Archive for the 'English Recipes' Category

Porcini, parsley and pine nut pasta

porcini, parsley and pine nut pasta

porcini, parsley and pine nut pasta

If you want a quick and easy pasta recipe which is totally delicious look no further than this sauce, called Tocco di funghi alla genovese, made with dry porcini mushrooms, parsley, garlic and pine nuts . It was shared on the picket line by a good colleague of mine (Annalisa), Italian like myself. Yes, I have been on strike for the past few weeks , together with thousands of other lecturers nationwide, to protest about the proposed massive cuts to our pensions. Let’s not go into details. However, I will say this: although it hasn’t been pleasant to stand outside in the cold and the rain these past few weeks, the upside has been the sense of camaraderie amongst the fellow strikers and the many interesting conversations struck (pardon the pun) with various people at different times. One of the many topics discussed was food. It is after all one of the pleasures of life. Annalisa kindly shared this amazing pasta sauce while on the “barricades”. As the name suggests it comes from the Liguria region, where Genova is situated. I guarantee that if you make it once you’ll want to make it again. Da leccarsi i baffi, per dirla in italiano! Continue reading ‘Porcini, parsley and pine nut pasta’

Smokey Moroccan chickpea stew with saffron couscous

Moroccan chickpea stew with saffron couscous

Moroccan chickpea stew with saffron couscous

Today I abandon cakes to share with you this super healthy/super vegan recipe which I found in Aine Carlin’s book Keep it vegan. My son left it here (together with all his other possessions!) when he emigrated to China to teach English as a foreign language. While flicking through it I spotted lots of recipes which appeal and might have a go at, even if I’m vegetarian more than vegan. I have got to say I really enjoyed the saffron cous cous and I will definitely make it again. If you want to feel holy have a go at this stew. Simple, filling and very satisfying. Continue reading ‘Smokey Moroccan chickpea stew with saffron couscous’

Sticky orange marmalade cake

sticky orange marmalade cake

sticky orange marmalade cake

Back to being naughty with the recipe of this gorgeous cake, which I made for my book group ladies last night. As mentioned before all the ladies belonging to this reading group are exceptional bakers. Hence it is always a source of stress to have to provide a cake for the evening for fear that what you produce is NOT QUITE UP TO STANDARD. It goes without saying that bringing a ready made cake would be very much frowned upon. If it’s your turn to bake it has to be home made. The one and only time when one of these ladies forgot to make the cake and we had to resort to bought biscuits (the horror of it!) has never been quite forgotten (never mind forgiven).:-) In truth I am not that worried when it’s my turn , as I don’t get worked up that easily, but I know some of the other ladies do. Same when it’s their turn to choose the book. BUT WHY? Why get your knickers in a twist, I ask. It’s not as if they have written the book they are proposing themselves. Even if the book was not to the others’ liking, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Right? Wrong! These ladies start fretting weeks before they are due to choose (we take it in turn, see?). All except me…ha ha. I have had cancer: life is too short to fret about a book. But back to the cake. The reason why I went for this particular one was that a few weeks ago I made some delicious orange marmalade (see recipe here) courtesy  of my good friend, and book group member, Janet who donated a bag of Seville oranges to me. So here is the recipe for you all to enjoy. Definitely one to make again…and again. By the way the recipe comes from the Happy foodie blog. Continue reading ‘Sticky orange marmalade cake’

Cheese and spinach soufflé

cheese and spinach soufflé

cheese and spinach soufflé

Boy, am I glad Candida is back!!! The pressure has been taken off me at long last…;-)

This is definitely not a vegan recipe as it has cheese, milk and eggs in it, but hey! the days of cooking vegan are over for the time being. I’ve made this soufflé at least three times, combining various recipes from different sources. I can honestly say it has worked every single time. It has puffed right up and was cooked to perfection. Really quite spectacular!  People are scared of souffles and think they are ever so difficult to make but I beg to differ and would like to reassure you. I reckon that provided you get the right balance of ingredients, souffles are not more complicated than any other dish. Last time I made it I divided the mixture into 8 small ramekins instead of making a big one. That was also successful. So here it is. Follow the recipe and have a go. You”ll see for yourself how easy it is. Of course do bear in mind that souffles have to be eaten straight out of the oven or they will collapse so you need to get the timing right.  If you do I guarantee you will impress your friends! 😉 Continue reading ‘Cheese and spinach soufflé’

Crostata lavanda e frangipane profumata all’arancia

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D’accordo, il frangipane è territorio di Lucina. Ce ne sono di ricettine frangipane nel nostro sito! Ecco la mia allora. Mi sono ispirata a una vecchia ricetta di Colazione da Jo, cambiandola secondo le mie esigenze e usando questa variante di pasta frolla leggera, con metà dose di burro che io amo molto e mettendoci la mia amata lavanda..

