment knob to 3, and so on until you reach the desired thickness (the recommended thickness setting is no. 6 for fettuccine and no. 7 for tagliolini).
Cut the pasta sheet crosswise, into pieces about 25cm long and dust them with flour.
STEP 3 - Cutting the pasta
Insert the crank in the cutting accessory and feed the pasta sheet through the rollers to cut it. Pick up the dough with the stick and transfer it to dry.
The pasta dries in about 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity and can then be stored in suitable kitchen containers.
Tips
* do not use cold eggs straight out of the refrigerator;
* Do not add salt to the dough;
* Preserve home-made dried pasta for no more than 1 month;
* You can freeze freshly cut pasta, but always consume it within 1 year;
* Cook the pasta in a large amount of hot water (4 litres for every ½ kg of pasta).

4.10.2020

Mint pesto

*1 clove of garlic 

*1 cup of fresh mint 

*10 cherry tomatoes 

*1 cup roasted pistacchio 

*1 tsp coarse salt 

*1 cup olive oil 

*100g / 3,5oz feta cheese 




Using a pesto mortar: 

In the pesto mortar, crush the garlic with the coarse salt until is a paste, add the the pistacchio, mint and the tomatoes. Combine olive oil and cheese if desirable. 




Using a blender: 

Combine the garlic, mint, pistacchio and salt. Blend until is all just crushed. Combine the tomatoes, feta and blend not to become smooth, but an uneven texture.

Béchamel sauce

-1l or 4 1/4 cups milk
-1 onion, halved
-1 bayleaf
-2 cloves
-100g / 7 tablespoons butter
-100g / 11 tablespoons flour
-Salt & white pepper
-Nutmeg

1 - Gently bring the milk to boil in a saucepan with the onion, bayleaf and the cloves. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 30 minutes;

2 - In another sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Stir until a paste forms (that's called roux), continue cooking for 2 minutes;

3 - Remove the onions, the bayleaf and the cloves out of the milk. Combine gradually the milk with the roux, stirring ad you go. Cook for another 20 minutes in low heat stirring until the sauce thickened. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

An ideal béchamel is a béchamel without lumps and without taste of flour. To avoid lumps stir and to avoid the taste of flour cook for minimum 20 minutes. 












Branzino al cartoccio - Baked fish wrapped in paper

· 1 filet of Branzino or any other 
fish you like (about ½ pound)
· 4 thin slices of Potato
· 1/3 of Red Pepper, sliced
· 1/3 of Yellow Pepper, sliced
· Tomatoes, sliced 
· 1 clove of garlic, cut in half
· 6 Olives (optional)
· 1 tablespoon of Capers (optional)
· 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
· 1 teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
· Lemon
· Herbs of the season
· Salt/Pepper/Pepperoncino (to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F;
 

2. Place an approximately 14-inch piece of 
parchment paper on the table;

3. Lay the potatoes slices down in a row; add 
salt and pepper (this will be the bed for the fish,
 you can also add rosemary);

4. Place the fish on the top of the potatoes;

5. On the top of the fish, add all the other 
ingredients; 


6. Fold the fish up in the paper tightly; 


7. Bake at 180˚C / 350˚F for 30 minutes. 


Roasted cherry tomato sauce

This is a very different way to make your tomatoes sauce, you will bake it in a oven instead of cooking on stove top. Very versatile and you can always add pretty much anything you think it will taste good with it. 



*500g / 1,10 pound cherry tomatoes (cut in half) 

*2 garlic cloves (chopped) 

*1 cup chopped almonds 

*60ml 1/4 cup olive oil

*60ml 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

*Salt & Pepper 

*Basil 

*Fresh mozzarella di Bufala 



1- In a baking dish combine all the ingredients, 
except the cheese.

2 - Mix all very well and bake on convection 
mode (200C/390F) for about 25 minutes. 



3- After baked, if you desire a more saucy 
texture break the tomatoes using a wood spoon. Mix very well with the pasta and serve with the fresh mozzarella and fresh basil 
leaves on the top. You can always modify this 
recipe adding other ingredients like capers, 
olives, pine nuts, cilantro. coconut milk, 
cream, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, tuna, 
mussels, shrimps and whatever you think 
will taste good with the sauce.







4.08.2020

Sausage ragu with mascarpone

​- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 350g/12oz of Italian sausage, taken out of their casings
- 1/2 cup of tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 1 1/2 cup of red wine
- 1 table spoon, fresh rosemary
- 1 pinch of chilli peppers
- 6 table spoons olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
1 – In a big frying pan, brown garlic, chilli peppers, rosemary and sausage with the olive oil;
2 – After the meat is all cooked and brown, combine the wine and let reduce in half;
3 – Add the tomato paste and the stock, let it cook for ten minutes in low heat;
4 – Turn the heat off and combine the mascarpone, then toss the pasta with.

4.06.2020

Baked chicken Involtini stuffed with parmigiano, wrapped in prosciutto, served with cherry tomatoes

-8 chicken cutlets (you can buy chicken cutlets from a store, or you can do it by yourself by slicing the chicken breast in half thru the middle, so you can get a thin, flat piece of chicken)
-200g/7Oz Parma ham (or a similar dry cured ham)
-200g parmigiano cheese
-3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
-1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
-1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1- Lay in a wood board two pieces of sliced ham;

2- On the top of the ham, lay one piece of the chicken cutlets;

3- Place a piece of parmigiano about the size of your pinky finger top to tail in the middle of the chicken and roll thightly;

4- Place all the involtini in a baking dish;

5- Using a mix bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, balsamic, olive oil and basil. Mix well;

6- Add all the cherry tomatoes with the involtini on the baking dish;

7- Bake for 30 minutes in 180C/360F.




4.04.2020

Ginger bug

Ingredients

To Start the Bug

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 table spoon of  sugar
  • 2 table spoon of fresh ginger diced or grated

To Feed the Bug

  • 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • 5 teaspoon of ginger diced

To Use the Bug

  • 8 cups fruit juice, ginger tea or sweetened herbal tea

Preparing the Bug

  • In a jar, combine one cup of warm water and two table spoons of sugar.
  • Drop the ginger into the jar, and then cover it with a cloth.

Feeding the Bug

  • The next day, and each day for 5 days, stir 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tbsp ginger into the jar. Between 3 and 5 days, you should start to see bubbles forming, and your bug should smell yeasty and gingery. When you see bubbles, your bug is ready to use.

Using the Bug

  • To use the bug, strain 1/2 cup of the liquid and mix it with 7 1/2 cups liquid such as fruit juice or sweetened herbal tea, bottle and ferment up to 3 days.