Ecco fatto! Continue reading ‘Crostata lavanda e frangipane profumata all’arancia’

Vegan chocolate and banana tea loaf

banana and chocolate tea lof

banana and chocolate tea lof

One of my main guests over the Christmas hols was my eldest son, ex vegetarian recently turned vegan. ARGHHHH! I have got to say , much as I respect vegans, they aren’t the easiest people to cater for. Plus, although a vegetarian myself, I simply love eggs and dairy products ( I couldn’t live without my beloved parmigiano) and use them a lot in my everyday cooking. So I sheepishly asked him whether as a Christmas present he might entertain the idea of reverting back to vegetarianism  for a few days (just to make my life easier?), but the answer was NO (“nice try, mum!!”). That left me with one of 2 choices: cooking separate meals or going vegan for the duration of his stay. I plumped for the second option as I didn’t fancy cooking two different dishes at every meal. I am not that much of a masochist.  Vegan we temporarily became then and you’ll be pleased to hear I survived the eggs and dairy embargo relatively unscathed (not sure about my intestines, but that’s a different story and one you won’t want to hear). Continue reading ‘Vegan chocolate and banana tea loaf’

Lemon biscuits (light)

lemon biscuits

lemon biscuits

Well hello hello hello! Yes, I am back and sorry if I haven’t been able to write for MONTHS! Work got in the way, as well as my newly found hobby: mosaics. I’ve spent loads of my free hours making mosaic stuff, a lot of it for Christmas, leaving me hardly any time to be creative in the kitchen. But I have no excuses now. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is something I wasn’t sure at first. Biscuits usually contain much higher quantities of butter. This is what makes them lovely and rich. But I wanted something with less calories hence I gave these ones a go. I’ve got to say I like them a lot, after the initial “I’m not sure about these”. They are not too sweet and are light and crunchy. Ideal to have with a cup of tea or coffee, without feeling too guilty. I particularly love their lemony flavour, always a favourite of mine. Next time I might add a bit of semolina for some extra crunch. Continue reading ‘Lemon biscuits (light)’

Braised Cauliflower and Puy Lentil Tabouleh

braised cauliflower and puy lentils tabouleh

braised cauliflower and puy lentil tabouleh

Calling all vegetarians and vegans out there. This is an AMAZING tabouleh which I have made twice already in the last couple of weeks. Packed full of wholesome ingredients and really bursting with flavour. I know it might sound like a bit of a faff, by looking at all the ingredients, but it is so much worth it. Don’t be scared and have a go. You won’t regret it. It comes from the vegan recipe book Peace and Parsnips  by Lee Watson. I will have to check out his other recipes, considering how good this one is. If you want to cook something healthy today or vary your salads repertoire look no further. Continue reading ‘Braised Cauliflower and Puy Lentil Tabouleh’

Gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

These little potato dumplings are a classic in Italian cuisine. You cook them by dropping into a pan of salted, boiling water. Then when they raise to the surface (which means they are ready) you drain them and dress them with any sauce you like. I made a cream and gorgonzola sauce, tossed the gnocchi in it and then blasted them under a hot grill to achieve an au gratin effect. You can buy these ready made in supermarkets (and by the way, English people never know how to pronounce the word right) but they are not a patch on the homemade variety, which are light and fluffy. I used the recipe from the “Cucchiaio d’argento” recipe book. It worked really well. I still remember the first time I made gnocchi many many years ago when I ended up with a mixture that resembled wallpaper paste. It ended up in the bin, of course. But not these little babies which I will make again for sure as they were gorgeous! Continue reading ‘Gnocchi di patate’

Focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

I LOVE focaccia, me! For the people who don’t know what it is: it’s a flat bread made with LOADS of olive oil which originates from the Liguria region in Italy. When I was a child I used to go there for my holidays and basically overdosed on this bread. Oh my word! It was utterly delicious! I have never tasted one as nice ever since. There are different types out there, as it is often the case. You can make it plain, add olives, onions, tomatoes, rosemary…your choice. I have tried and tried to make one, using different recipes, flours, sour dough, you name it. HOWEVER I have never been 100% satisfied with the results. Until yesterday, that is,  when I finally made one I was happy with: nice and soft on the inside, lovely and crunchy on the outside. I know now where I have gone wrong all this time. I was basically trying to use a bread recipe and adapt it. WRONG! The focaccia dough is much wetter then bread’s. Also you are better off using 00 type of flour (I ordered mine on Amazon, in the end). I mainly used the recipe from the website Giallo zafferano, albeit I adapted it slightly. Continue reading ‘Focaccia genovese’